There’s a new Hulk in town and an unexpected guest sneaks aboard the SHIELD Helicarrier in the newest episode of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Click “More” to read our review!
S2, Episode 9: Nightmare in Red
General Ross comes aboard the SHIELD Helicarrier and asks Maria Hill for a sample of the Hulk’s blood. Unfortunately, someone else, codenamed Winter Soldier, has already snatched it from beneath Hill’s nose. Bruce Banner and Hawkeye spend a quite day on the lake while Banner’s trying to take a vacation from the Hulk’s mind. On the Helicarrier, Winter Soldier approaches a man in a secret room and injects him with a special concoction of the Hulk serium creating a new, horrifying Red Hulk. The Avengers pick up the distress call from Hill. Captain America and Wasp prepare to intercept this new Hulk and recall Banner and Hawkeye to keep him safe. However, Falcon also shows up to capture Bruce Banner to bring him in direct conflict against the new Red Hulk. Hawkeye is able to beat back Falcon. When Red Hulk learns of Falcon’s failure, a voice in Red Hulk’s ear gives him a new mission. The monster crashes into Avengers Mansion and takes Banner. The Avengers catch up, but their swift defeat finally causes Banner to Hulk out. The two behemoths duke it out and just when it looks like the Red is going to win out over green, the original Hulk is able to gain the upper hand again with the help of the Avengers. Red Hulk escapes, but Banner is arrested by SHIELD, another obvious plan from Skrull Cap to eliminate as much firepower as possible.
This episode is pretty bonkers. The whole season has been introducing characters and subplots like mad, but this particular episode pushes that into overdrive. Right out of the gate, we’re introduced to Winter Soldier whose comic book alter-ego, of course, is Captain America’s former sidekick, Bucky Barnes. We don’t get a great deal out of that, but he’s used to inject a mysterious man in shadows with a formula to turn him into the Red Hulk. Later, here comes Falcon making his first appearance as an aggressor to the Avengers and sent to kidnap Bruce Banner. That’s three new characters. PLUS, we learn that Doc Samson, Red Hulk, Falcon, and Winter Soldier are all working for what appears to be someone in the United States government! So, unlike the episode in which we were introduced to the Guardians of the Galaxy, a group of individuals that operate like “space” Avengers, we’re introduced to three, new, individual characters, a potential major threat to the Hulk and the Avengers, and a given a new angle on Doc Samson who seems to be in direct contradiction to the hero we saw in last season’s “Gamma World” two-part episode. Sheesh… My head is spinning!
Ultimately, there’s not much to really say negatively about this episode. Is it one of the best episodes? No, but it’s far from one of the worst. The episode itself is solid fun (like most episodes of the entire series). Perhaps it wouldn’t be the first episode I’d want a new viewer to watch, but it still should entertain fans. It’s primarily a unverse-expanding, character-introducing, mash up on a very high action level. Lots of Hulk action from both the Red and Green versions. Lots of destruction and lots of smashing. It’s really what we would expect on a Hulk-heavy episode.
One thing I do have to wonder a bit about is how many subplots are going to be introduced before any of them are resolved. We have the story of the Secret Invasion, which was the first to be introduced last season. That’s one that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to explode out of the gates on the plot progression scale. It takes time to let that one breathe and fester before exploding. Next, we have Thor’s situation with Surtur and the major doom being spelled out for all the Nine Worlds. Now we have all this business with who the Red Hulk is, what this mysterious puppetmaster that appears to be highly connected is up to, and what these heroes like Doc Samson and the Falcon are doing in this little group that created the Red Hulk. I’m all for having layered subplots, but at some point, one of these needs to be wrapped up. However, it does appear that the next few weeks will accelerate the Secret Invasion story so maybe we can start getting some stuff taken care of!
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Solid action episode. Multitude of new characters introduced that are fan favorites. Another mystery thrown into the mix.||Yet another mystery thrown into the mix and the potential for the series to bog itself down with these multiple subplots.|