Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Hulks on Ice"

Look, it's called "Hulks on Ice." How good could it be?

Ice makes everything worse. Except for cream.
The episode opens on the Hulkjet, as Rick explains to us (seriously, don't call me a "Hulkie," Rick) that it's July, and the world is experiencing a blizzard. For the top hemisphere, and people on the equator, this is understandably odd.

We also learn that Hulk and Red Hulk are feuding, and they will only talk to each other using Rick as an intermediary. You know, the whole "Tell ___ I said _____" thing when the other person's right there. Do people actually do that in real life?

But the global blizzard is a bad one, and a giant hailstorm erupts around the Hulkjet.
She-Hulk can barely manage to keep the jet in the air. Suddenly, out the window, the team sees a gigantic hailstone with a delicious Thor center.

Aw, yeah. Hulk and Thor.
The classic Bash Brothers.

From Ferrigno to Ruffalo and beyond.
Though She-Hulk manages to get close enough for the Hulk to leap out and save him.
Kiss him, you fool.
Naturally, this is done by smashing. And then yelling in Thor's face until he wakes up. Thor whips his hammer around and the two go sailing off into the sky. So... how are we getting this footage? I hate to keep bringing this up in these recaps, but if the Hulkjet's having all these problems staying in the air, how is it that Rick's floaty vlog cameras are doing just fine?

Anyway, Thor explains that he was chasing Frost Giants through a portal when he was frozen, meaning that the Frost Giants must have come to Earth and are no doubt responsible for this global winter.

"Brace yourself. Frost Giants are coming." And now, I can check this meme off the list as well.
Back at the Hulkjet, half of it is in the ground. Apparently, it crashed. She-Hulk whines about how she hates the cold, and the Agents are met by Hulk and Thor. Thor exposits that the Frost Giants of the realm of Jotunheim are here to enslave the 9 realms, starting with Earth. Why? No reason is given, so I am left to assume that they just want to take over everything so they can put all the other refrigeration companies out of business. What? At least it's a reason for an invasion, as opposed for them doing it just for crazy 'cause. Anyway, Thor poetically explains the situation to the Agents.

She-Hulk: "All that manliness... I don't know if I'm supposed to swoon or barf."

I like to think that this is She-Hulk breaking character and saying that she wants some clarification as to her motivation in this scene. "Barf"? Really? But the only "manliness" that Thor exhibits in this scene is... well, just standing there with his watermelon-sized biceps. I would like to point out that there are four other guys standing there doing the exact same thing, with the only difference being that each one of them is doing it to more of an extreme than Thor. This bit of dialogue supports my theory that She-Hulk is suffering from an inferiority complex, backed up by her other bits of over-aggressiveness and her compulsion to make sure the audience knows that she's definietely not attracted to the handsome guest star of the week, whether it be Iron Man, Wolverine, or Thor. Unfortunately, this means that one can easily perceive romantic vibes between her and the Hulk, who I'd like to remind you is her cousin.

Possible incest aside, Rulk and Thor briefly take a moment to verbally measure their... hammers before the team heads off to go fight the invading Frost Giants. With the jet out of commission, the S.M.A.S.H. Agents are naturally on rocket-powered surfboards. I'd say that the 90's called and they want those things back, but the 90's are still on the phone with DC regarding similar matters with the Harley Quinn's New 52 redesign.

Anyway, She-Hulk still hates the cold, because she's "a California girl, born and raised," a line which no doubt earns the ire of many a fan who remember that She-Hulk was a New York Assistant District Attorney in the comics.

Thor: "I admire your warrior spirit and your manly hair. What is your name?"
Skaar: "I am Skaar."
Thor: "Ah. A warrior's name, if ever I heard one. I like it."

And I like the budding friendship these guys show. But, sadly, we must turn away from these newfound friends to Red Hulk, who still insists on A-Bomb relaying messages to Hulk. Thor, thankfully, flies back to them and tells them to knock it off, because there are lives at stake. Thank you, Thor, for being a character I can root for.

Suddenly, a nearby mountain erupts into an admittedly cool-looking ice volcano from which Laufey, the Frost Giants' King and Loki's real dad, emerges. Right away, the 50-foot Frost Giant starts attacking the team with his ice spear, no doubt trying to end this episode early.

You have my permission, Laufey.
The Hulks crash their boards, but quickly recover. Rick now sports a flamethrower that I can only imagine he extracted from his cloaca off-screen. Laufey whooshes away, and the team surmises that they're in a trap right before the ground opens up.

The team wakes up in a cave, with their arms and legs encased in ice. I can only imagine that Luke Skywalker is trying to escape the Wampa just offscreen.

Use the Force, Hulk.
Funnily enough, Red Hulk is woken up by the light coming from one of Rick's cameras. Finally, the show remembers how it's supposed to be shot.  Rulk and Hulk keep doing their thing, and She-Hulk tells them to quit it. Rulk yells right back at her to stop complaining about being cold.

She-Hulk (cutaway): "I'm indestructible, but somehow I still get chapped lips."

I would like to add that in this cutaway, she's drinking hot cocoa and she's surrounded by penguins. Like, actual living, squawking penguins. Neon Genesis Evangelion called, they want their WTF moment back.

