The Incredible Hulk
GenreSuperhero
Action
Adventure
Created byStan Lee
Based on
Hulk
by
Voices ofMichael Bell
Bob Holt
Michael Horton
B.J. Ward
Narrated byStan Lee
ComposerJohnny Douglas
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producersDavid H. DePatie
Lee Gunther
ProducerDon Jurwich
Production companyMarvel Productions
DistributorNew World Television
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1982 (1982-09-18) –
October 8, 1983 (1983-10-08)

The Incredible Hulk is an animated television series based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The series ran for 13 episodes on NBC in 1982, part of a combined hour with Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (as The Incredible Hulk and the Amazing Spider-Man).[1]

Compared to the live-action The Incredible Hulk television series from Universal, this series followed the Hulk comic books much more closely, particularly with regard to the Hulk's origin, the supporting cast (though Rio and his only daughter Rita do not appear in the comics), the army base setting, the heavy use of fantastical elements, and the Hulk being capable of speech (albeit limited). The series also retained from the comic book "Bruce Banner" as the name of the Hulk's human identity (rather than "David Banner" as in the live-action series).

This was the second Hulk animated series: in 1966, the Hulk appeared in 13 seven-minute segments as part of TV's The Marvel Super Heroes.[2] The "Spidey Goes Hollywood" episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, first broadcast in late 1981, served as something of a backdoor pilot for The Incredible Hulk as it guest-starred the version of Bruce Banner/the Hulk that would later feature in the 1982 series.

The series aired from 1996 to 1998 on CBBC as part of The Marvel Action Hour (UK).

Plot

The series focuses on Dr. Bruce Banner attempting to cure himself of his transformations into the Hulk, and the Hulk defeating various monsters and villains whilst fending off the army's attempts to subdue and capture him.

Production

The 1982 Incredible Hulk series featured accompanying narration by Hulk co-creator Stan Lee. Some of the same background music tracks were used for Dungeons & Dragons. Boyd Kirkland, who became a writer/director for Batman: The Animated Series and X-Men: Evolution, was one of the layout artists for The Incredible Hulk.

The character design for both Bruce Banner and the Hulk were based on the artwork of Sal Buscema, who penciled the Incredible Hulk comic during the 1970s and 1980s. There is also the more frequently remembered quirk that whenever the Hulk transformed back to Bruce Banner, his clothes would miraculously return to normal (instead of being with only what is left of his pants, as happens in the comics and subsequent media). Also, the series would frequently reuse the same stock sequences when Banner transformed into the Hulk.

Characters

Main article: List of The Incredible Hulk characters

Episodes

No. Title
1"Tomb of the Unknown Hulk"
When high cosmic ray activity triggers Bruce's transformations without him getting angry, he tries to lock himself in a cave to protect his friends, but the cosmic rays also block communications and gives Doctor Octopus an opening to stage an attack on Gamma Base.
2"Prisoner of the Monster"
Rick stumbles upon a map for a potion held by a lost tribe that can cure Bruce of the Hulk, but the cure becomes bittersweet when the Spymaster (who's named as such, but did not wear a costume of any type.) kidnaps Betty and her father, stealing a deadly weapon from Gamma Base that only the Hulk can defeat.
3"Origin of the Hulk"
The retelling of the origin of the Hulk, with the original Russian Cold War spies replaced with aliens seeking the secrets of Bruce's Gamma Bomb.
4"When Monsters Meet"
Arriving in Paris for a scientific conference, Bruce is given a possible cure for his condition, but his chances of using it are threatened by the appearance of a descendant of Quasimodo who wreaks havoc in the city. (This episode was adapted in comic book format by Marvel, in the one-shot "The Incredible Hulk versus Quasimodo". A back-up, one-page comic featuring editor Al Milgrom disguised as the Hulk explained how this book fit into the animated cartoon continuity, and not current Marvel Comics continuity[3])
5"The Cyclops Project"
Due to the inadvertent actions of the Hulk, Cyclops, the world's most powerful military defense computer, malfunctions and seeks to take over the world. The Cyclops computer tries to obtain the aid of Bruce Banner and the Hulk to do so.
6"Bruce Banner Unmasked"
When the Puppet Master attempts to gain control of the Hulk as a part of his plan to take over Mesa City and its surroundings, the army is finally able to defeat the creature and learn of Bruce Banner's secret identity.
7"The Creature and The Cavegirl"
Bruce learns of a colleague whose developed a working time projector, seeing it as a chance to go back and stop the creation of the Hulk, only for the device to malfunction and transport the entire lab and its occupants back to 1,000,000 B.C.
8"It Lives! It Grows! It Destroys!"
A rival scientist at Gamma Base develops a part plant, part animal lifeform which can eat almost anything in its path. But the creature escapes and threatens the planet as it grows uncontrollably.
9"The Incredible Shrinking Hulk"
After his latest gamma experiment malfunctions, Bruce is shrunk down until he is one inch tall, as two spies attempt to steal a new tank.
10"Punks on Wheels"
When a motorcycle gang kidnaps Rita, Bruce and his friend discover the gang is secretly working for the Leader, who seeks their aid in stealing a shipment of Vibranium.
11"Enter: She-Hulk"
Bruce and Rick travel to Los Angeles to visit Bruce's cousin Jennifer Walters to try to learn how she is able to maintain her intelligence when she changes into the She-Hulk, but their attempt is endangered thanks to the efforts of terrorist group HYDRA trying to take over the city.
12"The Boy Who Saw Tomorrow"
Betty's nephew Jonah arrives at Gamma Base to demonstrate his amazing psychic ability, able to predict the future with uncanny accuracy he has a vision of Betty's space shuttle crashing into a mountain, with the Hulk and a mysterious madman involved.
13"The Hulk Destroys Bruce Banner"
While testing his new Transmat teleporter on himself, Bruce transforms into the Hulk mid-teleportation, convincing Betty that the Hulk interfered. She then leads the charge to capture the Hulk and save Bruce.

Cast

Bruce Banner was played by voice actor Michael Bell, while the Hulk himself was voiced by Bob Holt, whose stock library of roars created for this series would be used in various other Marvel Productions series and movies.

Marvel Mash-Up

Scenes from Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and The Incredible Hulk were re-cut, edited, and re-dubbed into comical shorts as part of Disney XD's Marvel Mash-Up shorts for their "Marvel Universe on Disney XD" block of programming that includes Ultimate Spider-Man and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.[4]

Home media

The series was planned for release on Region 2 DVD in the UK in August 2008 by Liberation Entertainment as part of a release schedule of Marvel animated series. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the release day was pushed back to October, and then again to November 3. Liberation Entertainment then closed its UK division, making 12 staff redundant. This brought many delays to the releases.

Lace International bought the rights to distribute the series on DVD.[5] Amazon.co.uk was the first store to receive stocks of the resulting two disc DVD set, which includes a short restoration featurette.

Clear Vision re-released the series on DVD in the UK on the June 7, 2010.

References

  1. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. pp. 227–228. ISBN 978-0823083152.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 426–428. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ Review of the cartoon-based "Hulk vs. Quasimodo" comic at THE ISB
  4. ^ Marvel
  5. ^ [1] Archived September 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine