Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Recap/Review: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "All About the Ego"

I don’t want to make recapping Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. a recurring thing, because I’d rather be doing things I enjoy, but this episode… Just… this episode. Let’s get it over with….

I want to assassinate this episode.
This abomination, I mean, episode opens in the Nevada desert at “Hulk Gamma Base.” Get it? Because there’s an Alpha Base and a Beta Base and the Hulks were mutated by Gamma Radiation? Did you get it!? DID YOU GET IT!? …sorry. I just got done watching this episode for the first time, and the prospect of watching it again is… not a pleasant one. I’ve only seen it once so far, and that was seven times too many.

The Agents ride an elevator up to the roof of the Base, and Hulk starts briefing them on the training session they’re about to undergo. A-Bomb talks into his camera, before Red Hulk bumps him into it “accidentally,” which smashes the lens. Well, if this show is shot by those cameras, I guess we’re not watching them train? But no, the lack of cameras for this sequence will be completely ignored.

Rulk starts unloading weapons for the team to use during the session. A-Bomb gets a Gamma Rocket Launcher, which actually fires out orange energy blasts. And Gamma Radiation is green, so the weapon’s name makes absolutely no sense. How do I know it fires out orange energy? Because A-Bomb uses it right away, accidentally burning off Rulk’s hair. Let’s see how long it takes before the animators give him his hair back for no reason.

Rulk hands Skarr an exploding “Ka-Boomerang.” Um, Kaboomerang is a character owned by Image Comics.  I’m pretty sure they’ve probably copyrighted the name.

Skaar tries to chew on the boomerang, because that’s “funny.” Rulk gives She-Hulk the “Gamma Gauntlets,” which are just robo-gloves that shoot electricity. The camera then cuts to a reality show-style cut away of Rulk telling the camera that he wants to take over the team. Then we cut to one of Hulk saying that he suspects that Rulk wants to take over the team.

We cut back to the Hulks, where the Hulk himself takes the last weapon, the “Gamma Blaster,” and Rulk  (who does indeed have his hair back with no explanation) activates the “Hulksmasher 5000,” the robot that they’ll be training against. It activates, and Hulk starts going over what sounds like an actually good strategy, but Rulk just runs at it, guns a-blazing. As the others try to use their weapons, Rulk grabs their weapons and uses each one in turn. Um… then why did you give them each weapons, there, Skippy? Also, the Hulksmasher sucks. It doesn’t move, but just sits there and fires bullets occasionally. What, were you all just too lazy to animate it? I wouldn’t be surprised; they’re still cutting corners on the animation.

Anyway, Hulk fires at the incoming missiles before jumping on the Hulksmasher’s back and starting to punch it open. Rulk joins in, yelling that he doesn’t want the Hulk to upstage him. There’s a big explosion, and the Hulksmasher crumbles to bits. Rulk yells at Hulk for hogging the robot, and the two start yelling at each other. Hulk says that Rulk needs to learn to work as a team, and Rulk counters that he can handle anything. Well, those were the magic words, so the ground starts shaking. A shadow looms from overhead, and they look up and see a planet heading straight for the Earth.

Then we hit the opening titles, and we resume where we left off. Everybody gets back in the building, and they turn on the TV, where J Jonah Jameson gives a news report on the situation, asking if the end is near. Um, why can they get a New York Channel in Nevada? Seriously, do they like listening to JJJ that much?

Meanwhile, it turns out that no one’s actually watching the screen; the Hulks are busy with their 3D hologram of the situation. She-Hulk notes that even if the planet misses, it has enough mass for its gravity alone to tear the Earth apart. Wow. Um… good job, show. That’s the only thing you’ll do correctly this episode.

Hulk tells everyone to board the ship, and they’ll fly into space, but Rulk says he can do it alone. You know, Red Hulk’s anti-authority streak and his huge ego have only been this bad since the start of this episode. And I’ll bet anything that it’ll be gone by the end. Anyway, Hulk makes everyone board the ship, and they take off.

Hulk: “Look, I’m as excited to punch a planet as the next Hulk, but…”
Rulk: “’But’ nothin’! I’ve done this a thousand times, Greeny!”
A-Bomb: “Uhm, I’m gonna go ahead and doubt you’ve ever punched a planet.”

And yes, the plan is apparently to punch the thing to pieces. If you want to know why millions of little rocks can be worse for the Earth than one big one, I’ve already discussed that.

