Hello, my friends. With the immeasurable strength to crank out opinions, I welcome you back to another entry in…
Everyone’s favorite Jolly Green Gamma Giant is back for another round “or two”. He’s ready for double the throwdowns in an entry called…
Originally released on January 20, 2009, this is unlike any film that’s been previous reviewed here. It turns out that this consists of TWO movies, as each one has the signature rage machine going up against a powerful hero. As such, I’ll save my character analysis after I discuss both films. With that said, let’s kick off Round 1:
In this corner, we have our Gamma Giant going toe-to-toe with the defender of the Nine Realms. Let’s dive in and see how this plays out.
We open on some narration, describing the grand realm known as Asgard. This majestic plane is ruled by the All-Father himself, Odin (voiced by French Tickner), who’s able to keep his kingdom safe from all perils. However, it’s winter and the time has come again for him to enter a sleep-like state known as the Odinsleep.
Because this happens over a long period of time, the realm is left open for attack. As such, Asgard’s finest are left to defend their homeland from various beasts and creatures that dare to threaten during the week-long struggle. Fortunately, the realm has its finest protector named Thor (voiced by Matthew Wolf).
We then cut to another part of Asgard where a man wakes up and suddenly gets mystically bound. It turns out to be Bruce Banner (voiced by Bryce Johnson) who finds himself imprisoned by Thor’s half-brother (who was also our opening narrator), Loki (voiced by Graham McTavish a.k.a. Dwalin from The Hobbit film trilogy) and Amora a.k.a. Enchantress (voiced by Kari Wahlgren). Bruce is then informed by Loki that he was brought here since his “other half” has “brought near-defeat” to Thor. Because they’re on the final day of the Odinsleep, the God of Mischief plans on using the Hulk to catch a battle-weary Thor offguard and smite him for good.
Meanwhile, the battlefield is covered with fallen foes as the Warriors Three jokingly discuss among themselves. Volstagg (voiced by Jay Brazeau) manages to hold a troll down with his vast weight and knocks the creature out cold with his goblet while Fandral (voiced by Jonathan Holmes) and Hogun (voiced by Paul Dobson) look on in amusement. Overlooking their conversation and the battlefield is another Asgardian ally named Balder (voiced by Michael Adamthwaite) who’s relieved that the Odinsleep is only hours away from ending.
On top of the main gate, Thor looks out in dispair as Lady Sif (voiced by Grey DeLisle-Griffin) asks him why he’s feeling down. Although he’s glad that he and his fellow warriors were triumphant, Thor is bummed that they’re stuck in this repeating cycle every year that the Odinsleep occurs, since they constantly lose fellow brothers and sisters. Sif warns him to be careful on what he wishes for, since that kind of change will come during their own Armageddon: Ragnarok! Believing that their fates aren’t “ours to choose”, the scene ends with Thor telling his love that they’ll go to his father Odin and await his return from the Odinsleep.
Back at Loki’s castle, Bruce warns him about his alter ego’s vast strength and that he has spent his entire life trying to keep the Jolly Green Giant at bay. However, Loki doesn’t buy his pleas and begins to try and bring the ol’ rage machine out. As such, he lightly slaps Bruce on the face. However, this sends the mortal flying towards the nearby platform. As Loki and Enchantress approach (and combined with the God of Mischief’s taunts), Bruce apparently got angry enough as he transforms into the Hulk (voiced by Fred Tatasciore).
He tries to attack, but Loki was prepared as he casts a protection spell that keeps the Hulk at bay long enough for Enchantress to cast her own spell. By the time that the Hulk breaks through Loki’s barrier, Amora’s incantation manages to weakens him enough and hold him at bay.
From there, she approaches the Hulk to perform a different kind of spell. With it, she managed to perform an impossible feat.
She managed to separate Bruce Banner from the Hulk. Afterwards, Amora sets the final piece of Loki’s plan into motion with one last spell. With it, she allows the God of Mischief to gain control over the Hulk. As such, the scene ends with Loki putting his master plan in motion.
