The Incredible Hulk (1996) Season One: Recap and Review

We take a look at Season 1 of the short-lived Incredible Hulk cartoon from the 90s.

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About The Incredible Hulk (1996) Cartoon

The ’90s were a bit of a heyday for Marvel cartoons. Fan favorites like Spider-Man and X-Men had a very long and successful run with memorable theme songs that fans are still nostalgic for. Their toys and merchandise were everywhere. But those two weren’t the only Marvel characters to get the animated treatment.

Other popular characters like Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk also had adaptations, but for one reason or another they weren’t as popular and aren’t as memorable. In fact, some fans might not even have known they existed. They might not be as strong as those popular series, but they should be praised in their own right.

The Incredible Hulk – Funny Moments

The Incredible Hulk Season One: Recap

This story of the Hulk started fairly standard like any other. The Hulk is on the run from General Ross and the army along with SHIELD while Betty and Dr. Samson try to find ways to help from behind the scenes. While on the run, Bruce and the Hulk interact with a huge roster of A-list Marvel characters. They try to seek help from Iron Man, Thor, Ghost Rider, and even She-Hulk makes a two episode appearance as she gains her powers from her cousin. This all happens while the Hulk’s arch enemy, the Leader, seeks to position himself steal the Hulk’s power.

This all comes to a head in the season’s three episode finale. Betty and Doc Samson finally find the means to separate Hulk and Banner physically. However, the two of them are incapable of existing separately. This allows an opening for the Leader to transfer his consciousness into the Hulk’s body. Things didn’t go as planned as the Leader was unable to control the Hulk’s rage.

He transferred himself back, which allowed the Hulk to escape. In a dramatic climax, the Hulk and Bruce Banner in an exosuit face off in a brutal fight. Betty and Samson try to unite them, but Betty’s crazed father accidentally knocks Rick Jones into the experiment, causing him and the Hulk to merge. In the episode’s closing moments, Bruce transforms into a new gray version of the Hulk.

The Incredible features A Lot Of Superhero Guests

An enraged Incredible Hulk
An enraged Incredible Hulk

Despite all other critiques of the show, it should be commended for the sheer amount of superhero guest stars that it has. X-Men certainly had a wide range of characters, but they were mostly all mutants and still within the X-Men sphere. Spider-Man’s show also had some guests like Blade and Daredevil. However, in just one season The Incredible Hulk seemed to have a new A-list superhero every episode.

Even more impressive, the show managed to fit them in seamlessly to the story. Everyone from Ghost Rider to Iron Man had a purpose to the overall plot and Bruce Banner’s journey. It wasn’t just cameos for the sake of cameos. They actually use these characters in a meaningful way to tell real stories similar to how the comics work.

The Incredible Hulk S1 Finishes Up Strong

While its multi-episode premiere left fans of the character wanting more, The Incredible Hulk’s multi-episode finale did just that. After seeing Bruce Banner journey all across North America in search of being rid of his curse, it was a pleasure to finally see that come true in the finale. Of course, nothing is ever simple. So the culmination of this season was met with drama and action.

The Leader finally got what he wanted by inserting himself in Hulk’s body. Then the Hulk and Bruce Banner faced off in a fight of their own. This was before leaving the season on a cliffhanger that introduced the Grey Hulk as well as a Hulk version of Rick Jones. All of this in one three episode finale showed just how much a season can grow from beginning to end and can leave a lot open for the next season.

RELATED: 45 Marvel Movie Trivia Questions (With Answers)

The Incredible Hulk lays waste to his enemies!
The Incredible Hulk lays waste to his enemies!

The Incredible Hulk Voice Cast

Neal McDonough as Dr. Bruce Banner

Lou Ferrigno as Green Hulk

Michael Donovan as Grey Hulk

Genie Francis and Philece Sampler as Betty Ross

Kevin Michael Richardson as Dark Hulk

Luke Perry as Rick Jones 

John Vernon as General Thunderbolt Ross

Kevin Schon as Major Glenn Talbot

Kevin Schon and Richard Moll as Abomination 

Matt Frewer as Samuel Sterns / The Leader

Mark Hamill as Gargoyle

Kathy Ireland as Ogress

What did you think of The Incredible Hulk cartoon?

Have you revisited The Incredible Hulk on Disney Plus?
Let us know on social media.

The Incredible Hulk shows his softer side!

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