Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Laid Back Comics Watches: Hulks Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

Superhero animation pretty much a standard now in the world, it has been for almost a decade now. But lately shows have been taking a lot of negative hits on-line. Be it from angry over shows being canceled over low toy sales. Or newer ones that haven’t taken well to the older crowd that had grown up with them and panned dramatically over the tone. It seems like no one can catch a break. But, that is not stopping companies from trying. The newest show is Hulk Agents of S.M.A.S.H. which is a team based show putting together all of the Hulks under one roof. At the time it was thought the hook of the series would be a reality show deal, but it is more updated as Rick Jones web series he is making. This makes more sense and allows for a much better concept than the first.

Last year SDCC Marvel TV Panel showed off the show in a sizzle reel promo giving the idea behind it and characters involved as well as the creative mind of Paul Dini handling the series as well. And while Paul has had a creative consultant credit with some of the newer Marvel shows, this is the first time it felt like he had more of a hand in development and execution, the second episode was written by him. The series has more look and feel to that of Ultimate Spider-Man than it does to Avengers Assemble, now some will read that and possible be excited or flip the table, but please hold off until the end then you can flip all the tables you want.

The writing on the show shares some of the humor of Ultimate Spider-Man but transfer it to more slapstick against the Hulk. Who is super strength but is constantly crushed, knocked around, or blow up to one side as the first episode goes on. With each time Hulk making the same ‘I am not amused’ face right before it happens, which is funny the first time around but by the end of the episode where you get these moments in rapid succession it wanes greatly. Though that gag does seem to subside into the second part of the pilot episode which makes the second the much stronger of the episodes.
It is like a muscled up Voltron Force.

Strength of the show here is with the voice cast, so far everyone seems to be able to pull off the characters with ease. It is always choice casting to get Clancy Brown on any show and here with Red Hulk he seems to be having more fun than I have seen in a while. Also nice to see he isn't playing a villain role. Seth Green is always fun to hear and able make a nice Rick Jones even at the most over the top humor lines it doesn't come off hammy but funny. Eliza Dushku as She-Hulk was an interesting choice as she hasn't had much work in voice acting, but she fairs very well as Jenifer in the role, Though less screen time as she comes in the second episode. And of course Fred Tatasciore as the main man to be doing the Hulk for several years now once again becomes the big gamma ‘monster’.

Ultimately though it begs the question if a Hulk series could stand on its own. This writer has been pretty much under the assumption that Hulk a great comic character, outside the medium he more of a great supporting character. Here though, they seemed to surround Hulk with his other Hulk counter points, Red, A-bomb/Rick Jones, Skaar, and She-Hulk. Who in light of being a full time lawyer in the comics has had her profession changed to that of a pilot? And surprisingly it seems to work for the show.

Outside of some the more childish humor thrown in at times the show can take a deep tone with Hulk, a hero cast out and yet accepting of it. Surrounding himself with others like him seems to build him up a little bit. As first episodes go, this one feels more fleshed out than Avengers and has the know with all to try and balance out the humor with more serious moments. This could easily be the show that could break the mold for Hulk and his supporting cast.

OVERALL: 7.0 out of 10

Hulks and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H airs on Disney XD Sundays at 11/10 C

Bryan "BAC" Clendening writes for The Broken Infinite, follow him on twitter @BAClend

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