Monday, September 7, 2015

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Spidey, I Blew up the Dinosaur"

In 2014, a S.H.I.E.L.D. auxiliary team was framed for the destruction of Vista Verde. These monsters promptly flew back home from across space to the American underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them… maybe you can hire the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

But why would you want to?
When we last left the Hulks, they were on the hunt for the Leader while also on the run from the Army. So obviously, they’re going to want to keep a low profile. To accomplish this, they’re flying the Hulkjet illegally low in New York City airspace. In real life, this would put the military on alert like you wouldn’t believe.
She-Hulk is enjoying the chance to see the Big Apple again, but the Hulk is still bummed out over being a hated fugitive.

Red Hulk: “Don’t worry. Captain Blue Butt’s pirate webcast is gonna show the world we’re still out being good guys, right, Ricky?”

You can call it a “pirate webcast” all you want, guys. It’s a YouTube account.

A-Bomb: “Hey, remaining Hulk-fans.”

Obviously, A-Bomb is referencing the fact that the world has largely condemned them all as monsters by this point. But I think there’s a bit of subtext to this greeting.

We’re a little less than halfway through Season 2. I’m pretty sure the writers were aware of just how abysmal this show’s ratings were by this point. I mean, this episode will mark the second crossover with Spider-Man, one of Marvel’s most popular characters, in as many seasons.

Anyway, A-Bomb and Red Hulk are pretty mad at the Leader, and not just for the usual reasons.

A-Bomb: “The point is, stealing weapons is one thing. You’re a super villain, you wanna blow up the world or whatever, that’s fine. I get that. But boosting someone’s pet? That is stone-cold messed up!”

Story time. About a decade ago, I had this cat named Rudy. We’d had him for a long time when our neighbors from down the road suddenly claimed that he was their cat who had run off the week before. Despite the fact that, as I said, we’d had Rudy for a long time. And one day, Rudy suddenly disappeared. So you know what? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m rooting for A-Bomb. On the behalf of pet owners everywhere, A-Bomb, rip that green bean a new one.

She-Hulk spots Devil Dinosaur’s GPS tracker on the radar and sets a course. I’d imagine that Star-Lord recommended that GPS collar to the team last Christmas.

Star-Lord has experience with dinosaurs on the loose.
Skaar, miraculously, brings up a good point regarding their beloved pet. They’ve been away from him for so long that he might be holding some kind of grudge. After all, as far as Devil knows, he was straight up abandoned and left to die. The others laugh the idea off, though. After all, it's not like Devil is a wild animal with minimal domestication and predatory instincts.
...wait.

The team lands and spots Devil very quickly. It wasn’t hard, they just followed the screaming. Devil’s not in a very good mood, which upsets Red Hulk.

Red Hulk (cutaway): “What? Just ‘cause I like big guns, threatening people, and punching stuff dun’t mean I don’t have a soft side.”

You know, it’s funny. Red Hulk actually started out hating Devil. Which means that there's been... character development.

You're spoiling me, show.
But Devil isn’t alone in the park, somebody’s trying to ride him like a bull to keep him away from the civilians. I would try to build suspense as to this person’s identity, but it’s in the title of the episode.

This is Wolverine, right?
Hulk: “That’s the dead last thing I expected to see.”

Then you should have paid attention to the episode title.

A-Bomb: “Don’t let him scare you; he’s a real sweetheart when you get to know him.”
Spider-Man: “Sure, that’s what they all say! Right before I get turned into some mutt’s chew toy!”

Spider-Man gets knocked off, and Red Hulk whistles for his beloved pet. But something’s wrong. Devil turns around and lunges straight at the Hulks.

Hulk: “I don’t think he’s happy to see us.”

"Devil's got a new Alpha."
Devil runs past the team deeper into Central Park, and Spider-Man wonders if perhaps Devil Dinosaur isn’t exactly the tamest creature.

Red Hulk: “Eh, he’s just a little salty on account of us leaving ‘im alone at the base for… y’know. A bit.”
Spider-Man: “Mm-hmm….”

Spidey and the Hulks rush after Devil, but A-Bomb’s a bit worried that maybe Devil doesn’t remember them.

Red Hulk: “Of course he remembers us! Animals always remember who feeds ‘em.”
A-Bomb: “Which we haven’t been around to do in… aw, man.”

Nice job of avoiding the question of how long you guys were actually in space.

