|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
The two-disc DVD cover
|Release date||January 27, 2009|
|Rating|| PG-13 (MPAA)|
|Director|| Frank Paur|
|Writer(s)|| Craig Kyle|
|Producer(s)|| Craig Kyle|
|Editor||George P. Rizkallah|
|Distributor||Lions Gate Home Entertainment|
|Music By||Guy Michelmore|
|Running Time||82 minutes (Combined)|
|Previous Video||Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow|
|Next Video||Planet Hulk|
Hulk Vs is a direct-to-video animated film from Marvel Comics and Lions Gate Home Entertainment released on January 27, 2009. The release contains the two videos Hulk vs Wolverine and Hulk vs Thor. It features Hulk in two short and separate films battling against Wolverine and Thor. Both segments were rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.
"The idea really started when we were thinking of doing Ultimate X-Men versus Ultimate Avengers. We realized that wasn't going to work out," says Frank Paur, whose past work includes Gargoyles and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. "So we started throwing ideas left and right. Then we went to Marvel and said 'Why don't we just do Hulk against Wolverine?' Then we got to talk more and realized that no one has done Thor the way we could do on this, just pure comic book. With that in mind, we started playing around with ideas. That's basically how we came up with Hulk vs Thor and Hulk vs Wolverine." 
Writer Christopher Yost said that with the previous video, Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, they aimed at a newer, younger audience. With this video they wanted to give something to the hardcore fans.
While part of one package, the two videos have different creators behind it with different approaches. Wolverine was given a darker color palette and made to feel more isolated while Thor has brighter colors and a grander, more epic feel.
The animation is in between the more anatomically correct Ultimate Avengers and the more exaggerated The Spectacular Spider-Man. Producer/Director Frank Paur said the animation in Spectacular would not have worked as well for something as dark as Hulk vs. Wolverine.  The animation itself was done by MADHOUSE Ltd.
Writer Craig Kyle stated that DVD format "allows us to get away with a lot. This is the place we love to be because they don't watch us too closely."
For a while the movie was called Hulk Smash.
Hulk vs. Wolverine
The Incredible Hulk has been tearing a line across the Canadian wilderness, leaving a swath of destruction in his wake. He has to be stopped, and there's only one man up to the job. He's the best at what he does, but what he does isn't very nice. He's Wolverine, an elite agent of Canada's top secret Department H, and he's been put on Hulk's trail with a single objective: stop the green goliath...at all costs. Hulk and Wolverine are about to enter the fiercest battle of their lives.
- From Marvel.com
Logan, codenamed Wolverine, arrives in Elkford in the Canadian Rockies. Department H blames what the Americans are calling the Hulk and send the mutant after him. Wolverine tracks the creature only to find a skinny, sniveling, half-naked Bruce Banner all alone. Wolverine realizes that his skinny man is the Hulk and after some pushing around Bruce transforms. Wolverine tries but the Hulk cannot be beaten with strength nor can he be reasoned with. Wolverine changes tactics and hits the Hulk quickly with his adamantium claws. He seems to win until they are both captured by Team X members Sabretooth, Omega Red, Lady Deathstrike, and Deadpool.
After a flashback to his origins, Wolverine wakes to find that the Professor, leader of Weapon X, wants him back but everyone else wants him dead, especially Deathstrike. He learns that Weapon X attacked Hulk at Elkford, the green giant was defending the town, as they want to have him as a weapon. After Sabretooth attacks the Professor, Deathstrike goes to kill Wolverine. However, he escapes and finds Banner. Unfortunately, Banner was drugged and can't get angry enough, so Wolverine stabs him. The four villains attack and Wolverine is able to defend himself long enough for Banner to transform. Hulk defeats the four but still wants to stop Wolverine, and in the process destroys the facility. Once they are free the two restart their fight.
Craig Kyle picked Nolan North for Deadpool because they worked previously on Wolverine and the X-Men. North would have reprised the role of Deadpool for the second season of Wolverine had it not been canceled.
Christopher Yost commented that part of what made writing Hulk vs Wolverine so fun was the fact that they had a very simple mandate in creating the story. "Literally the only thing had to be Hulk had to be in it and Wolverine had to be in it."
Wolverine was screened for Comic-Con in 2008.