What, you thought I was kidding?
Back with the plot, Laufey shows back up and gloats over his plan to freeze Earth as revenge against Thor. They attempt to draw this as a parallel to the feud between Hulk and Rulk, but this connection is weak. At best.

Anyway, She-Hulk complains about losing her jacket. Though she's clearly wearing it. My confusion is compounded when it appears as though her breasts are trying to break through her jacket. As it turns out, she slipped her arms back into her coat, and she managed to rip through it to free herself, which also explains her comment. Still, look at this and tell me I'm crazy for thinking her breasts were trying to escape.

You can't tell me you don't see it.
She frees the others, and Laufey disappears because we're only nine-ish minutes into the episode. They team is set upon by an ice serpent, and they take care of it, with more bickering, complaining, and other typical behavior.

The team enters Laufey's lair, and they find the source of the cold, along with a Frost Giant army, which gets taken out disgustingly easily. More bickering through A-Bomb. A-Bomb gets a bright idea, and tells each Hulk that the other one says they're sorry. He promptly gets yelled at for his troubles. Well, at least they defied cliche. This might be one of the only times this show has done that.  Unfortunately, their victory against the Frost Giants woke up "He who Slumbers," aka Ymir. Ymir wasn't in the portal, his mouth was the portal. Seriously, this guy's at least 20 stories tall. Laufey freed him from Odin's imprisonment in exchange for him destroying the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and freezing the Earth.

The team begins to smash, but they barely faze the giant. Skaar gets frozen in the process, and the team redoubles their efforts to take down Ymir. Thor goes off to fight Laufey as the others hold Ymir at bay. This ends with him getting stepped on by Ymir, and the team begins to focus their attacks on a crack that Skaar made in Ymir with his sword. And yep, more Hulk/Rulk bickering until She-Hulk and A-Bomb get taken out. Rulk goes off to get A-Bomb's flamethrower, and Thor spots Rulk's melty footprints. (Remember, it was barely established in an earlier episode that the madder Rulk gets, the hotter he gets.) Thor and Hulk anger Rulk and use his heat against Ymir and couple that with Thor's lightning to shatter Ymir.

Laufey gets sucked back into the portal to Jotunheim, and the battle is won. The world goes back to normal, and A-Bomb's internet says that the sun is shining all over the world again. ...which anyone who remembers how night works will no doubt find odd. Thor thanks the team, and he and Skaar part on good terms. Thor returns to Asgard after getting knocked across the Bifrost by Rulk, and Hulk realizes that they could have asked Thor for a ride home off of the iceberg they're on. She-Hulk enjoys the sun in the meantime, and Hulk and Rulk settle their differences.

Hulk: "We good now?"
Red Hulk: "Long as you quit waking me."
A-Bomb: "Wait, w-w-wait, this whole grudge, this whole thing between you was for sleep?"

Well, c'mon, Rick. With this show being what it is, it was bound to be a stupid reason. Yep, Hulk keeps up Rulk with his drumming, and Rulk's early-morning exercises keep up Hulk. Hulk apologizes to the angry Rulk, who melts down into the iceberg.

In the final cutaway, Rulk throws a snowball at Hulk, and the episode ends with Devil Dinosaur looking into the camera.

Finally, that's over with. Come on, let's get the review out of the way, too.


  1. OBJECTION! While most She-Hulk stories in the last 20 years take place in New York, her origin story, as well as the original Savage She-Hulk series, did in fact take place in Los Angeles. Where her father was sheriff.

    I am such a nerd.

  2. SUSTAINED! You are indeed correct, and you raise a fair point. The fact that they make She-Hulk a Californian comes from the comics, so it would be unfair of me to criticize this change as ignoring canon.

    Still, I want to go on the record by saying that I dislike this change because the She-Hulk that many of her fans know and love did not come about until her recent (relatively) escapades in New York. My consternation is with the fact that even though they've adapted a good character, they're ignoring all the good bits of her character and history.

    But hey, I'd give you a No-Prize for pointing that out.

    1. Yay No-Prize! Also, have you by any chance read the Dan Slott run on She-Hulk? It's very excellent and pretty much the whole reason I'm such a fan of the character.

    2. Sadly, I have not read the majority of his run, but I'm quite familiar with it. I'd have to say that the Dan Slott run stand out in my mind as THE She-Hulk run, based on the research I've done on it and the few comics from it I've read. I know the John Byrne fans will give me some flack for that, but I prefer the really blunt 4th wall jokes to be coming from Deadpool.

      Give me quirky lawyer She-Hulk, Marvel! It's not to late to make it a subplot!

  3. "along with a Frost Giant army, which gets taken out disgustingly easily."

    No surprise. Over in EMH, Hulk got thrown into Johtunheim itself and simply beat 'em all up offscreen. So five Hulks wouldn't have much trouble...

    1. I firmly believe that Hulk could beat 'em all up while in unstoppable-rage-monster mode, like he probably did in EMH. Heck, five Hulks logically SHOULD have no problem with this army. It's just that when you've built up this army as the big threat of the episode, then you have them be defeated this easily....
      It's disappointing, to say the least.

  4. So the Thor-Skaar friendship in this episode is like Thor and Captain America vs the Legions of Hel in Ultimatum?