Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

My good friend William has accused me, with no merit mind you, of being a Marvel. I didnít even know you could categorize folks by comic book companies. True enough I read mostly Marvel as a kid but thatís because those were the books that my older brother purchased. William bases this on the fact the fact that I didnít have a sleepover in front of the theater in anticipation of ĎThe Dark Knightí and I also donít believe itís the best movie ever made. Hell, itís not even in my top ten, even though I did like it plenty. But to disprove his unsubstantiated claims I am of the opinion that the DC straight to DVD animated movies have brutalized the Marvel ones almost in every conceivable way. Superman Doomsday, Justice League New Frontier, Wonder Woman and Batman Gotham Knight, at least in my opinion, have been vastly superior to both Ultimate Avengers movies and that extremely suspect Iron Man animated flick with only Dr. Strange of all things being a worthy contender. Now we have the latest Marvel straight to DVD animated movie with ĎHulk Vs.í and we gotta say it is better. Donít know if itís quite as good as what theyíve been putting out across town at DC comics, but it is better.

How lucky are we because we get two movies in one! In ĎHulk vs. Thorí, Thorís wacky half brother Loki, who undoubtedly wears the worldís stupidest head gear, thinks heís finally figured out a way to rid his world of Thor. Back in the day Thor got into a scrap with the Hulk with the green dude pretty much wearing Thor out, and he probably wouldíve done away with Thor if it wasnít for that little piece of Bruce Banner that maintains some meager control over the Hulk. So Loki gets the brilliant idea to have the jilted Enchantress, who we might mention dresses quite inappropriately, to separate Banner from the Hulk so the beast can finish what he starts. Bruce Banner warns Loki that in history of bad ideas this may be the worst, but Loki is a god and all so he goes ahead and does it. Odin is in his annual seven day coma by the way and will be of no help.

So Loki does this thing and it looks like it was working pretty well as Hulk is reigning all kinds of hell on Asgard pretty much taking care of Thor as planned but, as he was warned, thereís no stopping the Hulk now who is pure, unadulterated rage that even the gods canít do anything with. The only thing can save Asgard is reuniting Banner and the Hulk one more time again which is going to mighty tough considering what Loki has gone and done to Dr. Banner. Good luck with that Asgard.

In Hulk vs. Wolverine we meet a pre X-Men Logan working for the Canadian government trying to track down a beast whose is reigning terror on the Canadian country side. Wolverine tracks down the Hulk and after a spirited battle it turns out it that somehow his old colleagues at Project X are as much to blame for this mayhem as the Hulk is. The cat running this Op, some dude called The Professor, plans to brainwash the Hulk and make him a weapon which of course Dr. Banner warns is not a very good idea, but whatever. He also plans to reprogram Wolverine since he has him back and all but Sabretooth, Code Red, Deadpool and especially Lady Deathstrike just want Logan dead. Now we all know in the history of difficult things to do actually killing Wolverine is near the top of that list but this doesnít stop our feisty set of villains. Unfortunately for them now they have to deal with an extremely angry Wolverine and an even angrier Hulk, who is still mighty pissed off at Wolverine for slashing him a few times. Good luck with that evil villains.

The problem that I had with the previous Marvel DVD stories is that they simply had too much action and not enough story to support this non-stop action that drove their movies. So itís interesting that with these two movies that there is even LESS story and MORE action and yet somehow it manages to be better. How they pulled this off is simple enough in that they split the stories in two. You donít even have to watch them back to back. Watching 75 minutes worth of the Ultimate Avengers in non-stop action got to be tedious. Watching 40 minutes of The Hulk stomping the beejebus out of Thor was fun. Coming back the next day and watching Wolverine slaughter half of Canada with a healthy dash of the Hulk thrown in for good measure was even more fun. And donít get us started on Nolan Northís inspired voice characterization of Deadpool. Outstanding!

One the things that always bothered me about Wolverine in how he was presented in the comics is that he has these terribly lethal weapons attached to his hands, but yet he never really uses them except to threaten people with. Well he uses them plenty here as this was one of the more violent animated comic movies Iíve seen. Iíve seen way worse anime but thatís Japan and we knows those guys are pretty sick over there, but it is refreshing to see Wolverine finally hack up some dudes.

Thereís no depth here to any of these stories as there are episodes of the Power Puff Girls which have more substance. This is no insult because the Power Puff Girls can get pretty deep, but the fact remains that intellectually speaking ĎHulk vs.í is pretty lightweight stuff. The good thing is that there is just enough story here to support forty minutes worth of action filled animation and if it were longer it would probably be more miserable than even the animated Iron Man movie, but here it works just fine. In my humble opinion Marvel has a hit on their hands and a solid formula for success and I believe Thor gets his own dedicated animated film in the near future. Letís see how they do with that one since the God of Thunder is going to have to carry that movie all on own.

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