With Marvel and ABC working feverishly to introduce a new version of "The Incredible Hulk" in 2013, it would be fitting to take a look at what made the original version great. "The Incredible Hulk" is still considered as one of the best superhero shows of all time. What is it that makes the show so memorable 30 years after cancellation?
Focal point of the original
The focus of the original show was on how David Banner dealt with a life in which he had to leave everything behind and constantly move on. Instead of focusing on the marauding Hulk, fans took a look into the psyche of a man who could not stay anywhere long or his past would catch up with him. He had to deal with hiding an aspect of himself (the Hulk) to keep himself and others safe. While the Hulk was present, he only appeared for about five to ten minutes in each episode to keep fans hungering for more while still keeping enough time to cover the human condition.
The key to the show
There was a key theme connecting every episode of the series which was figuratively displayed in the infamous "walking away" ending of the episodes. Banner lacked stability in his life. He constantly tried to set roots in new areas, but was forced to move along when those searching for him got too close. He also lacked the stability to control the Hulk as Ol' Greenie would take over whenever the doctor became angry. Few shows are able to keep continuity over multiple seasons with a single key theme.
While fans of "The Incredible Hulk" would automatically think of the Hulk as the superhero of the show, it was Banner who was the true hero as he would go out of his way to help people at all costs. He would constantly place other people ahead of himself even if it risked the exposure of his secrets. Common tales of trying to vacate a small town of robber barons or going toe-to-toe with organized crime were seen each week and showed how the main character cared more about the weak than about himself. Even though the Hulk was the stronger physical character, it was Banner's humanity which made the weaker scientist the true hero of the classic show. The Hulk was the sizzle which caused people to originally tune in, but it Banner was the meat of the show and led people to revere the show for so long.
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