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Western Animation / Planet Hulk

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The animated adaptation of Planet Hulk. The film was very condensed, changing several aspects of the story and removing a few characters completely, but is still considered one of the better Marvel Comics animated adaptations, receiving considerable critical praise. It's also notable for being one of the more violent Marvel movies, depicting blood and fairly graphic deaths.

Captured and exiled from Earth by Iron Man and other heroes, the Hulk's attempts to escape force his ship to fly off course and crash on Sakaar. There he is captured and made into a gladiator for the entertainment of the Red King, who rules the planet with an iron fist despite the attempts of a resistance. Reluctantly joined by a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, Hulk finds himself becoming the planet's only hope for freedom as many come to believe him to be their prophesised saviour known as the Sakaarson.

The Planet Hulk animated movie provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Caiera is one since she was able to duel the Hulk to a standstill and even managed to land a blow that would have been lethal with the Hulk's healing factor. It's for this reason the Red King chose her as his bodyguard in the first place.
  • Adaptational Context Change: Hiroim's backstory of being exiled from the Shadow Priests for being seen as blasphemous is the same in this adaption, but the context and reasons behind it are altered. In the comics he was exiled for believing that he could be the Sakaarson, while here it's because he refused to believe the Red King was the Sakaarson and implies that he is in truth the Worldbreaker.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Miek who unlike his comic counterpart never betrays the resistance and is sweet, insecure and adorable.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: All members of the Warbound are this as they get along much better and many of the factors that led to the issues between them never took place.
  • Adaptational Personality Change:
    • Due to a combination of Adaptational Heroism and Adaptational Nice Guy, Miek in this version is a insecure and adorable friend to the Hulk who believes he's the Sakaarson that will save his world. In the comics Miek wanted Hulk to be the Worldbreaker and encouraged his desire to destroy.
    • Because of the Adaptational Context Change behind his exile, Hiroim no longer regrets his arrogance for believing he could be the Sakaarson. Instead his arc is changed to being a man who has lost his faith and regains it by the end of the film.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Along with Adaptation Species Change. The Spikes in the original comic were a non-sapient race of spacefaring symbiotes that became aggressive parasites when exposed to terrestrial atmospheres, which the Red King exploited for his own ends. In the movie, they're implicitly the Red King's own creations and designed to turn people into vicious zombies.
  • Adapted Out:
    • While somewhat justified since the original comic was very Hulk centric, Bruce Banner doesn't even get mentioned while in the original comic he makes a brief appearance when Hulk decides to introduce him to Caiera.
    • Many characters from the comic don't appear in the film, most noticeably the Silver Surfer who is replaced by Beta Ray Bill and No-Name the Brood who is part of the Warbound.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Hulk and Caiera at the film's close.
  • Alien Blood: It's everywhere in the film: The Hulk bleeds bright green blood, which can fertilize soil, Spikes and Spike-hosts have yellow blood, Sakaaran natives have greenish-yellow blood, Kronans bleed white, and Red and Grey Sakaarans just bleed red.
  • Anti-Villain: Caiera is the Red King's loyal shadow, but she's only serving him out of gratitude for him saving her from the Spike attack on her home. Then she finds out he was responsible for the attack.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Beta Ray Bill apologizes to his opponents in advance because he has no choice but to fight them.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: The Red King turns out to be a pretty good fighter himself.
  • Body Horror: Victims of the Spikes are not pretty to look at, to say nothing of how the Spikes dig directly underneath their victims' skin to mutate them.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Like in the original storyline, the Red King outright tells Caiera that he was responsible for the Spike attack on her village, but somehow doesn't anticipate her turning against him.
  • Breaking the Bonds: It didn't take long for Hulk to break out of his restraints on the rocket and knock the ship off course.
    • Averted with the unbreakable Shadowforged chains.
  • The Cameo: Several of Marvel's "cosmic" characters cameo in this movie; Adam Warlock, Star-Lord, Gamora, Pip the Troll, a Skrull, and Grandmaster. Notably, Grandmaster shows up in the shadows behind the Red King as he watches the Hulk's first fight in the arena, suggesting more may be at play here. Thor and Beta Ray Bill show up in a flashback, and Bill returns later.
