Sunday, November 10, 2013

Review: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Hulk Busted"

For this review, I’m going to look at the episode itself, as well as how the characters are turning out.

This episode was one big chunk of “meh.” The only direct “villain,” fought by the characters was the inconsequential Blastaar, who was underused. The Hulkbusters had no impact on me, being silent machines, and the Leader’s plan made little sense if you stopped to think about it.

Now that I mention it, let’s think about those Hulkbusters for a sec. This is the third episode of the series. A-Bomb and Skaar only became known to the world in the events of the last episode, and that’s only under the assumption that they’re known to the world at all. So Tony Stark made two Hulkbusters specifically for them in the space between episodes?

And why did he make that extra one? What does he know that we don't?
Or did he just slap a coat of paint on some armors he already had lying around? Finally, why personalize Hulkbusters? Why not mass-produce them? And why go up against Skaar with a sword? Put missiles on it instead. When it comes to military might, missiles > swords. See, that’s done with math, so you know it’s a fact.

Overall, the plot of the episode wasn’t bad, per se, but it wasn’t what I’d call good. More like “boring,” and I’m not just talking about Blastaar’s pets.

This episode’s experimenting with the reality web-show angle a bit, which is a nice change from other episodes, but it’s still not going as far as it could with the idea.

Now let’s look at how these characters are shaping up from what we’ve seen in the pilot to now.

Hulk is a likable character overall. You really feel the effort he’s putting in to the whole “redeem his image” thing. The only problems come from the fact that his rage issues are more a thing that we continually get told about, rather than actually see. Also, where’s Bruce Banner? Seriously, not even lip service to that? Is he gone? Is he merged with the Hulk? I’m just going to have to keep assuming that he’s locked in a dungeon of the Hulk’s mind.

Red Hulk
Red Hulk is a one-dimensional grumpy jerk who starts of a jerk, only to soften by the end of the episode, only to revert to being a jerk by the time of the next episode. What are his goals? Motivations? Character arc? Who knows?

I’ve ranted about She-Hulk at length, but I’ve formulated an in-universe explanation for her character. She-Hulk is an insecure Stepford Smiler. She’s so extraverted and pushy because she has an inferiority complex. That’s why she didn’t smack around the jerky director when she worked as a stuntwoman, but will flick Iron Man in the face with super strength. She doesn’t believe in herself, and is starting to use every opportunity to push herself up, at the detriment of others. Not a bad characterization… for a character other than She-Hulk. Why not do that for A-Bomb, instead? Make him insecure about being the least experienced, weakest Hulk? Give him a character arc! Speaking of…

A-Bomb is fun personified. That is, he's having fun. I rarely laugh at his hip-with-the-kids personality. Still, Seth Green manages to put what charisma he can into the character to keep him from being too annoying.

Skaar…. Well, we’ll have to see how his arc shapes up.

Overall, I give this episode a “meh.”
It's watchable, but I’d rather be watching something else.

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