Hulk tells Rulk that he told Nick Fury that the S.M.A.S.H. Agents would be taking the first shot. Um, so are you working with S.H.I.E.L.D. or not, Hulk? After my question’s ignored, Hulk actually says that they’re going to punch the planet’s poles to knock it off course. And if I had a week, I could list the reasons why that wouldn’t work, either. But no, Rulk prefers to blast it to smithereens, and launches missiles. Yes, because three non-nuclear missiles will blow up a whole planet.

After the missiles barely scratch the surface, She-Hulk says that the instruments are saying that the planet’s gravity is doubling. As the ship draws closer, the red alert goes off.  It’s the exact red alert from Star Trek, the Original Series. Show, you are not Futurama!

Also, a gigantic CGI face appears on the planet. It’s hideous, too. Not the actual face, the CGI. It’s all stiff, and jerky, and clips a bit. I’ve honestly seen better animation from amateurs fiddling around with a 3D modeler for an hour.

A-Bomb: “It’s a… living planet?! Who speaks perfect English; does anybody else think that’s weird?”

Ego opens his vast mouth, and begins sucking in the surrounding air. Think about that. Hulk pulls Rulk out of the pilot’s seat, and Shulk jumps in, flying them away from its mouth.

Actually, a still image like this would have been better animated.
Meanwhile, a S.H.I.E.L.D. space shuttle radios in that they’ve lost their visual on the “Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” So, wait, is the Hulk working with S.H.I.E.L.D., or not!? WHY CAN’T YOU ANSWER A SIMPLE QUESTION, SHOW?

Meanwhile, the Hulks’ ship is about to crash into Ego’s scraggly beard, but they split apart their ship into mini-crafts before Ego’s hairs cause a crash. They start shooting hairs, but Skaar crashes his ship, and the others crash trying to rescue him. The crash happens offscreen during a commercial break, presumably because the animators didn’t want to do their jobs.

A giant mountain with Ego’s face appears on the planet, and it spits a boulder at Rulk. Ego’s bad CGI exposits that here’s here to absorb the Earth’s mass into itself. The other Hulks start smashing away, breaking the mountain, and Rulk complains that he could have done that himself.

I want to smash this episode.
Hulks say that they need to change Ego’s mind, which Skaar interprets as “Slash brain!” Well, the others take a liking to the plan, so Operation: Global Lobotomy is a go!

Hooray, unethical surgery!
They do some recon, and decide that the easiest way to get to the brain is through the nose. Rulk takes charage of the group, and they begin the hike. After getting halfway there, Shulk and A-Bomb drink some water from a stream. After they each drink several handfuls, She-Hulk realizes that it’s not water, it’s slime. Ew. A-Bomb recognizes the slime.

A-Bomb: “Euugh, it’s drool!”

Again, ew.

A-Bomb: “Ueh, I put it in my mouth!”

Okay, stop.

A-Bomb: “It’s chunky…”


Hulk realizes that if there’s drool, they must be near Ego’s mouth. Sure enough, they’re right on top of it. It opens up, and the worst animation in the series happens. They all fall down into Ego’s mouth. Now, you can re-enact this crappy animation at home! Simply draw a picture of the Hulks…. And then move it down.  I kid you not, the entire frame slides down. That’s how they animate falling. Lazy, lazy, lazy! I mean, I don’t want to be unfair to the animators… BUT THEY’RE NOT EVEN ANIMATING! Where did the animation budget go, Ego’s CGI? Yeah, that was money well spent!

The team grabs onto Egos’ teeth to avoid being eaten…. And then Ego burps. Are you smegging kidding me. WHY DOES EVERY EPISODE OF THIS SHOW HAVE DISGUSTING, UNFUNNY, TOILET “HUMOR”? This is just insulting the audience’s intelligence. 

Ego prepares to devour the Hulks, but they avoid the chewing teeth, before a tongue with a face starts attacking them. I’ll give the animators this, that’s utterly horrifying. Hulk manages to start taking out the teeth by jumping off of the uvula, and I can’t help but notice that gravity should be pulling them toward the throat, but it’s pulling them toward the tongue…. Anyway, they smash through Ego’s teeth and escape.

Skaar: “Skaar make holes in teeth!  Skaar make holes in teeth!”

Well, there’s Skarr’s origin explained; he’s a cavity creep. The team regroups below Ego’s nose, and She-Hulk squeezes drool out of her hair.

