Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man "The Incredible Spider-Hulk"

And so, our journey has ended. Not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a smash. Also, a whimper. But I'll get to that.

I'm actually at a loss when it comes to this portion of the Review. I made a few comments in the Recap about how this episode was copying and pasting elements from "Freaky." But... yeah, this is just a copy of "Freaky."

Much like "Freaky," but even more so in this episode, there's really no sense of... well, "theme" to this episode. What's the bodyswap supposed to accomplish? A greater understanding of each other's struggle? But that had already been accomplished in "Home Sick Hulk."

This episode has no reason to exist outside of setting up Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Strictly speaking, you could say the same thing about "Exclusive" and "Home Sick Hulk," but at least those episodes could work on their own merits. Without Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., this episode is a rehash of a story based in a comic two-parter that the author hated.

Pre-Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Importance
Finally, the biggest question people ask me regarding Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. is answered.

"Why is the Hulk smart and calm?"

And the answer is that it's a side effect from a mindswap with Spider-Man. I can only imagine how underwhelmed many of you are. Of course, there's another question that people keep asking me.

"Where's Bruce Banner?"

To which I can only reply, "I know, right?"

The only character growth in this episode is for the Hulk. And even then, it only exists so that the Hulk can be a bit smarter and calmer for Agents of S.M.A.S.H. I mean, if you're going to get rid of Bruce Banner, then the Hulk needs to be more than "Rawr! Smash!" Otherwise, he's just not a compelling character on his own merits. Hence, the Flowers for Algernon-ing.

Despite a nice little visual gag, the vast majority of this episode is business as usual when it comes to the visuals. Except for the Roxy Rocket cameo. I still don't know what was up with that.

All in all, this episode has no reason for existing, other than being the final step in our journey down the Road to Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

If I had to rate these episode from best to worst, I'd put them in the following order.

"Home Sick Hulk"
"The Incredible Spider-Hulk"

So, yeah, exactly the order they aired in. Which means that this journey started out merely okay before getting worse and worse. How appropriate for a set of episodes that were supposed to prepare us for Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

All in all, I can't really recommend this one unless you're just really curious to see how the status quo of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. came about. Go ahead and skip this episode.

I guess the next big set of episodes to tackle is the "Spider-Verse" crossover.


I wonder what's happening over on Avengers Assemble?

See you next time.

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