Back in 1994, the series Iron Man hit television for a couple of seasons. Created by the same producers (Marvel Entertainment and Saban Entertainment) who brought us the X-Men animated series from 1992-1997, Iron Man never really gained the following of its mutant counterparts.
The first season tended towards single episode storylines and definitive good vs. evil plots. And, though it seems strange to say, the characters were very cartoonish and almost slapstick at times. Iron Man/Tony Stark worked alongside his friends James Rhodes/War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Spider Woman as they fought battles against the forces of the Mandarin - Dreadknight, Blizzard, Blacklash, Grey Gargolye, Hypnotia, Whirlwind, Living Laser, MODOK, Fin Fang Foom, and Justin Hammer. Though all of the characters but Hypnotia are from the comic books, these were very simplified stories with a clear beginning, middle, and an end. When compared with the X-Men series, the plots pale in comparison.
Add to that the horrible attempts to work in early computer-generated graphics as Tony dons the armor and you start to understand why the series just never really came together.
Contrast the first season with the second season however and it's like night and day. Minus the early CGI and with a slightly different animation and story style, the series worked a bit better. By focusing on more complex storylines such as Jim Rhodes facing his fear of drowning and dying in the War Machine armor and bringing less one-dimensional foils into play such as Madame Masque, Arthur Dearborn, The Leader, and so on, the show gained much more depth.
It was also very interesting to see characters such as The Leader, a gamma ray-affected villain, was worked into the Iron Man story. The Leader of course wants to rid the world of his nemesis, Dr. Bruce Banner, and his alter ego the Hulk. But as with many series, we end up being overwhelmed by the sheer number of characters thrown into a single episode. Mandarin steals the spotlight as the main Iron Man villain, but we're far too quickly introduced to Hulk and his story before the 26-minute show wraps up.