Hereâ€™s part 2 of my Hulk VS DVD review. This time weâ€™re focusing on disc 2 â€“ Hulk VS Thor.
After watching this (and the previous Hulk VS Wolverine), Iâ€™m thinking Marvel may have found a winning formula for direct-to-DVD animation. These short stories donâ€™t have to deal with origins and continuity. They take the iconic Marvel characters and throw them into situations that fans want to see. The results are great.
Hulk VS Thor starts out with a quick overview of the Norse gods and the legends surrounding them. Narrated by Loki, itâ€™s a quick intro that gets even new viewers up to speed and then weâ€™re introduced to Lokiâ€™s latest scheme. Heâ€™s brings Bruce Banner to Asgard and with help from the Enchantress, he places a spell upon the Hulk. Loki now has control of the one creature that has almost defeated his half-brother Thor. Thereâ€™s a throwaway line in there that quickly lets us know that these characters (even this universe) have a history. Itâ€™s only a mention, but it adds so much.
I hate to say the story is predictable, but thatâ€™s not necessarily a bad thing. It hits all the right notes and you get appearances by the Warriors Three, Lady Sif, Hela (not going to say how), and various other Asgardian characters are seen in the intro. The overall look and feel of Asgard is perfect. Itâ€™s has a shine or glow to it, making it seem other-worldly. If anything, this makes me want to see a Thor animated series (and weâ€™ll get more animated Asgard soon enough).
Overall, this is a perfect companion to Hulk VS Wolverine and itâ€™s definitely the more kid-friendly feature of the two. Still pretty brutal at timesâ€”Hulk pummels Thor like Iâ€™ve never seenâ€”but itâ€™s not bloody, like the Wolverine short. Itâ€™s action packed and full of great characters. When youâ€™re done with the movie, youâ€™ll also want to check out the extras on this disc.
There are two audio commentaries on this disc. One from supervising producer Craig Kyle and writer Chris Yost and the other from supervising director Frank Par, director Sam Liu, and colorist James Peters. The first commentary with Kyle and Yost details the story and how it was formed. Itâ€™s interesting and will fill in a lot of details for viewers not familiar with Marvel. The second commentary is very interesting, as it goes into the details of how the film was made. Color pallets, character choices and more are discussed. Itâ€™s very rare to get one good commentary, but in this case, both commentaries are great.
Next up is "Of Gods and Monsters: The Making of Hulk vs Thorâ€. This is an 18 minute look at the making of the film that quickly details the creation of the story, the cast and the voice recording. Itâ€™s always nice seeing the face of the people that provide the voices of the characters and watching them work is a treat.
Another great feature is the short, 5-minute â€œJack Kirby and Thorâ€ feature. Itâ€™s nice to see Kirby get some media credit for his groundwork in creating most of the main Marvel characters. Too often, Stan Lee is credited as the creator, but Kirby is left out. As the short states, Kirby laid the visual groundwork for the Marvel universe.
Lastly, we get a preview of the next Marvel animated DVD â€“ Thor: Tales of Asgard. Available in Fall 2009, this feature will show a young Thor and Loki, detailing the events that make Thor the hero he becomes. The preview states it was selected to introduce Thor to a wider audience in anticipation for the 2010 feature film.
Hulk vs Thor is a perfect companion to Hulk vs Wolverine and both shorts combine to make one of the best Marvel/Lionsgate DVDs released. Cap it off with a bunch of great extras and itâ€™s a winning combination.