02 February 2010

Onscreen History of the Hulk

Planet Hulk, Marvel's latest animated feature hits stores today. In honor of the Jade Giant, I thought it appropriate to take a look at his prolific onscreen history in the monstrous spotlight.

The Hulk first appeared in 39 seven minute segments of the Marvel Super Heroes animated television series in 1966. His theme song could have used a little work:

To this day, Hulk may be best known for his live-action TV series The Incredible Hulk beginning with a made for TV movie in 1977 and running for 82 episodes until being canceled in 1982.

The cancelled series was followed up with three made for TV movies in the subsequent years. In 1988's The Incredible Hulk Returns Hulk teamed up with Thor.

The next year, in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, it was Daredevil's turn for a Hulk partnership.

Finally, 1990's The Death of the Incredible Hulk ended the series / movies run despite plans to bring Hulk back for a pairing with She-Hulk.

After the live action series ended in 1982, 13 episodes of an animated Hulk series were commissioned.

The animated series was a bit truer to the comic books than was the live action series. Over the course of the season, a number of comic foes and allies, including She-Hulk, dropped by.

Hulk was given a crossover to the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the episode Spidey Goes Hollywood in which he had to fight a robot Hulk.

Following his series cancellation, the Animated Hulk took a decade hiatus, next appearing as a guest star in the X-Men animated series episode The Juggernaut Returns. To be fair, this was actually just a danger room Hulk robot and not the Hulk himself.

In the mid-90's Hulk guest starred on the Fantastic Four animated series as well as Iron Man.

Hulk's look, however, was a tad inconsistent between the two shows.

In 1996, the Green Goliath was finally given his own show once again. The series had no shortage of Hulks. There was Green Hulk, Grey Hulk, She Hulk, and Dark Hulk.

Unfortunately, when the series was retitled in season two from The Incredible Hulk to The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk, the show also experience a drop in quality and was canceled.

Though there was a blink and you'll miss it cameo of Hulk (in a portrait) in the abysmal Avengers: United They Stand series, Hulk next returned in grand form in 2003's Hulk movie. Unfortunately the movie was not the huge success all were hoping for.

In 2006, Hulk starred in two animated features, Ultimate Avengers, and Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther. He was much more of the threat himself in these films than a traditional hero.

Also in 2006, Hulk and the Thing faced off in the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode Hard Knocks.

In 2008, an older (wiser?) Hulk appeared in the animated movie Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow.

2008 would also mark the return of Hulk to cinemas in the more heroic The Incredible Hulk, the film was just successful enough to make a sequel possible, though we will most likely see this Hulk next in 2012 Avengers live action film.

In 2009 (a "Banner" year for Hulk) , Hulk was the star of the very successful animated movie Hulk Vs. In the first segment Hulk and Wolverine engaged in a no holds barred smack down.

The second half of the feature saw Thor trying to stop a mindless raging Hulk shell.

Wolverine an Hulk were given a rematch in the Wolverine and the X-Men episode Wolverine Vs. The Hulk, an informal sequel to the Hulk Vs. battle.

In 2009, there was no shortage of heroes getting a chance to take on the Hulk as he also made an appearance on the Iron Man: Armored Adventures series episode Uncontrollable.

Lastly in 2009, a nice Hulk joined the line-up of the Super Hero Squad.

Planet Hulk tells the story of space Gladiator Hulk, banished from Earth. Depending on this movies performance, I expect we will be seeing more Hulk animated movies in the future. Hulk Vs 2 perhaps?

Finally, Hulk will be a member of the line-up in the animated Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes set to debut in 2011.

And that my friends was hopefully enough SMASH to get you through the rest of the day.

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