The MPAA rated this video PG-13 for intense bloody animated violence.
Hulk vs. Thor
It's gods versus monsters in this epic forty-five minute movie. For ages, Loki the trickster has sought a way to bring defeat to his accursed stepbrother, Thor. But for all the battles Thor has fought, in all the nine realms, only one creature has ever been able to match his strength—a mortal beast of Midgard known as The Incredible Hulk. Now, with Odin the king of the gods deep in a regenerative sleep, and the forces protecting Asgard at their weakest, Loki is finally ready to spring his trap. In a classic battle that will test a hero's limits more than ever before, only the mighty Thor can hope to prevail.
- From Marvel.com
In the Nine Worlds of Asgard it is time for the All-Father's yearly Odinsleep thus leaving the realm of Asgard open to attack by those who wish to rule. Odin's son Thor and the other Asgardian gods must protect Odin at all costs lest Ragnarok is brought upon them. However, this year Thor's vile stepbrother Loki has a new plan to bring down his estranged brother. He brings from Midgard the only one to ever come close to bringing his brother defeat: the incredible Hulk. His plan, to separate Bruce Banner from his alter ego and control the raging beast himself, is a success until Thor proves he is mightier than he seems. Loki's plan unravels when Hulk breaks free of his control and in a fit of rage the god of mischief murders Bruce.
With no one to constrain the Hulk, it becomes a being of pure rage. Try as he might Thor cannot stop the creature and almost dies until Amora saves him from Hela's grasp. Hulk spots the light of Odinsleep and goes off to destroy it. Thor finds his brother but learns they cannot send Hulk home as Bruce died in Asgard. Amora is sent to aid Sif in the defense of Odin while Thor and Loki head to the bowels of Hel to find the mortal's soul. The armies of Asgard, aided by Loki's Frost Giants, attempt to but fail to stop the march of the Hulk. Thor and Loki find Hela, who has given Bruce everything that he ever wanted and he refuses to give it up. As Hulk defeats Sif and Amora and nearly destroys Odin Loki convinces his daughter to bring the giant to her realm. Thor and Loki try once more but again fail to stop the Hulk's rampage. Bruce realizes what he needs to do and merges once again with his alter ego. Hela realizes the danger of the Hulk and returns him to Midgard, then takes her father's soul in exchange. Odin finally awakes and dedicates a ceremony in Bruce's honor, who never realizes it.
At Comic-Con 2008 fans were given a five minute preview of the film.
This 45 minute long short film will have a Ragnarok theme, in which the Incredible Hulk battles "every known entity in the Thor franchise," collectively known as the Gods of Asgard, when Loki teleports him there while Odin is in his Odinsleep.
The MPAA rated this video PG-13 for animated action violence.
Position Crew Member Editor George P. Rizkallah Music Composer Guy Michelmore Music Supervisor David Ari Leon Voice Director Jamie Simone Executive Producers Kevin Feige
Eric S. Rollman
Supervising Producer Craig Kyle Co-Executive Producer Stan Lee Producer Frank Paur Screen Story Craig Kyle
Screenwriters Craig Kyle
Director Sam Liu Producer Frank Paur Animation Producer Masao Maruyama Animation Supervisor Takuji Endo Animation Co-Producer Alex Yeh Supervising Director Frank Paur Production Company Marvel Studios Distributor Lions Gate Films Home Entertainment Animation MADHOUSE Ltd. DVD and Blu-ray Package Design Kaare Andrews
Note that each video has its own separate crew.
Single Disc Standard Edtion
The standard edition DVD contains a collectible 3D lenticular packaging.
- A featurette called "First Look – Wolverine and the X-Men."
- A featurette called "First Look – Thor: Tales of Asgard."
- A trailer gallery.
Two Disc Special Edition/Blu-ray
The two disc DVD version has Hulk vs. Wolverine on one disc and Hulk vs. Thor on a second. Each video has an audio commentary by Supervising Producer and co-writer Craig Kyle and co-writer Christopher Yost and a second commentary. The Blu-ray edition has one disc, but the same content.
The special edition has a more traditional DVD cover (seen up at the top of this page). The Blu-ray cover is the same, though instead of the standard blue it is colored green for the Hulk.
