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FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2008


SAN DIEGO -- Nicktoons unveiled its new animated series, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, on Saturday morning at Comic-Con International.

Panelists included Josh Fine of Marvel Studios, head writer Christopher Yost and Nicktoons' Keith Dawkins.

Following are highlights from the panel:

* Two episodes, instead of the original one planned, were screened.

* Both episodes were written by Yost from a stories by Yost, Romain Van Liemt and Craig Kyle.

The pilot establishes Tony and Rhodey as teenage best friends and an adversarial relationship between Howard Stark, Tony's father, and Obadiah Stane. Pepper Potts is a classmate of Tony; she's the extremely inquisitive daughter of a governmental agent.

An "accident" on a plane kills Howard, puts Stane in charge of Stark International and leaves Tony living with Rhodey's family. Tony dons the amor to investigate what Stane is up to and winds up stopping a runaway train -- and Tony is dubbed Iron Man.

The Mandarin is introduced at the end of the episode, as he desires a ring that Howard excavated and is now worn by Stane.

* The second episode kicks off with Stane after the now-public Iron Man's armor. Iron Man arrives at Stark Enterprises and is followed by the media.

Introduced were the Mandarin's step-son, who has issues with him, and Happy Hogan, a slow-witted classmate.

Stane, who has corrupted Stark's laser invention into massive weapons, tests them before potential buyers. Iron Man arrives on the scene and Stane directs it to attack Stark.

To complicate matters, The Mandarin shows up, seeing the ring on Stane's finger. After taking the ring and Iron Man is injured stopping the weapon, the Mandarin confronts Iron Man for the first time.

* Yost explained why Tony Stark is a teenager in the movie. He said that hard liquor and womanizing were "not the most friendly kid issues" and that the creators boiled the essence down to a character more accessible to younger views.

"Hopefully, you'll see the Tony Stark you know and love there," he said.

* Fine said "there is a very good chance you'll see some others you might recognize in the series."

* Yost said other versions of the armor will be seen. "As far as War Machine goes, it's hard to say," Yost said.

* Among the villains will be Blizzard, Whiplash, Crimson Dynamo and Madame Masque.

* Dawkins said Nicktoons is for kids 6-14, and the show should hit that target, but he feels it will have an appeal wider than. "I feel confident and excited about this," he said.

* Fine talked about the CG approach with Method Films, and how it was a great fit with all the technology, moving and flight involved.

* Will Pepper ever learn Tony is Iron Man? "Keep watching," Yost said.

* Yost and Fine both said that Madame Masque is their favorite villain in the series.

* Yost said that Tony has dual responsibilities and his school life will be addressed. "He also have to deal with the death of a parent," Dawkins added.

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