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Hulk Vs
Directed by Frank Paur
Sam Liu
Produced by Craig Kyle
Frank Paur
Written by Craig Kyle
Christopher Yost
Starring Bryce Johnson
Fred Tatasciore
Steven Blum
Matthew Wolf
Music by Guy Michelmore
Editing by George P. Rizkallah
Studio Marvel Animation
Madhouse
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release date(s) January 27, 2009 (2009-01-27)
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Hulk Vs is a 2009 direct-to-video animated film from Marvel Animation and Lionsgate, featuring the Incredible Hulk in two short film battles, one against Wolverine, the other against Thor. Both short films have been rated PG-13 by the MPAA. Animation was done by Madhouse.[1][2] Kaare Andrews has provided the artwork for the DVD and Blu-ray packaging.[3]

Contents

Plot

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Hulk vs. Wolverine

In a prologue, Wolverine states that "I'm the best at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice." Wolverine wakes up confused and dazed in a crater in the mountains, as he asks "What...happened?" He hears a roar in the distance. Just then the Hulk jumps over a cliff and lands in front of him, roaring in his face. Wolverine simply saying "Oh yeah..." The story then rewinds back to the events prior to this. Department H had sent in Wolverine to track down a mysterious beast known by the US Military as the Hulk, who is rampaging across the Canadian wilderness. Surveying the extent of the damage to a destroyed town, Wolverine noticed a toxic scent as well as the smell of gunpowder.

He was then deployed to the wilderness to resume tracking the creature. After a few hours, Wolverine found a physically scrawny man sitting and crying at the edge of a small lake. At first asking him if he had seen the creature, Wolverine then started to violently interrogate him after realizing that he had the same toxic scent as the creature that destroyed the town. Ignoring numerous warnings, Wolverine continued the interrogation until the man, now revealed to have actually been Dr. Bruce Banner, transforms into the Hulk and sends Wolverine flying through the air until he lands on the edge of a cliff. Now up to speed, the story resumes where it started. The two combatants appear to be evenly matched, and fight continuously until they are both shot with numerous tranquilizers from Team X (composed of Deadpool, Omega Red, Lady Deathstrike, and Sabretooth).

A flashback shows how Wolverine was abducted by Weapon X and his skeleton was bonded with adamantium under the orders of a Professor Thornton. They even tested his combat skills on a bear. Wolverine managed to escape by killing the soldiers and severing Thornton's right hand.

Sabretooth forcibly wakes Wolverine in a Weapon X facility where he is greeted by Professor Thornton (who has replaced his right hand with a clawed prosthetic). It is revealed that they have been tracking the Hulk for weeks. A flashback shows that Bruce Banner had only turned into the Hulk because they attacked him and that while his battle caused massive property damage, the Hulk actively tried to save as many innocent bystanders as he could. Professor Thornton tells him that he is going to erase Banner’s personality and use the Hulk as a weapon... just like Wolverine, as his memory will be erased again. Professor Thornton tells Lady Deathstrike not to kill Wolverine. However, Professor Thornton is slashed in the back by Sabretooth as both of them try to kill Wolverine. Wolverine manages to fight the two mutatants off, and free Banner.

Deciding they need extra firepower, Wolverine tells Banner to turn into the Hulk, only to find that the doctor needs stress or anger to turn into the Hulk, and wouldn't ever do it deliberately, even if he could. To make matters worse, Bruce tells him that he may have been drugged to prevent him from changing. Taking his usual strategy, Wolverine stabs him with his claws, trying to make him bleed out the sedative and forcing Banner to transform.

While Banner lies in a puddle of his own blood, Wolverine battles the entire Weapon X team, and is eventually caught by one of Omega Red’s tentacles and violently electrocuted. Banner finally turns into the Hulk and punches Sabretooth so powerfully he sends him flying out of the facility, then takes out the other Team X members with ease, one by one. The Hulk starts to destroy the base, ripping out the main power generators. Wolverine eggs the Hulk on, only for the Hulk to swing a generator at him, causing the base to explode. Wolverine is sent flying and lands right next to Sabretooth. He stands up and watches the base burn until the Hulk jumps out and lands right in front of him. Wolverine is eager to finish what they started, and the two lunge at each other. The screen cuts to black leaving the fight with a cliffhanger ending, leaving the victor ambiguous.