A-Bomb (cutaway): “I’m a terrible mother!”

As they all head towards the path of destruction, Spider-Man tells Hulk that this is unusually irresponsible for the Hulk. Actually, Spider-Man's being uncharacteristically mean to the Hulk. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if, like his voice actor, Drake Bell, Spidey decides to keep calling Hulk "Bruce" despite his physical transformation.

Spider-Man: “You never thought, ‘Gee, I’m pretty bust saving the world all the time. Maybe I should get a pet that doesn’t require so much attention!’ Like a cactus!”

Who says he hasn't?
But Devil remains one step ahead of our heroes, smashing up all sorts of stuff along the way.

Red Hulk: “You can, ahhhhh, bill Tony Stark for that.”

I’ll admit it; that was funny.

The Hulks manage to box in their pet with some cars, and Spider-Man webs up the reptile’s legs.

She-Hulk: “We gotta wrap this up fast before the cops, Army, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Avengers all come knocking at once.”

That raises a good point. Three good points, actually.
  1. Avengers Tower is right in the heart of New York. Why isn’t JARVIS informing Iron Man that there’s a dinosaur on the loose?
  2. Why isn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. on the scene already? Their mobile base, the Tri-Carrier, usually hangs out in the skies above New York. And their headquarters, the Triskelion, is an island right off the coast of the city.
  3. At the very least, why hasn’t Nick Fury called in Spider-Man or any other members of the Sandwich Club to deal with this?
Actually, forget the Sandwich Club. Spidey’s got it bad enough with J. Jonah Jameson blaming him for the dinosaur attack up on the Bugletron.

Jameson: “Worse yet, he’s teamed up with the fugitive Hulks!”

Man, the Hulks have been ruining everybody’s day lately.

But you know, it’s been an episode or two since we had anything gross happen on this show. So to fill the season’s quota, Devil Dinosaur starts burping up green, noxious gas. And then, for good measure, he farts, too. Lovely.

With Devil not attacking anyone or anything for the time being, the Hulks take the opportunity to smash up the city’s streets to try and calm Devil down in the conveniently abandoned subway below. With Devil lying down with a tummy ache, a hologram of the Leader shines forth from his collar.

Leader: “Premise: What’s the best way to destroy the Hulks?”

That’s not a premise, that’s an inquiry. Premises are worded as statements, not questions.

Leader: “Conclusion: Blow up their pet.”

That’s a hypothesis, not a conclusion.

Leader: “There’s a Gamma bomb in your dog’s belly. You have two minutes to get it out.”

And Devil’s a dinosaur, not a dog. I majored in Theatre, I should not be correcting the super-smart mad scientist.

A-Bomb: “Hold still, Devil. Hold still. Red just has to reach into your gut and scoop something out.”
Red Hulk: “Oh, I get it. Now that he’s in trouble, he’s my pet dinosaur. Alright, hold still, you overgrown lizard.”

We then hear a squishing sound… but get a close up of Devil’s face. And Rulk isn’t onscreen. Meaning that he just reached up a dinosaur’s rear end. Lovely. As you might imagine, Devil doesn’t take too kindly to this and runs down the tunnel. Spidey quickly spins a leash for A-Bomb, and they chase after him. Red Hulk gets hit by a subway during the chase, and the others reach Devil without him. Without the only person willing to reach up a dinosaur’s rear, She-Hulk offers to climb down Devil’s throat, but….

Leader: “You didn’t think I’d let you win, did you?”

And he reduces the timer to zero instantly. And for the first time in the history of my Recaps of this show…. I’m impressed by the Leader.

I know, right? I’m shocked, too. But forgoing the timer and setting the bomb off is the one time that he broke the mold and did something, dare I say it, smart.

After the Gamma blast, all that’s left of Devil is his oversized collar, driving Red Hulk to tears. Or so it seems. See, Gamma bombs have a notoriously bad track record with actually killing things in the comics. Usually, they just create monsters like the Hulk. And when Spidey’s spider-sense goes off, we see that this is the case once again.

Gamma bombs are terrible weapons if all they do is make your target more dangerous and harder to kill.
Hulk: “Now we know what Leader meant by ‘blow up.’”

And the title of the episode.

The Hulks try to formulate a plan to keep the now-ginormous Devilzilla from destroying New York, but Devilzilla would much rather reenact scenes from Jurassic Park using the Oscar Meyer Wiener-mobile.