  • Character Development:
    • Due to being betrayed by people who should have been his friends, Hulk is distrusting of everyone and doesn't care about any in the Warbound, simply seeking to escape the arena and be left alone. However he develops a strong hatred for the Red King for his brutality while growing fond of the Warbound, especially Miek who becomes his friend, and eventually returns to save them.
    • When introduced, Miek described himself as "a hider, not a fighter" and mainly stuck with Hulk and the others for protection. Him surviving the previous fights however cause the public to praise him which he enjoys, and after the group is betrayed by someone Elloe believes was a friend, he kills the man while losing a limb. When Korg asks him about this, he confidently declares himself "a fighter, not a hider".
    • Hiroim starts the film having been exiled from the Shadow Priests due to refusing to believe the Red King is the Sakaarson while disbelieving the rumour that Hulk is their saviour. After seeing how the Hulk's blood causes plant life to grow he starts to believe that Hulk really is the Sakaarson, but loses his faith when the Hulk abandons them. By the end however, Hulk fulfills the prophecy and Hiroim returns to the Shadow Priests.
  • Death by Irony: The same spiked bugs that the Red King used to kill Caiera's parents are used on him by Caiera herself by the end of the movie. For bonus points, he flees and runs to his robot guards and orders them to kill everyone - but he's infected, so they decide to incinerate him to prevent the spikes from spreading.
  • Deuteragonist: Caiera's life as the Red King's right-hand woman is given equal focus, although she starts out as a Villain Deuteragonist.
  • The Dissenter Is Always Right: When the Warbounded each talk about how they ended up fighting in the gladiator games on Saakar, Hiroim reveals he had a falling out with the Shadow/Oldstrong Priesthood, of which he was a prominent member, when he refused to acknowledge the Red King as the prophesied Saakarson who was destined to save Saakar. His fellow priests tried to persuade him to change his mind by bringing up how the Red King has been uniting the various kingdoms of Saakar and ended the Spike Wars, but Hiroim fired back by pointing out that the very same forces the Red King had used to protect those kingdoms from the parasitic Spikes were then being used to oppress them, and indirectly accuses the Red King of being the Worldbreaker, a being mentioned in the very same prophecy as the Saakarson as the one who would destroy Saakar. He was excommunicated from the Priesthood as a result, but he ended up being completely right anyway about the Red King, as he is not only a monstrous tyrant, but the one who created the Spikes and instigated the Spike Wars in the first place.
  • Enfant Terrible: Knowing that the Red King used the Spikes to infect villages and later had every one infected be killed, including children, while he was still a child or pre-teen means he was definitely this!
  • Everyone Has Standards: The audience watching the gladiator battles cheer a lot for the carnage they witness, including Hulk's battle with Beta Ray Bill. But, when Hulk continues to beat down Bill even after he won and Bill fell unconscious, their cheering dies and they watch in horrified Stunned Silence.
  • Foreshadowing: Korg mentions how, right before he went into the wormhole that brought his group into Sakaar, they were being followed by Beta Ray Bill.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The Red King throws a tantrum when Hulk and the others escaped. Caiera hates to see him acting this way.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Happens to Android during his "fight" with the Great Devil Corker.
  • Happily Ever Before: The film ends with the Hulk marrying Caiera and being praised as their savior, while the comics followed this with the shuttle that brought the Hulk exploding, destroying the city and killing Caiera.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Caiera, after learning the Red King, the person she's fiercely loyal to after he saved her, caused the destruction of her village.
  • Heroic Willpower: When the Red King sends down the Spikes to the village the Warbound are hiding in, Hulk gets hit with several of them, but rather than transform into another hostile zombie, he manages to fight through the pain of the infection to protect everyone from the other infected.
  • I Choose to Stay: When Beta Ray Bill offers to take the Hulk back to Earth with him, he refuses as Earth has never been home for the Hulk. He then tries to leave the rest of the characters to be alone, but eventually returns to help them as they had become his friends.
  • Karmic Death: The Red King meets his demise when Caiera sets his own biological weapon upon him, and as he starts screaming and thrashing in pain as the Spike spore gradually overwhelms him, his Death’s Head Guards, who were programmed by him to prioritise eradicating the Spike infection, ignore his orders to kill Caiera and burn him alive. What made this even more karmic was that he was still aware of himself at the time of his death, ensuring he dies screaming in agony within a torrent of flames, as many of his victims had.
