Verdict: D+ / 5
Marvel’s latest offering sees a team of hulking heroes fighting it out against the forces of evil. But is this cartoon as smashing as the title suggests?
Do you enjoy Marvel’s Ultimate Spiderman cartoon? This show feels as though they have taken the same ideas and put a Hulk into it. With Marvel’s main idea being to sell a tonne of merchandise by creating a show that appeals to kids instead of the teenager of adult viewer. Like Ultimate Spiderman, this series is filled with cheap jokes that will appeal to kids, mostly thanks to Rick Jones, and well everything else is either forced or lacking. The jokes also take away that feeling of world danger and high risk. To see that brought over into a Hulk title is rather disappointing.
As a kid growing up watching the likes of the original X-men series and the Spiderman 90’s series, it’s disheartening to see the mindless stuff that children are watching. Sure cartoons are meant to entertain, but if you look at the Young Justice you are getting entertainment whilst seeing kids deal with real life issues, such as Superboy wanting his father’s acceptance, Miss Martian dealing with self-image issues, etc. There is no Bruce Banner, no self-loathing and no remorse. Instead, we get a care-free Hulk that loves bench-pressing in his spare time. I am still trying to figure out why the Hulk needs to bench-press. Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H places the main focus on things getting smashed left right and centre, but even the nature of the fights get a little bit comedic at times.
Each character seems different to their comic counterparts as well. Hulk is way more intelligent and capable of stringing ideas and sentences together, unlike his Ultimate Spiderman counterpart. Red Hulk no longer wants to beat Hulk to a pulp. Instead, he is a military tact side-kick that dreams of being a celebrity of sorts. Even She-Hulk just lives for the thrill and rush of adventure.
If this series can steer clear of involving comedy in the action scenes it would really salvage its strong point. The fights scenes are quite enjoyable as we see Hulk and Red Hulk go up against Skaar, who is under some sort of mind control device’s influence. Despite all of its flaws the series has some potential and this is emphasised by a reveal at the end of the premier. The drawings are not too bad, however they are very similar to the ones used in the Ultimate Spiderman. The same team is on production in this one. The Hulks seem too slender and this makes them friendlier to the child’s eye and mind. It will leave most people missing their monstrous appeal though. Red Hulk even manages to fit into an official uniform for crying out loud!
Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. has not introduced something new or outstanding. Instead, we have been given another series that does not cater towards the adult viewer. With Disney XD expanding its line-up, Marvel should really take a look at the animation that DC produces. Maybe it will inspire them to churn out animations series with mass appeal. Sure the kid’s market will keep you afloat, but is that all you want from your fans? This Premier will be a great distraction for your kids as you re-watch Young Justice on your laptop. But ultimately, this will leave the older fans wishing they were given a serious, high-stakes, thought provoking and pioneering Hulk series.