The narrative starts plainly adequate. Iron Man is planning to launch a satellite that can be used to monitor the entire planet, but wholly wo n’t be used to watch you
pleasure yourself, as a crime prevention tool. The launch is attacked by a group of terrorists and War Machine is seemingly killed in an explosion. Though the satellite is launched. The apparent death of his close friend has Tony determined to track down the teenager responsible but Nick Fury doesn’t want him going out on his own because… Metroid Dread is getting released soon. Naturally, Tony doesn’t have time for Nick’s shit and leaves any way.
There are a lot of narrative problems in this OVA. The first big one is that the whole conflict between Tony and SHIELD is very flimsy. It actually reminds me of Civil War when SHIELD decides to arrest Captain America because he says he won’t help them round up his friends. Why do terrible comic writers always force conflicts between heroes by having someone over-react for no reason? It’s like their main plot didn’t have anything to it so they threw in Tony bickering with Nick just to fill time. Seriously, just because Hawkeye and Black Widow started as Iron Man villains that doesn’t mean they need to be pitted against him for no reason.
The antagonist’s plan is also a huge nonsensical mess. We find out in the second half that he needs Iron Man’s satellite for his plan but he tries to stop its launch because… Gail Simone made Catman a respectable character. To make things worse, most of the screen time with this guy is him rambling about either “the evils of technology” or how everyone else is an inferior relic of the pat because his technology makes him superior. Yeah, those two topics totally go together.
There’s also some continuity problems. There’s an injured character who we see with shrapnel literally embedded in his skin and, minutes later, he returns to the fray with no injuries whatsoever. The ending is also kind of shit. I don’t want to delve too deeply into spoiler territory, but there’s an event which should cause one of the major characters to either die or be severely injured but he ends up without a scratch because… Doctor Doom had a secret jetpack belt. The “romance” between Tony and Pepper also bothers me. And it’s not just because the comics rejected a possible romance between them and had her get involved with Happy Hogan. It’s that he’s her boss and the power difference makes it creepy. Even the way they “flirt” with each other is awkward and super uncomfortable. There’s a point where she talks to him like he’s a child and another where he suggests a romantic trip and she asks if it’s “an order.” The whole thing is just very skeevy.
The characterisation is really bad. We have Nick Fury deciding to keep Tony a prisoner aboard SHIELD’s helicarrier for no reason. Tony acts like a smug moron. James makes an offhanded joke about Tony being up late drinking. And if you’re not familiar with the comics and don’t know why that’s a dick move I’ll explain. Tony Stark is a recovering alcoholic. James knows this fact and should be more sensitive to the situation than that since Tony is supposed to be his close friend. Hawkeye, the Black Widow and the Punisher are just boring in this. The antagonist is very inconsistently written with shifting motivations that don’t make sense.
The art is one aspect that I can largely praise. There are some really nice action sequences in this. The characters look good. My only minor issue is that the costumes they have for Nick Fury and Hawkeye suck. Nick Fury traded in his signature blue and white outfit for a black trench coat. Yeah, that’s a more interesting look. Hawkeye has a similar bland downgrade. Instead of the classic purple and blue, he’s sporting a boring black costume with a few red stripes. Now, I’ve said this before when talking about comic adaptations that change the costumes, but it bears repeating. Don’t change a classic costume that looks good for something boring. Just use the iconic costumes.
The acting isn’t that bad. Fujiwara Keiji, Tezuka Hideaki, Yasumoto Hiroki, Sawashiro Miyuki and the others do fine. Especially when you factor in how bad the character writing is. The music is whatever. It was done by Takahashi Tetsuya, who also did the music for the other Marvel anime. And all of them have had boring music.
There is none.
Areas of Improvement:
1. Get an editor who actually cares to check your continuity and make sure it’s all consistent.
2. If you’re going to have heroes fight against each other, you actually need a good reason. Not something incredibly flimsy like in this.
3. Actually read the comics. I have some Iron Man issues from the 70s and 80s that you can borrow to figure out what these characters should be acting like.
This OVA is pretty horrendous. The characterisation is poorly done. The entire plot is a mess. The villain’s motivations are stupid and inconsistent. The writing in general is just a train wreck. If you don’t care about writing and just want to see some cool action scenes, you might enjoy watching it. Otherwise, I can’t recommend it. I’m giving it a 2/10.
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