Reviews: The Incredible Hulk

The Definitive Live-Action Hulk

The 70's Incredible Hulk tv series was, and still is in my opinion, a superhero TV show done right. This series has not only made the Marvel comics character the media icon he is today, but it also shown audiences (either during it's time or today) that comic book adaptations can embrace it's source material without being campy and ridiculous, as well as not being afraid to change certain elements of its source. And boy, did this show change alot! But, that's not to say it isnt a great adaptation.

In the TV series, instead of government gamma physicist Bruce Banner, we have phyisican and scientist David Banner (Bill Bixby), who adds in more depth and emotion to his role as Banner than any other actor this troper has seen in Hulk movies (exception: Mark Ruffalo). Instead of the U.S Army led by Thunderbolt Ross, we have tabloid reporter Jack Mc Gee (Jack Colvin), who has proven himself to a much more sympathetic antagonist than most of comic Hulk's enemies as he chases down Banner's alter-ego. Finally, instead of the inhumanly strong green beast who yells "HULK SMASH!" and wrecks towns constantly, we have a more scaled-down, silent yet still imposing and powerful Hulk (Lou Ferrigno) who, like Bixby's Banner, adds more depth and humanity (both emotionally and physically) to the monster and shows that he has a gentler side. A lot of elements have been either removed (ex. the comic's whole supporting cast) or changed for the sake of realism (ex. Banner's origin story). However, it has not proven itself to be a hinderance to the series, as it both embraces it's core superhero concept while adding in elements that would be much more relatable to people who have problems with their own inner demons (ex. alcholism, anger issues, guilt, etc.). Truly, the Incredible Hulk is an entertaining piece of superhero TV and it can be enjoyed by everyone who's either a comicbook fan or just a sci-fi fan in general, despite the now out-dated special effects and the now common theme of the "fugitive on the run who helps people" thing.