The Incredible Hulk
Also known asThe Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk
GenreSuperhero
Action
Adventure
Drama
Based on
Hulk
by
Developed byUPN Studios
Written byGreg Johnson
Starring
Narrated byRichie Johnson (episode 2 opening narration)
ComposersShuki Levy
Haim Saban
Dean Grinsfelder
Kenneth Burgomaster
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes21
Production
Executive producersAvi Arad
Stan Lee
Rick Ungar
ProducersDick Sebast (season 1)
Ron Myrick (season 2)
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkUPN[1]
ReleaseSeptember 8, 1996 (1996-09-08) –
November 23, 1997 (1997-11-23)
Related

The Incredible Hulk is an American animated television series starring the Marvel Comics character the Hulk. It ran two seasons, for 21 episodes, on the television network UPN from 1996 to 1997. Lou Ferrigno, who portrayed the Hulk on the live-action TV series from 1978 to 1982, provided the Hulk's voice.[2]

The show often featured cameo appearances by characters from other Marvel cartoons of the period. In the second season, the show's format, after UPN decided that season one was too dark, was changed, and to give "female viewers a chance",[3] the network ordered that She-Hulk be made a regular co-star, as a result; the series was officially renamed The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk for the second season. The second season also featured Grey Hulk, who previously made two cameo appearances in the first season.

Series overview

Season 1

The first season begins with Dr. Robert Bruce Banner already established as the Hulk and on the run,[4] when he is captured by the military after another attempt at ridding himself of the beast within goes awry due to the sabotage of Major Glenn Talbot. He eventually escapes and falls into the hands of the Leader who is served by the Gargoyle and the Abomination. The intervention of mutated cave-dwelling gamma creatures called the Outcasts, Banner's loyal best friend Rick Jones, and the love of his life Betty Ross (like in many comic book incarnations, Betty along with Doc Samson is seen here trying to find a cure for Bruce).

As in the comics, Thunderbolt Ross is a former 4-star turned 3-star general who sends Army forces and Hulkbusters (Dr. Craig Saunders, Jr., and Dr. Samuel J. La Roquette (later Redeemer and Rock, respectively) were also mentioned as members) to capture or destroy the Hulk. He also fights the Hulk personally, using a gamma-powered laser gun created by Bruce against the creature in "Return of the Beast, parts 1 and 2", and again in "Darkness and Light part 3". Talbot was shown acting as the right-hand man of General Ross. He is also shown to have a romantic interest in Betty Ross, but she constantly rejects him because he never does a very good job of hiding his disdain for either Bruce Banner or the Hulk.

Traveling across the nation and beyond, Banner meets kindred spirits also battling similar problems, fights beings of pure energy, and must endure an alliance with the Gargoyle to provide the antidote to a viral epidemic that nearly takes Betty's life and countless others. Not even his family is safe from the terror his hidden powers bring, as his best friend and cousin Jennifer Walters is critically injured by Doctor Doom, forcing Banner to give her a blood transfusion that transforms her into the She-Hulk. Jennifer takes immediate delight in her transformed body and chooses to remain in her She-Hulk form full-time.

Dorian Harewood reprised his role of War Machine from the solo Iron Man animated series in the episode "Helping Hand, Iron Fist". He originally stops Rick Jones from seeing Tony Stark (voiced by Robert Hays, who was also reprising his Iron Man role) at Stark Enterprises, but takes him to Stark after Jones explained that he needed Stark's help to find Banner. He later alerts Stark to the arrival of General Ross, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Gabriel Jones, and a squad of Hulkbusters. War Machine fights some of the Hulkbusters alongside Jones and Iron Man.[5]

Sasquatch appeared in the episode "Man to Man, Beast to Beast" voiced by Peter Strauss (Walter Langkowski) and Clancy Brown (Sasquatch). In that episode, Bruce Banner comes to Canada hoping to find his old friend Dr. Walter Langkowski (Sasquatch) to get a cure for himself and get rid of Hulk forever, only to find that Walter has developed a bestial alter ego while using himself as a test subject to make a breakthrough in gamma radiation. After battling the Hulk, Walter/Sasquatch exiles himself to the wilderness when his actions put Hulk's new friend, a small boy named Taylor, in danger.

