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posted by Chad on 8/10/02

I don’t even know how to start this one. I was flipping through late-night television programming, looking for something entertaining – and oh boy, did I find it. Did I ever find it.

The Incredible Hulk. Now I’m not going to pretend I’m some comic book guru that knows the origins of this magnificent character: all I know is that Superhero week-and-a-half is officially underway on W-D and I don’t want to be left out. I knew I should have saved that damn Spiderman article for a rainy day. My Hulk information is as follows: he’s green, and I want to dress up as him for Halloween. But low and behold, I found this six and a half minute Hulk gem amongst the rubble of cable infomercials – and despite my complete lack of Hulk information, I’m pretty sure I got more Hulk facts correct than this here show.

You may remember seeing a Hulk cartoon while growing up… and THIS ISN’T IT. This is the other Hulk toon, the one done with a budget that must have neared eight bucks and four food stamps. I’m going to review this show X-E style: questioning the plot, laughing at screen shots, and in a very special fashion, fall back onto the magic of animated gifs. For while there is many-a-way to tell a story, there is no other way to convey the craziness of this hilariously horrible cartoon without emulating the limited animation. The funny thing is, the entire cartoon seems like an animated gif: narrow color selection, blocky movement, and really, just a lot pointless action. During superhero week, this Hulk cartoon just may be the winner of the “What The Fuck” award.

The Hulk is shipped to “a far distant galaxy” by The Evil Leader. Why? I don’t know – the narration only adds confusion rather than explanation. Now take a look at the watermelon The Evil Leader calls his head. He could broadcast a radio signal around the world with that green tower. It’s clear why he has the Hulk to do his dirty work. If The Evil Leader was found in a fist-to-fist battle like the Hulk soon ends up in (OMG FORESHADOWING), his wimpy arms and huge target of a head would make him an easier knockout than Joe Glass.

When Hulk arrives on the other planet, he starts tearing it up with the “Lizard Skin Champion of the Galaxy.” No, I’m not making the names up. It’s not known why these two get into it instead of playing scrabble or hop-scotch. The show really doesn’t tell you, so perhaps the brawl is due to their skins being colored with different cheap crayons. Yeah, that’s it: this is a race issue.

These two swing their fists to the Batman-ish “POW”s and “WHACK”s while being observed by the alien looking guy named “The Watcher.” You can tell this is a cartoon for children – they keep the character names fairly straight forward. There’s no confusion of good or evil or what the purpose of the character may be: Lizard Skin Champion of the Galaxy is a fighter, The Watcher watches, The Evil Leader does evil things, and the animators laugh at how shoddy their own work is. Sure, the screen shots look all nice and pretty, but the animation is so over simplified it can only be described as fantastic. I’ve seen better work on NewGrounds for Christ sakes.

The Watcher isn’t too happy about the two monsters destroying his laboratory, so he banishes them to another separate distant place, known only to him. If I ever have the chance to meet The Evil Leader or The Watcher, I want to ask them exactly how they do that little space warp trick – because I would really like to make the beer and wine from the liquor store appear in my house, or bet yet, in my hand.

These two continue right where they left off in the last galaxy. Not ones to talk things out and share their feelings, they continue beating the living Crayola out of each other. Hulk takes the early advantage: he punches a boulder thrown at him, and it shatters into smaller rocks which pelt the big orange guy. The fight then rumbles down into the water – it’s good to know that deep in the foreign pits of unknown galaxies, there is at least one place with breathable air, water (the basis of all life forms), and big monster men causing mayhem. I’d hate to go to a planet without some form of the WWE.

In the underwater medley of violence, The Hulk finds himself tied up and pinned between two rocks. The big orange monster in his red underwear takes advantage of the situation by scratching The Hulk’s face and picking The Hulk’s nose – and there’s nothing The Hulk can do about! Is this the end of our favorite green champion?

HURRAY! The Hulk somehow unties himself, burrows through the mountain right underneath his adversary, and throws him deep into outer space! And that, my friends, is why he’s called The INCREDIBLE Hulk – for not just any Hulk could do something as cool as that.

