Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: She-Hulk (Incredible Hulk, 1982)

There's a right way, and a wrong way.---Oliver Hardy

The live-action Incredible Hulk took its cues from The Fugitive, sacrificing much of what made the comic book so popular, that being its supporting cast. Once the CBS series ended its run, Marvel saw the means to rectify that little oversight.

Hulk, like Batman 14 years earlier, changed networks in addition to shifting from live-action to animation, from CBS to NBC, linked with Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends for a powerhouse hour of adventure. The downside was that this was at the bottom of NBC's lineup, where most shows usually end up getting ignored by affiliates. NBC made sure that wouldn't be the case.

In this episode, Bruce Banner (Michael Bell) travels to Los Angeles with Rick Jones to locate his cousin, attorney Jennifer Walters, aka the She-Hulk. Banner explains She-Hulk's origin, encapsulating the actual origin from She-Hulk's comics debut a couple of years earlier. Narrator Stan Lee wrote that original origin story, adapted by writer Michael Reaves for television. This time, the cousins experiment with giving Hulk (Bob Holt) Bruce's mind, so that Banner can control his changes, like Jennifer does. However, Hydra, with a base in LA, is attempting an experiment of their own, involving Banner's on-again, off-again girlfriend (and later wife in the comics), Betty Ross, who's trying to stop it. Of course, you know what this will do to Banner's experiment.

31 years later, Marvel Studios is trying to have their cake and eat it, too, using a savage Hulk on Avengers Assemble while letting him be a brainy wiseacre on Hulk & The Agents of S.M.A.S.H.. Then again, their television division these days is run by imbeciles.

For now, let's take a trip back in time with "Enter: The She-Hulk". I should note that Michael Bell's actress-wife, Victoria Carroll, voices both Jen & She-Hulk.

Well, it was fun while it lasted, wasn't it? Rating: A-.

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