|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
|The Incredible Hulk (TV Series)|
|Beginning date||September 8, 1996|
|End date||November 23, 1997|
|Number of Episodes|| 21|
|Next Series||Silver Surfer|
The Incredible Hulk was the fifth series to air in the Marvel Animated Universe. The series premiered on September 8, 1996 and ended November 23, 1997. There were two seasons and a total of twenty-one episodes.
The series was eventually named The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk for the second season after the introduction and inclusion of She-Hulk.
The series started with Dr. Robert Bruce Banner having already become Hulk and on the run. This season saw the introduction of allies such as Betty Ross and Rick Jones as well as villains such as Leader and General Thaddeus Ross, Betty's father. Banner's cousin Jennifer Walters was introduced and made into She-Hulk, though she would not became a major character until Season two. The season also saw numerous subplots that slowly developed over the course of the season. Betty, along with Doc Samson, attempted to make a Gamma Nutrient Bath that would separate Banner from the Hulk. The Leader was bringing mutant Gamma Warriors to life, along with a failing alliance with The Gargoyle. General Ross also had a fragile association with S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Gabriel Jones, who was ordered to destroy the Hulk completely while Ross wanted to capture and harness the power of the Hulk. All the subplots eventually came together in the three-part season finale which also introduced the Grey Hulk.
This season was particularly dark in terms of the story. Endings were bittersweet or complete downers. Ghost Rider, a dark yet popular comic book character, appeared during the season's darkest phase.
This season was renamed The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk after UPN felt that the first season was too dark, wanted more female viewers, and more emphasis on humor. This was mainly done by the inclusion of She-Hulk as a major character alongside Banner and Hulk. The season started off with the wrapping up of Season one's story lines. She-Hulk and Banner partnered up and went on further adventures.
This season's episode "The Lost Village" won an Emmy award for "best audio editing."
Actor Role(s) Neal McDonough Bruce Banner Lou Ferrigno Hulk Genie Francis
Betty Ross Luke Perry Rick Jones Matt Frewer Leader Mark Hamill Gargoyle Lisa Zane
Actor Role(s) Thom Barry Gabriel Jones Michael Donovan Grey Hulk Kathy Ireland Ogress Richard Moll Abomination Kevin Schon Glenn Talbot
Shadoe Stevens Doc Samson John Vernon Thaddeus Ross
Richard Grieco, Chuck McCann, John Rhys-Davies, Simon Templeman, and Beau Weaver all reprised their roles from Fantastic Four. Dorian Harewood, Robert Hays, and Tom Kane reprised their roles from Iron Man.
The series lasted twenty-one episodes airing between September 8, 1996 and November 23, 1997.
Unlike Iron Man and Fantastic Four, fan reaction was generally positive for the first season but worsened during the second. Fans felt the darker tone of the first season was more in tune with the comics. Fans also felt that guest stars such as John Rhys-Davies as Thor and Mark Hamill as Gargoyle were well played.
The second season's lighter tone was intended to increase the series' appeal. However, it alienated the show's core fanbase and ended up backfiring. Rick Jones, Major Talbot, Doc Samson, Leader, Gargoyle, and the Outcasts eventually disappeared, while Betty Ross became less important.
Because of the backlash due to the changes, the show was quickly cancelled.