Putting the Smackdown on Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

But when the series does not have enough spark to it, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. may well be more of a passer upper than a must follow.

PosterThe producers at Marvel Animation must think the same visual and narrative style used in Ultimate Spider-Man can be repeated with the new series, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

Instead of Peter Parker providing the creative commentary by breaking the fourth wall, Rick Jones (voiced by Seth Green) is providing the narrative by creating a video blog of everything that happens to the Hulk (Fred Tatasciore). He is out to prove to the world that the Hulk is not a beast.

This cinematic style is good for one series, but to carry it over to another may well be overkill. At least the use of split screens and the visual presentation is used for a reason. It gives viewers a feel of reading a comic book being presented in animated form. To give all the programs in this animated block of Marvel Universe titles a consistent look is a good executive decision, and it shows that the production house is trying to create a unified universe.

But the big question has to be asked: since when did Hulk find time to take a sabbatical? Does this series mean viewers will see less of him in coming episodes of Avengers Assemble?

vlcsnap-2013-08-10-19h28m55s208Has the Hulkster decided to moonlight as Hercules? Tony Stark may not take kindly to what the Hulk is doing. If he was truly a model of Donald Trump, he would say, “You’re fired!”

Well, that’s only if he has the courage to stand up to the Hulk. Very few members of the Avengers can, namely Thor.

But in the real world,  executive producers Alan Fine, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada and Jeph Loeb and creative consultant/writer Paul Dini are not all that concerned. They eventually will have to answer this question and reveal how the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. get together. At the first episode’s start, this team has not even fully formed.

Red Hulk is General Ross (Clancy Brown) who still bears a grudge towards the Green Hulk. He became a smasher just so he can keep an eye on Banner/Hulk. It’s like he fears that the original beast may revert back to his old ways of being a mindless beast. The other team-mates have yet to appear, but on the slate to appear in episode two are She-Hulk and A-bomb.

She HulkSkaar (Benjamin Diskin) is more of an antagonist in the first episode. As for when he will realize the error of his ways, that may not be until an episode or two later.

As the plot thickens with Jones looking like he is ill, the writers are no doubt going to merge five decades worth of comic book Hulk history into one show. That can be confusing for fans who prefer just one comic book team’s work over another. At least most of the team’s origins are explained and new viewers can get acquainted to a brand new Hulk that is reverent to today’s Marvel Comics readership.

But when the series does not have enough spark to it, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. may well be more of a passer upper than a must follow. A series long story arc is suggested with Annihilus seeking to break free from the Negative Zone so he can rape Earth’s resources, and that is nowhere near as thrilling as seeing Tony Stark aka Iron Man falling out of a wormhole and dying.

Maybe some revisionist storytelling needs to be done to make Hulk more thrilling. Although he is more in control of his emotions these days, this version of the Hulk is not as fun to watch. The Big G moniker is better reserved for chasing down a certain radioactive lizard from Japan.

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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