DVD Review: 'Hulk Vs.'

Hulk Vs. Two Pack

The hype has been building since the release of the trailers. Hulk versus Wolverine and Hulk versus Thor—easily two match-ups any Marvel Zombie has either seen in a comic or discussed ad nauseum on the internet or in a comic shop. It’s completely debatable who would be the victor in either one of these match-ups, right? Well…I’d pick the Hulk but that’s because I’m a huge fan of the big green galoot. So, like the rest of my gamma-inspired brethren, I’ve been champing at the bit to see these two new cartoons.

Did I like them? Absolutely. The animation is really good—each of the two cartoons is distinct; heck, the Hulk vs. Thor cartoon evokes both legendary Thor artists Jack Kirby and Walt Simonson. The Hulk vs. Wolverine cartoon also looks good and is incredibly fast-paced. Heck, I think I was too busy being enamored with all of the blood and violence at times....

That said, the battles can get pretty garish. I wouldn’t show this cartoon to a small child—but tweens and teens will definitely be attracted to it.

Spoilers ahead for both stories…

First things first, neither of these cartoons start with much set-up—which can be good considering how much valuable story time gets used up re-hashing plot beats that 95% of fans already know. Wolverine is being dropped over the last known whereabouts of the Hulk. Yes, he’s wearing a costume very similar to his original—but this is not a re-hashing of Hulk vs. Wolverine vs. Wendigo from Hulk #181. Actually, it watches more like a Wolverine cartoon with some Hulk sprinkled on top—it’s Wolverine vs. Hulk vs. Weapon X.

I say Weapon X loosely; in fact, I wouldn’t have called them that but Dr. Windsor showed up. Understandably, with X-Men Origins: Wolverine coming to theaters in May, this story plays in the same world, and it’s a nice little treat to see Wolverine and the Hulk to take on Sabertooth, Lady Deathstrike, Omega Red, and Deadpool. Another thing that’s nice: the folks at Marvel Studios who put this thing together don’t pull any punches with exposition and continuity—they let the dialog do the talking so to speak. This type of front-loading of background information was completely appreciated and made for a very fast-paced story.

Hulk VS. Trailer
Hulk VS. Trailer
The Hulk, looking for a fight...

There wasn’t much that bothered me about Hulk vs. Wolverine other than it ended so quickly. Well, that and the fact that the end… You’ll have to see for yourself—and be sure to watch for a funny little scene after the credits.

The Hulk vs. Thor cartoon was a little slower paced and featured much more dramatic storytelling and more narration. The Bruce Banner in this story is markedly different as well—in the Wolverine cartoon, he’s this panicked almost paranoid mess of a man. In the Thor cartoon, he’s a definitely a Debbie Downer who sulks and even makes his fantasy after-life (yeah, he dies for a bit…) a bit of a bummer. Essentially, the battle is a classic Thor/ Loki struggle with Hulk caught in the middle. The story starts up very quickly—Loki already has Banner in his clutches—so there is little need for build-up. Loki and the Enchantress possess Hulk and attack Asgard but something goes wrong with the spell and Loki loses control of the Hulk; thusly, Hulk uses all of Asgard like punching bag for 30 minutes. It’s great—even Gods can get their butts kicked.

I liked this cartoon for completely different reasons than I did the other. It was very grandiose—from the look of Asgard to the regally iconic capturing of Thor himself. There are several moments where I really thought a Kirby comic of Thor had come to life. My inner fanboy giggled like a school girl. Also, this episode seemed more complete than the other—it didn’t have much of a beginning but the end ended the way an end should…if that makes sense.

If you’re a fan of Marvel Comics, you’ll want to own these DVDs. They’re fun to watch and they’re ripe with continuity Easter eggs. Again, parents of younger children might want to hold off a bit on these; the Thor episode isn’t as graphic but the Wolverine episode has some stuff that pretty hardcore for cartoons. They may be short and sweet but two solid line drives can equal a game winning homerun—hit the store next Tuesday and pick this pair up.

"Hulk Vs." is due in stores on Tuesday, January 27th.


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SDCC: Marvel's 'Hulk vs.' Panel

Video: Hulk vs. Wolverine Preview

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