In November 2010, word first came out about Guillermo del Toro and David Eick joining forces to bring a new rendition of "The Incredible Hulk" to ABC. Earlier this month, ABC President Paul Lee confirmed that Marvel and ABC are hoping to have the show ready to go for the 2013 schedule. The importance of this show to the comic book industry cannot be exaggerated.
Comic Book Industry
Due the success of "The Walking Dead," many of the networks are scrambling to add comic book-based shows to their lineups. Plans are in the works to bring characters like Jessica Jones, Deadman, Punisher, Mockingbird, and Booster Gold to TV. The Hulk is the only first-string character on the list of proposed shows that most people will recognize. By having the most pressure on it, "The Incredible Hulk" will set the tone for the rest of the comic book industry. It if fails or is tabled, the other shows will struggle to make primetime. At the same time, as with everything done by the comic book companies, the hope will be that the character will introduce more people to comics and to the merchandising done using the images of superheroes.
Often, TV viewers hear the term that a particular show is the "flagship show" of a network. This is a show that people think of when they think of the network involved. You cannot talk about Fox, for example, without thinking of "American Idol." The flagship show is the one that often has the highest budget, charges the most for advertising, and is the most integral property to the network in question.
Instead of becoming a flagship for a network, it would make sense that the comic book industry would have to accept "The Incredible Hulk" as the flagship show for the industry and follow any type of lead set by the show. If a situation works for Ol' Greenie, fans should expect to see the same type of situation on another one of the upcoming superhero shows. Any issues people have with the show will be noted and avoided by others in the emerging TV genre industry.
While being considered as a flagship show for the comic book industry, "The Incredible Hulk" could also be related to an aircraft carrier. The show could easily be used to launch other Marvel properties into the general audience. Marvel used "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2" to launch "Thor," "Captain America," and "The Avengers." The company would be remised if they did not use the upcoming TV show to launch planned upcoming projects such as "Doctor Strange," "Nick Fury," "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Ant-Man," and other characters that have had ties to the Big Green Machine in the comics.
With the buzz over how impressive the Hulk was in "The Avengers," many eyes are on Marvel and ABC to deliver a great show for fans to love. For the comic book industry, the importance of "The Incredible Hulk" cannot be overemphasized. It will easily become the flagship of the comic book-based genre on TV; it will bring extra interest to the comic book industry, and can be used to launch other projects. The Huk as a character continues to grow in importance generations after his conception.
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