May 5 2012

Marvel Has Plans for the Hulk … This Should End Badly

Avengers HulkPeople who have seen The Avengers are saying that the Hulk comes off as one of the best characters. With this in mind, Marvel is ready to roll him out once again as a headlining character.

… Can we please stop this before it gets started?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Hulk for the roll he’s played in the history of comics, and he makes a fabulous supporting character, but quite often he can go terribly off the rails when he is the lead.  Yes, the comic has gone on for hundreds of issues now, but the only time I truly enjoyed him was when Marvel handed him over to Peter David to write, and the only reason that decision was made was because the publisher felt he could do no harm working on a character no one cared about.  David took him in wild and fantastical directions – he became a mob enforcer in Las Vegas for a time known as Mr. Fixit as an example – but in general the character has just never been that engaging.

According to Deadline, the reaction to the Hulk in The Avengers is making them ponder what to do with the property next.  Paul Gitter, President of Consumer Products for Marvel, recently told Forbes, “[Marvel] will spin him off to a stand-alone program next year.”   Forbes went on to say that this will “presumably [be] supported by another big budget franchise movie in 2015. The entertainment studio is also exploring ways to promote Hulk as a ‘corporate icon’ similar to MetLife’s usage of Peanuts’ Snoopy, with Hulk’s image conveying a message about channeling strength to overcome workplace challenges.”

Yes, because using a character that turns in to a mindless machine of destruction is the perfect way to show strength in the workplace.

I have yet to see The Avengers, but I am already willing to bet there are three reasons the character worked: Mark Ruffalo’s performance, Joss Whedon’s writing and the fact that he is a supporting character.  If Marvel/Disney was smart, they would realize that two first two aspects of that could be recreated in a stand-alone film, but not the third.  There is also some talk of Guillermo del Toro working on producing a TV series over at ABC (which is also owned by Disney) that would bring the character back to the small screen.  This I could potentially get behind as you have to dig deeper into Bruce Banner to understand the Hulk and a serialized format allows that where a two-hour film doesn’t.

In one way or another the Hulk will be hanging around again, but lets just hope Marvel has learned its lessons from the first two films.  (side note, yes, I know Marvel didn’t do the first film by Ang Lee, but people still remember it and associated it with the property)

[via Deadline]

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