Later, the Warriors Three are enjoying their triumph in battle with a celebratory pint. Suddenly, the peaceful sound is shattered as the mind-controlled Hulk roars from a distance. Mistaking it for another one of their common enemies, the Warriors Three proceed to lead a small group of warriors towards their foe.
However, they’re taken by surprise as Loki proceeds to use the Hulk’s vast strength to obliterate Volstagg, Fandral, Hogun and their fellow soldiers. The God of Mischief feels joyful wielding this nearly-limitless power, but Enchantress warns him that she feels the Hulk fighting through her spell.
Afterwards, the Hulk proceeds to throw a giant wooden pillar and smashes through the main gate with it. While the Jolly Green Giant fights more Asgardian soldiers, Balder sends out a warning toot from his horn.
Over at Odin’s chamber, Thor and Lady Sif hear the blaring sound. She’s puzzled as to why there’s a call to arms since Asgard’s enemies have been defeated, but Thor prepares to take off towards battle. After telling Sif to stay behind and guard Odin should he “fail to meet this threat”, he flies off towards the main gate.
With his fellow warriors defeated, Balder proceeds to get smacked around by the Hulk. Just then, Thor arrives and blasts the mighty beast away with his hammer, Mjolnir. Afterwards, Balder collapses into the Thunder God’s arms and ultimately passes out.
From there, the Hulk proceeds to engage Thor and starts to beat him up. Despite calling out to Bruce Banner, Thor is unable to get a response as he gets picked up by the gigantic being. Suddenly, Loki reveals his presence by talking through the Hulk.
Shortly afterwards, Thor escapes the giant’s grasp and manages to start fighting back. After a while, Hulk turns the tide by distracting the Thunder God with a fallen statue before countering back. Afterwards, he slams Thor down through a dilapidated structure.
During the tussle, the Thunder God had dropped Mjolnir. Upon seeing the famous hammer, Loki has the Hulk attempt to lift it up from the ground. Even with the Jolly Green Giant’s impressive strength however, the God of Mischief is unable to make Mjolnir budge from its spot.
Enchantress tries to warn him that his own rage is fueling the Hulk, causing her spell to get weaker. However, Loki ignores her warning as he angrily tries to lift Mjolnir. Fortunately, Thor reclaims his hammer and blasts the Hulk with a massive lightning bolt.
After the Thunder God throws down his hammer onto the gigantic beast, Loki is flown back across the platform. With so much built-up rage inside of the Hulk, Enchantress feels her spell shattered.
With nothing left to keep its rage in check, the Hulk recovers and starts to beat Thor up. Overseeing this on his crystal ball, Loki finds this moment better than what he had planned. However, this wasn’t the kind of revenge that Enchantress had envisioned. We then learn as to why she went along with Loki’s plan in the first plan: She had fallen in love for Thor, but she couldn’t win his heart. After she takes her leave, Bruce warns Loki that the Hulk will rip his world to pieces since there’s no one to control it. However, the scene ends with the Mischief God ignoring him again and proceeding to take care of him, permanently.
Meanwhile, an uncaged Hulk proceeds to wail away on Thor. After getting pummeled through the base of a mountain, the Thunder God proceeds to get beaten within an inch of his life. Afterwards, the Hulk calms down just enough to see Asgard in the distance. As such, he proceeds to leap over towards the mighty realm in order to continue its unstoppable rampage.
Meanwhile, a familiar shadow approaches Thor’s lifeless body, as if death itself has come to claim him. Fortunately, Enchantress manages to arrive. She tells him that even though he gave his love to Lady Sif, she didn’t want him to die. As such, she proceeds to kiss him.
Combining the passionate embrace with her magic, Amora manages to heal Thor. Upon regaining consciousness however, the scene ends with him demanding to see his half-brother.
