Do you remember the best part about your childhood?
For me, there was nothing more thrilling and fun than pretending to be a superhero! My favorite live-action shows included: ‘The Bionic Woman’, ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ (that amount wouldn’t go very far these days!), ‘Electra Woman and Dyna Girl’, ‘Isis’ and ‘Wonder Woman’. I loved that there were so many strong female role models on TV. These characters devoted themselves to the greater good. Damn the cynics; the world could be a better place if we wanted it to be!
Though I remember these superheroes fondly, none touched me as deeply as Dr. David Bruce Banner in ‘The Incredible Hulk’. Sure… we all became excited when the big, green monster made an appearance to inflict suffering on those that deserved it. But we also yearned for Dr. Banner, a brilliant and decent man, to find a resolution to his uncontrollable condition.
The reason why I enjoyed the series so much was because it had a great deal of heart. The catalyst for Dr. Banner’s experiment with gamma radiation was due to the traumatic loss of his wife from a car accident. Haunted by the reality that he hadn’t been strong enough to save her, he worked diligently to understand what could cause superhuman strength in times of dire need. It was then that he decided to test his theory on himself with the aid of a loyal colleague.
Unfortunately, due to the actions of a meddlesome reporter, a fire broke out in the lab, claiming the life of Dr. Banner’s friend/colleague. The Hulk is witnessed by the reporter, who reaches the erroneous conclusion that the green monster is responsible for the death of both scientists. (That’s another quality about the series that I truly adored: the perspective that it’s wrong to jump to conclusions based on the obvious; that things are not often what they appear.)
From that point forward, Dr. Banner is forced to go on the run in order to conceal his identity as the Hulk, with the reporter never far behind. As he wanders from place to place, despite his own hardship (or perhaps because of it), he finds the strength to help others in need.
This is why the Hulk is a timeless superhero. Despite his physical manifestation, he’ll always be relatable for the man that he is at his core. And thanks to Mark Ruffalo’s interpretation in ‘The Avengers’, the fans are thrilled that the Hulk is back with a vengeance!