Okay. Hopefully by now you’ve seen The Avengers at least twice. If you haven’t, get off my website. We’re not friends.
There was a lot of debate both before and after The Avengers was released about Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner (Hulk). Prior to The Avengers, I had no idea who Ruffalo was. The previews weren’t too kind to him either; he appeared a nobody in a sea of Robert Downy Jr., Scarlet Johansson, that chick from How I Met Your Mother, and Scarlet Johansson.
In this, our very first Open Forum, I want to hear what you have to say on the issue:
- Was Ruffalo true to the comic character?
- Was he to The Hulk what Heath Ledger was to The Joker?
- What about Eric Bana and Edward Norton?
- Were they terrible or would you have rather seen them in The Avengers over Ruffalo?
If you’re one of the cool kids on Bookface, here’s one of those new fangled poll things. Vote for your favorite Hulk and impress your “friends” with majestic nerdery.
And while you’re here, brush up on your Hulk lore. Below lays the pantheon of Hulks past. Gaze upon their sweat speckled green biceps and puzzling green capris:
UPDATE: Our good friend (and Macedonia Films logo creator) Bryan had some further insights on the Hulk pantheon, so I’ve included them below. Enjoy!
Eric Bana (Hulk, 2003)
I don’t remember much about Bana as Banner…which probably says everything that needs to be said. It was a pretty forgettable film. Heck, I even forgot Jennifer Connelly was in it, and that’s not something you normally forget. All I remember was that electro-zappy guy. He was fun.
Um…and that’s all. Bryan?
Bana’s version was that of a man who was emotionally disconnected and repressed, but filled with a seething well of rage. In a way the manifestation of the Hulk made him a whole person.
Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk, 2008)
If I’m honest, I skipped this one. Edward Norton apparently re-wrote and re-wrote the script, and between that and all the hype, I got wore out on the idea of another Hulk origins movie. Norton is a brilliant actor (LOVED him in Fight Club), but he can take himself a little seriously sometimes, which doesn’t seem to jive with meek Dr. Banner.
What say Bryan?
Norton’s version showcased more of the intellectual/genius side of the character, and isn’t one you should have skipped. It was a stronger version than that of Ang Lee/Bana. It also played into the Avengers. When he says he “broke Harlem” it was in Norton’s version.
Bill Bixby / Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk, 1977-1982)
Yeah. I had to. I remember catching bits and pieces of this when I was a wee lad, and even in the 80’s it was über-cheesy. If you’ve been watching Celebrity Apprentice this year, Ferrigno is an apprentice (along side Paul Sr. of OC Choppers fame), and he seems like a cool enough dude.
Bill Bixby’s hulk should be in a different category all together. The man played the character for 5 years on TV and came back for 3 TV movies. His version wasn’t at all special effects driven and lived and died largely on his Banner carrying the story. It was much more about a good man with problems beyond his control trying to find peace and his inability to do so. His version ought to be set aside an a achievement in its own right. Yes, it was cheesy, but that was the nature of the medium at the time.
So go on. Leave a comment.
Tell me who the superior Hulk is. Argue your point. Tell me I’m wrong about Joss Whedon fans again. Whatever. I still think Buffy is a stupid TV show.