Hulk: The Official Movie Adaptation #1: Review

Jun 2003
Bruce Jones, Mark Bagley

Story Name:


Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Hulk: The Official Movie Adaptation #1 Review by (November 16, 2021)

Review: Not a lot of people liked this movie directed by Ang Lee; he tried to combine searing personal drama with an over-the-top superhero flick, incorporating some cartoony bits as well. This adaptation tries its best to soften some of the more awkward points and largely succeeds. The final confrontation doesn’t make any more sense than it did in the movie but the actions scenes come off best and they were the most entertaining part of the movie as well. Marvel didn’t pay to license the actor’s faces so there’s another blessing that we don’t have to look at Nick Nolte’s mug, though, ironically, Thunderbolt Ross inadvertently resembles William Hurt who would play the role in the future MCU. Here’s hoping Peter David’s novelization finally makes sense of it all.

Comments: Based on the screenplay by James Shamus.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hulk: The Official Movie Adaptation #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Dr. David Krenzler and Dr. Betty Ross work together in a Berkeley lab studying the use of gamma rays to activate nanomeds in the body to accelerate healing but so far all of the frog test animals have died, blown to bits by the process. And the collaboration between Bruce and Betty is made more awkward by their once having been lovers, until he broke it off. Betty tells Bruce about her recurring nightmare of being a small child and witnessing an explosion at Desert Base, only to be seized from behind by Bruce. That night Bruce has a dream of being attacked by monsters and awakens to see an old man with a trio of scary dogs watching his house….

The next day at the lab, the gamma machine malfunctions and he is bathed in radiation, waking up in the infirmary. Betty doesn’t know why the radiation working on the nanomeds in Bruce’s body didn’t kill him. He recalls a similar dream about Desert Base….

That night, the old man enters Bruce’s room and reveals that he is Bruce’s father, David Banner, and he’s been locked away for 30 years but he has returned to see the results of earlier experiments on Bruce. Later that night, the ringing telephone has a crazy effect on Bruce while at his own lab, David Banner turns a lab rat into a hulking monster….

Betty has a visit from her estranged father, General Thunderbolt Ross, and he tries to tell her who Bruce Krenzler really is; she guesses that Ross was motivated by Glenn Talbot, another of Betty’s exes who wants her back. She storms out….

That night, a setback causes Bruce to turn into the Hulk for the first time and he trashes the lab….

The next day, Bruce is arrested by General Ross who bans him from the lab and from seeing Betty. Dad calls Bruce and explains that he had long ago experimented on himself and that Bruce inherited an amazing deformity…before telling Bruce that he has sent his Hulked-out dogs to kill Betty. Talbot arrives and bullies Bruce who turns into the Hulk and throws Talbot out of the window. He then heads to Betty’s house and kills the hell hounds….

The next day, Betty tries to figure out what causes Bruce to change into Hulk, thinking it may have something to do with his father. Then Bruce is shot with a tranquilizer dark and locked up for study….

That night, David Banner breaks into Bruce’s lab and exposes himself to gamma radiation, giving him the powers of the Absorbing Man….

The next day, guarded by an army, Betty takes Bruce to the home he grew up in, trying to unlock his childhood trauma. Later she is contacted by David Banner who reveals the truth to her: he had experimented on Bruce then tried to kill him but accidentally murdered Bruce’s mother; now he claims all he wants is to see his son once last time….

Behind Ross’ back, Glen Talbot has gotten himself put in charge of the investigation and he has Bruce submerged in a tank and gamma radiation turned on him; Bruce becomes the Hulk and smashes his way out of the base, killing Talbot on the way, and pursued by the military. He smashes tanks and planes, leading them to San Francisco where Betty is able to calm him down and returns to being Bruce Banner….

Bruce is kept a prisoner in an airbase hangar and his father is brought to him. Banner wants then to merge and become a formidable fighting force and he bites into an electric cable, absorbing all of the base’s power and escapes, pursued by Hulk. At the edge of a lake, they battle, with the electric giant David trying to absorb all of Hulk’s power and panicking, unable to control the reaction. Ross orders them bombed and they disappear in a flash….

A year later, Bruce Banner is in hiding in South America, working as a doctor for the poor natives. Revolutionaries demand his allegiance and he warns them that they wouldn’t like him when he’s angry….

Mark Bagley
Scott Hanna
Ian Hannin
Dale Keown (Cover Penciler)
Dale Keown (Cover Inker)
Dale Keown (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)

(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

> Hulk: The Official Movie Adaptation: Book info and issue index

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