Marvel Anime (Part 5): Iron Man: Rise Of Technovore

Hello, my friends.  2018 has arrived and it’s time for us to finish some old business.  As such, I welcome you back to another entry of…

Marvel Anime!

Since the prior year began with our favorite Armored Avenger, it’s only fitting to have him kick things off again as we venture into the tale known as…

Our Title Card!.jpg

Originally released on April 16, 2013 in the U.S. before coming out in Japan on April 24, this penultimate entry is one of two films that helped to close out the series.  How will our lovable technical genius follow up on his recent venture from the land of the rising sun?  Let’s suit up and find out.

We open on a quiet note as a young lad stands over some ants surrounding a deceased bug while some narration speaks about conquering an “Overman” who’s become equivalent to a sea that’s becoming impure by a polluted stream.  Just then, two figures fly past him at great speeds.

It turns out to be the armor-clad heroes themselves: Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (voiced by Matthew Mercer) and Cl. James “Rhodey” Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine (voiced by Metal Gear Solid III’s Sigint himself, James C. Mathis III) who are racing each other across a Utah desert.  Over at the nearby Stark Industries facility, a group of reporters have gathered there to cover an upcoming event.  With what remaining time they have left, Tony and Rhodey proceed to race each other across the landscape.

They manage to fly out towards a canyon where James nearly catches Stark, but Tony manages to evade just in time as James crashes into a cliff.  Iron Man looks over the aftermath when War Machine suddenly emerges from the dust cloud and grabs him by the leg before throwing him into the rocky side.  Afterwards, they continue their aerial pursuit as they make their way back to base.

During a news broadcast, it’s revealed what the momentous occasion is for.  Tony is going to be launching a brand new satellite called Howard, named after his father, which will allow S.H.I.E.L.D. to look over human activity all across the globe.  With criticism from the concerned “privacy rights advocates” about this being a violation of human solitude, Stark was interviewed as he stated that his satellite is meant to preserve humanity’s own freedom by helping to serve as a pro-active tool to prevent heinous acts from taking shape.

Just as Iron Man and War Machine arrive back at Stark Industries, a blimp gets destroyed as they’re suddenly approached by a small group of armored mercenaries.  As such, the thugs proceed to attack the base.  Our heroes manage to fend them off as Stark asks his partner who these felons are.  Rhodey explains that they’re called the Raiders and that he’s come across them before as Stark realizes that their adversaries are going after the Howard, since it would easily track their criminal path.

Suddenly, our heroes’ transmission starts getting cut off as they find themselves engaging the Raiders once again.  We then have a quick scene where a particular man is also overseeing the area, but gets told that their communication line to the facility has been cut off as well.  As such, he orders for a group of fighter jets to get sent out there.

Back at the base, one of the Raiders tries to attack the rocket containing the Howard satellite, but Iron Man and War Machine manage to stop and destroy the fiend.

War Machine-Calvary's Here!Iron Man-We Have You Now!

Just then, the aerial squadron arrives to engage the foes.  Tony and James approaches the Raiders’ leader in order to have him surrender.  However, he tells our heroes that his employer is far more cunning and better than they are.  Not only that, but he’s personally here to make sure that the Howard never launches.  As such, Iron Man heads out to engage this mysterious fiend as he leaves War Machine to take care of the Raiders’ ruler.

Inside, the mysterious fiend (voiced by Eric Bauza) infiltrates the control tower as he uses his ability to infect the hallway while slaying anyone who gets in his way.  After reaching the main hub, he proceeds to kill everyone within.  Tony arrives and asks his personal A.I. system J.A.R.V.I.S. (voiced by Troy Baker) what’s coating the hallway.  However, it’s not able to scan what these “corrosive biological cells” are since they’ve never come across this before.  He arrives just as the remaining staff members are killed off, but his Repulsor Beam gets blocked from reaching his foe.

The fiend then tries to stop the launch, but Iron Man lunges at him.  Even though Tony is unable to land a single blow on his adversary, the countdown completes itself as the rocket takes off while War Machine defeats the last of the Raiders.

Technovore-My True Face!Technovore-Your End Is Near, Stark!

