The Incredible Hulk Animated

Other Hulk Cartoons

Current Issue
Episode Guide
Character Profiles
Comparisons with Other Hulk Cartoons
The Incredible Hulk (1966):
This Hulk cartoon took its storylines and animation directly from the comic book itself, so many differences relating to plot and character development can be found in the Character Profiles section. Since the animation frames consisted of the comic book panels, there was practically no animation besides moving lips! This is pretty disappointing considering all the great animation of other cartoons back then. In addition, they did a horrible job of casting the Hulk's voice! I guess since Stan Lee based the Hulk off the Frankenstein monster, they portrayed his voice similarly. In my opinion, it is entirely inappropriate as he did not sound at all like a beast...or maybe I'm just too used to the Hulk voice in the 1982 version. Anyway, the great redeeming feature of the 1966 version is being able to witness all the classic storylines and the artwork of Jack 'King' Kirby!
The Incredible Hulk (1996):
Like the 1982 series, this version of the Incredible Hulk also took some liberties with the storyline, but remained pretty faithful to the modern-day Hulk. By the end of the first season, we were even given an appearance by the Grey Hulk! However, by the second season, things went downhill as studio executives decided to make the cartoon more light-hearted and paired the Hulk with She-Hulk. I was so disappointed by that turn of events that I'm not going to even consider the second season in this comparison.
Well, unlike the 1982 series, Bruce's secret is widely known in this version, so much of the time he is on the run from the Hulkbusters headed by General Ross and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Gabriel Jones. Back at Gamma Base, however, Betty Ross and Doc Samson work on a nutrient bath that will separate Bruce from the Hulk. While Bruce is on the run, he is frequently aided by Rick Jones and runs into other characters in the Marvel Universe, including Iron Man, War Machine, Ghost Rider, The Thing, and Thor. In addition to being pursued by the Hulkbusters, The Leader and Gargoyle (presumably the same character from the first issue of the Incredible Hulk) want to capture the Hulk so that The Leader can drain the Hulk's strength into himself.
Like I said, this series is fairly faithful to the comic with some notable exceptions. First, we are told that the Hulk was not created by a Gamma Bomb explosion, but by a Gamma Reactor experiment sabotaged by Samuel Sterns (who would later become The Leader). The storyline revolving around Bruce's separation from the Hulk is perhaps the most faithful (although Bruce actually marries Betty in the comic book). There is no mention, however, of Bruce's childhood and why he suffers from multiple personality disorder. This series greatly benefits from the guest-starring of other superheroes. I feel that if the 1982 series got some superheroes to guest star, it might have lasted past one season.
On a couple of side notes, Lou Ferrigno, the actor who portrayed the Hulk in the live-action series, played the voice of the Hulk in this series. I think he did a surprisingly remarkable job considering the Hulk never spoke in the live-action series. Also, the voice of Bruce Banner in the 1982 series, Michael Bell, actually had a role in one of the episodes of the 1996 series! He played the human voice of Zzzax in the episode 'Raw Power'. It was sure great to hear him in a Hulk cartoon again!