Monday, September 22, 2014

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Monsters No More"

Okay, everypeople. Here's the situation. We're in the homestretch. From this point on, episodes are either going to be awesome masterpieces that they've been saving until the end or they're going to be the crappy ones they've been putting off until the end. A title like "Monsters No More" piques my interest, but this show is where potential gets smothered with a pillow. Let's plow ahead and see if we're staring at a fetid corpse for half an hour. I'm betting that this episode is less interesting than watching a week-dead Thompson's Gazelle.

My metaphors got really grody very quickly today.
We begin with what appear to be frog-men invading New York. Helpfully, Hulk jumps in and identifies them as Toad-Men. The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. defend the city, with a little help from the Fantastic Four. I approve of this team-up. Invisible Woman tells Hulk that Reed and She-Hulk are working on stopping the mothership, but Hulk and Red Hulk simply decide that shooting it should work. It doesn't. Luckily, Mr. Fantastic and She-Hulk show up with a better gun. Hulk offers himself up as a bullet, even though it may cost him his life.

Hulk: "Heroes make sacrifices."

Yeah, but you have to admit that dying during the invasion of Toad-Men is a pretty lame way to go.

Shulk fires the Hulk successfully, but there's no one aboard the alien craft. Hulk radioes Reed about this, and Reed tells him that the ship is a waypoint for invaders, and shutting it down should zap the Toad-Men back home. He also tells Hulk not to smash it. Naturally, Hulk smashes it for pretty much no reason. The whole thing asplodes, and the Toad-Men get zapped back home. Hooray! Hulk crashes back to Earth, but doesn't get up. Hooray! The series is over!

But Skaar does the Avengers-Hulk-roar just like A-Bomb did a couple episodes back, and Hulk wakes up. ...hooray, I guess.

The New York civilians then do something amazing. They cheer for the Hulk. Even J Jonah Jameson's getting in on it on the Bugletron.

JJJ: "Apparently, the Hulk saved us and is... a hero."

...well, so much for global warming, because I'm positive that Hell just froze over.

Meanwhile, while watching these events unfold from the Gamma Base, the Leader grins. Because this was part of his increasingly unlikely plan all along.

Leader: "At last."

Weren't you trying to get the world to hate the Hulk last time we checked?

Later, Rick arrives at the Gamma Base and tells Hulk that Mayor Stan Lee called, and their approval rating is through the roof.

Rick: "We've got more views online than ever. New fans are watching our old webisodes to see how we've been heroes!"

And hopefully, they've been coming to the NewtCave to realize why their misadventures generally aren't something they should waste their time on.

But the others' lives are picking up, too. Red Hulk gets a medal on the White House lawn from Captain America. She-Hulk gets a part in Hulk's new movie.

She-Hulk: "Finally, I'm getting to play me!"

You haven't been playing you since the beginning of the series.

Skaar even gets to wrestle the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing in the ring for charity.

Skaar: "Fighting place remind Skaar of home. Can't remember why...."

Oh, hello, continuity. It's been a while since you popped in with Skaar's backstory.
Rick prepares to go to the Dazzler concert, and Hulk starts being a Debbie Downer about the whole thing. He's convinced that their fame can't last, but concedes that it might be time to split up the team.


Actually, let me reconsider.

Yes, and yes please.

Hulk goes to visit the Leader in his glass cell, and- wow. Actually, I forgot he was in the base this whole time. Anyway, it's time for the Leader's latest plot that the writer's have retconned him into having this whole time. You know, his usual MO.

As it turns out, the Leader is just a hologram, and he claims to have planted five Gamma-bombs in Vista Verde while the others were busy soaking up the glory. As Hulk leaves, though, the real Leader comes out from behind the table he was hiding behind, no doubt preparing to use this distraction to his advantage, too. Hulk calls the others in and briefs them on the situation. They argue over who was supposed to watch over the Leader this week, and we cut to Mayor Stan dedicating a new statue to the Hulk. The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. arrive by jet and explain what's going on.

Hulk: "Everyone out of here now!"

Um, I said they explain what's going on.

Hulk: "I said GET OUT!!!"

Oh, yeah, this is going to bite you in your green fanny, Hulk.

Suddenly, the Abomination shows up. Yes, it's as out-of-nowhere as it sounds. He's not alone either. He's brought Absorbing Man, Sauron, Blastaar, and Titania. Yes, four villains who have menaced the team time and again are teaming up with Titania, who is only here to give She-Hulk a girl to fight. Why do you keep appearing on teams you're not actually on, Titania? Anyhoo, they call themselves the Agents of C.R.A.S.H., and have matching C-belts to boot.

The matching belts are just adorable.
Titania: "Let's show 'em why we're called the Crashers."

I thought you were the "Agents of C.R.A.S.H.?"

Anyway, they fight. I'm going to make a long story short. Those belts? They make the Crashers invisible to every except the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Rick's cameras. The two teams keep fighting, and all the civilians know is that the Hulks are destroying Vista Verde. A hologram in the new Hulk statue of the Leader informs the Hulk that the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. were the metaphorical "Gamma-bombs" the whole time.

Wait, the Crashers were showing up on Rick's webcam! Why won't they believe that the Hulks were fighting invisible villains?

JJJ: "Are you gonna believe some Hulk kid with a webcam? I just saw a talking raccoon in a movie! They can make anything look real. It's all computers and camera tricks."

Seeing how this episode came out before August 1st, 2014, I think JJJ was watching Over the Hedge. Unless he got a press screening.

The Hulks flee from the army guys sent in to capture them, and head back to the Gamma Base, arguing the whole time.

Red Hulk: "Shut it, Skaar!"
Skaar: "It's all your fault!"
Rick: "I wasn't even supposed to be here today!"

Okay, that was funny.

Hulk decides to officially disband the team for the safety of the world, and the others show their dissatisfaction in a cutaway.

Skaar (cutaway): "Skaar need family. Skaar have no home...."

You know, that's the third mention of Skaar's home this episode. Are they finally going to do something with a Planet Hulk adaptation?

Anyway, the base starts a-rumbling, and they find the Leader messing with the Gamma core. He gloats about creating the Hulk's ultimate downfall, and uses the reactor to open a wormhole to another galaxy. The only side effect is that the reactor will blow up pretty soon and take out half the state. Leader exits through the wormhole, and the Hulks work together to throw the reactor through the portal, while getting sucked in themselves. They crash land on what appears to be planet Vulcan, and wake up with tazer-implants and gladiatorial gear.

Skaar: "Skaar... Skaar know this smell."

Rulk fails to break through the walls, and the team is elevated into a gigantic alien coliseum.

Skaar: "Skaar home!"

But there's bad news along with the good news.

Announcer: "Subjects of Sakaar! Bow your head! For the ruler of the world has at last returned! I give you... your king! The Leader!"

Oh snap!
To be continued!

But let's review anyway, there's more than a few things to cover before we get to Part 2.

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