Battered and beaten, Stark demands to know why so many lives were destroyed just because of his satellite.  The foe proceeds to reveal his face as he tells Tony that he’s nothing but the leader of a “fascist company” who relies too much on “high-technology” and self-proclaims himself as “the future” before making his escape.

Afterwards, Iron Man notices the familiar cells beginning to react.  Just then, War Machine arrives to regroup with him.  Tony tries to get his friend away, but it’s too late as the foreign substance causes the building to explode and collapse.

Maria Hill-OMG!Nick Fury-Let's Get Our Top Agent Down There!

Meanwhile, the destruction is observed from afar as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) and S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (voiced by John Eric Bentley) overlook the carnage from their Helicarrier.  Just then, she detects a sole individual among the wreckage as he orders for a specific agent to get sent down there to claim the survivor.

Iron Man-Gotta Find Rhodey!Black Widow-We Have To Go!

As night falls, Iron Man has escaped the rubble as he desperately tried to find Rhodey.  Just then, he’s met upon by Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow (voiced by Clare Grant) who informs him that she’s been sent to take him back to the Helicarrier and that S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue to locate War Machine within the crumbled remains.

Later, Nick tells Tony that their sensors were blocked by an EMP field and that he wishes to question our hero since he was the only one among them who’s had any face-to-face contact with their adversaries.  Stark explains that it was a kid that possessed highly-advanced techno-organic armor and that he has to go find him in order to avenge Rhodey.  However, Black Widow stands in his way as Fury explains that he’s not allowed to leave unless he cooperates with S.H.I.E.L.D. by answering his questions in order to sort this situation out.  Believing that he’s been framed for intentionally causing the recent destruction, Stark says that the Pentagon officials can afford to be a little on-edge as he takes off to go find his adversary.

After making his way out of the Helicarrier, he’s suddenly approached by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fighter jets who wish to capture him and bring him back to Nick.  Fortunately, Iron Man outmaneuvers their attacks and ultimately manages to elude his pursuers.  Just then, Black Widow arrives to try her luck at capturing him.  They manage to evade each other’s shots before Tony takes her out by sneaking onto her jet and disable it, causing her to parachute out so that he can escape.

Meanwhile, our villain is resting in his secret base alongside a woman (who also provided the initial narration) named Sasha Hammer (voiced by Temari herself, Tara Platt) who learns that her hired Raiders have ultimately fell.  They both believe that the Howard satellite will ultimately fail humankind and that Iron Man will be unable to stop them.  He also says that Stark is nothing more than a “false idol” due to his attempt to use his technological prowess to help out humanity and that all of Earth’s people must be “taught the truth”.

We then cut to a luxurious villa where Virginia “Pepper” Potts (voiced by Sakura Haruno herself, Kate Higgins) is relaxing at the pool.  Suddenly, Iron Man arrives to unintentionally interrupt her vacation and ask for her help to investigate any bio-tech sales on the Black Market.

Nick Fury-Tony's Not Gonna Hide From Me!.png

Back aboard the Helicarrier, we have a quick scene where Maria informs Nick that the Howard satellite will go online in four hours.  As such, they plan on using it to locate Tony’s current whereabouts.

Over at the villa, Tony informs Pepper on what happened to Rhodey and that the youthful assailant was in possession of a highly-advanced suit that seemed “independent” in operation.  He describes the unknown armor as if his foe combined a living organism’s DNA with a flexible metal that responds to his every thought, successfully combining biotechnology with mechatronics.  After mentioning how much important Rhodey meant to him as a loyal soldier and as a trusting friend, Pepper manages to find something peculiar related to “human-mech hybrids”.  It turns out the devious organization known as A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) has been discreetly working on their own “biotechnological hybrid armors” for a while and have made a lot of illegal capital as a result.  They discover that the most recent level of devious business has taken place in Karachi, Pakistan since there’s a front company that’s being used under the guise of a medical supply warehouse in order to work on chemical weaponry and sell banned weapons.

After he receives the coordinates to A.I.M.’s warehouse and promises to share a private vacation with her afterwards, S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives to arrest him.  After shutting off communications with Fury, he retrieves a special briefcase from a highly-advanced safe disguised as a self-portrait of himself.

