Monday, September 7, 2015

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

You know, as I wrote that Recap, I kept trying to find an opportunity to say “Clever girl.” Unfortunately, Devil Dinosaur is a male. And the only actual female, She-Hulk, never really did anything that clever.

Plot
This is definitely one of those “hijinks ensue” episodes. You know, like, Spider-Man steals his science fair project. Hijinks ensue. Falcon lies to his mom while Iron Man works with Pym Particles. Hijinks ensue. This time, the Hulks try to tame an out-of-control, mutated Devil Dinosaur. Hijinks ensue. It’s really little more than an excuse to run around New York and hope Spider-Man gets people to tune in.

But in the end, it’s a lot of fun. There’s enough variety to keep things interesting in the first half, and Abomination’s appearance in the second half helps to shift the episode’s focus and keep it from getting stale. Still, the resolution is a bit weak. Reversing the polarity of the Gamma bomb seems like a cheap way to undo Devil’s Gamma mutation. And seriously, if reversing the mutation is that easy, then why wasn’t Hulk cured long ago? Mutations don’t automatically reverse themselves when you eliminate the radiation any more than eggs unscramble themselves when you remove the fork.

Themes
Responsibility. Namely, the responsibility of having a pet. Pets are a lot of work, and they’re living beings. You need to respect them and earn their trust. It’s a good lesson for kids, and the episode presents it as a very human story of genuinely regretful Hulks. While it definitely feels like an Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode, there’s an uncharacteristically human element to the proceedings.

Characters
Spider-Man
Just here for the star power, everybody. Move along.

A-Bomb
A-Bomb gets hit the hardest when it comes to guilt over the situation, which actually goes a long way towards developing his character. While he’ll be back to his old annoying self soon, there was a vulnerability here that isn’t often seen in this show.

His own special vulnerability.
Red Hulk
Somehow, Red Hulk is the most developed character in this show. When he started off, he was a lone-wolf glory-hog who wanted to wrest control of the team over from Hulk. And he didn’t even like Devil that much. Slowly, gradually he learned how to work with a team. It took him a few episodes to learn that lesson, but he actually seems to have learned it. Which is more than I can say about Tony Stark. So technically, this is deeper, more subtle character growth than even Avengers Assemble has given us yet.

No one was more surprised than me.

Leader
He seems to be shaping up as a threat. Setting off the bomb early was definitely a new high for him, though I can tell you right now that it won’t last. A shame; more stunts like that could have made him into a genuinely enjoyable villain.

Abomination
He served his purpose of changing the dynamic in the second half of the episode. But I still have to wonder why he wasn’t reprimanded for his unauthorized usage of the Green Hammer last episode.

You'd think he'd have been court-martialed for that. Or have lost a star at least.
Animation
I’m not entirely sure, but I think Devil’s size fluctuates in scenes where he’s supposed to be his normal size. I like the look of his Gamma-mutated form, though. And as a note on the sound design, Devilzilla’s roar is suspiciously Godzilla-like, but not quite. Still, I like the shout-out.

Among the other shout-outs.
Final Thoughts
All in all, this was an above-average episode. It was fun, it had some nice jokes, and it had some good action. While it might not be up to the standards of a lot of other shows, it was better than what this show usually gives us. In the end, that’s all I can ask for.

Next time, Hulk gets involved in a wrestling match. And I’m not talking about Hulk Hogan. See you then.

2 comments:

  1. "You'd think he'd have been court-martialed for that. Or have lost a star at least."

    You forget, the ones with the power to do that are the ones stupid enough to make him a general in the first place

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    Replies
    1. Ah, yes. My mistake was assuming that there was somebody competent overseeing General Abomination.

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