Directed by Carl Upsdell
Starring Brian Drummond, Sebastian Spence, and Michael Dobson
Created by Damon Lindelof (writer), Leinil Francis Yu (artist), and colorist Dave McCaig (colorist)
The emerald giant faces off against the nigh unkillable bad boy in this latest Marvel Knights motion comic.
Wolverine is tasked by Nick Fury and SHIELD to track down and kill the Hulk, who has already successfully survived execution by nuclear bomb after a rampage in New York City killing over 80 people. Bruce Banner is on a quest to stay calm and keep the monster at bay.
The story plays off of Wolverine’s first appearance ever being fighting the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk comic series. This is not that story though. For those unfamiliar, the “Ultimate” line that this story takes place in is a different set of stories meant to take a more modern spin on characters originally created in the 1960s.
As the Ultimate line tends to be more “mature” than the regular Marvel canon, you should expect a fair share of crude humor and dark violence in this particular title. Case in point, an accusation of Bruce Banner being impotent makes him angry enough to trigger the Hulk transformation. All of that is a cheap enough ploy as it is. However, this motion comic version attempts to sanitize the original work and ruin some of the effect. The script switches out some colorful words with safer alternatives, but they stick out like a sore thumb as obvious censoring and uncharacteristic language.
For once, this motion comic benefits more from watching each part individually than all together. Each part – which matches the corresponding print issues – jumps around from perspective and time in the general story. Part of this is due to the original comic series suffering an over three-year delay between issues two and three, thanks to writer Damon Lindelof’s other writing commitments. This may prove disorienting, as the third and fourth parts are essentially recaps and catch-up exposition, but they still add enough new content to keep the story going.
Other than the delay, the most notable part of the story is the almost comical dismemberment of Wolverine, showing how utterly ridiculous his healing ability can be. It’s almost parody level and worth a couple of chuckles. The OTHER notable part is the introduction of Ultimate She-Hulk. She has a markedly different attitude towards the Hulk in this incarnation, which adds to the lewd and crude nature of the overall story. My favorite aspects of the Ultimate line tend to be when they change things up, and this one worked well until the ending, which felt like a rushed wrap up. Don’t know how you can rush a six-issue story told over three years, but there you go.
The presentation might be worth a watch once. The humor and outlandishness of it may strike a chord, but it’s more interesting just to see how Lindelof handles jumping around from perspectives and time in a format he doesn’t typically use. Unfortunately, it’s not a strong outing for the Lost, but he also brought us Cowboys Vs. Aliens, so take that how you will.
The Video and Audio
The art actually holds up better in this motion comic than what I’m used to, but it still deals with laughable animations in trying to make the printed page look like it’s moving. The audio is fine. The dialog is clearly understood.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
This one disc set comes in a flimsy cardboard case and includes one behind-the-scenes bonus feature, focusing on the supervising producer Kalia Cheng and artist Leinil Francis Yu. The little it actually focuses on the art is nice, since the actual artist is there, but that’s only a small part of this seven-minute video. Otherwise, there’s no Lindelof, and while they bring up the delay, there’s not much explanation or discussion about it. Honestly not a fulfilling documentary for what I would hope would be a more interesting story behind this book.
Overall (Not an Average)
I did enjoy this story for changing things up with a non-linear story in motion comic form, thanks entirely to the original Lindelof comic. Unfortunately, the story itself doesn’t stand on its own outside of that nice twist of storytelling. The only real take away from this video is Hulk ripping Wolverine in half, an image that’s been plastered and parodied all over the internet for years, and if you’ve seen that, you’ve already got all you need.