Over in Asgard, the unfettered Hulk continues to smack away any opposing soldier that gets in its way. With the gigantic creature slowly-but-surely making its way towards them, Lady Sif steps inside Odin’s chamber to ready herself for the inevitable.
While the Hulk climbs towards the sleeping Highfather, Loki is suddenly confronted by Thor. The Thunder God tells his mischievous half-brother that the Jolly Green Giant will be sent back to Midgard (a.k.a. Earth). Afterwards, Loki will be brought to Odin and shall pay for his devious act. Meanwhile, Enchantress looks around the castle for Bruce Banner. However, she finds out that Loki killed him. Because Hela has claimed Bruce’s soul, the Hulk is unable to get sent back to Earth.
Meanwhile, the Hulk has reached the central point of Asgard. Standing in its way is the realm’s remaining army led by Valkyrie (voiced by Nicole Oliver). However, the scene ends with the Hulk starting to decimate the remaining forces.
With little time to spare, Thor tells Enchantress to join Lady Sif and help her defend Odin from the Hulk’s wrath. As much as Amora despises working alongside the one who captured the Thunder God’s heart, she reluctantly agrees as she uses her magic to teleport towards the main chamber. From there, the scene ends with Thor telling Loki to send his remaining allies to combat the Hulk while they go and reclaim Bruce Banner’s soul.
We then cut to Odin’s chamber as Lady Sif sits and waits for the Hulk’s arrival. Suddenly, Enchantress teleports in as she’s quickly surrounded by the guards. Amora tells them that she has arrived to help protect the Highfather “at Thor’s request”. Sif reluctantly accepts Amora’s help, but still blames her for the initial attack in the first place.
Outside, Valkyrie and her fellow warriors have finally fallen as the Hulk prepares to attack Odin’s chamber. Suddenly, unexpected help arrives as a pair of Frost Giants (sent by Loki) arrive to give our hero more time.
We then have a quick scene where Thor and Loki arrive in Hel (a.k.a. Hell), as they prepare to reclaim Bruce Banner’s soul. During this moment, we find out that the ruler of this realm is actually Loki’s daughter.
While the Frost Giants continue to tangle with the Hulk, we cut to Bruce waking up as he discovers himself inside a magnificent house alongside a picturesque scene. Not only that, but he’s also alongside his love, Betty Ross (also voiced by Nicole Oliver). As if that wasn’t enough, he even discovers that he also has a son named Bruce Banner, Jr. (voiced by Qayam Devji).
Meanwhile, Thor and Loki arrive at Hel’s central domain. There, they confront the realm’s ruler named Hela (voiced by Janyse Jaud) as Thor tells her that the Nine Realms, including her own, are in danger as he asks for the return of Bruce Banner’s soul. However, she refuses to relinquish it since she nearly claimed Thor’s soul had Amora not interfered. Fortunately, Loki steps in and tells her that Bruce’s soul is only half of a greater prize for her collection of deceased lives.
Back in Asgard, the remaining Frost Giants have fallen. With nothing left to stand in its way, the Hulk finally arrives outside of Odin’s chamber and starts to pound on the doors. Inside, Lady Sif, Enchantress and the guards prepare themselves for the grave challenge that awaits them.
Meanwhile, Bruce is enjoying his newly-acquired “Perfect Life” as he cuddles with Betty while their son rests beside the fireplace. Suddenly, Hela starts calling out to him as the outside weather develops into a lightning storm. She tells him to “wake from this dream” as both Betty and Bruce Jr. suddenly disappear from him.
As such, Bruce is woken up from his peaceful dream by Hela. From there, Thor tells him that he must reunite with the Hulk in order to save Asgard. However, Bruce is too distraught to answer since he’s been robbed of his peaceful life.
Back in Asgard, Hulk has finally smashed his way into Odin’s chamber. From otherworldly birds to regular guards, the end result is the same as the Hulk easily takes them down.
