Retro Marvel TV
Marvel's Not-So-Awful Animation of the 80s

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 27 Aug 2014 16:15
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THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1982 - 1983)
It only has 13 episodes, it was eclipsed even in its day by the live-action Hulk and by Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends (with which it ran as part of a block in most markets) and Hulk fans generally prefer the more 90s series... but this is my favorite Hulk show, overall. Maybe it's that awesome theme music -- so memorable to a certain age/stripe of hardcore geeks that it turned up in Superjail's Hulk-parody.

Unlike the Spider-Man cartoons, Hulk actually got to play things mostly-straight, with Hulk being very much his monstrous self and doing tons of smashing and brawling. Honestly, I don't know how anyone becomes a fan of The Hulk if you don't first discover him in very early childhood -- the appeal of a good guy whose "power" is to get angry and stomp around smashing and throwing stuff just feels so precisely wired to the pleasure/relatability-centers of a child's brain (see also: Godzilla).

The show was also fairly faithful to the classic comics' version of the character, with Betty Ross, Rick Jones and Col. Talbot all present along with the most accurate (for the time) adaptation of the Hulk's origin story, with the main change being swapping-out alien invaders for Soviet saboteurs at Banner's lab. The (in my mind) unquestioned highlight of the series? Easy: The Hulk Vs. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Yes, really. You gotta see that to believe it.

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