A new direct-to-video production from New Line and Marvel finds the Hulk engaging two of superherodom’s heaviest hitters: Thor and Wolverine. Of course, Hulk is the heaviest hitter of them all when it comes right down to it, so without some heavy deus ex machina they’re really two no-contest bouts. So, then, how do they fill the time? How do they justify the video’s existence? By focusing not on Hulk but on the opponent. This is typically how Hulk gets the short shaft, because often all he’s deemed good for is, well, smashing shit up.
Anywho, in “Hulk vs. Thor”, Loki brings Hulk to Asgard to take on his half-brother, Thor, almost certain that the green goliath can crush the wielder of mighty Mjolnir. Loki separates Bruce Banner from the Hulk entity with magic and then with more magic controls Hulk himself on a rampage through Asgard. LokiHulk clobbers and bashes his way gleefully through all of the lands mightiest champions, but at his highest point of victory, Hulk breaks free of Loki’s control and … continues on the rampage. In anger Loki kills Bruce Banner. Soon, Thor finds Loki, beats him to within an inch of his life, and then the two of them have a team up as they venture into hell to confront Hela for Banner’s soul. More magic stuff happens, yadda yadda yadda, Oden wakes from his Odensleep pleased.
I’m not much of a Thor fan so this wasn’t really the most thrilling viewing for me. I don’t know Norse mythology (not that they adhere to it in any way) and the random mix of accents throughout was perhaps not the best voice casting possible. On that, the Hulk’s perpetual growling was highly grating, and whatever voice modulation they used to amplify and deepen it exacerbated the irritation.
The second feature, “Hulk vs. Wolverine” should more aptly be called “Wolverine returns to Weapon X and faces his past fighting his fellow Weapon Xers Sabretooth, Deadpool, Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike… oh and we managed to squeeze the Hulk in here too”. I guess that’s a bit long a title for a half hour cartoon but that sums it up nicely. Once you get over the fact that the whole Hulk side of things is kind of negligible, it’s a fun romp. Anyone familiar with Wolverine and his Weapon X days will find this familiar, but still an interesting take, plus the six-way, take-no-prisoners action between the virtually unkillable heroes and villains is pretty fun (Deadpool is a riot, and the Logan voice casting is spot on).
The animation for both is top notch, but I suppose because I found the Wolverine story more entertaining I liked the animation better too. Perhaps also because it had better use of shadows and some really nifty scenes where the violence was handled in an almost artistic manner.
Overall, “… vs. Thor” was meh, but I would definitely watch the “…vs. Wolverine” again.