Back in Hel, Bruce has managed to calm down. However, he says that he’s unwilling to reunite with the Jolly Green Giant, especially when he finally obtained happiness in the afterlife.
Back in Asgard, only two powerful women stand between Odin and the Hulk’s wrath. Enchantress goes first as she casts out a powerful stream of magical fire. However, the Hulk powers his way through and shoves her out of the picture.
Fortunately, Lady Sif is more than capable of taking on the Hulk. She’s able to swiftly dodge his attacks, scoring some successive strikes on his weak points and even cause him to fall down.
Back in Hel, Thor tells Bruce that he has known him to be an honorable and heroic man. Despite it being towards a race of people that aren’t his own, Banner is asked by the Thunder God to “be that hero now”. However, Bruce is still unwilling to reunite with his other self.
Back in Asgard, Sif is about to finish her foe off. However, the Hulk turns the tide as he manages to grab her and slam her onto the ground. The impact hits her with enough force to knock her out cold and drain the water in the surrounding pool.
Back in Hel, Loki asks his own daughter to bring the Hulk to her domain and merge them together so that she can have two beings in one body. This convinces Hela as she sets out to do just that.
Meanwhile, the Hulk has wiped out every Asgardian soul that stood in his way as he finally reaches Odin. Just as he’s about to deliver the deathblow to the Highfather in his sleep, he’s magically teleported out in the nick of time.
After Hela tells Bruce that she’s reuniting him with the Hulk against his wishes, the Jolly Green Giant teleports in. He then spots Bruce and proceeds to attack him by slamming the ground with enough force to send him into a chasm. Despite that, the Hulk dives in after him. Fortunately, Hela manages to teleport Bruce from harm while the ol’ rage machine slams into the ground below to find a group of souls that it can’t harm.
Immediately, Hela blames her father for convincing her to bring the Hulk to her domain. Thor tells her that he and Loki will go after it in order to bond it with Bruce. As such, the Thunder God immediately enters the fray.
With his body re-energized, Thor proceeds to tangle with the Hulk. However, it still manages to retaliate and subdue the Thunder God once again.
Just then, Loki comes in and uses his magic to trap the Hulk within magical binds. From there, our Thunder God uses him trusty hammer to send a powerful lightning strike onto the massive being.
However, the Hulk breaks free and starts to strangle both Thor and Loki. Just then, Bruce comes in and tell his rage-tastic self to come after him. Hulk complies and begins to charge right towards Banner.
Just as the gigantic being reaches Bruce, he starts to glow as the reunification spell goes into effect.
Afterwards, Thor and Loki check up on the Hulk. They find out that the massive being has become extremely tired as it ends up falling in front of them. From there, he ends up transforming back into Bruce Banner as the two beings have become one again.
Afterwards, Hela proceeds to use her power and teleport Bruce back to Earth. However, she demands restitution. Since she let a soul go from her realm, she demands another one in its place.
Because Thor is unwilling to relinquish his soul without a fight, Hela decides to take her father’s soul instead. As such, demonic beings pop up and proceed to drag Loki down to the depths of her domain. Hela knows that her father won’t stay imprisoned forever, but promises Thor that she’ll claim his soul someday. He simply exclaims “We shall see” before he takes his leave from Hel.
Later, Thor arrives back in Asgard as he pops up in Odin’s chamber. Relieved to see him again, Lady Sif embraces Thor with a kiss as Enchantress looks on in a heartbroken state, knowing that she’ll never win his love as she takes her leave. Shortly afterwards, the Odinsleep has ended as Odin finally awakens.
Later, Odin has gathered all of Asgard’s finest warriors to thank them for defending the realm. During his speech, we get quick glimpses of Amora who’s forever spurned due to Thor’s love towards Lady Sif while Hela sits in her kingdom alongside her imprisoned father.