Simon Templeman reprised his role of Doctor Doom (who as previously mentioned, critically injured Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk) for guest appearances in two episodes, in which Doom held Washington, D.C. captive, only to be defeated by She-Hulk, whom he later attempted to claim revenge upon. With his appearance on this show, it can be assumed that Doom survived the fate he met on the Fantastic Four series if both shows are to be considered within the same continuity.

Following Doctor Doom's first appearance (he would appear again in the second-season episode "Hollywood Rocks"), came the episode "Fantastic Fortitude" featuring his nemesis, the Fantastic Four. The episode seems to place this show in the same continuity as the Fantastic Four cartoon of the same decade as this episode plays off the Hulk's appearance in the other show. More to the point, Beau Weaver (Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic) and Chuck McCann (Ben Grimm/The Thing) reprised their roles from the Fantastic Four series. In the episode, Mister Fantastic and the other Fantastic Four take their vacation before Hulk, She-Hulk, and Thing fight Leader's Gamma Soldiers commanded by Leader's minion Ogress. Meanwhile, She-Hulk flirted with Thing, but Ben chose to rekindle his relationship with Alicia Masters. And while the Yancy Street Gang was absent in the solo Fantastic Four cartoon itself, they appeared in "Fantastic Fortitude", where they pull a prank on the Thing. After being defeated by the villain Ogress, the Gang, always off camera, distributes leaflets marked "The Thing Whopped by a Woman!".

Also reprising his role from Fantastic Four was John Rhys-Davies as Thor in "Mortal Bounds", while Mark L. Taylor voiced his alter-ego, Donald Blake. Donald as Thor brought Hulk to Detroit so that Bruce Banner can help cure a gamma-based outbreak unintentionally caused by Gargoyle (in his search to cure his disfigurement).

Throughout the season running sub-plots gradually unfold, centering mostly on several of the supporting cast, the season slowly covers the following:

These plot threads converge in the three-part season finale "Darkness and Light", where Betty's gamble pays off and the Hulk and Banner are separated. The Hulk emerges virtually mindless and unrestrained. Banner feels responsible and confronts the creature in an armored battlesuit. The Leader finally gains the power of the Hulk, but the savage Hulk personality takes over, driving him mad, and forcing him to abandon the power and restore it to the creature.

Meanwhile, General Ross, betrayed by Agent Jones during the finale, experiences a mental breakdown. Though hospitalized and in critical condition, Ross interrupts Banner's wedding ceremony and threatens to kill Banner, who suffers a heart attack, as the separation from the Hulk finally begins taking its toll. This leads Banner's friends into concluding that he and the Hulk must be merged again, or both will die.

Ross flees but later returns in an attempt to sabotage the re-merge experiment. He is interrupted by Rick, whom he hurls into the vat containing Banner and the Hulk. The experiment malfunctions and the vat erupts; from it emerges a gamma-powered, hulk-like Jones, who escapes into the night, as the distraught but healthy Banner suddenly transforms into the Grey Hulk.

Season 2

The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk begins where the first season concluded, with the Grey Hulk in the mountains, solely pursued by the still insane Ross. An altercation between the two results in an avalanche that puts Ross in a coma, and knocks out Banner. When Banner comes to, he is arrested and placed on trial, while Rick Jones, almost an afterthought, continues his own reign of terror. Banner's cousin Jennifer, the She-Hulk, tries to help him out in court. After defending the entire courthouse from an attack by the Leader and successfully locating and restoring Rick to normal, both Banner and Jennifer travel together, lying low.

Aside from a small continuation of the premiere episode, the season featured very few ongoing arcs, the only ones of note were the following:

The remainder of the season saw Banner and Jennifer either team up with characters such as Doctor Strange, battle Doctor Doom once more, or participate in a fight during Jennifer's high school reunion party (where She-Hulk temporarily changed back to Jennifer). The episode "Mind Over Anti-Matter" features Doctor Strange and She-Hulk journeying into the mind of Bruce Banner when Banner is possessed by an evil demon alien. Banner in the process turns into a monstrous Dark Hulk. She-Hulk provides levity at the sorcerer's expense by referring to him as Doctor Peculiar and other variations of his name. The Grey Hulk's mob persona of "Mr. Fixit" surfaced for a brief appearance.

