Seemingly out of nowhere, another direct to video feature was released by Marvel. Hulk Versus is a smart take on the typically single-minded character. Rather than centering on him, the story pits him against two of Marvel’s heavyweights, Wolverine and Thor, in two separate features. Both told fun stories, though one was easily better than the other.
The first feature is based on the Wolverine introduction story in The Incredible Hulk #181. Hulk is on a rampage in Canada and Wolverine is sent to investigate. Along the way he encounters a few other Marvel mainstays, Deadpool, Sabretooth, and Omega Red. Go to voice actors Steve Blum, Nolan North, and Fred Tatascoire portrayed their usual characters, Wolverine, Deadpool, and Hulk, respectively. What could be said about their performances by now? The animation was sold and appropriately gloomy given the atmosphere. This was a tight 30 minutes.
Hulk vs Thor was the second feature. Loki kidnaps Bruce Banner, separating him from Hulk. Loki sets the now mindless creature loose on Asgard. Odin, having tucked himself in for the Odinsleep, leaves the realm eternal unprotected. Thor, Sif, the warriors three, and the rest are left to defend the gates. This one runs a bit longer with 45 minutes.
Both were fun stories, though my biggest complaint is the run time, which should have been reversed. The Wolverine feature felt too short while the Thor one went on too long. Then again, I enjoyed the former more. With less than typical feature run time, both felt like lost episodes from a series. This just made me crave said series. Thankfully, we eventually got it with Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Of the eight features Marvel created with Lionsgate, this is certainly one of the better ones. Much like Doctor Strange before it, this told its own story, not adhering to any continuity. Though there were sold performances and great animation all around, the short run times made this feel more like highlights from a show, rather than a feature. Still, I could think of worse ways to waste an hour.
Like the Wolverine or Thor feature better? Wish this was a series? Comment below!