Odin proceeds to conclude his speech by honoring a human being who sacrificed his personal happiness for the sake of Asgard, Bruce Banner. And so, the first story ends with the familiar mortal taking off as he goes into hiding. Next up, we have our second and final bout called…
A fight that makes sense in historical hindsight, since everyone’s favorite Canucklehead first appeared (albeit in a cameo) in 1974’s Incredible Hulk #180. Afterwards, his main appearance came in Incredible Hulk #181. How do these two throw down against each other? Let’s find out.
We open with James Howlett a.k.a. Logan a.k.a. Wolverine (voiced by Steven Blum) waking up in a battered state. After popping his dislocated right arm back into place, he wonders how he wound up like this. Suddenly, his answer arrives as the Hulk jumps down in front of him.
Following the opening credits, we cut to four hours earlier where Logan arrives via helicopter to the decimated remains of a town known as Elkford, British Columbia. He learns from the general that the incident took place four hours ago with the Hulk crossing the U.S.-Canada border, an incident that Department H (a fictional Canadian government branch) managed to cover up. After approaching a wreaked car with a teddy bear inside, Logan uses his heightened sense of smell to pick up the gigantic beast’s toxic scent and discovers that it involved a little girl. Logan also picks up a hint of gunpowder as well. The general tells him that Department H wants him to hunt down the Hulk before another innocent town or city gets wrecked.
Sometime later, Wolverine is escorted via a military plane (a V-22 Osprey for those aeronautically inclined) to a crater within the middle of the woods. Decked out in his iconic outfit, Logan refuses the offer for the pilots to find a suitable landing position and simply jumps out without the need for a parachute. He manages to land on the side of a mountain and slide towards the bottom. From there, we have a quick montage of Wolverine going on his hunt. Eventually, he hears a loud THUMP which leads him to an impact landing in the snow. He then proceeds to follow the footprints through some rocky terrain.
He ultimately finds a man dressed only in pants who’s weeping on a log. James tries to calmly ask him about the Hulk’s whereabouts, but the man nervously asks to be left alone. Just then, Logan picks up the same toxic scent from the man and begins to lethally interrogate him. Despite the man’s warnings, Wolverine continues to push for answers. Suddenly, the man’s eyes turned abnormally vicious. It turns out that he was Bruce Banner all along as he transforms into the Hulk and proceeds to uppercut Logan into the distance.
From there, we arrive back at the start of this film as our two heroes proceed to fight each other. From the lake to the nearby woods, both powerful titans manages to score some nasty hits on each other. Most notably, Wolverine’s adamantium claws manage to score some bloody cuts onto the titanic being. Because of the Hulk’s incredible durability and Wolverine’s healing factor, both sides are able to get back up after withstanding each other’s blows.
After our two heroes continue to brawl, the fight ends abruptly when the Hulk is pelted with a barrage of tranquilizer darts on his back. Wolverine also gets hit with a few knockout darts as well as both combatants become groggy and end up falling onto the ground.
Before Logan loses consciousness, he manages to see the culprits approach him. It turns out that it was Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth (voiced by Mark Acheson), Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool (voiced by Nolan North), Arkady Rossovich a.k.a. Omega Red (voiced by Colin Murdock) and Yuriko Oyama a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike (also voiced by Janyse Jaud). The scene ends with Sabretooth thanking Wolverine for unintentionally helping them capture the Hulk, since they’ve been hunting him “for weeks”.
We then cut to a dream sequence which displays the key part of Logan’s history. After stumbling out of a bar in a drunken state, he’s suddenly confronted by a lone man. His guards proceed to knock Logan out and kidnap him. From there, he’s placed into the bounding process where his skeleton ended up coated with adamantium. Back in his cell, a weakened Logan makes a painful discovery: He has received brand-new claws.
Still under lock and key as a personal lab rat, Logan is taken into the field as Weapon X as he goes into combat against a bear.
