Marvel Animated Features - PLANET HULK

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Da'Mon Guy continues his look at the many direct to video animated comic book movies. Today we turn to the Marvel Animated Features 2010 release, Planet Hulk.


Planet Hulk is another manifestation of the surge of this generation’s love affair with comic book characters, and a moderately entertaining addition to the Marvel comics collection of direct to DVD animated videos. The film features the voice talents of Rick D. Wasserman (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore), Lisa Ann Beley (Iron Man: Armored Adventures), Mark Hildreth (V: TV series), and Kevin Michael Richardson (Transformers: Prime).

Marvel Comics may dominate the theaters with their adaptations of their characters transitioning from the pages of their comics onto the big screen, but DC Comics dominates the small screen. Planet Hulk is a lackluster adaptation of a 2006 Marvel comics mini series of the same name. The Avengers decide to exile the Hulk from Earth because of his uncontrollable rage and limitless power. The Hulk redirects his “Ark” to another world where is he is forced to participate in gladiatorial games. The inhabitants of this alien world are being oppressed by the tyrant responsible for the games, and as the Hulk’s indomitable nature and boundless power make him a champion, the native aliens begin to view him as a messiah.

Planet Hulk is a completely botched misuse of the character of the Hulk that most have come to know and love. This particular tale doesn’t feature many of the story traits that have been related to the Hulk and completely phases out any of the relation to prior uses of the character, including the biggest fundamental element, his alter ego Dr. Bruce Banner. Planet Hulk simply manhandles the character and manipulates it to fit this particular story with little to no explanation as to why the character appears the way that it does within this story. Other than a brief voice over from Iron Man in the opening this story bears no resemblance to any story that the Hulk has appeared in.

Planet Hulk’s lack of relation to the “classic Hulk” character is its biggest detractor. No transformation, no internal conflict, no Banner. Really. Banner never appears. The story barely even mentions Banner. Instead it merges the Hulk and Bruce Banner into one being, a complete mistake as this separates the human element from the character as well as any familiarity that casual fans may have.

The story in itself lacks originality, it reeks of Gladiator from beginning to end. It only utilizes the first part of the fourteen issue comic book series it is based upon, and does not include the Hulk’s return to Earth to seek revenge against the Avengers for sending him into exile. This lack of overall story forces this tale to be much less enjoyable than the comic.

This narrative does add a humanizing element to the character of the Hulk, 'he' doesn’t appear to be the mindless, raged force of destruction that is often portrayed. This version clearly shows that the Hulk has a high level of intelligence. Fans of the comic book may relate this version to the “Grey Hulk” - the one with unbridled rage but coupled with the intelligence of Banner. However, unlike the Grey Hulk, this version lacks the personality that the Grey Hulk displayed in the pages of the comics.

Planet Hulk completely misuses the Hulk, is nothing more than an average watch, and doesn’t really warrant buying. If you want to see it either rent it or try to watch it via Netflix.

Da’Mon Guy is a writer and artist. He’s a graduate of Coppin State University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively writing movie reviews since 2011, for a number of publications. Check out more of his work at Examiner.com, where he has published over 400 reviews. Visit his Blog and follow him on Twitter.
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