The image is the artwork in this post. I had no idea what it was, but it looked like an animated movie featuring Hulk (obviously), Dr. Strange, and, wait…is that MAN-THING???
It was. And so, after a few minutes of Googling my Monday night plans for after the family was in bed were made!
The movie opens with Dr. Strange dealing with some monsters on Halloween night. He's having some trouble, but that's okay. He's called in help: the Hulk and the Howling Commandos (vampire Nina, werewolf Warwolf, zombie Agent Sitwell, and swamp monster Man-Thing). It turns out the monsters are part of a plot by Nightmare to use the fears of children and the weakened dimensional borders that Halloween night brings so he can enter into our dimension. And while Hulk may be Dr. Strange's best ally in stopping Nightmare, he's also part of Nightmare's plans. And so a battle for the earth follows, including zombie hijinks, monster mayhem, and lots of Hulk smashing.
Level Seven Analysis
The timing of this movie is very deliberate. Both Halloween and a major Dr. Strange motion picture are around the corner. Add to that, the designs for Hulk seem to tie back to Hulk and the Agents of SMASH, an animated series I never got around to but that had a good run. There's corporate synergy happening here.
But the supporting cast are what brought me in. I may not have even given this a look if I hadn't seen the other characters on the poster art.
Overall, the tone and the audience are clear in the opening scene, and that scene almost turned me off completely. Opening with trick or treaters, we also get some goofy and unfunny jokes and a ridiculous climax to the first monster battle. But once Hulk joins Dr. Strange, things begin to get better. And when zombie Sitwell arrives with his other monsters, I really started enjoying the ride.
The story offers some good internal and external conflict with Hulk and Bruce Banner as they deal with Nightmare in a dream dimension. It offers some action adventure antics with the agents of SHIELD. And it offers an animated Man-Thing?
Yes. Man-Thing. Briefly, I'll just say this isn't the Man-Thing I'm familiar with in the comics, but it was very fun to see him in motion and go into battle with Hulk. And yes, more than once we got to see that “whoever knows fear BURNS at the Man-Thing's touch!”
Better than it probably should be, this animated movie has some scary images for younger viewers, but generally speaking is some good Halloween superhero storytelling to be shared by geeks young and old.
Agent Sitwell (zombie); Nina Price (vampire); Warwolf; Man-Thing (technically, he's an agent now!)…basically a streamlined line-up from the recent HOWLING COMMANDOS OF SHIELD comic
Dr. Strange; Hulk
You can purchase HULK: WHERE MONSTERS DWELL on Amazon. (Purchasing ANYTHING after clicking the link doesn't change the prices for you, and yet it still sends a little kickback our direction and helps the podcast. Thanks!)