Afterwards, he emerges from the house and gets quickly surrounded by an armada of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Mandroids who order him to surrender.  As one of them tries to grab Tony’s arm, the suitcase activates and forms a gauntlet to help him resist.  From there, he suits up in order to prep his escape.

He manages to fend off and defeat several of the opposing mechs before luring the rest of them into the sea.  Back at the house, Pepper is approached by a lone Mandroid that’s arrived to bring her up to the Helicarrier.

Back beneath the water, Iron Man manages to reach a sunken submarine and fire his Repulsor Beams at it in order to create a massive undersea dust cloud to hide within.  This manages to interfere with the Mandroids’ visual monitors, forcing them to use their motion sensors.  Using the cover to his advantage, Tony starts to take each of his robotic pursuers out before emerging from the water.  The remaining Mandroids fly after him, but Stark brings them to a permanent end by firing his chest beam to destroy every last one of them before taking off for Pakistan.

Nick Fury-We Need To Talk, Pepper!.png

With his present capture plan up in smoke, Nick orders Maria to contact Black Widow and Hawkeye.  He then chats with Pepper and wishes to show her something that he wanted to show Tony but was unable to.

Technovore-I'm Ready!.png

Back at the hideout, we have a quick scene where our main villain activates his Technovore armor in preparation for total control over the world’s machines.

A.I.M.-Let's Make A Deal!Punisher-I Have You In My Sights!

Over in Karachi, Pakistan, an A.I.M. convoy is making its way towards a business transaction.  Unbeknownst to the dealer however, someone familiar is watching his progress.

A short time later, the A.I.M. representative arrives at his destination and shows off the suitcase containing the bio-weapons to a group of terrorists.  From there, the deal goes through as planned.

Suddenly, the head thug gets shot in the head, thus signalling the arrival of Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher (voiced by Daryl Dixon himself, Norman Reedus).  A gun fight ensue as every last terrorist gets gunned down.

The A.I.M. representative hides upstairs and tries calling for an emergency evac, but learns that they won’t make it in time.  Shortly afterwards, Frank arrives to execute the perp as he takes his killshot.  However, Iron Man arrives in time as he catches the bullet and explains that he needs to talk with the A.I.M. associate in order to acquire some much-needed information.  After the Punisher reluctantly complies, Tony proceeds to ask the seller who exactly hired him.  However, the felon doesn’t comply since he would be forever shunned from doing illegal business again.  Fortunately, Stark grabs the guy’s arm and acquires his cell phone in the process.

Afterwards, he scans through the contacts list and comes across various terrorists.  However, one name in particular rings out for Tony: Ezekiel Stane.  Frank tells him that he’s been after said target for a while and he also has a file on him.  With authorities starting to bear down, they take their leave.

Later, they make it to the Punisher’s hideout as he proceeds to bring up his computer file on Ezekiel (or “Zeke”) Stane.  Iron Man then realizes why the name sounded familiar: He’s the son of the Iron Monger himself, Obadiah Stane (voiced by J.B. Blanc).  Ezekiel’s father used to be business partners with Tony, but their friendship grew sour to the point where Stark had to kill his corrupt ally.  Stark then wonders how Ezekiel could even be alive since he was supposedly killed in a well-publicized plane crash.

Iron Man-Let Me Check Something!.png

Frank explains that Obadiah had numerous assets all over the planet.  More than likely, Ezekiel used his fake death as a cover to hide out until the time was right for him to act, even possibly inject nanobots into his own brain to increase his intelligence.  Over the years, he’s engaged in several devious acts, with numerous dealings of synthetic drugs and nanotechnology, thus interesting him in developing his own “techno-organic armor”.  From there, Iron Man decides to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s database in order to cross-reference Frank’s file and find out where Ezekiel is hiding out.

Nick Fury-Mission Briefing!.png

As Tony expected however, the Helicarrier’s computers detects the digital break-in as Fury tells his two special agents that Iron Man has teamed up with the Punisher.  However, they can’t take too long in trying to capture their target since they don’t want to cause an international incident.  As such, Fury gives them 40 minutes to complete their mission.