Afterwards, Sabretooth chats with the head of the Weapon X program, Professor Thornton (credited as ‘The Professor’ & voiced by Tom Kane a.k.a. Prof. Utonium of The Powerpuff Girls). Victor warns him that his creation won’t be controlled forever, but the Professor ignores the ominous statement and tells him to get his team ready.
After the two of them have their discussion, we quickly get our cameo from X-23 herself!
It turns out that Wolverine used to be a member of Thornton’s personal mutant army. However, even the Professor’s grip over him started to wear off when he overhears Deadpool jokingly talk about killing “all those floating babies”.
Later, Logan manages to free himself from the programming and uses his claws to bust out of the tube. He then attacks Thornton by slicing his right hand off before he slashes through the guards and ultimately makes his escape.
We cut back to the present as Logan find himself shackled to the wall. He’s confronted by Deadpool, Sabretooth, Omega Red and their leader, Prof. Thornton. After displaying his robotized right hand, he thanks Wolverine for ending their weeks-long hunt for the Hulk.
In a flashback, it turns out that it was actually Team X that tore up Elkford in their efforts to capture the Jolly Green Giant. In fact, the Hulk actually saved a father and his daughter from the attack.
Afterwards, Logan learns about Thornton’s plan. He’s going to put Bruce Banner through the same Weapon X program by erasing his memories and use the Hulk as his own personal weapon. After the professor also states that he’ll eventually erase Logan’s memories and bring him back onto their team as well, he, Sabretooth and Omega Red take their leave. Afterwards, the scene ends with Deadpool firing a bullet at point-blank range at Logan’s head. Thanks to his adamantium skull, all the shot did was knock him out.
Later, James wakes up inside of another tube. Because of his specialized restraints, he’s unable to get his claws out. Meanwhile, Lady Deathstrike looks over him and states that no matter what plans the professor has, she’s going to ultimately get the pleasure of killing Logan. Just then, Thornton arrives with Sabretooth and tells her that he’s going to start Wolverine’s reprogramming process.
Shortly after Lady Deathstrike says that there’s a change of plans, Thornton is suddenly slashed in the back. It turns out that Sabretooth has sided with her decision to mutilate Wolverine. She proceeds to slash the tube open, causing Logan to fall out. Immediately afterwards, she plunges her lethal fingernails into his back.
Sabretooth joins in on the fun and manages to get Logan into a full-nelson hold. Victor tells James that he’ll go through a seemingly-endless torture process, due to their healing factors. As Deathstrike says that she’ll redeem her family honor by mutilating him, Logan taunts her by telling her to take that honor and essentially shove it where the moon doesn’t shine. This irritates her enough to plunge her nails into James. However, she overdid her strike as it went through him and ended up stabbing Sabretooth as well.
Using this moment to his advantage, Logan frees himself from Victor’s weakened grasp and knocks him out. He then proceeds to duel with Lady Deathstrike, which turns out to be quick as he slices off one of her robotic arms before knocking her out with a knee to the face.
After Wolverine regains his costume and easily slices through a team of guards, Deadpool and Omega Red rejoin Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth. It turns out that Thornton managed to survive Victor’s cheap shot. While Lady Deathstrike reattaches her left arm, Sabretooth lies to Deadpool and Omega Red by saying that the professor’s wishes were for them to kill Wolverine. Even though they don’t believe him, they still agree to hunt down Logan.
Later, Wolverine arrives at Bruce Banner’s tube and uses his claws to get him out. As they make their way down the hallway, Bruce says that he’s been hunted down for so long that it feels like he’s losing control over his other side. Just then, Team X manages to catch up as Omega Red uses his retractable tentacles to ensnare Wolverine.
Meanwhile, Deadpool arrives and preps to shoot Bruce in the head. Fortunately, his joking nature ended up giving Wolverine the time he needed to break free from Omega Red and save Banner from a possible bullet. Logan tells Bruce to transform into the Hulk to order to help out their cause, but Banner says that even if he wanted to, he was drugged enough to have his adrenaline suppressed. In a desperate act, Wolverine stabs Bruce in an attempt to speed up the process.
