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INTERVIEW - BRANDON AUMAN
Iron Man: Armored Adventures Story Editor Brandon Auman talks to Marvel Animation Age about the second half of Iron Man: Armored Adventures's second season, kicking off Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 8:30pm (ET/PT) on Nicktoons Network. Auman discusses upcoming guest appearances, enemies, stories, and much more, so continue below to check it out!
Marvel Animation Age: Iron Man: Armored Adventures is back after a long break starting February 29th at 8:30pm (ET/PT) on Nicktoons Network! Can you quickly catch us up on what we’ll need to know going into these new episodes?
Brandon Auman: The "Armor Wars" arc is over, and we're starting a new one called "The Makluan Ring Saga". All you need to know at this point is that Obadiah Stane is in a coma and Tony Stark will get to inherit Stark International. Finally he's on top of the world ... that is, until his archenemy The Mandarin returns.
MAA: Going ahead into the final thirteen episodes of the season, what will the overall themes and arcs be?
BA: Fear, trust, duty, transformation. Our upcoming episode, "Mandarin's Quest", written by Henry Gilroy (story editor of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and GI Joe: Renegades) introduces a new Makluan ring and a new guardian. It's all about trust and confronting your fears, standing up to them. It's a very hallucinatory episode, much different than the previous episodes. The next thirteen are some of the biggest episodes, easily. The scale gets massive. The villains are the most powerful villains Tony has ever fought. And I'm not even talking about Dr. Doom or Magneto ... there are even bigger threats!
MAA: What can we expect in upcoming episodes when the second-half of the season kicks-off? Any teases to pass along?
BA: Well, we are doing an adaptation of "Extremis", which is going to be pretty awesome. It's an exciting, life changing event for Tony. He will physically and mentally transform ... I don't want to say too much, but you can check out the Warren Ellis comic for details if you want spoilers. We are as faithful to the comic as we could be, by way of our Armored Adventures universe.
MAA: Iron Man: Armored Adventures has featured a solid collection of guest stars so far, with even more to come. Even some popular mutants will be dropping by! Is it difficult to bring in guest stars and adapt them to the established world of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, or is there a kind of freedom in what you’re able to do, basically creating this world of characters as you see fit?
BA: I like to keep the heroes and villains similar to the original universe, but sometimes it doesn't always gel. You have to streamline origin stories, and so on. In the beginning I had several discussions with Cort Lane, VP of Development. I'd pitch him ideas, and he would greenlight the villains and heroes - pretty much any guest star really, and encourage the use of others. He's a big Hawkeye fan, and wanted to see Hawkeye and Black Widow, so I was happy to oblige. As long as I could bring in Dr. Doom [laughs]! So Doom comes back ... or maybe I should say, Iron Man goes to Doom? It's a big episode! Of course by now, it's already been reported that Magneto and Jean Grey will appear in the series. I wanted Magneto to be classic Magneto, mixed with the movie version. Jean Grey is younger, and somewhat inexperienced. We wanted it to feel like X-Men Origins.
MAA: Concerning the characters, what type of evolution can we expect in the coming episodes? How will they grow and change as we head toward the season finale?
BA: Well, there's the "Extremis episode," but I can't talk too much about the characters - we have a lot of surprises. More events happen in these thirteen episode than any previous episode. There are a lot of revelations ... heroes and villains we haven't even mentioned yet. And the return of a few villains we haven't seen since the first season.
MAA: What changes have you noticed in the series from the first season to the next? Has there been changes in how the episodes play out, how characters are portrayed, etc.? How has the series itself grown, and will it be building up to an epic season finale?
BA: Yeah, the finale is huge. Massive, on a scale unlike anything we've had. I think there's been a pretty big shift in terms of character development every thirteen episodes or so. In the first season, Tony, Pepper and Rhodey are just kids, really. Inexperienced. Everyone has grown up. Tony has gotten more cynical and cocky because the armor gives him a lot of confidence. Of course when he gets his butt kicked, he learns his lesson and tries to think through the solution, instead of being so brash. Rhodey is getting more self-assured, while still retaining his moral center. And Pepper ... well, she's matured a bit, but is still trying to get Tony to build her armor ... so we dive into that more.
MAA: Alright, getting a bit ahead of myself there. Thankfully, the season finale is still 13 episodes away. Have you seen all the upcoming episodes and, if so, is it a bit difficult knowing these episodes are waiting to be aired? Is it a different experience for someone working on a show to have to wait for these episodes to air before he or she can fully discuss it with viewers?
BA: Yeah, I've seen all of the eps. It does get frustrating, because I'm not even talking about some of my favorite episodes or mystery guest villains! I'd love to reveal more, but we're trying to keep some things a secret, ya know? I think fans of the show will feel this season pays off everything it promised throughout. It gets huge, epic and even emotional by the end. I was shocked by how much we could get away with. Some of these last thirteen get very dark ... just wait until "Extremis"!
MAA: As we bring this to an end, the wait for new episodes of Iron Man: Armored Adventures is almost over! The second half of season two kicks off February 29th at 8:30pm (ET/PT) on Nicktoons Network. Can you drop some hints on what we can expect for this week and beyond?
BA:Well, Mandarin returns this week in full-force ... after discovering a new ring and a new guardian! And in a few weeks we've got Magneto, Extremis, Dr. Doom ... and the return of the Hulk! The Hulk episode will be amazing! We'll get to see Bruce Banner and Thunderbolt Ross. And the destruction of lots and lots of robots! </I>Iron Man: Armored Adventures returns with thirteen all-new episodes starting Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 8:30pm (ET/PT) on Nicktoons Network!
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