The problem with Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. thus far has been the show’s unwillingness to commit to the insane concept. It’s a pseudo-reality show starring the Hulk and his allies. It should not work on any level, but with the old adage that there are no bad concepts just bad execution, there is always hope for even the most ill-conceived ideas. With the right talent and tone any concept could work, including this one. This week, finally, the new Hulk show delivers the goods by being insane enough to distract from the ponderous concept the show is forced to operate under.
Yes, this week had the same tired old Hulk as mother hen to A-Bomb with Red Hulk playing the brash foil conflict, and yes, the awesomeness of She-Hulk is still not being captured to any degree she deserves. But in this episode, the Hulks fight laser-laden dinosaurs in the Savage Land. Laser toting dinosaurs are always a cure all.
When volcanic activity threatens the world, the Hulks go to the Savage Land to investigate. They soon run afoul of Sauron and his hordes of mind-controlled, heavily-armed dinosaurs. Despite the usual sloppy editing, this ‘toon contains elements that no kid could say no to, including dinosaurs fighting with laser wielding pterodactyls (complete with signature and always welcome Hanna-Barbera screech, barbarian warriors going toe to toe with Skarr, and an appearance by none other than Devil Dinosaur. The whole thing is a welcome Saturday morning/Thundarr flashback with a great Marvel Bronze Age feel to it.
At times, the episode feels like an old school Marvel Team-Up with Hulk, at first, fighting Devil Dinosaur before freeing him from Sauron’s control and teaming up with the classic Kirby beast. Full disclosure, I have wanted to see an animated Devil Dinosaur since I was six years old, so this week’s episode may have sucked but I was too busy being mesmerized by a childhood fantasy becoming a snarling and fanged reality to notice. Points off for no Moon Boy though.
Sauron was dispatched, A-Bomb proved himself to the Hulk, and the whole thing has a bow neatly tied around it as the Hulks save the day from Sauron’s nefarious drilling machine. It was fun, unapologetic prehistoric fun that would have made my pre-adolescent head explode in 1979, and it’s important to remember such things. The creators still don’t feel like they have a complete handle on the characters as they continue to act like caricatures as opposed to the complex entities they are in the pages of Marvel comics, but some crazy dinosaur smashing action is always a welcome step in the right direction.
And it appears that the Hulks took Devil Dinosaur back to Gammabase with them so it looks like I’ll be living the dream again in the near future.