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.
After they try holding on to Devilzilla’s tail, it decides on trying to eat the Daily Bugle news copter.

Cameraman: “Hurry, Jameson wants a close up.”

Because as seen in “Beetle Mania,” which I’ll be recapping soon, he cares nothing for the safety of his employees.

Skaar tries to tame Devilzilla, but ends up stomped on for his troubles, setting up a running gag. The Hulks yell at the panicked civilians to get inside while Jameson pins the creation of Devilzilla on them. Thinking quickly,  Spider-Man realizes that since Devilzilla’s huge, his stomach must be completely empty, which is why he’s trying to eat pretty much everything he sees. Meanwhile, Skaar tries a new tactic.

Skaar: Stop.”

That only works on raptors, Skaar.
And the running gag continues as Skaar gets stepped on while Spider-Man asks some pertinent questions.

Spider-Man: “Where’s a guy even go to get a dinosaur these days? Time travel? Genetic engineering?”

God, the Jurassic World references are just too easy. I’m cutting myself off; I’ll have to rely on other joke fodder.

A-Bomb: “Down in the Savage Land. Dino-napped him from this evil pterodactyl-dude who was mind-controlling him.”
Spider-Man: “Sounds about right.”

Spider-Man asks exactly what they did to get him under control, and A-Bomb tells him that they gave him hot dogs to do what they wanted. Thinking quickly, he realizes they need fast-moving bait and gives Spider-Man a mischievous look.

Spider-Man: “Not a chance. I’ve gone down the Spider-Ham road before, and I’m not traveling it again.”

Good. That episode was mediocre at best.

But the Army has finally decided to show up in their own jump jets, meaning that they beat both the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. to the scene, both of which I’d like to remind you are actually headquartered in New York City. But before they can fully deploy their forces, Spider-Man has suited up in a hot dog costume and is leading Devilzilla to the Hudson River, with Skaar getting stepped on one final time because Rule of Three.

Spider-Man: “Come on, DD! Bring it on down to Weinerville!”

According to the extensive research I did after hearing that line, I’m pretty sure a hot dog costume is the only thing Justin Timberlake hasn't worn on SNL.

Though I did find a YouTube video featuring some guy in a hot dog costume singing “SexyBack.”
Luckily for Spider-Man, Red Hulk shoves a shipping container in Devilzilla’s mouth before he can chow down on Spidey.

A-Bomb: “You fed him, Red, he’s your baby now.”
Red Hulk: “Nuh uh. He ate you the day he met you. That makes you his mama.”

Yeah, but only because Sauron was controlling his mind at the time.

They try to jog Devilzilla’s memory, but it’s a no-go. She-Hulk tells the others that sadly, Skaar was right. They need to earn their pet’s trust back. Or they could just bribe him with food, like the dumpsters full of pork bellies that the Hulk just wrangled up from… somewhere. It seems to placate the reptile, but the Army’s missiles make it angry just as quickly. The main Army chopper is piloted by General Abomination, who hasn't been fired after his unauthorized usage of the Green Hammer last episode.

The Hulks take out a second waves of missile aimed at their pet as well as a third. They all realize that Abomination is attacking Devil to get the Hulks to fight the military, which means that S.H.I.E.L.D. will redouble their efforts to track down and neutralize them. As such, the plan for now is to stay on the defensive.

Abomination: “You are your own worst enemies, risking your own lives and reputations to save a pea-brained reptile.”

What reputations?

After getting knocked in the water, Hulk decides to forget his defense plan and jump straight through Abomination’s chopper to punch him a lot.

Abomination: “Hit me all you want, Hulk. Punching a four-star General will only add to your prison sentence.”

After the Abomination accuses the Hulk of betraying the world’s trust, he loses it and unleashes his fury on the General. Over with Devilzilla, the Army has escalated to lasers. So Red Hulk escalates to throwing rock at their jumpjets to crash them, meaning that the whole “Don’t attack them” plan has been officially left behind.

Red Hulk: “Heh. Usually, it’s Shulkie’s crummy driving that gets these things blown up.”

A joke about women being bad drivers, lovely. Thankfully, She-Hulk gives him a much-needed punch in the arm. But suddenly, A-Bomb has a new plan. And it involves Spider-Man.

A-Bomb: “Spidey, you’re a science nerd, right?”
Spider-Man: “Well, I wouldn’t use the word ‘nerd,’ but….”
A-Bomb: “Perfect. I think that whatever jumbo-sized him is still sitting in his gut. Maybe we could reverse the blah blah and re-doohickey it into whatever and shrink him back down.”

