The Invincible Iron Man

Year: 2007
Production Co: Marvel Studios
Director: Patrick Archibald/Jay Oliva/Frank Paur
Producer: Frank Paur
Writer: Avi Arad
This anime-styled alternate origin story to the Iron Man legend wants to be a lot cooler than it is. If you're not familiar with the approved Marvel mythology and have only seen the big budget release with Robert Downey Jr, you'll be no more certain about who people are or which one to drool over if you're a wannabe fanboy. Although written by Marvel Supremo Avi Arad rather than Hollywood hacks, this version has credibility on its side.

Stark Industries is involved in a huge engineering project in rural China. An ancient temple has sunk below ground and Stark's expertise and resources are tunnelling under the site to raise the ruins back to ground level.

The only problem is the local rebels who keep attacking the staff, including Stark's right hand man Rhodes, who's overseeing things on-site.

When the rebels capture Rhodes and take him prisoner, Stark jumps into action to rescue him. Injured during the operation, he finds himself imprisoned too, sporting the small nuclear-powered heart that will keep him alive.

The two bust out and return home where Stark shows Rhodes the prototype iron man suits he's been working on. And now, he's going to need them. The successful raising of the ruins has unleashed an ancient evil in the form of four supernatural beings, and it's up to Stark in his new guise to fight them.

The animation is sweeping and grandiose and it would have been a much better experienced on a larger screen, but if you're after a darker, nastier Iron Man that's more like Akira than Robert Downey Jr, don't expect it here.

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