Shortly afterwards, Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth catch up to their comrades as Wolverine prepares to fight them off in order to give Bruce the time he needs to recover and transform into the Hulk.
Logan initially turns in a good fight, especially when he temporarily slices off Deadpool’s arm. However, a double team effort from Sabretooth and Lady Deathstrike proves effective enough to knock Wolverine around long enough for Omega Red to use his tentacles and ensnare him with a electric grip.
Just then, Bruce managed to work up enough anger and adrenaline in order to transform into the Hulk. From there, he quickly takes Sabretooth out of the fight with a vicious uppercut that sends him miles into the nearby woods.
While the Hulk deals with Deadpool and Omega Red, Wolverine finds himself at the mercy of Lady Deathstrike. Fortunately, the Hulk throws Arkady with enough force to slam him into Yuriko and send them off the side of the walkway.
However, the Hulk proceeds to go after Wolverine. Deadpool catches up and stuffs a flash grenade into the beast’s mouth. Shortly afterwards, it ends up exploding into an orange puff of smoke. With the Hulk even more enraged, Wolverine comedically throws Deadpool at the behemoth. Fortunately for everyone’s favorite Merc with a Mouth, he ends up getting slapped away as the Hulk chases after Wolverine.
However, two familiar faces return to the battlefield. While Omega Red deals with Wolverine, Lady Deathstrike proceeds to slice away at the Hulk. Remembering how painful it was the first time around with Logan, our green behemoth manages to deliver a Thunder Clap that knocks her down, allowing him to pick her up by her arms. After a quick (and comedic) yelling contest, the Hulk manages to defeat Lady Deathstrike by ripping her robotic arms off.
Meanwhile, Omega Red actually managed to take down Wolverine with his surprise attack. Unfortunately for him, the Hulk arrives and promptly beats him into a pulp.
From there, the titanic being starts to tear the base apart. Wolverine watches in delight to see the facility get destroyed. However, the Hulk smacks him with a large pillar that sends him flying towards the same spot that Sabretooth ended up at.
With the base officially destroyed, the Hulk leaps towards him. As such, Wolverine gets his claws out as the two of them close out by starting Round 2.
And so, the film ends on a post-credits scene where Deadpool managed to climb out of the crumbled remains of the base. He feels overly joyed to still be alive after everything that happened, only for the Hulk to hilariously crush him while hopping around as the Merc with the Mouth caps off with a comedic ‘Ow!’.
Kicking things off with our character analysis, we have a Thunder God named Thor. Steadfast and noble to Asgard’s cause (though disturbed by the constant cycle of death that comes during every Odinsleep), the son of Odin is much more caring towards the human race than his villainous half-brother. This is most likely because of his encounters with Bruce Banner and the rest of Earth’s heroes in the past, since he respects the good-natured capacity that they can fulfill. He does wish that his fellow brothers and sisters didn’t have to constantly lose their lives due to them having to defend Asgard while the Highfather is in his Odinsleep. I’ve felt that it could have been developed into something interesting had this been a full-length story instead of just a thought that gets explained away due to the film’s minuscule length as a double-feature. Other than that, he sticks to the hero’s code and let’s Loki pay for his selfish act since Hela told him that he’ll eventually get out. Matthew Wolf has a fairly strong voice, especially when it comes to the short pre-film era. Of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has forever implanted Chris Hemsworth’s voice in my head as Thor’s voice, but Wolf turns in a good performance. He’s caring, valiant and full of energy when in battle.
