Back in the nineties, there was the Marvel Action Hour, a whole hour of animated Marvel action overseen by Stan Lee along with Avi Arad and Bob Ungar. Among the shows in that hour were Fantastic Four, Biker Mice From Mars and one Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. Along with Rhodey and Clint Barton, whom fans will know from the MCU, Stark’s crew in the 26 episode animated series includes many Marvel characters that still await live-action adaptation.
Split across two quite disparate seasons that ran from September 1994 to February 1996, the show includes origins for Tony, his main villain the Mandarin, MODOK, and many others, for anyone looking for a crash course on the Marvel roster. Soon, you’ll be able to watch Iron Man online, as Iron Man will be streaming as part of Disney+ this November.
Here’s how to watch the Iron Man animated series streaming online:
How to Stream Iron Man
The Iron Man animated series is one of the many animated Marvel series that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream the Iron Man Animated Series and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Iron Man Series”
- 5. Tap on Iron Man (Series)
- 6. Tap the Play Button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
Iron Man: Overview
When Was It On TV: September 1994 – February 1996
Creators: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Starring: Robert Hays, James Avery, Ed Gilbert, Robert Ito, Jim Cummings, Dorain Haywood, John Reilly
Synopsis: Tony Stark battles the Mandarin and many other of his most famous villains as the armor-suit wearing hero Iron Man.
Iron Man Plot
Tony Stark, alongside several of his Marvel allies including James Rhodes, aka War Machine, regularly battles his arch-nemesis the Mandarin among other villains in a standard superhero template. Each episode of the first season features a distinct threat for the heroes to overcome, while the second season has more involved and over-arching plotlines.
How Many Seasons of Iron Man Animated Series Are There?
There are two seasons of Iron Man Animated Series. The first season of 13 episodes, which ran from September 1994 to December 1994, is mostly concerned with Iron Man fighting the Mandarin, defusing a new Mandarin plot each episode while other heroes and villains make appearances. The second, also of 13 episodes, aired from September 1995 to February 1996, shifted focus away from the Mandarin and involved more character drama.
Iron Man Animated Series Season 1
13 Episodes | September 1994 – December 1994
Iron Man and the Mandarin engage in a drawn-out battle. Through-out the season, we get the origins of Iron Man, as voiced by Robert Hays, which features Tony’s father Howard, as well the history of the mysterious Mandarin, portrayed by Ed Avery and Robert Ito. Hawkeye, Spider-Woman and War Machine are among the notable guest stars.
Iron Man Animated Series Season 2
13 Episodes | September 1995 – February 1996
Rather than focusing just on the Mandarin, the second season featured a broader range of characters and storylines. Rhodey was given a subplot involving a phobia of getting into his suit, and many episodes ended with a sting of Mandarin retrieving one of his rings after losing them. Madame Masque and Stilt-Man are among the characters that make appearances.
The Best Iron Man Series Episodes
There’s quite a few action-packed adventures in Iron Man, not least the opening episode that brings in a whole swathe of Marvel characters. Other highlights involve the origin of the Mandarin, Rhodey conquering his fears, and a chase between Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Here’s a list of the best Iron Man Animated Series episodes:
Season 1, Episode 1: “And the Sea Shall Give Up its Dead”
Iron Man investigates a dormant submarine to find a zombified crew under the control of the Mandarin. If that premise isn’t enough, some 15 other characters are introduced, including Grey Gargoyle, Justin Hammer, Scarlet Witch and MODOK.
Season 1, Episode 7: “The Origin of the Mandarin”
Tony Stark finds a mystical object that gives us the origin of the mysterious villain, a story that includes political upheaval in central Asia.
Season 2, Episode 7: “Distant Boundaries”
After being forced to confront a deep-seated phobia of water, Rhodey is unable to don his War Machine suit for several episodes until here, where he triumphs over his own trauma.
Season 2, Episode 8: “The Armor Wars, Part 1”
Tony finds out his tech is being bought and sold on the black market and goes rogue trying to stop whoever’s the cause, leading S.H.I.E.L.D to try and contain him. Firepower, Stilt-Man, and Ghost are shown using the Stark technology.
Iron Man Animated Series Voice Cast
There was quite a bit of upheaval among the cast of the show, some of which was down to the studio change-over between seasons. Even major characters changed actor, though Tony Stark, thankfully, remained the same.
Robert Hays as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Despite all the inconsistency elsewhere, Hays was able to stay as the voice of Tony Stark, keeping the character consistent regardless of the animation that surrounded him. A well-tenured actor, Hays held onto Stark for his appearances in the nineties Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk animated shows too.
Ed Gilbert and Roberto Ito as The Mandarin
Two actors were given The Mandarin: Gilbert on season one and Ito on season two. Gilbert’s depiction is considerably deeper and more melodramatic than Ito’s, and the role was but one entry in a career spanning many animated projects.
James Avery and Dorian Harewood as James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine
Another major character that changed hands was War Machine, who was voided by Avery for the first six episodes before switching to Harewood for the rest of the run. Harewood would have several other comic book show-related credits, including Tombstone in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and Avery is best known as Uncle Phil in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as well as Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
John Reilly as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Barton’s one of Stark’s most trusted team-mates in this series, and Reilly held down voicing duties for the duration. Reilly’s career skewed more towards soaps than animated series, and Barton was his longest-running role in voice-work.
Katherine Moffat and Jennifer Darling as Wanda Frank/Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch was another forced to undergo a change between seasons, Moffat in season one handing over to Darling in season two. Moffat, a long-time TV actor, was involved in the con-current Fantastic Four animated series, and Darling’s most famous turn is Peggy Callahan in The Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman.