This season won an Emmy Award for "best audio editing" for the work on the episode "The Lost Village".

Cast

Crew

Episodes

Season 1 (1996–1997)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Return of the Beast"Richard TruebloodBob ForwardSeptember 8, 1996 (1996-09-08)
22Leo SullivanSeptember 15, 1996 (1996-09-15)

After another attempt to cure himself of the Incredible Hulk fails due to the interference of Major Glenn Talbot, Bruce Banner is taken to Gamma Base, where he is allowed to try another experiment to do so with the help of his lover, Betty Ross. However, the gamma-mutated super genius, the Leader, wants the power of the Hulk for himself and sends the Abomination to capture Banner.

Hulk escapes from the destroyed Gamma Base and encounters The Outcasts, creatures mutated by the very same gamma-irradiated explosion that created him, and Banner hides out with them. Unfortunately, the Abomination finds him and takes him back to the Leader, who attempts to use a siphoning device to transfer the powers of the Hulk into himself.
33"Raw Power"Dan ThompsonJess WinfieldSeptember 22, 1996 (1996-09-22)
Another attempt by Banner to get rid of his alter-ego is halted once again and results in nuclear power plant worker Mitch McCutcheon becoming the mutant electric monster Zzzax.
44"Helping Hand, Iron Fist"Ernesto LopezStewart St. JohnSeptember 29, 1996 (1996-09-29)
Banner reaches Los Angeles, hoping to get Tony Stark's help in curing him. But an earlier incident strikes the Hulk with amnesia, and adding to that problem, the Hulkbusters and Gabe Jones show up at Stark Enterprises to capture Banner.
55"Innocent Blood"Richard TruebloodBob ForwardOctober 6, 1996 (1996-10-06)

In Chicago, the Hulk is pursued not only by the supernatural anti-hero, Ghost Rider, but also Talbot, who has a weapon that may end the Hulk once and for all.

Note: This episode served as a backdoor pilot to an unnamed Ghost Rider animated series.[6]
66"Man to Man, Beast to Beast"Tom TataranowiczLen WeinOctober 27, 1996 (1996-10-27)
While in Canada, Banner meets up with a colleague, Walter Langkowski, who he believes might help him rid himself of the Hulk. But Langkowski has a secret of his own.
77"Doomed"Dan ThompsonBob ForwardNovember 3, 1996 (1996-11-03)
Banner visits his cousin, Jen Walters, in Washington, D.C., but he is soon captured by Dr. Doom, who gains control over the Hulk with a mind-control device. But a blood transfusion from Banner to an injured Jen transforms her into the Sensational She-Hulk and Doom now has to deal with two gamma-powered titans!
88"Fantastic Fortitude"Tom Tataranowicz
Ernesto Lopez
Bob ForwardNovember 10, 1996 (1996-11-10)
In New York City, Banner, and Jen try to contact the Fantastic Four. However, the Thing is the only member left as the rest of the team is on vacation. And they may need the Thing's help when the Leader and his Gamma Warriors attack!
99"Mortal Bounds"Ernesto LopezStory by : Greg Blair
Teleplay by : Bruce Reid Schaefer
November 17, 1996 (1996-11-17)
Banner might be the only one who can cure a gamma virus in Detroit that the Gargoyle accidentally creates while trying to cure himself. But when the Gargoyle and the Abomination kidnap Banner to help themselves, the Hulk may need the help of the mighty Thor to save the city!
1010"And the Wind Cries... Wendigo!"Tom Tataranowicz
Richard Trueblood
Megeen McLaughlinNovember 24, 1996 (1996-11-24)

The Hulk and Ross must work together to save Betty from a supernatural beast called the Wendigo.