On the other side of the double-feature, we have Wolverine. Originally sent in by Department H to stop the Hulk’s rampage, he ends up discovering the reason behind the incident as the past comes back to haunt him. While Thor is able to combat the Hulk due to his strength as a Thunder God, Logan’s healing factor and adamantium claws prove that the Jolly Green Giant isn’t as indestructible as it would seem. While James never finishes his mission within the film’s runtime due to Professor Lofton and his personal mutant team, the Hulk does help him move away from a part of his past that he originally thought was behind him. There’s not much in terms of a potential character arc for him that’s here other than him confronting infamous faces of years goneby, since Professor Lofton’s attempt to use the Hulk and Wolverine for his own nefarious scheme serves as the main focus for the narrative. Other than that, the action takes up the rest of the timeframe. Steven Blum is solid in the role, especially since he would reprise it in “Wolverine & The X-Men” and “Marvel Anime: X-Men”. He brings a confident swagger to the role that helps balance out his performance throughout.
Finally, we’ve reached the lynchpin in his double-sided showing with the Hulk. In both films, someone tries to use this gamma gargantuan’s destructive power for their own diabolical use. After all, hardly anything can stop him once he gets on a fighting roll. Like “Next Avengers: Heroes Of Tomorrow”, Fred Tatasciore’s performance is mostly Hulk-sized yells. However, he does get some funny lines to work with. After all, there’s not much to do in this role, expect have water on hand to cleanse your voice. Still, what he turns in is very admirable. Meanwhile, his alter ego Bruce Banner is caught in the cross-hairs of anyone and everyone who wants to exploit his rage-filled side to harm the innocents. He’s always scared and looking over his shoulder for the next individual who only wants him for his alter-ego, so Bryce Johnson’s performance is mainly filled with fear, worry and sadness. Because the Hulk takes up the majority of both films, there’s not much that he gets to do. For what he does have, it fills in fairly well.
The animation is pretty fluent with swift movements, perfect lip-syncing with the dialogue and it compliments the color schemes for both films. The Thor entry is mainly bright and colorful for Asgard, with Hela’s domain being something of a bright red. Even though there were lots of cliffs and fire, Hel wasn’t too bad of a place. Maybe it’s somewhat limited by its PG-13 rating, but the chasms and cursed beings that drag Loki to his prison fit well. Meanwhile, the Wolverine entry has bright colors for our main heroes and Deadpool (with Nolan North giving a hilarious standout performance) while the base, the villains and the Canadian forest were given either muted or calm palettes. This allows our main characters to stand out and be pleasant to our eyes. In terms of story, I’d have to favor Wolverine on this topic. While Thor’s tale had resolution and Loki tops Thornton as a better primary villain, there wasn’t much plot outside of “Protect Odin” while we attempt to reunite Hulk with Bruce Banner. However, it does have a thrilling “race against the clock” feel to it, so that’s a plus. With Wolverine’s tale, it had a hidden layer of government-like cover-up which helped in showing off Logan’s past. Plus, he and the Hulk has some worthy adversaries to fight. Speaking of which, the action scenes are the main selling factor for this film. They’re both thrilling enough, but they’re much better handled over in Wolverine’s tale. There’s just enough confrontation between the main heroes and their fight against the villains that it remains calm enough for the plot to fill in some necessary details. Meanwhile, only Thor and Lady Sif are capable of fighting the Hulk before Hela brings it to her domain. Loki and Enchantress are able to keep it at bay with their magic, but that’s pretty much their extent.
Overall, this is a good two-for-one experience. The stories (though sufficient enough to get by) are good enough, the animation is mainly solid with the character models and the action is thrilling on both sides and our heroes & villains are entertaining and joyful enough to watch, with each one bringing exciting personalities to the table. This entry was entertainingly interesting, if only for its format, but there’s plenty to take in and like. If you’re up for some exciting action, then this comes highly recommended. Otherwise, it’s worth a view.
Next Time: Everyone’s favorite Jolly Green Giant gets another go-around, but his biggest battle won’t take place on Earth. He’s going to need all the help he can get to survive an out-of-this-world fight as we dig into the film adaptation of “Planet Hulk”.
Hulk (created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby), Thor (created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby), Wolverine (created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein & John Romita, Sr.) and all related characters are owned by Marvel Comics.