In the post-credits, Deadpool is shown to have survived the destruction of the facility and expressing great relief at being alive, only to be crushed by the Hulk doing one of his "mile jumps". He makes a weak "Ow", however, noting that he is still alive, though in a massive deal of pain.

Hulk vs. Thor

For ages, Odin has protected his kingdom of Asgard. But every winter, the All-Father must rest and regain his strength for one week. During this time, all of Asgard's foes (including trolls, frost giants, dark elves, and demons) try to claim the realm for their own, but they are always stopped by Odin's son, the mighty Thor, albeit with the loss of many brave Asgardian warriors.

Loki, god of mischief, has kidnapped Dr. Bruce Banner and brought him to Asgard with the help of Amora, once Thor's lover, now the supervillain known as the Enchantress. Loki makes Banner angry and he changes into the Hulk. The Enchantress then casts a spell over the Hulk which separates Banner from his monstrous alter-ego and grants Loki control over the Hulk's body.

Hulk/Loki arrives at the gates of Asgard and attacks the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg) and other Asgardians. Thor comes to the gates and is attacked by Hulk/Loki. Thor is familiar with Bruce Banner, but does not know that Loki is controlling the Hulk. Thor tries to communicate with Banner, which results in Loki actually talking through the Hulk.

After a prolonged battle, Hulk/Loki attempts to pick up Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, which is enchanted with a spell that renders it usable only to those it deems worthy. Amora warns Loki that he can not wield Mjolnir, and has to stop before he is no longer in control of the Hulk. Loki, of course, does not listen and continues to lift the hammer via the Hulk's unimaginable strength. Mjolnir flies to Thor, who uses his powers to separate Loki from the Hulk. It works, but without Banner's personality or Loki's control, the Hulk is now a living incarnation of pure rage, and he nearly kills Thor.

Hela, the daughter of Loki and ruler of Hel, the underworld, attempts to claim Thor's soul but is stopped by the Enchantress. Amora refers to Thor as "my love" and kisses him, which revives the thunder god. Amora betrays Loki and gives Thor the location of where he is hiding.

Thor arrives at Loki's hideout with the aid of the Enchantress and they discover that Loki has murdered Banner, after growing tired of Banner's warnings about the Hulk. Therefore, Amora has no way to send the Hulk back to Earth. Thor tells Amora that she must go to Sif, the woman Thor now loves, to aid and defend Odin. She reluctantly agrees and Loki summons all of his evil forces to stop the Hulk and Thor and Loki travel to Hel together. However, not even good and evil combined could halt the Hulk's advance, as he was beckoned by the light coming from Odin's chambers.

Thor and Loki arrive in Hel where they meet Hela who at first refuses to bring Bruce Banner back. Saying that once he is dead his spirit is hers. Though Thor and Loki convince her to bring him back, since Bruce's spirit was split from the Hulk she has an "Incomplete Soul". Since his death, Banner is enjoying an afterlife in which his life is back to normal, living free from the Hulk, he is the husband to his true love, Betty Ross, and father to a boy named Bruce Jr. Soon though, this vision ends when Hela brings him to her throne where Thor and Loki await. Thor says that Asgard needs his help but Banner does not want to help and wishes to remain dead, in his happy vision. Loki slyly manages to convince Hela to bring the Hulk to Hel, so that she could have the complete being. She complies and teleports the Hulk to Hel, just as had reached Odin's slumbering form.

Hulk attacks upon seeing Banner, and after another battle with Thor, the Hulk rejoins with Banner and is teleported back to Earth by Hela, who considers him too dangerous to be kept, even in the Underworld. However, due to the damage the Hulk had caused to her kingdom, she punishes Loki for it but promises his stay won't be permanent, given that she is his daughter. Odin finally awakens and Sif and Thor kiss each other as Amora quietly leaves, deeply saddened. Odin holds a celebration that day for all of the Asgardians who triumphed over evil and also gives his thanks to Bruce Banner who is back on Earth. The final scene is of Banner walking alone down a barren highway.

