Thor Vs. Hulk: CoU is a six issue series released in 2017 exclusively through Comixology (a digital comicbook store). Though I have heard it plans to release as a complete physical version at a later date.
The premise is simple…pit Thor and Hulk against each other in a series of tests to find the strongest. This series actually has some fun with this and explores many facets of both characters and seeks to dig into what makes them tick. However, the way in which it’s done alongside some mediocre art lends itself to a somewhat less then impressive series.
Following on the heels of Thor: Ragnarok its a fun comic, but not nearly serious enough to gain my full attention. Something the movie did slightly better but had similar issues.
The story however is forgivable. My issue was primarily with the art style which seemed to change with each issue and go from pretty good to “meh”. In other words it was a bit too Saturday morning cartoon for me.
Also, I found the main bad “guy(s)” to be boring and trying too hard to be funny or self-aware. They never really made me feel like what Hulk and Thor were doing was really worth there’s or my time.
Overall, a fun comic but not much more then that.
The Hulk’s latest animated outing falls flat, but makes up for it with character development that hints at the Hulk’s big screen future.
**Warning – slight spoilers ahead***
While we Hulk fans wait patiently for Thor:Ragnarok to hit theatres, we hoped to satisfy ourselves with this newest animated feature made under the Marvel/Disney umbrella. And in some ways it did, but mostly it showed how differently Disney is pulling the strings now.
Since the earliest reports this was being made I was put under the impression this film would be “more adult” and even had it compared to Batman’s ‘The Killing Joke’ animated film. The final product barely sneezed in that direction. This film could easily be described as a Halloween gimmick meant to promote both the new Dr.Strange film and keep kids interested in the Hulk until Ragnarok releases.
The animation was passable and the story was cliche. This basically felt like something that could fit into the Hulk and Agents of SMASH series. Which may be what they wanted. The Hulk in this is a chatterbox and seems more annoyed then angry most of the time. Strange reminded me of his character from the 90’s Hulk cartoon series, so no complaints there. The Howling Commandos were slightly interesting, but we received very little back story on them. The zombie guy was probably the creepiest (and I’m stretching that term) and is most likely the closest to a ‘mature theme’ in this story.
I won’t delve into the stories details; I found it boring for the most part. The main villain in this is Nightmare who offers very little to the plot.
Now I will give it credit where credit is due. At times the Hulk’s fighting scenes are fun to watch. I always enjoy seeing him smash things. But what caught my attention is how they are transitioning and changing the rules slightly on how Banner and Hulk work together. It seems Banner has control of Hulk and can change at will. Hulk is still no fan of Banner though. But near the end it does seem like the two are beginning to work as a team more. Also the stories ability to incorporate Banner into more of it hints at ways Marvel might utilize Mark Ruffalo on screen for future Hulk films.
This was obviously a film with influence from Disney, as previous animated films like ‘Planet Hulk’ or ‘Hulk Vs.’ were much, much better in my opinion.
My final thoughts are as follows. This film is great for kids and young children as a Halloween family film. For adults it is definitely lacking. I would recommend this as a rent not a buy (Which Marvel seems aware of since its only available for digital download at the time of this writing). This is a perfect film to watch while counting candy on Halloween night.
So I took some time this past week to visit my local comic shop and take a closer look at Totally Awesome Hulk #1. And as I expected I found it hollow, derivative, and wholly nothing special. It was obviously written for a younger audience and by younger I mean teenage boys. So one could totally chalk up my distaste to simply being the old man here.
I don’t recall most of the story except to recount Amadeus turning big and green, fighting a turtle monster on the beach, and hitting on a Mom and saving her kid. Oh and fist bumps. Basically imagine if Spiderman and the Hulk had a child…it would be this Hulk. Marvel seems to be trying to turn the Hulk into another Spiderman. A young snarky kid with superpowers. My only passing interest was to find out what happened to Bruce Banner which is hinted at near the end of the book…and though it only last a page or two…it was easily my favorite part. The art was darker, the dialogue more serious…and of course it was the real Hulk.
I have no complaints about the writing itself or the art itself. As a stand alone it was a fine comic. It just wasn’t a good Hulk comic. So as I expected, I put it back on the shelf and left the store. Which is a shame…I was hoping it would change my mind and make me buy it.
On the brighter side…I have time to read the older stories I missed or the ones I already have.