Like many comic book fans, I went to see Ang Lee’s Hulk with pretty high anticipation. To put it bluntly, it was pretty damned boring.
And even after Iron Man came out earlier this year and seemingly proved that Marvel could do their own movies better than someone else, I was still suspicious of walking into a dud.
Well, The Incredible Hulk is no dud.
Edward Norton completely owned the role of Bruce Banner in the same way Bill Bixby elevated the cheesey 1970’s TV version. (In fact, there are so many references to the TV show that I had to go on the internets to find them all.) Norton just is Banner in this perfect combination of The Fugitive meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The geekery wasn’t limited to TV notstalgia, either. There’s references to comic book Hulk traditions like the infamous purple pants and (minor spoiler alert) Hulk villains and supporting characters like Doc Samson, Jim Wilson and The Leader. Add to that the direct ties to Iron Man, Captain America and The Avengers, and I couldn’t help but think, “My God. This is like Lord of the Rings for comic geeks.”
My inner 12-year-old never had it so good.