Hulk vs. Wolverine
- Audio Commentary by Supervising Director Frank Paur and Storyboard Artists Kevin Altieri and Butch Lukic.
- A featurette called "This is Gonna Hurt: The Making of Hulk Vs Wolverine" that looks at the behind-the-scenes of the video.
- A featurette called "Fan Frenzy: Hulk Vs Wolverine at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con" looking at the early screening.
- A featurette called "First Look – Wolverine and the X-Men," the same as the single disc version.
- A Trailer Gallery
Hulk vs. Thor
- Audio Commentary by Supervising Director Frank Paur, Animation Director Sam Liu, and Color Key Design James Peters.
- A featurette called "Of Gods and Monsters: The Making of Hulk Vs Thor" looking at the behind-the-scenes of the video.
- A featurette called "Jack Kirby and Thor" looking at the comic book origins of Thor.
- A featurette called "First Look – Thor: Tales of Asgard," the same as the single disc version.
- A Trailer Gallery
The video is part of an animated universe created by writer Christopher Yost. The universe includes Wolverine and the X-Men, Hulk vs Wolverine, Hulk vs Thor, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and Thor: Tales of Asgard. Chronologically, Hulk vs Wolverine is the second piece after Thor: Tales of Asgard while Hulk vs Thor is the last part of the universe possibly alongside Wolverine and the X-Men.
The episode "Wolverine vs. Hulk", of Wolverine and the X-Men, is a sequel to this video. Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, co-writers and producers, stated in an interview that the episode is indeed a sequel to the video, putting the two into the same universe canon. Though Yost said that the video was written with the episode, already written, in mind.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes shows how Thor and Hulk first met and is the "many battles" they fought that Thor mentions. The producers have confirmed that Wolverine and Avengers are in the same continuity.
Many of the voice actors reprised their roles in other series and videos. Steven Blum and Fred Tatasciore played Wolverine and Hulk respectively on Wolverine and Avengers. Graham McTavish played Loki on Avengers. Matthew Wolf played Thor on Tales of Asgard and auditioned for Thor on Avengers. Paul Dobson played Hogun on Tales of Asgard. Kari Wahlgren played Amora on Avengers. Tom Kane played Professor on Wolverine.
- See each video's reception section for video specific reactions.
Reviews for Hulk Vs. have generally been positive, often seen as one of the better direct-to-video movies.
However, reviews for each film have not been equal. Many critics have rated Wolverine better than Thor. Critics note how Thor has a grander and more stylized feel. Critics enjoy the stronger side characters with greater develop of Bruce Banner. However, these same critics say there is a lack of the fun factor of Wolverine. Several have complained that Thor requires greater previous knowledge of the Thor mythology.
As for Wolverine, critics enjoy the bloody action that would not be possible on a Saturday morning cartoon show. They also praise the excellent visuals and voice casting. The character of Deadpool is also pointed out as the breakout character, perfectly cast by Nolan North. Though common criticisms include a lack of development in the villains and the apparent emphasis of action over plot. Many critics have complained that the Weapon X story interferes with the title fight rather than enhancing the story.
James Harvey of Marvel Animation Age said "the creative teams at Marvel Animated Features have been upping their game with each movie. Last year's Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow was a great animated flick, one of the best they've done, but Hulk Vs is a fanboy's dream come to life, one that I'm sure many will dig." He enjoyed Thor more saying "the epic feel of Hulk Versus Thor just grabbed me a little more. The visuals are eye-popping and exciting, and still found myself engaged by both of the movies even though the stories are somewhat thin." He enjoyed the brutal violence of Wolverine and the majestic nature of Thor. He said that both stories were a little thing but found Thor more enjoyable. He pointed out how the classical looks of each of the characters and called it one of the best Marvel Animated features to date. He claimed the scene where Wolverine fights the bear to be beautifully animated. Of special note were the voice acting and musical composition. However, he did criticize the videos for making Hulk more of a plot point rather than a self-contained character, claiming they were more about Wolverine and Thor. "While Hulk Versus may not be perfect, will definitely please fans and newcomers. If you're looking for a kick-ass comic movie, you got it here! [...] The visuals are eye-popping and exciting, and still found myself engaged by both of the movies even though the stories are somewhat thin. [...] The action is intense and usually unforgiving as characters hack and smash their way through these two features. And while some will find the violence over-the-top and repetitive, others will no doubt get a kick out of the demented and sometimes cartoonish mayhem. Hulk Versus is another great release by Marvel Animated Features that comes Highly Recommended."
