Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Doorway to Destruction, Part 2"


Warning: this recap refers to the male reproductive system in an anatomical analysis.

If you find such topics offensive, feel free to skip this recap. I wish I could have skipped this episode....

And so, Part 2 resumes where Part 1 left off.

The caption says the we are "SOMEWHERE IN NEW MEXICO"

Uh, don't you mean "JUST OUTSIDE VISTA VERDE”? Nice continuity.

Artsy-fartsy Ang Lee-type shots of desert animals, then we see Hulk carrying Rick across the landscape. A cutaway of the Hulk talking to the camera informs us of the events of the last episode. Annihilus watches the Hulk get his friend to safety, while expositing that the barrier between dimensions is crumbling.
Wait, if the barrier’s getting weaker, then why did the hole disappear? This makes no sense!

Rick’s eyes glow green, and he wrenches out of Hulk’s grasp in mid-jump, landing on and destroying a steppe. Hulk quickly works to dig his friend out from under the rubble, and a blue monstrosity emerges.

Title card.

Back in the episode, Rick realizes that he’s become a blue Hulk. Rick now has a blue armored covering and, if I may be frank, either has no penis, or it’s covered up by his organic armor. He’s completely naked, but has no visible genitals. He does, however, have a belt with an “H” on it.

Oh, I see. The belts must be a part of their mutation! Or the animators don’t care. Also, why wear a belt when you’re not wearing pants? Anyway, the apparently castrated Rick Jones expresses excitement about his new Hulk body, and starts jumping around in his excitement. He gives himself the new moniker of A-Bomb, which makes no sense if he’s a “Hulk” and not the newest version of the “Abomination,” a character who will go unmentioned despite being one of the Hulk’s greatest enemies.

Another portal opens, and Hulk still insists that Rick can’t come with him.

Hulk: “How do we know you won’t change back to human in the middle of a fight?”

Because NONE OF YOU change back to your human forms in this show.
That reminds me, is Banner still screaming inside your head, Hulk?

Hulk tells Rick that he needs a ride into the Negative Zone.

Rick: “Who’re you going to call in who’s as AWESOME as me?”
Hulk: “The best pilot I know.”

We cut to said pilot, who’s busy crashing her plane into the desert. Who's the other pilot he knows, Counselor Troi?

She emerges from the wreckage on fire, and the director calls cut. Turns out, it’s a movie being shot! The stuntgirl spins around superfast to put out the flames, and takes off her pilot’s outfit, revealing She-Hulk.

"Welcome to Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H, my name is She-Hulk, and I'll be setting feminism back this evening."
In the comics, She-Hulk was a lawyer, and a darn good one. She used her brains along with her muscles, and she fought intelligently. She was smart, kind, funny, and quick to defend the innocent. Here, she’s a “feminist” character written by guys who I don’t think really get feminism.

Here’s the secret, writers! Women are people, too. Write them like people. Don’t set out to write a “feminist” character, because, if you don’t actually understand feminism, odds are you’re probably going to write a stereotypical strong-independent-women-don’t-need-no-man-character while being too afraid to give them flaws and/or depth.

She-Hulk is not just one of these, though; she has a different problem. She-Hulk is, oddly enough, intentionally written with stereotypically “male” traits. She likes fighting, she’s a stunt pilot, and she’s the focus of some toilet humor (unfortunately). These traits make it obvious that the writers were trying way too hard to make sure that She-Hulk wasn’t “too girly.”

To summarize, this version of She-Hulk does a great disservice to feminism, the show, and the character herself. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike this show?
I will say two things, though.
First, I like the fact that her costume has shorts as opposed to a fanservicey bikini bottom.
Second, the voice actress (Eliza Dushku) does a great job with the crappy material she was given, as do all the main cast. Even Seth Green.

She-Hulk (Cutaway): “…but when you’re a 6-foot-5, indestructible, green-skinned woman, your career options are limited.”

No, not really. Here’s a partial list of occupations that a 6-foot-5, indestructible, green-skinned woman could conceivably and quite easily have:

Paleontologist, Educational Technologist, Engineer, Mathematician, Teacher, Botanist, Biomedical Assistant, Herpetologist, Astronaut, Astronomer, Biochemist, Ecologist, Pathologist, Geologist, Urban Planner, Ballet Dancer, Choreographer, Stripper, Taxi Driver, Reporter, Director, Playwright, Scenic Designer, Costume Designer, Theatrical Technician, Construction Worker, Miner, Author, Blogger, Screenwriter, Mechanic, Miller, Plumber, Woodworker, Carpenter, Blacksmith, Jeweler, and thousands more.

Here’s another: LAWYER!
LIKE SHE IS IN THE COMICS!


Anydangway, A-Bomb and Hulk drive up to where she is.
(I’m going to gloss over the question of how they found her.)
A-Bomb takes the opportunity to pose in front of an actress with his new muscles, causing her to faint in a bad way. Hulk tells Shulk that she’s needed, and she hops in. A-Bomb, meanwhile, is excitedly shaking the director, asking him for some footage and probably making him need some Depends right now. A-Bomb hops in, and the three Hulks drive off.

In the cutaway scene, not only do we see that Shulk also already has her own H-Belt, she calls the Hulk “Bruce,” opening up some unanswered questions about who’s driving Hulk’s mind, so to speak.
And now, we reach what is probably the most infamous part of the series as they fly off in the Hulk-Jet.

She-Hulk: “What kind of lunkhead builds a ship with only ONE BATHROOM!?”

Oh no.

A-Bomb knocks on the door to the bathroom while crossing his legs. The idea of him peeing once again draws my mind to the fact that he’s missing the equipment that males use to urinate. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is when She-Hulk exits the bathroom and A-Bomb enters, with visible green stench wafting from the bathroom.

