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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Science Fiction > The Invincible Iron Man (Animated/Marvel Comics/Lionsgate)

The Invincible Iron Man (Animated/Marvel Comics/Lionsgate)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: A     Film: B



Lionsgate and Marvel Studios strike again, bringing one of comic books' most storied heroes to life in an animated action thriller.  Like the two previous Ultimates offerings from Lionsgate, The Invincible Iron Man (TIIM) brings a more adult take to the character, separating it from many of the animated cartoon shows of Marvel's Saturday morning past.  This feature also offers a new take on Iron Man's origin, modernizing it while still preserving some of the original flavor.  Unlike the original Iron Man who was born in the cauldron of the Viet Nam war, this modern version debuts in China, where an archeological dog goes horribly wrong and unleashed four destructive Chinese spirits.


These spirits begin to collect the artifacts necessary to resurrect classic Iron Man villain the Mandarin.  The story disappoints in the areas of Iron Man's opposition, failing to deliver any of his classic super-foes.  The depictions of the various versions of Tony Stark's Iron Man armor are splendidly rendered and provide a nice homage to the character's rich history.  The very first version we see in action is quite reminiscent of Iron Man nemesis Obadiah Stane's "Iron Monger" suit from the now classic Iron Man #200.


The picture and sound on this disc feel stronger than the first two Ultimates features.  The 1.78:1 ratio widescreen conveys the full action and destruction of superhero action in broad, bold strokes, helping to support the solid mix of traditional and computer animation.  It is rendered in somewhat muted colors and mixes hand drawn and computer animation, but in a way that makes sense.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is surprisingly rich, punchy and has consistent surrounds.


Clear menus and rich content make the extras on this disc top notch. A documentary on the history of Iron Man, an alternate opening sequence, concept art, and a feature showing nearly all of the various Iron Man armor suits to appear in the comics over the years deliver plenty of extra value.  The Hall of Iron Man Armor alone is worth the price of admission.  This version of Iron Man provides fans a nice compromise between the classic character of the past and a newer version firmly rooted in the new millennium.



-   Scott Pyle


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