The Incredible Hulk has played a lot of roles in the Marvel Universe: monster, savior, focal point of an entire superhero war among them. Now he’s adding team leader and father figure to his resume. Disney XD debuts a kindler, gentler green giant in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H August 11. Oh don’t worry, there’s still lots of property damage.
This cartoon is an action-comedy focused on a “dysfunctional family” of Hulks. Joining Bruce Banner are the Red Hulk, She-Hulk, A-Bomb and Skaar, who in the comics is the son of Hulk. One of the writers is Paul Dini, an Emmy award winning scribe known for his work on Batman: The Animated Series. In a conference call promoting the show, he explained this is part of Hulk’s ongoing effort to prove he is not a monster. It begins with his sidekick Rick Jones working on a webseries to document Hulk’s heroic side. Of course, chaos ensues.
Dini said Disney was concerned about how to portray the main character as more than just a mindless brute. The reality show concept came up as a thing today’s kids would be instantly familiar with.
“So we thought what better way to prove that he’s a hero than to talk about it with the audience,” he said. “It’s not the traditional way of action-adventure storytelling, but we thought it would be fun to give it a try.” It also sounds similar to Ultimate Spider-Man’s talks with the camera, which older viewers seem to hate. Hulk’s comics have always had a fair amount of internal monologue, but they get away with because he is two separate people.
There are lots of comedic moments. One episode features the supergroup playing minigolf. But since one Hulk is capable of battling the Avengers to a standstill, you’ll need some serious bad guys to tackle five of them. Shown so far are Annihilus, leader of an intergalactic army, mad scientist The Leader and Sauron, a mutant who can siphon other people’s power. Bruce Banner has had his gamma irradiated gifts longer than anyone on the team. That places Hulk in the unusual position of being the most stable person in the room.
Agents of S.M.A.S.H joins a Disney XD lineup that already includes Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man. There are plenty of Mighty Marvel moments ahead.
Site [Disney XD]