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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Incredible Hulk (Animated)
The Complete Series (1966)


Starring (voice): Max Ferguson and Paul Soles
Clear Vision
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: PG
Available 03 May 2010

Doctor Bruce Banner is a military research scientist. Whilst conducting an experiment from a desert bunker, he notices with horror that a young man has unwittingly strayed on to the test sight. To avert a disaster he races outside to escort the stranger to safety, but gets caught himself in the blast when an impatient colleague sets the machine in motion. Banner is bombarded with gamma radiation, which periodically changes him into a large and powerful green-skinned Hulk. The man who Banner saved becomes his only friend, and the protector of his secret, as the Hulk becomes feared and persecuted like Frankenstein's monster...

Collected together on official DVD for the first time comes The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series. This animated show from 1966 hits the shelves as a two-disc set, incorporating thirteen episodes each split into three digestible segments, with an over-all running time of 4 hours and 12 minutes.

Doc Bruce Banner,
Belted by gamma rays,
Turned into the Hulk.
Ain't he unglamo-rays!
Wreckin' the town
With the power of a bull,
Ain't no monster clown
Who is that lovable?
It's ever lovin' Hulk! HULK!! HULK!!

I realise this series is primarily aimed at a young audience, but the theme song is sickly sweet to the point of being twee. Whereas the well-remembered Original Spider-Man tune from the same period fits the generally light-hearted mood of the piece, silly lyrics like this are a million miles removed from a character building weapons who changes into a rampaging beast that everyone is afraid of or wants to kill.

The animation is pretty basic - crude even - incorporating plenty of static scenes wherein zooming-in is utilised for close-ups and dramatic effect. Cut-out figures are also used, which glide across a backdrop as if on ice skates. The pictures we are shown are literally straight out of the earliest Hulk comics, and that is in no way detrimental because we are presented with the classic artwork of Jack Kirby. I have to say that I grew increasingly attached to this quaint little series through each additional episode I viewed. There is even a poignant moment at the end of the final episode when the Hulk feels dejected by the way people see him, and his only friend Rick tells him he saved everyone. He's a hero.

The rogues gallery of villains include, The Leader, The Chameleon, The Toadman, The Space Phantom, The Metal Master, Tyranus, Boomerang, and The Ring Master. General 'Thunderbolt' Ross is the regular anti-hero, perpetually hateful and always arguing, very much in the vein of newspaper publisher J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man. One episode features The Avengers, so we get guest appearances from the likes of Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man, and Wasp. In conclusion, this is an enjoyable little series, with each story split into mini-cliff-hangers, and will be of interest to followers of the Hulk character or the prolific Marvel output as a whole.


Ty Power

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