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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Incredible Hulk
The Complete Animated Collection


Starring (voice): Michael Bell, Bob Holt, Neal McDonough, Lou Ferrigno and Luke Perry
Clear Vision Video
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: PG
Available 07 February 2011

This box set for the first time collects together all 39 episodes of the 1966 series, all 32 episodes of the 1982 series, and all 21 episodes of the 1996 series. The total running time is 16 hours and 39 minutes over seven DVD discs. Clear Vision has reached the stage whereby some of their earlier releases from the extensive Marvel animation vault have been collected together into combined sets or special releases. For any true follower of Marvel comic character animation, and The Hulk in particular, this is surely a must-have set.

Of all the most popular Marvel superheroes, the Hulk is almost certainly the most difficult character to adapt to the screen. The feature films were - let’s be polite - disappointing, to say the least. The fondly remembered TV series, starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, only succeeded because it broke the military format and allowed the audience to build up a genuine sympathy for the man, rather than the beast. He spent his days moving from place to place, searching for a solution to put his life back on track.

The '60s animated series, right from the point of the childish opening theme tune, seems to live in the wrong skin. The format is too close to the Spider-Man series of the time, which is inappropriate because of the highly dangerous military aspect of the scenario and situations.

The '80s series has the decided benefit of being narrated by Mr Marvel himself, Stan Lee. This is very much a product of its time: large and colourful, but the Hulk himself is more what we’ve come to expect - whilst the storylines could be better. The best of the bunch come in the '90s series. It has Lou Ferrigno providing the voice, and a much more serious attitude to the proceedings. In fact, the first batch of episodes were considered so dark that She-Hulk was quickly introduced to provide balance. This contrast of characters works extremely well, and adds emphasis to Banner’s internal turmoil. Not only is his change to the Hulk often involuntary, but he has no idea whether the green Hulk or Grey Hulk will emerge.

A nicely presented set, but not a patch on the '90s Spider-Man series, so expect no enduring story arcs. For a more in depth examination of each of these Hulk shows, see my separate reviews.


Ty Power

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