Monday, February 16, 2015

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

Seriously, though, this is the second episode of this show that writes an unrelated plot when "adapting" a story. What kind of hack does that?

Complaint withdrawn.
Fear, obviously enough. Though this episode rehashes the old idea of "You can't let your fears get the best of you," there's a bit more depth to it than saying "I'm not afraid!" and suddenly everything's better. Not being afraid is step one. Step two is doing something about the problem.

Speaking of rehash, that space void looked a lot like the voice from Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Where Silence Has Lease." Homage? I hope so. I like to think that the writers are paying tribute to one of the oldest space exploration shows instead of stealing ideas. Just wait for when they try their hands at a "The Trouble with Tribbles" plot. No seriously, that's going to happen.

Obnoxio the Clown was the host of Marvel's MAD Magazine ripoff, CRAZY.

Oh, Kermit's not gonna be happy.
Yeah, I didn't expect him to show up, either. John DiMaggio gave a nicely creepy performance that I actually thought he was Mark Hamill at first.

As for the other characters, I really liked the look into their heads by way of their fears. Well, some of them. One of them.

Hulk's afraid of losing control, as you might expect. Nothing new learned.

A-Bomb's afraid of clowns. A cute reference to It, but nothing new learned.

Red Hulk's afraid of losing his strength. Interesting, considering that his job used to be hunting the Hulk down. But all in all, not much new learned.

Skaar's afraid of technology. This makes no sense, considering that Skaar comes from a technologically advanced (if aesthetically ancient) world. Once again, othing new learned.

But She-Hulk's fear actually teaches us something new about the character. She has a fear of freezing to death. It may seem a bit random, but most people's fears kind of are. I myself have a mild fear of heights and a nigh-crippling fear of being in front of an audience (it made the theatre performance degree a bit difficult). Why? No reason. And She-Hulk's fear of freezing to death isn't tied to some event in her past, but it does make her complaints about the temperature last season in "Hulks on Ice" a bit darker in context. It served to humanize the character as well as undo a bit of the Mary Sue-ishness of the character from the first season. I really have to give props to the writers for beginning to fix that flaw.

The Void isn't visually interesting, but I'm not marking that against this episode. After all, it's hard to make a dark blob interesting.

Though I liked the Allred-ish design for the Silver Surfer, the Null's One Winged Angel form needed just a bit more work. They should have gone all out and given us some grade-A nightmare fuel. Instead, we got a dark monster with multiple arms and a clown face.

Okay, I take it back! It's terrifying!
All things considered, this was a darn good episode. Maybe not a masterpiece, but better than the vast majority of what last season brought us. See you next time, when we repeat a title from Ultimate Spider-Man.


  1. At least Planet Hulk had someone central to that storyline, would adding the Serpent been too much?

    1. Well, there's the problem with using the name of what is arguably a Thor storyline in a Hulk show.