Iron Man-Thanks For Helping Me Out, Frank!.png

Back with Iron Man, he’s found out that Ezekiel is currently laying low in Shanghai.  He tells Frank that Stark Industries used to have a weapons research facility there until he shut the building down a couple years ago.  Since then, it was torn down and turned into a luxury hotel and the land that it stood on was owned by Obadiah Stane.  With S.H.I.E.L.D. closing in on their location, Tony thanks the Punisher for his help and proceeds to fly off.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t get far as a trio of homing arrows strike him in the back and short out his suit’s system as he falls back onto the rooftop where he’s met by Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye (also voiced by Troy Baker).  Afterwards, Black Widow arrives and lassos his neck with electrified garrote wire.

Just then, a grenade flies in as both S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are forced to dive away from the explosion.  This allows Tony to land on top of a car that the Punisher himself is driving.  With Natasha and Clint pursuing them via motorcycle, a chase ensues as they manage to drive out of town.

After a while, Hawkeye and Black Widow manage to bring the chase to an end with well-aimed tire shots as the car ends up landing on its side.  Afterwards, they order Tony and Frank to surrender.

However, Frank manages to toss a flash grenade at the agents which blinds them long enough for him to hold them at gunpoint and force them to surrender.  Unbeknownst to him, Natasha manages to discreetly take out some garrote wire and turn the table on the Punisher.

Fortunately for Tony, this was the necessary distraction time he needed for his suit to reboot its system as he uses the car to shield himself from Clint’s arrows long enough to reach full-system power and take off for Shanghai.  As if this wasn’t embarrassing enough for Black Widow and Hawkeye, the scene ends with Frank discreetly escaping their clutches.

Iron Man-I'm Going In!Ezekiel Stane-He Approaches, Sasha!

Later, Stark manages to reach Shanghai and proceeds to enter the former weapons research facility.  Deep within the compound, Ezekiel and Sasha lay down as they hear Tony’s approach presence.

After Iron Man reaches the central hub, Stane emerges as Tony tells the young lad to surrender.  However, Ezekiel transforms into his civilian clothes and manages to create a massive replica of his father Obadiah.  Stark thinks that the boy wants revenge on him for taking out his dad.  However, Stane explains that he wasn’t really too close to him and only went after Tony since he stood in the way of his grand plans.

Iron Man tries to reach over and grab him, but his armor suddenly locks up.  It turns out that the Technovores have started to compromise his suit.  From there, Ezekiel proceeds to compare himself with “the wind” as he wishes to blow back the past and make way for the future he wishes to bring upon the planet, especially since it’ll be the Howard satellite that’ll help launch that demented vision.  From there, Stane continues to send more Technovore’s into Tony’s suit in order to corrupt it.

Iron Man-You're Nothing But A Hypocritical Child!.png

Stark tries to fight through this as he explains the hypocritical nature of how Ezekiel’s main power was created.  He says that Technovore was actually made through computers and biotechnology, so it’s all because of the past that Stane’s main source of power exists in the first place and Tony only sees him as a human child lashing out against the world.

Just then, Ezekiel feels a suddenly strain in his head while Iron Man’s suit starts to regain power.  Tony learns from J.A.R.V.I.S. that his shoulder-mounted missile launcher is functional as he fires them at his foe.  However, Stane manages to jump out of the way in time before unleashing his Technovore-filled wrath onto Stark with the intent of making him blow up.

Just as he’s about to take his leave however, he suddenly becomes immobilized as J.A.R.V.I.S. manages to cleanse the armor of foreign mecha-virus.  With the suit fully-powered once again, Iron Man sends out a massive EMP blast.

As the room’s interior starts to deteriorate, Ezekiel falls over as Tony is able to move again.  Just as Stane tells him that he’s too late to “change the future”, Black Widow and Hawkeye arrive to arrest them as Iron Man agrees to go back to the Helicarrier.

Ezekial Stane-Official Confinement!Ezekial Stane-Superfluously Frowned Upon!

Later, Ezekiel is placed in a containment chamber as he dreams back to his childhood.  It turns out that Obadiah was less-than-enthused about his son coming up just shy of 100% on a recent test and says that he’s no better than anyone else.  Not only that, but he values his Iron Monger suit more than his own flesh-and-blood.

