Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bad TV: Hulk & The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (2013)

It's clear to me that comics & television writer Jeph Loeb (ex-Heroes) has forgotten what makes a superhero cartoon so special in this day & age. If not forgotten, he simply doesn't care if people don't like his product.

On his watch, DisneyXD's Marvel Universe block is a mess. He decided that Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes had to be sacrificed in favor of a more watered down show aimed at younger viewers (Avengers Assemble, previously reviewed). His other shows have too many bells & whistles to distract the viewers from how bad the writing is.

Case in point: Hulk & the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., which premiered last month. It's not enough that Hulk is also part of Avengers Assemble, but that show is meant to be a spin-off from last year's "Avengers" movie. No, he gets to lead his own team, but he's better off if they'd adapted The Defenders. At least there's a chance they'd have gotten that one right.

As for the rest of the team:

*-She-Hulk: Jennifer Walters is Bruce (Hulk) Banner's cousin, who gained her powers via a blood transfusion from her cuz in the comics more than 30 years ago. She still practices law, but she's so enamored with being a green Glamazon, that she rarely reverts to her former self. She's there for the teenage boys to drool over.

*-A-Bomb: Rick Jones is one of Hulk's oldest friends in the comics. Some genius at Marvel decided to make him a blue Hulk.

*-Red Hulk: General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross was an enemy of ol' Greenskin way back in the day. As with Jones, someone at Marvel decided it was a cool idea to make him a Hulk. Oh, yeah, he's also Bruce's father-in-law, and Bruce's wife, Betty, was turned into the Red She-Hulk in the comics. The only way Red She-Hulk joins the party is if this show is renewed for a 2nd season.

*-Skaar: Believe it or else, this guy fills the brainless brute void left by the Hulk himself. Worse than that, he was introduced in the books as Hulk's illegitimate kid, the result of a liason with some alien warrior princess.

Co-Executive Producer Joe Quesada can take the blame for the last three, as they were all developed on his watch as Editor-in-Chief. The episode I watched On Demand features a guest appearance by Spider-Man (Drake Bell), and so this is along the same stupid line as Ultimate Spider-Man. Someone do us a favor and chain Quesada & Loeb to some dead cacti?

Here's a sample clip:

If you're a comics purist, watch at your own risk. If you're the target demo, ask your older siblings to help you understand this twaddle.

Rating: D.


Samuel Wilson said...

FYI, the "someone at Marvel" behind both Rick Jones as A-Bomb and Thunderbolt Ross as the Red Hulk was none other than Loeb, who here seems to be overseeing a travesty of his own comic-book work.

magicdog said...

I never understood why having two Hulk shows that barely seem to be in the same continuity. Hulk seems like his usual hulky self in the Avengers Assemble show, but seems much more under control in S.M.A.S.H. . Not to mention this show has some of the jokey asides like some reality show; as if we couldn't already see what was going on with the characters.

Making Rick Jones a hulk? WHY??? Definitely not necessary.

Red She Hulk huh? Never would have guessed!

hobbyfan said...

Sammy: Loeb must've been thinking pretty far ahead. By turning Ross & Jones into Hulks, he was looking ahead at a toy deal and the accompanying TV show. Unfortunately, since he's just producing and isn't doing a lot of writing, well, needless to say, he didn't leave much of a template.

Magicdog: I'm thinking Ear Loeb & Quesadilla are parodying reality TV with the webcam bits intercut into the show. That's part of the reason for the D rating, BTW.