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September 18, 2011

Stay Tooned Sundays: Planet Hulk

After about a month long hiatus, Stay Tooned Sundays is back! Sorry for being away so long, but there was sickness, then vacations, then the dog ate my homework, etc, etc. The important thing is that we are back and celebrating the one year anniversary of this column!! That’s right folks, September 5, 2011 marked the one year anniversary of STS! In honor of this momentous occasion, you all should go back and check out some of the past installments you may have missed, or revisit some of your old favorites by clicking here. Thanks to everyone who reads and supports this column, you are all appreciated. If you have any suggestions and/or comments, or things you want to see reviewed, feel free to shoot me an email (my address is down below), or leave a comment in this post and I’ll see what I can do to accommodate you. With that all said and done, let’s start the next 365 days with this week’s coverage of Planet Hulk!

Title: Planet Hulk
Written by: Greg Johnson, Craig Kyle, and Joshua  Fine
Director: Sam Liu
Company: Marvel Animation
Distributed by: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
US Release Date: February 2, 2010
Length: 81 min.
MPAA: Not Rated

This animated adventure is based off the very popular comic by Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan (which I have yet to read). The story begins with the Illuminati, a secret group of leaders from each area of the Marvel universe, sending the Hulk to another planet to prevent him from causing any more destruction on earth. They collectively choose an uninhabited planet and send the Hulk on his merry way; unfortunately, the space craft carrying the Hulk ends up crashing on another planet that was not its intended destination. The planet in question is ruled by a “savior” who had rescued the planet from a parasitic alien invasion many years ago. While most believe that this “savior” was prophesied in their religious text, some do not agree that he is in fact the one they’ve been waiting for. When the Hulk crash lands on the planet in a similar fashion to what was prophesied, some of the dissident people believe that he might actually be the real savior. This threat causes the tyrannical ruler of the planet, Red King, to quickly dispatch his men to capture the Hulk before anyone else can find him. Once they capture him, they send him to fight in the gladiator arena alongside a rag tag group of other prisoners.

At first, the Hulk refuses to fight and instead concentrates on finding a way to escape. He soon is drawn into the conflict, however, when his cellmate “friends” nearly die at the hands of their opponents. After winning a few more battles, the Hulk’s popularity grows among the people and his very presence starts to become a threat to the Red King. Eventually, the Hulk and his pals win enough battles to gain their freedom, but the Red King prevents that from happening. Pushed to the breaking point, the Hulk and his crew finally escape with help from an unexpected source. Once free, Hulk parts ways with others who soon discover that the only way to ever be truly free is to overthrow the Red King. Hulk is hesitant to help them and only wants to be left alone, but after some catastrophic events he eventually changes his mind. It is around this time that he comes to the realization that these people truly understand him and like him for who he is, and that it might be better to stay on this world than return to one where he is feared and hated.

I found Planet Hulk to be a very enjoyable flick even though I’m not the biggest Hulk fan. The secondary characters were very interesting, and the cameos by Thor and especially Beta Ray Bill were awesome! The story was a bit too predictable and a little too much like the Justice League episode, “War World.” I also found it strange that the Hulk got injured very easily in this movie. Hulk is arguably the strongest being in the Marvel Universe, but in this adventure he gets beat up or nearly beat up by almost everyone he battles. It was also odd to see the Hulk fighting with weapons and needing some kind of armor thing on his left side for protection. Hulk has battled with nearly every powerful super being on Earth and never needed to wear any kind of armor. Where I found this film really succeeded was in the way they nailed the mindset of the Hulk. Seeing the development of Hulk’s feelings about where he fits in, and how others view him, was a fresh spin and quite enjoyable. If you like to watch aliens beat the tar out of each other, and get a good story on the side, then this is definitely the movie for you.

Nick Zamora