A-Bomb: “What did you have for lunch!?”

A-Bomb continues retching as Hulk and Shulk discuss strategy. And that disgusting and unnecessary bit of toilet humor is the reason that at least two people have found my blog by searching for “she-hulk using bathroom” and “she hulk toilit.” Thank you for this unfunny toilet humor, show. It makes me appreciate good writing.

The plan is simple: break in, rescue Rulk, break out. A-Bomb emerges, coughing and spluttering, and spraying air freshener. A-Bomb sits down and asks if they’re there yet, causing Shulk and Hulk to remember the road trips they went on as kids, opening up more unanswered questions regarding whether or not Bruce is in charge of the Hulk’s body.

"Don't make me come back there, I swear I'll turn this jet around and no one will be going to the Negative Zone today!"
They blast their way through the portal into the Negative Zone, and Annihilus commands his laser-bugs to attack the Hulks.

The Hulks fire their lasers, but Rulk and Skaar are now both evil, and attack the ship. Hulk, Skaar, and Rulk fight on the ship’s hull, then in the ship itself. A-Bomb mans a turret while Rulk shoves Hulk’s face into the gamma reactor. A-Bomb goes off to save Hulk, but Hulk manages to free himself as Shulk takes out swarms of bugs with a gatling laser. Hulk seals the core, and Skaar and Rulk tackle him. Hulk notices their neck-doodads, and realizes that they must be mind-controllers. A fire breaks out, and the sprinklers turn on. A-Bomb joins the fight, and Hulk uses the chance to break Rulk’s mind-controller. As A-Bomb and Skaar fight, A-Bomb discovers his invisibility powers.

A-Bomb: “Call me ‘the Camoflage Kid!’”

No. Skaar attacks the Hulk, and Hulk crunches Skaar’s mind-controller. Rulk hits Hulk for no other reason than to be a jerk, and Hulk hits back. Skaar explains that Annihilus took him prisoner, and the Hulks invite him onto the team. Skaar accepts. The reactor starts going boom, and all the Hulks evacuate to the mini-jets. How convenient that they now have exactly five team members, and there are exactly five mini-jets.

They all shoot some bugs, except for Skaar, who shoots She-Hulk by accident. I swear, friendly fire takes up 70% of this show. Hulk flies off toward Annihilus, who attacks Hulk’s jet, disabling it. It crashes, but Hulk escapes. Annihilus attacks Hulk, and demands that he become his slave, as his weapon makes lightsaber noises.

Hulk: “HULK NOT SERVANT! HULK AM HULK!”

Very zen. Hulk gets hit by Annihilus’ Cosmic Control Rod as he gives an evil speech, but Hulk grabs it, overloading it and defeating Annihilus, who vows to take over the world with his portal. Hulk responds by breaking the rod, which I guess begins to close the portal. The rod’s shockwave sends a non-animated Hulk towards the portal, and sends Annihilus floating away. As the rift collapses, A-Bomb gives a small speech and then they all fly off to save Hulk.

"This makes no sense for my character, but I haven't let that dictate my actions yet!"
They rescue Hulk, then fly back to Earth right before the portal closes. In a cutaway, Hulk suddenly takes a liking to Rick’s webshow. Back at Gamma Base, the team eats what appears to be an entire cow’s worth of meat. They offer Skaar a family, and Rulk has nowhere else to go. A-Bomb christens their newly formed team “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”

She-Hulk: “What does ‘SMASH’ stand for?”
A-Bomb: “I don’t know, whatever we want!”

Cough. Laziness. Cough.
We then cut to Hulk watching Skaar talk to a hologram of Hulk’s enemy, the super-smart Leader, revealing that Skaar is actually a traitor!

Dun-dun-dunnnn! 

His mission is to infiltrate them and gather information. In return, the Leader promises information about amnesiac Skaar’s past. Skaar agrees.

Hulk (Cutaway): “Most families stick together through thick and thin. But this one… might be torn apart faster than we think. Hulk out.”

Yes, a secret like that is definitely something you want to share with the internet, right? All the Leader has to do is watch A-Bomb’s YouTube channel, and he knows that you know.
Anyway, episode over.

Let's review.

10 comments:

  1. She-Hulk: “What does ‘SMASH’ stand for?”

    ...after a few moments thought, "Seismic Meeting of Atomic Super Heroes"?

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  2. Special Military of Auxiliary Super Heroes is what I came up with.

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  3. I have a request. Maybe not a good one, but a request. This was entertaining, but focusing on the negative like this leaves me a little glum afterwards. My favorite reviews of yours are the positive ones like Brave & the Bold. I can't speak for everyone and I don't expect you to alter future plans for one fan's opinion, but I just wanted to put that out there. I like reading about good stuff more than bad stuff is all.

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    Replies
    1. First of all, I appreciate your taking the time to comment; it's nice to know someone cares. Second, you're right; I haven't done a positive review in a while. Normally, there wouldn't be a problem with that, but Beware the Batman is off the air. As such, I will take your request for more positive reviews into consideration. In fact, there's one that I've been postponing for a while that I might surprise you all with...

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    2. (For those you who like it when I smash the Hulk like this, don't worry, I'm not going to stop HatAoS reviews, just going to switch it up a bit.)

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  4. Thank you for taking the time to reply and being so polite, it means a tot to me!

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  5. Abomination will apparently appear as an old enemy of Ross, also Skaar will trigger Ragnarok and the jet will want revenge upon being infused with AI... yes, really

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    Replies
    1. As of right now, I've seen those episodes, and I'ma tell you right now: I wasn't expecting what I saw....

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    2. Can't wait for the recap :)

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  6. My theory is that A-Bomb has invisible junk.

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