Note: Wolverine was slated to appear in this episode, but was cut out due to being on X-Men: The Animated Series.[6]
1111"Darkness and Light"Tom Tataranowicz
Ernesto Lopez
Bob ForwardFebruary 2, 1997 (1997-02-02)
1212Richard TruebloodSteven Granat
Cydne Clark
February 9, 1997 (1997-02-09)
1313Dick SebastGreg JohnsonFebruary 16, 1997 (1997-02-16)
Betty and Doc Samson succeed in creating the nutrient bath, and manage to separate Banner and the Hulk but Agent Gabriel Jones tries to take the Hulk to be destroyed, causing Doctor Samson to rescue him only to discover that he's unleashed a now mindless Hulk on the world. The Leader finally manages to capture him and take over his body only for his plan to backfire immensely. Banner and the Hulk face off in a climactic showdown, but during the fight, they both feel great pain as it's discovered that the separation is killing them, and to survive, they must be rejoined.

Season 2 (1997)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
141"Hulk of a Different Color"Ron MyrickBob ForwardSeptember 21, 1997 (1997-09-21)
Ross confronts the new Gray Hulk and a battle between the two results in Ross landing in a coma, and Banner being arrested. She-Hulk comes to her cousin's aid, but the Leader, now returned to his pre-mutation form, and the Gargoyle have plans for Banner's other half.
152"Down Memory Lane"Ron MyrickMeg McLaughlinSeptember 28, 1997 (1997-09-28)

She-Hulk's high school reunion turns sour, when not only does she start to get tired, but Gargoyle and the Abomination attack.

Note: Stan Lee has a cameo as Cliff Walters, Jennifer's father and Banner's uncle.
163"Mind Over Anti-Matter"Ron MyrickJohn SemperOctober 5, 1997 (1997-10-05)
She-Hulk teams up with Dr. Strange when Banner is possessed by an evil entity.
174"They Call Me Mr. Fixit"Ron MyrickBob ForwardOctober 26, 1997 (1997-10-26)
In Chicago, Banner falls under the sway of the mind controlling crime lord, Allure, who needs Banner for a sinister purpose. But Banner runs afoul with Crusher Creel, Allure's jealous chief enforcer who plans to take out Banner.
185"Fashion Warriors"Ron MyrickJohn SemperNovember 2, 1997 (1997-11-02)

She-Hulk and Betty team up with an all female team to stop the Leader and his flunkies when they attack a Miami fashion show.

Note: Lou Ferrigno has an animated cameo in this episode.
196"Hollywood Rocks"Ron MyrickDiane FrescoNovember 9, 1997 (1997-11-09)
Dr. Doom returns, and steals equipment from Banner that would prevent asteroids from harming the Earth. Meanwhile, She-Hulk gets cast in a movie, but there's more to this production than it seems.
207"The Lost Village"Ron MyrickAnn Knapp Austen & Douglas SloanNovember 16, 1997 (1997-11-16)
After receiving a medallion that allows him to turn into the Hulk at will, Banner, Betty, and She-Hulk travel to Tibet to find the land of Anavrin, hoping it might have a way of permanently ridding Banner of both Hulks. But Banner may have to forsake his potential cure in order to stop the cyborg Scimitar from taking over Anavrin.
218"Mission: Incredible"Ron MyrickMegeen McLaughlinNovember 23, 1997 (1997-11-23)

A creature known as the Hybrid possesses Ross, forcing the Gray Hulk and She-Hulk to join forces with Gabe Jones and S.H.I.E.L.D.

Note: This episode serves as the series finale to The Incredible Hulk.

Broadcast

The show was briefly aired on ABC Family as part of its unnamed pre-JETIX-era action/adventure-oriented programming kids’ morning block, following the release of the live-action movie in 2003, as well as a DVD release. The show also aired on Toon Disney as a part of their primetime action-adventure block, Jetix. The show also became the last program to air on the US Jetix block and Toon Disney overall. The series previously aired on Disney XD from February 13, 2009, to March 31, 2012.

It is currently owned and distributed by The Walt Disney Company, which acquired all Fox Kids-related properties from News Corporation and Saban International in 2001.

All 21 episodes were previously available for streaming on Marvel.com[7] and on Netflix. The series now streams on Disney+.

Merchandising

Toys based on the show were produced.

Syndication

Following the success of the live-action Marvel films featuring the Hulk, The Walt Disney Company began airing the series in syndication.[citation needed]

Home media

The entire series is available on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu Plus and Vudu.