Meanwhile, Tony learns from Pepper than Rhodey is miraculously alive.  Despite his friend being in a coma, Stark tries calling out for him to wake up.

Just then, the alarm sounds as Maria informs Nick that something has hacked into their computer system.  She and the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents try to fight off the foreign virus, but it’s no use as Iron Man tells them that the Technovores have taken over while Stane was within his chamber.

Black Widow and Hawkeye search throughout the Helicarrier for the intruding menace, only to discover that the nearby station’s guards have been taken out and Ezekiel has escaped.  Not only that, but the Howard satellite is under attack by his Technovores.

Stane then proceeds to stalk Natasha and Clint as he attempts to leap down and strike.  Fortunately, they spot him in time as Hawkeye pins his arm with an arrow.  However, Ezekiel manages to separate himself from his limb and escape.

Back at the main hub, Tony explains why the Howard satellite is so important to Stane.  It turns out that it’s able to access any and all computer system on the planet, which includes military satellites.  In a plan that’s suitably called “The Wind”, Ezekiel will use the military satellites’ firing capabilities to wipe out all of the world’s lifeforms.  In a risky move, Stark plans on using his personal Arc Reactor to purge the computer system of all Technovore traces.  However, his own body can only last up to five minutes without the vital mechanism in his body.

Black Widow & Hawkeye-We're Flying Blind!Ezekial Stane-Surprise!

Meanwhile, Black Widow and Hawkeye realize that they’re no match for the opposing menace as they use an elevator to return to the bridge.  However, they don’t make it that far as Stane phases in and attacks them.

Maria Hill-Arc Reactor Online, Tony!Ezekial Stane-Hello, Gentlemen!

With Fury and the remaining agents standing guard, Maria hooks up Stark’s Arc Reactor to the central computer and begins the reboot process.  Just then, Ezekiel arrives to try and stop them.  He explains that both Natasha and Clint are “safe & sound”.  Afterwards, Tony tries to tell him that the bitter Obadiah still cared about his own son.  He essentially says that they need to accept their family connections in order to build a better tomorrow.  Unfortunately, his words fail to ring true for the young lad.

Suddenly, Stane loses control over his Technovores as it spreads out throughout the Helicarrier and disables it, causing the ship to plummet towards Shanghai.  Nick and company try to fire back, but the newly-created monster lashes out at the agents.  Fortunately, Black Widow and Hawkeye have recovered in time to join the fight.

During the scuffle, Maria manages to reinstall Tony’s personal Arc Reactor.  With just enough power, Iron Man flies right into the Technovore beast and carries him out of the craft.  However, the Helicarrier is still on a collision course with Shanghai as Pepper stands by Rhodey.

Iron Man-Can't Stop Now!S.H.I.E.L.D.-Not How We Wanted To Land!

Meanwhile, Stark’s armor is dangerously low on power as the creature proceeds to tangle with him.  During this, the craft proceeds to crash-land within the Chinese municipality.

Things start to look too grim for Tony as the Technovore beast ties him up with its tendrils.  He manages to fire a small group of mini-missile to separate himself from the creature, but he’s unable to break free from the bounded tentacles since his suit is nearly out.  Just then, War Machine emerges and makes his triumphant return by unleashing a hail of bullets onto the monster.

However, it’s able to recover and starts to strike back.  Before it can finish Rhodey off however, it suddenly sheds its skin as a fluffy Technovore being emerges from it and heads off towards the city as Tony and James fly off after it.

It then proceeds to place itself on top of a skyscraper and spreads out its sturdy foundation throughout the nearby vicinity.  War Machine tries firing his arsenal at it, but it’s no use as Iron Man tells him not to waste his ammunition while he desperately tries to come up with a plan.  Just then, the Technovore entity stretches up towards the atmosphere and takes control of the Howard.  As such, it starts to gain command over the world’s military satellites in order to carry out its plan.

Just as Rhodey exclaims that Pepper could help clone them following humanity’s destruction, Tony suddenly realizes that she’s the key to stopping the fatal endgame.  As such, he contacts her in order to ask a simple question: What’s the one thing she’s never gotten for as long as he’s known her?  As she exclaims “a vacation”, the Howard satellite manages to break free from Technovore’s control.  He explains that he created a back door function when he built the satellite’s software in order to prevent any unauthorized use.  When she asks how he came up with the password, he says that she’s been saying it in her sleep.

