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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Drama > The Incredible Hulk The Complete Series (1978 - 1982/Universal DVD Box Set)

The Incredible Hulk - The Complete Series (1977 - 1982/Universal DVD Box Set)



Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Episodes: B-



PLEASE NOTE: This set has finally been issued on Blu-ray in the U.S. after being issued in France in the format, et al, from the same video masters apparently, but they look and sound better than this set, so that is now the set recommended until a 4K set is possibly issued. The new Blu-ray set adds no new extras either.



Having only covered the first and last seasons, I was amused when The Incredible Hulk - The Complete Series (1978 - 1982) arrived and had huge, heavy packaging. Fortunately, the fancy box top is a nice plus, though fanatics will still collect all the newer packages with the lenticular covers. Here is our previous coverage of the first and last/fifth seasons:


One

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/4016/The+Incredible+Hulk


Five

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/7664/The+Incredible+Hulk


Performance through all five seasons is consistent with a show its age and the prints are in pretty good shape as noted before, though you only get lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono throughout with no upgrades, the 1.33 X 1 framing is fine. The Fifth Season was pushing it a bit and the telefilms more so, so when did the show start to run out of energy? Part of it simply was by following a Fugitive-style and not adding/licensing more of the comic book characters, they did everything they could have done. That is apparent by the end of the fourth season when a Hulk-like creature turns up, though the Third Season is the last full set of shows where the energy was at its height. Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno could not have been cast better.


There are shows that show their age more than others (like Banner taking a job at a disco), but for the most part, the series has aged well enough to still be more realistic than the 2003 feature film disaster and hold its own against the 2008 restart feature (and al the incarnations since). If you buy this set, you get 18 DVDs individually packaged in their own ultra-thin cases, exactly like the separate boxes. Many will find it initially heavier than most DVD sets, but that seems to fit the idea of The Hulk, himself, heavy, green and more formidable than his counterparts.


Extras are not bad across the seasons, even though some seasons include a bonus show from the next season/set. You also get intros and audio commentaries on select episodes by producer Kenneth Johnson, a photo gallery for the Prometheus episode, a sneak peak at the 2008 film and two featurettes: Remembering The Incredible Hulk - An American Classic and Creating An Iconic Character: The Hulk. The only thing missing is a gallery of all the great toys and tie-ins on the character at the time. Though none of the toy companies directly licensed the character from the TV show, many were out there with items and no less than three companies did Hulk action figure toys.


(Mego was the first, with everything from 8-inch and 12-inch action figures a few years before the TV show hit, with only the 1960s cartoon on syndicated TV. The 12-inch version even offered a fly-away action version. Hulk was among the first-ever 3 3/4-inch action figures, another Mego invention, plus they made a die-cast metal Hulk and Stretch Hulk that you could pull in all directions. Remco added an impressive Electronic Hulk and Tara Toys did a playset and helicopter to go with the larger Megos. Add other non-action figure items and that would have been the icing on the cake for this set, but there is always 4K Blu-ray.)

In the meantime, The Incredible Hulk - The Complete Series makes for a great gift set and was the first live-action breakthrough for Marvel Comics on film. Without it, we would not have the Marvel films we have now.


For more on the 2008 film, try this link:


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/7743/The+Incredible+Hulk+(2008/Blu-ray)


Also, since we covered this DVD box, we actually interviewed creator/producer Kenneth Johnson when The Bionic Woman was issued on DVD (no signs of any Blu-ray set there either, yet) and he talked about Hulk, so you can read more about that at this link:


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/interview/10735/An+Interview+With+Kenneth+Johnson



- Nicholas Sheffo


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