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Western Animation / The Incredible Hulk (1982)

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The Incredible Hulk received a short-lived animated series in 1982 on NBC produced by Marvel Productions. It was paired with another Marvel show, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.

As in the original comic, Bruce Banner struggles with transforming into the green and muscular Hulk because of an accident where he was exposed to gamma radiation after saving the life of Rick Jones.

The Incredible Hulk (1982) provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Rick Jones, traditionally portrayed as having brown hair, is depicted as a blond in this cartoon, likely so that he and Bruce will look less alike.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Glenn Talbot in the comics and most other adaptations is a level-headed Number Two to General Ross, with a particular enmity for the Hulk and a love for Betty Ross (and in some continuities, he becomes just as bad as Ross can get, if not worse). Here, Ned Talbot is a cowardly, bumbling sycophant; it's so bad, the soldiers at Gamma Base call him "Noodle-Head Ned" behind his back.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Glenn Talbot's first name is changed to Ned in this continuity.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: "The Cyclops Project" featured a computer named Cyclops that went haywire and tried to enslave humanity.
  • Always Need What You Gave Up: Bruce Banner cures himself of the Hulk after finding an exotic potion in "Prisoner of the Monster", but is forced to restore his powers when the Hulk is the only one who can stop the Spymaster's plan.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Quasimodo had a large bat monster as his lackey in "When Monsters Meet".
  • Blob Monster: The episode "It Lives! It Grows! It Destroys!" had a jealous scientist named Dr. Proto create a living blob of yellow slime that tried to eat everything in its path.
  • Canon Foreigner: Rick Jones' girlfriend Rita and her father Rio were created for this series.
  • Dirty Old Man: In "Prisoner of the Monster", the aged guide who leads Banner to finding the potion that could cure his transformations into the Hulk is forced to stay with the tribe living near the temple where the potion is found. He doesn't mind being unable to leave, given that two beautiful women from the tribe become enamored with him.
  • Expy: Dr. Carlston from "Origin of the Hulk" serves as the series' equivalent of Igor Drenkov from the original comics, being a scientist secretly affiliated with the enemy and responsible for Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk in the first place.
  • Identical Grandson: In the episode "When Monsters Meet", the villain was a descendant of Quasimodo. Like his ancestor, this Quasimodo was a misshapen hunchback, but he ends up turned into a normal human after Bruce Banner gives him an experimental cure for his own transformations into the Hulk.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: In "The Incredible Shrinking Hulk", an experiment causes Bruce Banner to shrink, leading to both himself and his alter ego the Hulk to try and get Betty Ross and Rick Jones to help him return to normal size until the effects of the shrink ray wear off at the end of the episode.
  • Latex Perfection: "The Boy Who Saw Tomorrow" had a man named Waldo disguise himself as a scientist named Dr. Kessler using a life-like mask.
  • Magic Pants: Taken to a more extreme degree than in other continuities, as Bruce Banner's clothes inexplicably become repaired whenever he changes back from the Hulk. Presumably this was for censorship reason.
  • Magic Skirt: When transformed into the She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters' only clothing is a tattered shirt, which manages to cover up her lower body at all times in spite of her movements.
  • Mugged for Disguise: In "Enter: She-Hulk", Rick Jones and Betty Ross knock out two Hydra agents in order to use their uniforms as disguises.
  • Mythology Gag: In "Bruce Banner Unmasked", Alicia Masters is shown to have created statues of other Marvel characters, including Ultron, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, the Scarlet Witch, Magneto, and the Thing.
  • Narrator: The show is narrated by none other than Stan Lee himself!
  • One-Shot Character: She-Hulk only appeared in one episode, the aptly-named "Enter: She Hulk".
  • Origins Episode: The aptly titled episode "Origin of the Hulk" reveals the circumstances under which Bruce Banner first became the Hulk.
  • Robotic Reveal: In "Origin of the Hulk", Dr. Carlston is revealed to be a robotic minion of Number One when the Hulk tears the artificial skin from his mechanical arm.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Some episodes have the Hulk fighting someone else's enemies.
    • "Tomb of the Unknown Hulk" has Spider-Man foe Doctor Octopus as the villain.
    • "Prisoner of the Monster" uses Iron Man adversary Spymaster.
    • The Puppet Master is the villain in "Bruce Banner Unmasked", with his usual enemies the Fantastic Four receiving no acknowledgement other than his step-daughter Alicia Masters having a bust of the Thing in her gallery of sculptures.
    • "Enter: She-Hulk" has the Hulk and She-Hulk face terrorist organization Hydra, who are ordinarily opposed to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America.
  • Truer to the Text: The cartoon was notably more faithful to the comics than the 1977 live-action series. In particular, Rick Jones is present and is once again a part of the Hulk's origin, when the live-action series had him Adapted Out.
  • Vapor Wear: She-Hulk does not appear to be wearing anything underneath her tattered shirt.