When reviewing the special features James enjoyed how the video got a better selection than previous Marvel video releases. He pointed out how informative the Wolverine commentary with Yost and Kyle were as they talked about the story and how it developed, while the other commentary focused more on the look and feel of the video. He called the featurettes standard behind-the-scenes material but better than previous releases, though he said that the Comic-Con featurette was more for those who went. He enjoyed that the commentary of Thor explained the beginning and described some deleted material. He called the video transfer great with excellent sound and color. "Hulk Versus makes for a great DVD release, both in terms of the actual feature and the bonus features [and] looks absolutely stunning in high-definition and the extras are nothing to sneeze at, either. In terms of bonus material, this is a great release that dwarfs all other Marvel Animated Features releases."
Cindy White of IGN.com said that with Wolverine Yost and Kyle know what the fans want but don't make it coherent, and that Thor did not always follow a logical string of thought. She said the animation was nice and although the backgrounds weren't too detailed they still looked good. She said the sound really came through with making Wolverine sound intense and Thor majestic. She said the featurettes were interesting and informative. "When it comes to direct-to-DVD titles, you want to see something you couldn't see anywhere else, and these two films certainly deliver something beyond what's been done with the characters in comics, films and on television." She gave the video overall a seven out of ten. She gave Wolverine a seven out of ten but Thor a six out of ten. She gave the video and presentation an eight out of ten, the language and audio an eight out of ten, and the extras a seven out of ten.
El Bicho at Blogcritics said "Hulk Vs. is an improvement over previous Marvel Comics direct-to-DVD releases, like Ultimate Avengers II, because both the stories and action are improved. The battle between Hulk and Wolverine deserves to be remembered alongside their classic comic-book clashes. This deserves a place on your comic shelf." He said the picture look flawless, the colors are vibrant, and the blacks were deep and rich. He said the audio sounded great, with little need to change the levels between the action and dialogue.
Todd Douglass Jr. of DVD Talk recommended the movie giving the content three and a half stars, video four stars, audio four stars, extras three and a half stars, and replay three stars. He noted that, given the numerous fights Hulk has had in the comics, the producers "approach to the subject matter is more fan-service than an attempt to tell a new story or make a next generation of Hulk lovers." He called it one of the better efforts from Marvel Animation. He noted how the two were separate and those expecting a single movie would be disappointed. He called the animation smooth and doing justice to the characters and worlds. He noted the great voice acting talents of both videos. He noted the informative commentaries that each brought interesting background information to the videos. "The plot also feels more robust with some climactic moments and plenty of surprises. This helped it feel more complete than the Wolverine story and even though Thor's tale is slightly longer, it maintains a stronger pace. [...] Thor tones down the violence a bit to allow a fuller story that works Banner's character into the fold better. The end result is one of Marvel's best animated efforts and even though it's not perfect, it's a must see for comic book fans. Consider it strongly recommended." 
Kerry Birmingham of DVD Verdict said "even the filmmakers' refer to them as 'mini-movies' (with the hint that budgets were to blame for the abbreviated running times). The length, though, is hardly a deterrent, as there's little to explain, and even less to evoke: there's not much in the way of human drama in Hulk vs.. No, forty minutes or so is just about right for some smashing and counter-smashing. While hardly brainless, these episodes aim to please viewers looking for a good fight." He called Wolverine more successful and punchier than Thor. He said it was more fun watching Hulk smash the healing mutants than it was the Warriors Three. "Each mini-movie has its own distinct feel to it, and the animation is a cut above the longer Marvel animated movies. Decidedly not for young kids, these are movies made for and by fans of the material, which means lots of allusions to the comic books and lots of violence besides. Neither film is above the material it freely adapts, but it lives up to that little "vs." nestled between the stars' names. [...] The Hulk and all his associates-hairy, divine, blond, and/or Canadian-are free to go provided Dr. Banner is kept very, very heavily sedated." 
