Fun at the Movies – the Incredible Hulk and Marvel Crossovers

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The 2008 blockbuster hit movie, The Incredible Hulk, finally brought Hulk fans redemption for their beloved superhero. Many opinions on the movie indicate that the 2008 version was much more loyal to the comic book than the 2003 release.

Not only did the Hulk movie include staples to the Hulk universe such as Doc Sampson and the Abomination, it also made references to other Marvel comic book superheroes such as Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. What? You didn’t see these guys? That’s ok. These guys and a few others were around in the form of hints, allusions, and “Easter Eggs”. It’s a great way to setup future movies such as the Avengers, Thor, and Captain America.

Here’s the list Marvel crossover references if you missed them:

* Allusion of Thor in the cave scene. A very powerful scene that reminded me of King Kong. Outside the cave, lighting and thunder raged. One of the bolts struck the Hulk prompting him to howl upwards to the sky in defiance of the elements. In Marvel universe, Thor is the god of war and thunder and many fans saw this scene as Thor measuring the Hulk before an eventual showdown.

* Stark Industries on documents in the opening sequence. Stark Industries is a weapons manufacturer owned by Tony Stark who also flies around as Iron Man.

* Tony Stark cameo (Robert Downey Jr.) at the very end scene speaking to General Ross about a new team he’s putting together. The buzz online is that Stark refers to the formation of the Avengers.

* S.H.I.E.L.D. name and logo on documents in the opening montage. S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division. It is “an extra-government intelligence and security organization dedicated to protecting the nations and peoples of Earth from all threats, terrestrial or extraterrestrial.” ( S.H.I.E.L.D. often works with the Avengers and is led by Nick Fury. Samuel L. Jackson made a cameo in Iron Man as Nick Fury.

* S.H.I.E.L.D. logo can also be seen in the e-mail sequence when, from a gas station computer, Banner e-mailed to Mr. Blue the data of his experiments. S.H.I.E.L.D. technology intercepted the message.

* The blue serum that turned Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) into a super soldier references Captain America the first super soldier created by the US government during World War II.

* Blue serum turns Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) into a super soldier in the Hulk movie

* Blonsky’s super quickness and agility coupled with his military training and experience demonstrated how Captain America would fare against a much stronger opponent like the Hulk.

* Blonsky’s healing ability also demonstrates how Captain America could survived being frozen in the arctic since World War II. In the comic books, the Avengers found the body of Captain America frozen in a block of ice somewhere in the North Pole.

* Jim Wilson, one of the college students interviewed by the news media as a witness to the battle between the Hulk and the US Army, is a nephew of Sam Wilson. Sam Wilson is a superhero known as the Falcon who is a friend of Captain America. Jim Wilson also appears as a sidekick of the Incredible Hulk in other issues.

* The blue serum is clearly labeled Weapons Plus. This one is a bit of a stretch, but the program that created Wolverine is called Weapons X. Wolverine made his very first appearance in an Incredible Hulk comic book issue.

* Stan Lee cameo drinking the gamma-laced soda and falling over from poisoning. Marvel movies are known for Stan Lee cameos.

* Stanleys Pizza is the name of the restaurant where Banner stayed temporarily and where Betty first discovered his return. The name is too close to Stan Lee to be dismissed as coincidental.

* Paul Soles playing Stanleys is the voice of Spider-Man in the late 60’s cartoons.

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