Sorry, A-Bomb. You’re talking to the guy who stole his science fair project.
After A-Bomb sits on Devilzilla’s nose and apologizes for leaving him alone, he gets the beast ready for a “treat.”

Spider-Man: “A treat? Aw, man. At least let me put my hard candy coating on.”

He then presses the spider on his chest to activate his scuba armor, which… yeah, I’m not buying it. I mean, I get that Spidey has awesome tech from S.H.I.E.L.D., but there’s nowhere for his spandex outfit to store that armor. Maybe it’s invisible like his super-webshooters, I don’t know.

Anyway, they dive inside as Abomination calls in all the forces he can muster. So the Hulks crush him under a single shipping container, which is much flimsier than other things he’s shrugged off.

Inside Devilzilla, Spider-Man and A-Bomb quickly find the Gamma bomb. Using Spider-Man's spider-sense and the process of elimination, they figure out which wire to pull, which reverses the polarity of the neutron flow, or something. They get barfed up alongside a few cars, and Devil shrinks down to normal. You know, you’d think the Hulk would still be Bruce Banner if reversing Gamma mutations were that easy.

Devil uses his tail to swat Abomination into a building, and it looks like all is forgiven. The Hulks and Devil get ready to leave aboard their jet as Spider-Man says his goodbyes to A-Bomb and his reptilian pet.

A-Bomb: “Well, you could always come dino-sit.”
Spider-Man: “Yeah…. Um, I’m busy that day.”

Smooth.

Hulk (cutaway): “Spidey always says ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’”

Yeah, if my Recaps of Ultimate Spider-Man have taught me anything, Spider-Man’s not exactly the best example of “responsibility.”

Hulk (cutaway): “Goes for great pets, too.”

And with one final shot of Devil dinosaur throwing up a live shark…

Skaar: “Look, Devil made shark barf.”

The episode ends. Now let’s hurry up and review. All those references to another Chris Pratt movie makes me eager to get this show over with so I can move on to Guardians of the Galaxy.

12 comments:

  1. "As they all head towards the path of destruction, Spider-Man tells Hulk that this is unusually irresponsible for the Hulk. Actually, Spider-Man's being uncharacteristically mean to the Hulk. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if, like his voice actor, Drake Bell, Spidey decides to keep calling Hulk "Bruce" despite his physical transformation."

    Well, I feel like I should tell yo this: Drake was making a dumb joke he souldn't have done, he was referencing an episode of Drake and Josh and latter apologized for making the joke.

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    1. Yeah, I know Drake Bell wasn't intentionally being malicious. Still, I think he learned a lesson about how inside jokes can look if you're not on the inside.

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  2. Character Development? Here? It can't be! N-no it must be...inconsistent writing! Yeah, writers just forgot that Red hated DD. There, everything makes sense again.

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  3. "As they all head towards the path of destruction, Spider-Man tells Hulk that this is unusually irresponsible for the Hulk. Actually, Spider-Man's being uncharacteristically mean to the Hulk. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if, like his voice actor, Drake Bell, Spidey decides to keep calling Hulk "Bruce" despite his physical transformation."

    In the words of Michael Scott, "Boom! Roasted!"

    Also, not a big fan of Jurassic World. It was a real let down to me.

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    1. At the very least, I feel like Jurassic World's heart was in the right place.

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  4. "Spider-Man: “Where’s a guy even go to get a dinosaur these days? Time travel? Genetic engineering?”

    God, the Jurassic World references are just too easy. I’m cutting myself off; I’ll have to rely on other joke fodder"

    Forget Jurrassic World; Put "Time Travel" and "Genetic Engineering" together and you get the Origin Story of Old Lace. Did Agents of Smash just make a subtle reference to the Runaways?

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    1. See, that's what I thought at first, too. But... I don't know. If the reference were a bit more specific, then yes. As it is, it's probably just a coincidence.

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    2. Well, I'm sure if it were a direct reference it'd be much more disrespectful...

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    3. Oh, I don't know, a quick nod to the Runaways probably wouldn't have gone unappreciated.

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  5. The worst part is that they made that Premise-Conclusion thing Leader's catchphrase.

    - F.E.

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    1. It could have been pretty cool... if he actually got the terminology right.

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