Cast

Additional voices by Brian Drummond and Scott McNeil.

Reception

Hulk vs. Wolverine

Reception for Hulk vs. Wolverine has generally been favorable. Cindy White of IGN] said "The benefits of a direct-to-DVD project like this is that the creators didn't have to shy away from the kind of gore that would be unacceptable for a Saturday-morning audience" commenting on how Wolverine uses his claws on a living entity and not just on robots as in other animated features.[4] El Bicho of Blog Critics stated: "“Hulk vs. Wolverine” is a very good cartoon with a lot of action. Sobrino used “awesome” and “cool” to describe it and noted “every kid loves violence.” It also portrays Wolverine’s origin story well. The only downside is that everyone involved with Weapon X seems to have magical healing powers that allow them to put themselves back together when limbs are lost. When a slice of Deadpool’s arm slides by like a piece of meat, Sobrino said it 'should have been rated R.'"[5]

Todd Douglass Jr. of DVD Talk described it as fast paced, but criticized the Weapon X backstory as "a bit out of place" and said it "also takes away from the Hulk versus Wolverine storyline."[6]

Kerry Birmingham of DVD Verdict stated "The most immediately successful of the two is Wolverine, enlivened by a punchier script than its Norse cousin. Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, screenwriters for both episodes, are veteran comic book writers and well-versed in the world of the X-Men, and as such seem to have injected Wolverine with a bit more energy."[7]

Hulk vs. Thor

Reception for Hulk vs. Thor has been mixed. Some people liked the slightly more complicated story and the lush animation, but felt the battle between Thor and Hulk to be too one-sided making Thor come across too weak or the story boring due to the Hulk being too unstoppable with it being essentially half an hour of the hulk tearing through Asgard. Other criticism focused on there being too many characters thrown in with no back story or explanation on who they were. Cindy White of IGN stated "Rather than the wild, forest landscapes of Canada, this one deals with the stately architecture of Asgard, and there are a lot more characters. Being less familiar with Thor as a series, some of the shout-outs to the comics were lost on me, for the most part, but I'm sure Thor fans will appreciate them," but criticized the battle aspect "It's not hard to understand why the creators chose the pantheon of Thor for this second film, but there had to be other characters in the Marvel universe more worthy of a matchup with the big green guy."[8] El Bicho of Blog Critics stated: "“Hulk vs. Thor” is enjoyable, but it’s noticeably different in pace and tone from “vs. Wolverine,” and is better suited for a fan of Thor. Sobrino thought is was so-so and not as exciting. Since he didn’t know the characters, he found it hard to follow and said it was “not really Hulk," which I would agree with. They did spend more time with the character of Banner, although he’s weak and sniveling in this one too."[9]

Todd Douglass Jr. of Dvd Talk found Thor overall a bit more favorable: "In Hulk vs. Thor the plot is a little more calculated and it feels balanced by comparison." and actually like the battles "One of the joys of Hulk vs. Thor was watching the monster tear his way across Odin's world. Nothing can stand in his way and there are many outstanding moments and fight scenes peppered throughout the film."[10]

Kerry Birmingham of Dvd verdict stated "Kyle and Yost have less of an affinity for Thor, and it shows; their Thor script, despite its violence, lacks the glee of the Wolverine installment. In approaching Thor's Hulk as a raging counterpart to Wolverine's more reactive, child-like Hulk, the creators commendably draw a distinction between their interpretations of the character, but the Asgard throwdown is simply less fun than its more gonzo counterpart."[11]

Production

Hulk vs. Wolverine

Hulk vs. Wolverine is a 37 minute short.[12] Frank Paur was the producer/director and Jeff Matsuda was the art director, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost wrote the story. Writer/producer Craig Kyle has stated that the film is a prequel to the Wolverine and the X-Men animated TV series, with the characters having a less violent rematch in episode 7 of the series.[13 ]

Hulk vs. Thor

Frank Paur was the producer and Sam Liu was the director. This 45 minute long short film has a Ragnarok theme,[12] in which the Incredible Hulk battles "every known entity in the Thor franchise" (collectively known as the Gods of Asgard) when Loki teleports him there while Odin is in his Odinsleep.[14]

See also

References

External links


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