Rob Vaux of Sci-Fi Movie Page gave Thor video three stars and Wolverine three half a stars. He said it was an obvious improvement over previous Marvel animated movies. He said that the videos were a bit short, but movies are the length they should be and that adding more would have detracted from the movie. He said that every frame felt straight from the comics, all the characters were spot on, and the voice acting was terrific. He said that Wolverine accomplished slightly more than Thor, though he noted that Thor explored a part of the Marvel universe rarely explored. "The violence is fairly explicit - full of copious blood in the Wolverine disc and blunter but no less traumatic brutality in Thor's go 'round. Each film has a well-deserved PG-13 rating, which would have been even harsher in a live action scenario. Beyond its intensity, however, the violence helps illustrate some of the subtle differences between each film." Of the special features he called the Jack Kirby segment the "plum of the lot" while the rest was marginally interesting. He said it was unquestionably worth it. "Marvel comic lovers will go ape, and non-fans interested in fast-paced animated entertainment should be more than satisfied with the goods on display. [...] Ideal for fanboys, action lovers and anyone with even a marginal interest in the characters. Parents with small children should pay close heed to the PG-13 rating, however, and probably skip it in favor of milder pleasures." 
Kevin Carr of 7m gave the movies a three and a half out of five stars and the DVD a four out of five stars. He enjoyed how faithful the animated movie was compared to live action films. He liked that they weren't sanitized like televised cartoons and not muddled like theatrical films. He said the animation looked good and was slick. Though he said he would have liked them to be expanded upon and made into feature length movies, wishing they had a little more substance to them. When asked who would enjoy the movie he said "Hulk fans, Marvel comic fans and anyone who wants to see Marvel heroes try to beat the snot out of each other for 40 minutes at a stretch." 
Peter Canavese of Groucho Reviews gave it a good review saying, "Marvel's new deal with Madhouse Studio bodes well for the future. The Japanese animation giant...has the chops to produce spectacular, dynamic, colorful, stylish animation (or, rather, anime) that's an evolutionary leap for Marvel on the small screen."
G4TV named the Hulk Vs. video and Ultimate Avengers was two of the five best comic book inspired animated movies. They said "The animation is crisp, the voice acting is top notch and you can't beat getting two movies for the price of one." 
Newsarama ranked the two together as the eighth greatest animated comic book feature. They felt Thor had some new romance but it was Wolverine that was the real fun. They stated the fights were vicious and exciting as the best Marvel had ever done.
The video has a 7.1 on the Internet Movie Database. Among the community, it has a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although it does not have enough reviews for a rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it does have three fresh reviews. On Amazon it has an average of four and a half out of five stars.
Kyle also expressed interest in making a Deadpool movie.
Christopher Yost went on to write the Marvel Studios film Thor: Ragnarok. The film features a number of similarities to Hulk vs Thor, featuring the two characters fighting as well as Hulk going to Asgard, as well as elements of Planet Hulk.
- ↑ FRANK PAUR – pt. 1, MIXING IT UP WITH THE HULK at Newsarama.com
- ↑ Interview with Christopher Yost at Marvel Animation Age
- ↑ SDCC '08: Hulk VS Wolverine Panel Report at Marvel.com
- ↑ Marvel develops 'Planet Hulk' and 'Super Hero Squad' for animation at Mania.com
- ↑ New Details On Upcoming "Hulk Versus" Release, Including Cover Art And Soundtrack at Marvel Animation Age
- ↑ Kyle and Yost's Hulk Vs Wolverine! at Comic Vine
- ↑ Hulk Vs. Blu-ray Review at IGN
- ↑ Blu-ray Review: Hulk Vs. at Blogsciritcs
- ↑ Hulk Vs. at DVD Talk
- ↑ Hulk Vs.: 2-Disc Special Edition at DVD Verdict
- ↑ HULK VS. (TWO-DISC SPECIAL EDITION) (WIDESCREEN) (2009) at Scifimoviepage.com
- ↑ "HULK VS." DVD Review by Kevin Carr at 7m Pictures
- ↑ The Top 5 Comic Book Inspired Animated Movies at G4TV
- ↑ IGN Playlist: Best Marvel Movies at IGN
- ↑ 10 BEST Comic Book-Based Animated Features of All Time at Newsarama