As such, Stark uses the Howard to take control over the Chinese military satellite.  As it starts to power up, he tells Rhodey that they only have one chance since the Technovores will regain control in less than a minute.  As such, Iron Man flies up in order to get intentionally captured by the sentient being.  Having given up the firing command, it now falls upon War Machine to deliver the final shot towards Tony’s Arc Reactor.

Though he hesitates for a moment, the mounting pressure is too much to overbear.  As such, Rhodey ultimately gives the firing command.  The Chinese military satellite proceeds to shoot down a high-powered laser beam that hits its mark upon Stark.  As he predicted, his Arc Reactor manages to have enough power to eradicate any and all signs of Technovore from existence.

Sasha Hammer-Hiding Out!Ezekial Stane-I'm Free!

In a quick flash with Sasha, the final strike also manages to free Ezekiel as well.

Back aboard the crashed Helicarrier, War Machine arrives in front of Pepper while carrying Iron Man.  As Tony lays on a stretcher, he sees that the exploding Technovores managed to heal Rhodey of his previous wounds since it wanted to take control of his armor (apparently).  As War Machine takes his leave, Pepper proceeds to comfort Stark as he asks her where they should go for their vacation.  With travel plans in their future, they proceed to conclude the overarching ordeal with a kiss.

From there, the film ends with Tony and James over at a high-end medical facility.  The doctor tells them that Stane’s condition has stabilized, but there hasn’t been any noticeable brain activity and has thus been unresponsive.  Over in the cell, Sasha has paid him a visit as she reads her book to him.  With quick flashes of an ant from the beginning and the passages of the written tales circling the room, Ezekiel gains enough consciousness to say “the wind”.

Iron Man-Making A Break For It!.png

Now onto my character analysis, starting off with Iron Man himself.  Similar to his anime series, he has a technological project that looks to help out mankind in some form, but it gets opposed by at least one person from his past.  Not only that, but he gets temporarily framed by a government official for a crime committed by the antagonist.  If there’s a theme throughout the film and it’s what he ultimately encounters via his antagonist, then it would have to be “family”.  After his experiences ultimately saw him become the Armored Avenger, he’s become to further appreciate what his parents meant to him growing up as his way of making something important out of not only himself, but towards humanity.  Throughout his adulthood and his superheroing venture, he’s developed a strong bond of knowledgeable strength and trustworthy liability through the likes of Pepper Potts and James Rhodes (I’m sure Harold “Happy” Hogan also fits in there, but he’s a non-attendant for this series).  Though he’ll have his differences with Nick Fury, he and Maria Hill are still worthy for him to count on.  Because of the bond that he shares with these gallant figures, he proves that he’s had lots of guidance towards becoming the resourceful hero that’s still bold and cocky, yet knows when to ring it in when things get too serious.  For his performance, Matthew Mercer does a solid job in delivering the vocal patterns that we’ve come to expect from Tony and has a cool confidence throughout.  For that, it’s among the best voice showings ever done for this particular hero.

Ezekial Stane-My Virus Will Cure This World!.png

Moving on, we reach Ezekiel Stane and our featured virus against humanity: Technovore.  Unlike Tony, he never had the solid family foundation needed to guide him towards using his talents to better himself and those around him.  Due to him feeling isolated from his father’s worth, he uses a plane to fake his own death so that he can create Technovore and unleash his disapproval towards humanity by wiping off the face of the Earth.  To do so, he ultimately decides to use Tony’s own protective gift to the world against him, since it does have the ability to control every signal military satellite on the planet.  His rage is calm and subdued, quite possibly due to a combination of a non-connective attitude towards his father and the confidence of his own creation.  The latter ultimately proves to be his downfall when it becomes sentient and takes over.  On a side note, it’s interesting how Technovore and outer space seem to be intertwined with each other.  Back in Iron Man #294 & 295 (released in 1993), it was introduced as a nanobiotical parasite that Tony had to combat it on an orbital space station that’s owned by his company.  Just like how it’s portrayed here, it’s not easily defeated through regular weaponry.  It also becomes a singular being that combats Iron Man in some form prior to its destruction.  Either way, Technovore is the monstrous end that Stane nearly fell into since Sasha (another relative to a family that opposes Tony) is the closest thing to family he has.  Through her readings of German Philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, he’s instilled with a drive to surpass his weak & moral fiber in order to become his own “super-man”.  However, his own creation ultimately surpasses his evils when it takes control and attempts to carry out its plan.  Eric Bauza is actually pretty effective on two fronts.  As Ezekiel Stane, he has a serene approach in his tone that has a confidence to stand up to authority in order to instill his plan.  As the sentient Technovore creature, there is a robotic tone that does sound unearthly and instills some fear.  For what little opportunity the voice has to give off its vocal presence, it matches with the terror that it’s causing during the climax and brings a sense of dread for our heroes to overcome.

