Monday, July 21, 2014

Wolverine and the X-men(TV) - episode 7 - Wolverine vs The Hulk

Before Wolverine became an X-man, he was actually introduced in an Incredible Hulk comic book.  His costume was also a little different, particularly in regards to the mask.  This episode pays homage to that original appearance, though it does so in an interesting way.

After a brief intro where we see soldiers getting attacked in the Canadian wilderness, we cut to Wolverine being chased by the MRD.  They catch up to him and are ready to take him in when a helicopter carrying Nick Fury drops down.  This version of Fury is African American like the film version, but also has hair very similar to the original comics version.  It's an interesting mix that let's you know visually that he's supposed to be taken on his own.

Simply put, this Nick Fury is an absolute jerk.  The MRD flee at his command, because he wants Logan for his own purposes.  He tells him that he needs him to go to Canada to take down the Hulk, and when Logan is reluctant, he just quietly starts naming off the real names of all the X-men.  He says he will report every single one of them and their location to the MRD if Logan doesn't cooperate.  It's awesome in an incredibly evil way.

With no real choice given him, Logan heads to Canada to track down the Hulk who Fury has claimed was destroying multiple villages.  That seems odd to Logan, as he knows from experience that the Hulk would much rather just be left alone than he is into mayhem.  The two of them run into each other and we see a quick flashback to their first battle, featuring Logan in that early costume.  After a tussle between the two of them, the Hulk turns back into Bruce Banner and Logan begins to find out what is really going on.

It's not the Hulk who has caused all the damage, it's the Wendigo.  In the original comic, the Hulk was fighting the Wendigo when Wolverine appeared to take them both out.  Here their previous fight was apparently for some other reason, because the idea of the Wendigo is completely new to Logan.  It's an interesting thing, to have that flashback but also essentially adapt the comic in the present day, albeit with a bit of a twist.

So Bruce explains that he is here because Fury asks him to develop a cure for the Wendigo, who he was told was cursed into his condition, and while Bruce assumed that meant shooting the antidote into the Wendigo from afar, for Fury it meant dropping Banner out of the copter so he could turn into the Hulk and become bait.  The soldiers were incapable of handling both monsters and crashed at the site.  Since then the original Wendigo has bitten all the soldiers and now they're less developed versions of the monster.  It's a good thing Banner made a ton of antidote and brought it along with them.

The two of them make their way back to the copter, but are delayed by a Wendigo attack.  Logan holds them off while Banner continues to the copter.  But of course he does eventually hulk out yet again, and Logan has to both hold off the Hulk who is mad at him for their last fight, and also give the antidote to all the various wendigos.  It's all very nicely choreographed and the Hulk constantly calling Wolverine "little man" adds a bit of humor in to it as well.

When Logan finally takes out the big Wendigo, he transforms back into human with clothes and all, so Logan notices that he was wearing a SHIELD uniform.  A calmed down Banner is also horrified to learn that they were creating these monsters on purpose for use as soldiers, so Logan gives him a nice little shove to help him transform back into the Hulk, leaving him for Fury to deal with.  He also tells Fury that if he comes after the X-men, he'll make him pay for it.

There's all kinds of nice subtle details in this episode that I really like.  When Logan first arrives in Canada, we see how stealthy he is when he walks right up to a deer and pets it, and the smile on his face shows us how much he's enjoying being back home again.  He also struggles to open a case, and finally extends his middle claw only in frustration in order to open it.  They're blink and you miss it details, but they really add a lot to the story.  This episode does nothing to move the season's storyline forward, but it's definitely worth the pit stop.

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