Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Dr. Bruce Banner was
a scientist with a dark secret. While rescuing wayward teenager Rick Jones from
the site where Banner was testing his new gamma bomb, Banner was bombarded by
gamma rays. The result was that every time Banner would grow angry or outraged,
he’d transform into a massively strong green behemoth known as the Hulk.
The origin of the Hulk.
Seeing how popular
the Thing was in the then-recently launched Fantastic Fourseries, Marvel Comics writer-editor
Stan Lee took inspiration from Frankensteinand Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydeto create the
Hulk with artist Jack
Kirby. The Hulk debuted in The Incredible Hulk #1 (1962) and was initially depicted as gray to avoid
portraying any specific ethnic group. The printer’s inability to easily render
that color forced his skin be changed to green with the next issue, which is
what it has remained for the majority of the character’s life. The initial
series was cancelled with #6, but the Hulk would go on to guest-star in several
other Marvel titles as well as co-found the Avengers before gaining a permanent
feature in Tales
to Astonishwith issue #60, where most of his principle villains would be introduced.
The character’s popularity with college-aged readers led to the book to become
Incredible Hulkwith #102, and the Hulk had a series in one form or another ever
With Universal Studios’ very successful and popular live-action The
Incredible Hulk starring Bill Bixby and Lou
Ferrigno winding down, the time had come to
return Hulk to his animated roots for the first time since 1966’s The Marvel Super Heroes. Produced by Marvel Productions, the series closely followed the comics with Banner
(Michael Bell) trying to stay ahead of the military while finding a cure to
free himself of the Hulk (Bob Holt). However, only Rick Jones (Michael Horton)
knew that Banner was actually the Hulk, in a change from the comics where it is
The character designs were
inspired by the artwork of Sal Buscema, who had worked on the comic during the 70s and 80s. The
fluid animation was a step-up from the limited movement of the earlier Hulk cartoon, despite utilizing stock footage whenever Banner
Hulked-out. Hulk’s sidekick Rick Jones was modified slightly by being given
blonde hair and always shown wearing a cowboy hat. Banner’s girlfriend Betty
Ross (B.J. Ward) was made a research scientist who worked alongside Banner.
Hulk’s principal antagonist was renamed Ned Talbot (Pat Fraley) rather than
Glenn like in the comics, and was changed into a cowardly klutz. In order to
avoid censorship issues with a younger audience, many of the weapons featured
on the show were done in futuristic sci-fi styles.
Rick Jones and the Hulk.
Other characters to appear
on the show from the Hulk books were his super-smart arch-enemy, The Leader (Stan
Jones), and General Thunderbolt Ross (Robert
Ridgely), who headed up the task force dedicated
to stopping the Hulk. Hulk’s cousin Jennifer Walters made her first appearance
outside of comics as the Savage She-Hulk (Victoria Carroll), the result of needing a blood transfusion from her
cousin when she was injured. The mechanical-limbed Dr. Octopus (Bell) made an appearance from Spider-Man’s rogue gallery along with the Fantastic Four’s foe Puppet Master (Holt), who could control anyone by
molding their shape with radioactive clay. New characters introduced in the
series were Rio (Roberto Cruz) and his daughter Rita (Susan Blu), who served as comic relief and Rick’s girlfriend,
respectively. Hulk’s co-creator Stan Lee served as the series’ narrator.
Hulk only lasted a single season of 13 episodes. It was rerun
for an additional season alongside new episodes of Amazing Friends with
the block retitled The Amazing Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, and
later as part of the Marvel Action Universe, which served as a
showcase of Marvel Productions programs. The episode “When Monsters Meet” was
adapted into comic form by Marvel as The
Incredible Hulk vs. Quasimodoin 1983, by regular Hulk contributors Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. Editor Al Milgrom, dressed as the Hulk, appeared in a one-page back-up
feature explaining the origin of the story.