She-Hulk: “Could this get any more disgusting?”

Oh, no.

No, no no.

No no no no no no no no….
All of a sudden… thousands of gigantic, acid squirting pimples form on Ego’s surface.

So… I’m going to fast forward you all through this part.


They meet up at the nostrils, and Rulk forges ahead. As Ego inhales, he lands in mucus. I’m sick of saying “Ew.” He forges on nonetheless, and I reach down to answer my phone, but it just turns out that A-Bomb’s phone has the Star Trek communicator ringtone, too. The message is from Earth, and it says that the gravitational field of Ego is beginning to rip the planet apart.

Meanwhile, Rulk begins to shoot the nose from the inside, and Ego sneezes out an ocean of mucus. Hulk is cast away into space as Ego taunts him, and the others escape the mucus. Hulk manages to grab onto the passing S.H.I.E.L.D. shuttle, and points at it to turn around. It does, and he jumps back onto Ego.

The team meets back up with Rulk, and Hulk gives a speech about teamwork. They save an ungrateful Rulk from the mucus, and Hulk hits him in the face and chews him out. Hulk formulates the plan of removing a nosehair (You know, why does a living planet’s face have that much detail?), and they do.

Ego inhales deeply, and the Team begins to smash their way to Ego’s brain.  They get there, and they defeat an electrical hologram of Ego before smashing a giant crack in Ego’s brain.

Well, congrats, team, you’ve just performed a lobotomy against an unwilling, sentient creature. You should all rot in jail. For some reason, they jump into the giant crack they made, and the big twist of the episode happens. Ego is secretly a basketball-sized sphere controlling a planet-sized outer shell. They took a really cool idea for a villain, and instead of figuring out a clever way to beat him, the writer just pulled a Wizard of Oz on us!? Gaaaah!

They threaten Ego, and he agrees to leave forever. They go back to Earth on the S.H.I.E.L.D. shuttle, and I guess that Rulk learned his lesson at some point, and he now respects the Hulk, which goes against the character of General Ross since forever. Oh, and the episode’s only funny part happens as J Jonah Jameson reports on Ego floating away from the galaxy.

JJJ: “Spider-Man’s plot has failed; the planetoid has missed the Earth!”

Episode’s over. FINALLY. 

Final Thoughts/Review
I usually try to not make my criticisms to the people working on the shows I review, but this was LAZY. No, beyond that, this is insulting. This is not only peeing on the audience’s faces and telling them it’s rain, but they stole our umbrellas. So you know what? I’m blaming the writer.

Who the frak wrote this utter piece of smeg episode? …Brandon Auman? But…
…he wrote most of my favorite episodes of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. He wrote “To Steal an Ant-Man!” He wrote the Ultron 2-parter!

Well, Paul Dini, the guy behind the amazing Batman: TAS wrote an episode for this crappy show, too, and works on it behind the scenes. Let this be a lesson:  Even good writers can create REALLY crappy scripts. And Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. is a dumping ground for those scripts, apparently.

I guarantee that Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., if quality doesn’t improve soon, will go down in history as one of the worst Marvel cartoons OF ALL TIME. Hopefully, I never have to watch an episode of this garbage more than once ever again.


  1. This show make my soul hurt

    1. I have never seen a cartoon fail so hard at everything.
      I do try to give credit to the things they do right, like the voice acting and the few funny moments, but they're few and far between.

    2. I am not too fond of the voice work myself, Hulk and Red Hulk are fine, She hulk is just bland when she is supposed to smart and fun (big fan of the comics), and Seth green is just pretty much playing himself.

    3. Well, I think that the greatest failing with the voice work is the crappy material that the actors are given. I've seen all of the actors do good work, so I know that they're talented.

  2. It's kind of sad because they got a really good concept. Hulk and others like him trying to be heroes, and change opinions of them. But it strips all the heroes of what make them interesting. Their human sides. Bruce is a key part of Hulk because HE'S the character we care about. A scientist trying to do the right thing and keep the monster inside in check. She-Hulk being a lawyer who is a fantastic role model because she's smart, she's strong, and she doesn't let being a Hulk stop her from doing her job. Rick helps to humanize the Hulk and calm him down and help us sympathize with him, he's not supposed to an annoying barley capable mutant. And there is so much they could do with the General given that he's been turned into a version of something he HATES! They do have moments where you could see it, but it's not much and it's not often enough.