One of the great things about The Avengers is the Hulk was finally done right on the big screen. Having grown up with the show, it seemed like a no brainer.
The Hulk is a great character with a great superpower that's also a liability, and we can all relate to getting mad enough we could Hulk out ourselves, which also makes his power a cautionary reminder about anger management.
Why no movie before couldn't capture the Hulk right is beyond me, but of course, the first two films missed the mark. So it's especially nice that Joss Whedon finally gave the Hulk his due, because he just celebrated his 50th birthday as well. While comic fans everywhere have been celebrating this milestone, I wasn't aware of how long it's been since the Hulk's debut until the Hero Complex column in the L.A. Times pointed it out, and it's a trip to think the Hulk finally hit the big 5-0.
In covering the superhero world on TG, we've spoken a number of times to Pat Jankiewicz, who wrote the Hulk companion You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry (http://www.amazon.com/You-Wouldnt-Like-When-Angry/dp/1593936508/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339750739&sr=8-1&keywords=Patrick+Jankiewicz). The book is a major treat for Hulk fans, he also wrote a great Jaws companion called Just When You Thought It Was Safe (http://www.amazon.com/Just-When-You-Thought-Safe/dp/1593933347/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339750739&sr=8-2&keywords=Patrick+Jankiewicz), and considering Pat is a real Hulk master, I wanted to ask his opinion on the big lug's birthday.
"The Incredible Hulk making it 50 years is one of the miracles of Marvel Comics," Jankiewicz tells us. "Here is a character who was cancelled after six issues and now he's the company's most recognizable character, next to Spider-Man. He is triggered by rage, something everyone can relate to. Now, thanks to Joss Whedon including him in the Avengers movie, he is more popular than ever."
As Jankiewicz continues, "Joss understood what Lou Ferrigno knew, but Ang Lee and the previous movie adaptations forgot - Hulk is a hero, a misunderstood monster and an antisocial underdog who, despite being feared and shunned by the public at large, will do the right thing anyway. Because of his anger issues, Hulk may be the most relatable superhero of all. Instead of being from another planet or given magical powers like other superheroes, all you have to do to be the Hulk is lose your temper."
So happy birthday big guy, don't ever take that anger management course.