Casey Defranco and Jennifer Hale as Julia Carpenter/Spider-Woman
In one of her only two major credits as a voice actor, Casey Defranco had to hand over Spider-Woman to Jennifer Hale, who even then was becoming a superstar in voice work. Defranco’s only other voice role was in Mass Effect 2, while Hale has consistently been involved in animation and games since the nineties, working on the Mass Effect trilogy, The Tick, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and more.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on Iron Man?
Many characters made a limited appearance in Iron Man, most of them villains getting their one episode as is the general MO for this type of show. A few names that are now more widely known thanks to the MCU include Howard Stark, Ghost and the Hulk.
Here’s a list of the most important Iron Man guest stars:
Neil Ross as Howard Stark
In the season one episode ‘The Origin of Iron Man, Part 1’ we get a glimpse into Tony Stark’s past, and with that comes Howard Stark, Tony’s father, voiced by Neil Ross.
Jamie Horton as Ghost
Anti-villain Ghost from Marvel movie Ant-Man and the Wasp is given a brief role in season two episode ‘The Armor Wars, Part 1’, portrayed by Jamie Horton.
Ron Perlman as Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk
In the nineties, Hollywood actor and beloved star Ron Perlman wasn’t finding much movie work, so he turned to voice-acting. He played Bruce Banner and his alter-ego Hulk, reprising the role from The Fantastic Four animated series.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind Iron Man Animated Series?
Two main creators are credited for Iron Man Animated Series: Stan Lee and Larry Lieber. Stan was with the show for its entire two seasons, whereas it’s unknown if Lieber remained hands on the whole time. Bob Arkwright and Dan Thompson were the two main directors, each shouldering a certain amount of episodes.
The show was created as part of the Marvel Action Hour, where it, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four and Biker Mice From Mars shared an hour of programming. As mentioned, a switch from Rainbow Animation to Koko Enterprises effectively turned Iron Man on its head in-between seasons, creating two relatively distinct feeling shows. They were introduced by Stan Lee, who’d discuss the plot of each episode. Here are the main creators and directors behind Iron Man Animated Series.
Stan Lee and Larry Lieber: Iron Man Animated Series Co-Creators
Having worked on the Iron Man comic character together, Lieber and Lee were the creators of the animated series alongside Genesis Entertainment. Having also had a hand in creating Groot and Ant-Man, Lieber’s work is all over the MCU. Lieber didn’t seem to take too much of a presence for this show, but Stan introduces each episode, in addition to getting an Executive Producer credit, a practice he often took part in for Marvel animated shows.
Avi Arad: Iron Man Animated Series Executive Producer
One the stalwarts of Marvel’s multimedia empire, Avi Arad produced many of the animated series and films associated with the comics published before the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Rick Ungar: Iron Man Animated Series Executive Producer
Ungar’s career began in the early nineties, taking off when he became the Executive Producer for parts of X-Men: The Animated Series, which led into him becoming involved in Marvel Action Hour, and helping bring together X-Men: Evolution.
Glen Hill: Iron Man Animated Series Producer
Regularly storyboarding during the eighties and nineties for such shows as The Addams Family, Glen Hill helped produce Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk as part of the Marvel Action Hour.
Bob Arkwright: Iron Man Animated Series Director
Moving up from storyboarding on the likes of The Original Ghostbusters and She-Ra: Princess of Power, Bob Arkwright took on his first recurring director’s role for Iron Man, directing eight episodes in season two.
Dan Thompson: Iron Man Animated SeriesDirector
Having directed G.I. Joe animated episodes in the eighties and Rugrats in the early nineties, Iron Man would be one of the last directing roles Thompson took before resuming life on the storyboarding and general animation side.
Iron Man Animated Series Reviews – What the Critics Said
Iron Man was ultimately canceled due to poor viewership after the second season in 1996, and there isn’t much press available online from around that period. As part of what was a boon for American animation and comic book shows, Iron Man wasn’t entirely remarkable and didn’t stand-out much from its peers.
Where Iron Man Animated Series Ranks in the Television Pantheon
The show is a great relic of Marvel’s intense aspirations in the nineties. Featuring lots of different characters, the series has aged well, even if the jump from season one to season two is a little drastic. IGN reviewed the DVD boxset in 2010, and gave it a 6/10, citing that the second season is better than the first, but that overall the series “is pretty weak and only hints at the coolness of the character.”
‘Iron Man Animated Series’ Theme Song
Keith Emerson provides the robotic, futuristic sounding season one opening:
While William Kevin Anderson did the rockier second:
‘Iron Man animated Series’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
1. The first theme was written by Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Prog musician Keith Emerson created a smooth, keyboard-driven theme for the first season of Iron Man Animated series that was replaced by the heavier intro for season two.
2. The show was given a tie-in comic
The eight-issue mini-series Marvel Action Hour: Iron Man ran from November 1994 to June 1995.
3. An extra show had to be added to make up an hour in the UK
British broadcaster bought the rights to show the Marvel Action Hour, but as their flagship channels don’t show ads, episodes the eighties Hulk animated series were added to pad out the otherwise 40-minute episodes.
4. Two armors not from the show were added to the toy-line
An entirely silver arctic armor and the Hologram Armor, the Silver Centurion suit, were produced in the toy-line but never appeared in an episode themselves.
5. Iron Man is one of few shows re-recorded in THX
Though common for movies, TV shows are rarely re-recorded in THX, but the Iron Man Animated Series was, to coincide with renewed re-runs on the back of the first and second Iron Man movies.
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