Thursday, May 3, 2018

Throwback Thursday: The Incredible Hulk Returns

© YouTube

Did you know that Thursday is named after Thor? So what better subject for this week’s Throwback Thursday than the hammer-wielding Norse god of thunder himself?

Last year, Thor brought down the thunder into theaters with his movie, Thor: Ragnarok, where he fought against (and eventually teamed up with) the Hulk.

But did you know that this was not the first time that the God of Thunder sparred against the Green Monster on any screen big or small?

Nearly 14 years before appearing together on the big screen with The Avengers, Thor and Hulk made their first appearance in the NBC television movie, The Incredible Hulk Returns.

To learn more about the first time Thor sparred against Hulk, click READ MORE:

© Pop Shifter

I’m sure most of you are familiar with The Incredible Hulk television series, which aired on CBS for five seasons between 1977 and 1982.

Six years later, the series would be followed up with a made-for-television movie, The Incredible Hulk Returns, which aired on rival network NBC.

The premise is simple enough: David Banner (no idea why he’s not named Bruce Banner) develops a new machine to help cure himself of his alter ego, the Hulk. Unfortunately, the company that he's working for is targeted by a corporate saboteur that wants to steal the machine. So it’s up to the Hulk and his new superhero buddy, Thor, to thwart this criminal corporate conspiracy.

The movie is typical 80s television schlock whose attempt to take itself even remotely seriously provides more than enough unintentional comedy that’s especially cheesy and corny by today’s modern standards.

© Hell In Space

This movie was the first on-screen appearance of the comic book character, Thor. The main difference from his comic book counterpart is that, while he was originally the same character as his alter ego, Donald Blake, in this movie, he’s a separate character altogether.

I don’t know why NBC decided to make this change. After all, if not-Bruce Banner can transform into the green monstrosity, there’s no reason why Donald Blake can’t transform into a Norse god.

My guess is that making Blake and Thor two separate characters provides more comedic opportunities with Thor’s overall fish-out-of-water premise, with Blake serving as the modern day straight man to the thousand-year-old god.

This movie was supposed to be a sort-of pilot for a potential Thor television series. Unfortunately, while the movie did exceptionally well in ratings, the series never came to be.

If you’re looking for high octane action and adventure featuring two of Marvel’s superheroes…er, I’d suggest watching the new movie.

But if you want cheesy 80s action, check this movie out for yourself. It's currently available on DVD as a package film with Trial of the Incredible Hulk.

However, my suggestion for a safer and saner experience would be to watch the review of the film by Nash and Film Brain:


  1. It says "This video is no longer available" but I'll definitely check out "The Incredible Hulk Returns" when I get a chance. Haven't seen that one before. Thanks, Dudebro.

    1. Funny. Considering the Marvel fan that you are, I'd assume that you've watched the Hulk television series. I guess you just never heard of this special.

  2. I did watch "The Incredible Hulk" television series with Bill Bixby regularly in the late 70's and early 80's, but never watched the TV movie follow ups in the late 80's so "The Incredible Hulk Returns" is one that I missed. Funny thing is, Hulk is one of my favorite Marvel characters in the comics along with Spider-Man and X-Men.