  • Kill It with Fire: How the Spikes and their victims are dealt with.
  • Mercy Kill: Korg ends up having to do this with his former allies after they were brainwashed into being gladiators by the Red King. Worse is when this happened after him and his brothers barely escaped death at the hands of Thor and Beta Ray Bill.
  • Mook Horror Show: Korg's recollection of his encounter with Thor and Beta Ray Bill is basically a horror story, as he watches his own brothers getting bashed apart by an unknown entity they found on a small planet they deemed insignificant before the other pursues them relentlessly through space when they try to make their escape.
  • Mythology Gag: In this adaption Beta Ray Bill replaces the Silver Surfer as Hulk's final opponent in the arena. Bill’s first animated appearance was in Silver Surfer: The Animated Series.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Caiera is firmly in the Red King's camp acting as his dragon because she believes he was a Messianic Archetype who rescued her from the spores which turned her family and whole village into mindless zombies. Then the spores return to a town which is harboring fugitives and Caiera warns the king of the threat, and he coldly tells her that he sent them and that he did so before to her village to discover her superpowers and recruit her as his bodyguard. And he still expects her undying love and loyalty after this revelation. Cue Caiera's Heel–Face Turn and Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Since it's the Hulk, this is inevitable. However, special mentions to the battle against Beta Ray Bill, who Hulk continues to pummel even after Bill has already lost consciousness. The audience went from cheering to silent watching this.
  • Oh, Crap!: Android's last line before meeting his end against the Great Devil Corker.
    Android: Oh fritz.
  • One-Hit Kill: Hulk completely flattens a lava kraken.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Large sections of the story are removed, such as visiting the shadow people and acquiring the stone ship, Brood's character is removed all together and the Warbound section is condensed. Silver Surfer doesn't appear for licensing reasons (which is also likely the reason Mister Fantastic is hidden in shadows), and is replaced by Beta Ray Bill. And of course, the ending is either changed or cut short.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Beta Ray Bill: You have my sympathy because it will not! Be! Me!"
  • Shipped in Shackles: Twice when Hulk is launched into space and as he's being sent to the battle arena.
  • Stupid Evil: The Red King plunges headfirst into this when he, with no prompting, just goes and tells to Caiera (whose entire family was killed by the Spikes) that the Spikes were his weapon from the beginning, and then expects her to remain his faithful servant. Then he wants her killed along with the resistance when she puts a Spike on him.
  • Supernormal Bindings: Not even the Hulk was able to break the chains he was transported in after becoming a slave.
  • Tamer and Chaster: Caiera and Elloe's designs are a bit more conservative here than in the comic.
  • This Is Not My Life to Take: Hulk chooses to spare the Red King's life, instead letting Caiera kill him with a spike bug.
  • True Companions: The Warbounded, although Hulk takes a little while before coming around. Caiera too, in the end.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Beta Ray Bill would be perfectly justified in getting revenge on the Hulk after the later tried to kill him after he tries to stand down. But, being the Nice Guy he is, Bill not only forgives the Hulk but even offers to escort him back to Earth once everyone is freed.
  • Wham Line:
    Caiera: Sire, we need help! The Spikes have returned!
    Red King: I know, I sent them.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Korg and his brothers were on the receiving end of this from Thor and Beta Ray Bill, who both seemed completely ambivalent to the horror on Kronans' faces as the two heroes reduced their brethren to gravel. Beta Ray Bill also seems to treat meeting Korg again in the arena like a rematch against a particularly cowardly mook that had gotten away, not realizing just how bloodthirsty he would come across to Korg. Beta Ray Bill seems to move past this, as he has no problems assisting the Warbound, which Korg is a part of, with freeing the slaves.
  • World's Strongest Woman: Caiera is explicitly the most powerful person on planet Sakaar due to being Oldstrong. She's undefeated throughout the entire film and is able to fight The Hulk to a standstill with her bare hands.


Video Example(s):


Shadowforged Chains

It's never explained what "Shadowforged" means, but if the Hulk can't break them then they very well may be unbreakable.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / SupernormalBindings

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