Saturday, March 3, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Incredible Hulk (1996)

The Incredible Hulk is a 1996 animated television show that originally aired on UPN. It lasted two seasons but the second season was entitled The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk. This series is part of the larger Marvel Animated Universe which also included in 1990's X-Men, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Avengers, and Silver Surfer cartoons.
The storylines from this series are for the most part almost directly inspired by the comic books. Both seasons featured ongoing storylines from episode to episode but season two is much more episodic than season one. To appear contemporary with the comics of the day the series picks up at a period of time well after Banner had first transformed into the Hulk. This is evidenced by characters constantly referencing previous adventures that are not shown in this series.

All of the classic Hulk characters are here - The Abomination, The Leader, The Hulkbusters, Betty, Talbot, Ross, Rick Jones, Gargoyle, Wendigo, and many, many more. As a part of the Animated Marvel Universe the Hulk often crosses over into other shows and/or has guest appearances from the other shows. The Hulk himself is a semi-intelligent creature in this series, able to utter small phrases that were voiced by Lou Ferrigno himself (ironically talking much more as the Hulk in this series than he ever did on the 70's live action series).

The art, character designs, and animation of the series are very similar to The Incredible Hulk's sister show, Spider-Man (1994). I would describe this style as capable but not spectacular.

It is worth noting that the second season was much more contemporary to the comics of its day, even including the Grey Hulk. The art was drastically improved for the second season and character designs were updated to reflect the characters' appearances in the current comics of the day.

Although the second season is an improvement over the first, the final result is a pretty plain version of the Hulk.

1LR Review - 13 out of 20 - It's a Glancing Hit!

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