Things keep getting stranger. The Watcher appears in a cloud of smoke, and tells The Hulk he’s the big prize winner of the Toughest Competitor Championship and a set of steak knives. The Watcher in smoke reminds me of my buddy Hugh when he smokes up… just sitting their silently watching watching watching…. maybe they know each other. At any rate, The Hulk has been transported back to The Watcher’s planet, and told to go ahead and do whatever it is that he came to do. I’m not saying that to be flippant either – to this point, we as viewers have no idea why The Hulk went there in the first place.

I’m just going to ignore the redundant animation of The Hulk holding the ball.

To quote The Hulk himself, “I cames here to gets something.” He picks up “a radiant sphere,” which is fancy man talk for crystal ball. It turns out this crystal ball is actually The Ultimate Machine. What? The Ultimate Machine? Nothing about that round piece of glass screams machine to me – but hey, given how poorly the rest of the cartoon is animated, I shouldn’t have expected anything else. Next thing I know, a cardboard box will appear and be called “The Ultimate Cheeseburger.” Oh wait, Jack in the Box already did that.

After nabbing The Watcher’s prized possession, Hulk warps back through space to Earth. You can tell the Hulk is tough – in a period of five minutes, he’s gone from Earth to The Watcher’s galaxy, then to a distant galaxy, then back to The Watcher’s place, then back to Earth – and he had to kick the shit out of a weird lizard man to do it. If it were me, I’d be suffering from some major motion sickness. I guess that’s why I’m not the Incredible fouff. The Hulk’s aerodynamically ripped pants are the only explanation for such a strong stomach and spirit. Plus they’re purple. I really need to get me some of those.

While The Hulk rips through space, The Watcher appears (again in smoke) before the Hulk and says something along the lines of “Just you wait bitch, just you wait.” The Hulk knows something is about to go down, but cares not: for after delivering The Ultimate Machine, he’ll be free from The Evil Leader’s control. And isn’t that what we all want, freedom from The Evil Leader and his giant head?

You know, taking a look at The Evil Leader, you’d think The Hulk would just beat him down like the midget he is as opposed to putting up with his crap. But instead, he hands over The Ultimate Machine and is granted his freedom – so it looks like everybody involved is going to have a happy ending. But wait! I have more screen shots!

Once The Evil Leader puts the sphere on his head, the information from a thousand civilizations enters his brain. That’s a lot of info to digest, and before you know it, he dies. Just like that, overdosing on knowledge. And I thought information was an anti-drug. It’s a pretty pathetic death sequence, with The Evil Leader screaming then falling over like a tree severed by a chainsaw, nailing the ground with a huge cheesy thump sound effect that would make Scooby Doo jealous.

This show really should be on-air primetime, all the time.

The Watcher appears in his cloud of smoke, retrieves his sphere, laughs at the dead guy, and returns the Hulk to his rightful place. It’s just as confusing to me as well – when was The Hulk taken from his home? Why didn’t he just smash his way back? I’m obviously missing previous episode storylines from the show, but hey, that’s all irrelevant now: Hulk gets to go home. That makes Hulk happy. Everything is not perfect though. The narrator moans the Hulk is still forever trapped in a monster’s body. That makes Hulk sad.

I guess my notions of him only being The Incredible Hulk when pissed off were completely wrong. After all, I saw this on TV – and TV doesn’t lie.

There are now two good pieces of news. One: the episode is over. Two: the opening credits play again – and they’re terrific. So terrific, in fact, that I’m going to make a mp3 of the opening credits. Download it and laugh your ass off – and good luck understanding the lyrics. The only thing I got out of it is that he’s lovable… a funny thing to say considering that not one character in the episode liked him in the least.

But then again, he’s green and has purple pants. And that’s good enough for me.

-Chad “fouff is wrecking the town with the power of a bull”
Click here for a special video made to the Hulk theme song (you’ll have to right click on the image and choose play). Thanks once again to FuckSociety, who have always undermined and mocked all my work. ;-) Sniff… I love you guys.

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