The series became available on Disney's streaming service Disney+ upon its launch on November 12, 2019.[8]

VHS releases

Region 1

A single VHS release, titled "Return of the Beast", which consisted of the two-parter episode of the same, was released in the United States in July 1997 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment under the "Fox Kids Video" imprint.[9][10]

During late 1997, Telegenic Entertainment released three tapes in Canada that edited the episodes based on a particular story arc of the series. The releases were "Return of the Beast", "Raw Power"[11] and "Innocent Blood".[12] Each tape consisted of the respective arc, as well as two bonus episodes from other Marvel animated shows; Fantastic Four for the former two, and Iron Man for the latter.

DVD releases

Region 1

On June 17, 2003, to coincide with the release of the live-action movie, Buena Vista Home Entertainment released a DVD containing the first four episodes; "Return of the Beast Part 1 and 2" as well as "Raw Power" and "Helping Hand, Iron Fist"; edited to form a continuous feature. Bonus Features include interviews, episode facts, introductions by Stan Lee and a bonus episode of The Marvel Super Heroes featuring three Hulk segments.[13][14] The DVD was also released in the United Kingdom with the same content.[15]

Region 2

An episode of the show was released on the DVD in issue 17 of the UK Jetix Magazine.

In April 2008, Liberation Entertainment secured the home media rights to select Marvel shows from Jetix Europe in select European territories.[16][17] The company then released Series 1 in two-volume[18][19] sets in May and October 2008, respectively. After Liberation closed its UK branch at the end of October,[20] Lace International took over releasing their existing stock and released the Season Two DVD at the end of the month[21] alongside a boxset containing the entirety of the series.[22]

Clear Vision later took over home media rights and re-released the series on DVD in the UK, Sweden, and Germany. Series 1 on July 5, 2010,[23] Season 2 on September 6, 2010,[24] and a complete collection boxset on February 7, 2011.[25]

Other releases

References

  1. ^ a b Goldman, Michael. "Stan Lee: Comic Guru". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network. Archived from the original on April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  2. ^ "Hulk Smash Television!". IGN. Archived from the original on 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  3. ^ Toonzone: Marvel Animation Age: Interview with Dick Sebast
  4. ^ The Incredible Hulk Animated: Other Hulk Cartoons
  5. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 426–428. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  6. ^ a b "DRG4's Incredible Hulk the Animated Series Page".
  7. ^ "Videos The Incredible Hulk (1996) | Browse Videos From The Incredible Hulk (1996) | Videos | Marvel.com". marvel.com. Archived from the original on 2011-01-03.
  8. ^ Basically Everything Coming to Disney+ in the U.S. | Start Streaming November 12 on YouTube
  9. ^ The Incredible Hulk: Return of the Beast [VHS]: Movies & TV. 2017-05-13. ISBN 978-0793941902.
  10. ^ "The Incredible Hulk: Return Beast VHS]: Movies & TV". Amazon. 29 January 2002. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  11. ^ "The Incredible Hulk: Raw Power VHS]: Movies & TV". Amazon. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  12. ^ "The Incredible Hulk: Innocent Blood VHS]: Movies & TV". Amazon.ca. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  13. ^ "The Incredible Hulk at dvdempire". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  14. ^ "The Incredible Hulk VHS/DVD". usask.ca. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
  15. ^ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Incredible-Hulk-DVD-Lou-Ferrigno/dp/B00009QNWG
  16. ^ "Liberation Entertainment to Bring Classic Marvel Cartoons to DVD". 24 April 2008.
  17. ^ Liberation Entertainment Archived 2008-04-23 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "The Incredible Hulk - Season One Part One (Marvel Originals Series - 90s) [DVD] [1996]: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  19. ^ "The Incredible Hulk - Season One Part Two (Marvel Originals Series - 90s) [DVD] [1996]: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  20. ^ "Liberation Ent. Closes U.K. Division". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25.
  21. ^ "The Incredible Hulk - Complete Season Two (Marvel Originals Series - 90s) [DVD] [1996]: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  22. ^ "The Incredible Hulk Complete Box Set (1996) [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  23. ^ "The Incredible Hulk 1996 Complete Season 1 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  24. ^ "The Incredible Hulk 1996 Complete Season 2 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. 2010-09-06. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  25. ^ "The Incredible Hulk DVD: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-06.