The supporting cast (depending on their range of involvement) mainly suits the film here.  After not having too much to do in either “The Invincible Iron Man” or even the anime series, Pepper does get the most out of her appearance outside of the MCU.  She gets not one, but two important tasks after her vacation gets sidetracked: guide Tony to Pakistan in order for him to learn about his foe and help regain some control over the Howard satellite via a backdoor command that Stark programmed with her in mind.  Despite his semi-disregard for authority and timeliness for formal appointments, the two of them have a respected relationship between each other who mainly gives her the time of day since she’s beyond vital to keeping him grounded with her kind-natured personality, to which Kate Higgins delivers with professional confidence.  Even though War Machine is sidelined throughout the majority of the film, he still manages to show off his combative skills at both ends of his absence.  His influence is felt throughout by Tony and Pepper and it is satisfying that he’s given the chance to take the killshot by his heroic friend.  As such, James C. Mathis III does do pretty good with what little time he has here.  With the Punisher, he’s mainly here on a random overseas mission since he’s all about slaying anyone who’s involved in activities that’ll ultimately claim innocent lives.  Thankfully, he’s been tracking Zeke for half-a-year and has the information Tony needs to track the youthful Stane down. Surprisingly, Norman Reedus got billed over Matthew Mercer (our main hero) even though he’s only in the movie for about 10 minutes.  As I mentioned before, he’s famous for portraying Daryl Dixon on the hit AMC comic book program “The Walking Dead” which was on for three seasons by the time this film rolled around.  Still, he’s fairly effective with his small role.  He brings a gruff and low-sounding delivery to the part, which fits with how he’s been portrayed in live-action.  He’ll bring a sarcastic wit every once in a while, but knows how to be timely since he’s mainly a hardened man bound to his lifelong mission.  As for Nick Fury and Maria Hill, they’re limited to the Helicarrier.  While Nick does get involved in an action scene, Maria is mostly glued to the main console and overseas vital updates to inform her director.  With what they have to work with, John Eric Bentley and Kari Wahlgren are sufficient with their roles.

Sasha Hammer-Doesn't Do Much Here!

However, one person who doesn’t seem to show much reason for being here is Sasha Hammer.  She mainly helps to instill Fredrich Nietzsche’s philosophy into Zeke, since they probably highly believe in those teachings (though maybe a bit too extremely).  However, she’s mainly sitting in her wicker chair and doesn’t contribute much outside of her readings.  Like Eric Bauza, Tara Platt also brings a calm delivery to her performance.  However, there’s not much range that she can do due to the limited nature of her character.

Iron Man-Rise Of Technovore!

Overall, this film is entertainingly OK.  While the story is nothing too much out of the ordinary and the main antagonist doesn’t have too much of a commanding presence, the main characters are engaging, the animation has a nice 2D/3D blend and the action is exciting to watch.  While nothing too glowing within the greater superhero genre, it’s still worthy enough to watch since you can be like “the wind” and breeze through this in only 1 1/2 hours.

Next Time: They’re on opposite sides of the law, but a secret agent and a murderous vigilante are forced into an unlikely team-up in order to stop a secret organization from carrying out a devious task with stolen technology.  Marvel Anime closes out its run with “Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher”.

Iron Man (created by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby) and all related characters are owned by owned by Marvel Comics.

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