Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Knockoff Suits Begin to Appear

Iron Man: Armored Adventures “Armor Wars” (S02E05)
by Christopher Scott

The episode begins with Iron Man giving the Statue of Liberty a flyby. It seems like this was supposed to be symbolic of something, but after having watched the episode I guess it was just a cool-looking shot. Tony has been becoming more introverted since his run-in with Ghost. He blames himself for losing the armor specs and his secret identity and is just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

On his way to do his regular spying on Hammer and Stane (to find out what they are going to create with his ideas), he is stopped by a construction accident. A crane high above the city has just lost control and dropped its payload of steel beams that are now rushing to the citizens below. Iron Man takes off at a rapid pace, but even at this speed he knows there is no chance he will make it in time.
Just before impact with a bus full of children, two of the beams vanish. Then, a giant, golden hand that looks as if it is made from pure energy pushes the remaining vehicles out of harm’s way. Two heroes, in armored suits similar to Iron Man’s style, introduce themselves as the city’s saviors. One calls himself Force (the golden hand guy), the other Shockwave (who creates energy pulses that can disintegrate objects). The duo make up the Guardsmen, a team of superheroes who work for Stark International. Iron Man enters the scene as the crowd gawks to call them out for stealing his armor. Neither the Guardsmen nor the crowd want to hear anything about it, forcing Iron Man to leave in a huff.

Tony returns to the armory and begins work on his answer to the new team stealing his thunder. Called Negator Packs, they will render the suits useless when he applies them directly to their suits. Rhodey and Pepper argue that the Guardsmen are fighting for the greater good and that Tony may be taking this too personally. Savings lives should be the focus, but Tony ignores them and retreats back to his work.

A report airs on the news, showing the Magia robbing a local bank. Iron Man is quick to mobilize, but by the time he arrives the Guardsmen have already disposed of the thugs. Just as Iron Man is about to question them about how they arrived so fast, Count Nefaria, leader of the Magia, emerges from the back. Using a burst of electricity from his fingertips, he knocks out both Guardsmen while Iron Man is able to block the onslaught. Nefaria is grabbed by Iron Man and thrown into a police car as he falls unconscious. The battle turns now from the Magia to the Guardsmen. Iron Man fends off attacks from both Force and Shockwave, managings to place Negator Packs on them during the scuffle. Just as he is going to unmask the two wannabe heroes the crowd starts to become an angry mob, threatening to riot against Iron Man for defeating heroes of the city. Iron Man flees the scene yet again.

Tony returns once again to the Armory, in worse shape than before. A TV ad plays for the Guardsmen Expo, where Stark International plans to celebrate the deeds of its team and unveil a new member to the public. Tony and Rhodey continue their argument over whether or not the Guardsmen should be allowed to save the city using Tony’s technology. Meanwhile, Pepper is doing research. As you may remember, Pepper’s father works for the FBI so she often uses her father’s resources for her personal gain. In this case she has used voice recognition technology to match up Shockwave’s voice with that of a recently released ex-convict and Magia member. By connecting the dots she also finds his partner (with a similar rap sheet), who is most likely to pilot the Force suit. After revealing her findings to Tony some tension reveals itself when he responds, “Pepper Potts I could kiss you!” She catches herself in the middle of asking what’s stopping him and Tony is quick to change the subject. He decides to reveal his secret identity to force them to do the same and regain the city’s trust.

The next scene begins at the Guardsmen Expo where Stane unveils the newest member of the crime fighting team: Firepower (a super-powered version of War Machine). Iron Man takes center stage and offers his identity to the world in exchange for theirs. When they refuse to play by his rules Pepper hacks their screens, displaying the mug shots of their so-called heroes. This does not go over very well and a fight ensues. Iron Man holds his own in this three-on-one fight, hoping to use his Negator Packs once again. As usual, once technology is used once in this show it takes everyone about five minutes to come up with an immunity, and so the packs do nothing to stop the Guardsmen. War Machine finally joins the fight, causing Shockwave and Force to retreat. Firepower launches a rocket at Stark Tower, so Iron Man leaves the arena to stop it before it causes damage and casualties. Iron Man redirects the rocket and returns to help War Machine take down the remaining Guardsman and end their charade.

Tony, Rhodey, and Pepper head home to revel in their victory as we return to Stark International to find Stane working on another project. From what I gathered in this brief glimpse, the Guardsmen were merely test subjects for new technology being used on a new weapon called Monger. It is a large robotic-looking machine shrouded in darkness, but I am sure it will be revealed in a short time.

Christopher Scott is a contributor for the television blog TheTalkingBox. He spends much of his time watching TV intended for 8 year olds when not spending it with his family in Huntsville, AL.
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