Tag Archives: The Incredible Hulk

A Marvel-ous lunch

AKA Spider-Newman and her Amazing Friends

Hi I’m Stan Lee*

IMG_2752Today Marvel fans we find ourselves in sunny Southend-on-Sea where we join old webhead, Spider-Woman, Iron Man and Captain America at Pizza Express.

Of course any self respecting superhero won’t be in several hundred bounds of Southend as they’ll probably be plenty busy at something like San Diego Comic Con, it was of course Isabelle who had just so happened to have donned a top featuring this fantastic foursome.

Not that it’s that often you hear a peep out of Spider-Woman – or Mrs Spider-Man as Iz called her – so that was a nice surprise for her to pop up on the top and say hi.

Iz’s Marvel-ous pink 3/4 sleeve top displays Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Spider-Woman, with the two Spider folk sporting a somewhat glittery look over their red. Not sure that will follow in the new reboot. She loved it and knew all of the characters, almost.

And it really set her pink converse off perfectly.

I spotted it in Tesco and was just genuinely pleased that there was a superhero top available for girls and not just another My Little Pony or Frozen, not that there is anything wrong with either of those franchises but it was genuinely refreshing to see that the Marvel universe wasn’t just perceived as a boys only universe. Because it isn’t.

SupergirlMarvel’s Black Widow and Sue Storm might be flying the flag for Marvel but with the new Supergirl TV series and Wonder Woman sorting out Superman and Batman , perhaps DC may be more female friendly than Marvel? Besides, Iz loves a little bit of Supergirl.

*Clearly I’m not, that’s just how the likes of The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoons were introduced in the early 1980s.

The Amazing Spiderman

Spides like us
With news of the new Peter Parker/Spiderman casting setting the world in a (ahem) spin it got my spider sense tingling with fond memories of the original Spiderman live action adventures, not those of Tobey Maguire and co but those featuring a former Von Trapp child from the Sound of Music, Nicholas Hammond, in the titular role as old ‘Web head’ swung onto screen s for the first time in the 70s, The Amazing Spiderman.

Not only was it a TV series, but over here in the UK several episodes were spun together to create movies that were released theatrically, one of which being my first ever foray into the cinema with a trip to my then local ABC Cinema, thanks Dad.

Whereas DC were taking over the silver screen in the 70s with Superman and making us believe a man could fly, Marvel had to make do with us seeing a body builder with a green paint job and a rather bad wig and Spiderman, whose wall crawling left more than a little bit desired, but who cared, it was just great to see that red and blue costume for real and he had far more impressive and authentic web shooters than the Sam Raimi films.

The ace of spides
Some 30 years later it may all look a bit low rent and kitsch but Spidey looked no better or worse than other action-packed shows of the time, including The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman and the already mentioned, The Incredible Hulk.

It also had some great locations including Hong Kong, clearly jumping onto the martial arts bandwagon, and a whole host of villains. The only disappointment here is that these weren’t exactly super villains and were more low rent types or crime lords as seen in the likes of other dramas at the time, like Kojack and Starsky and Hutch, rather than any of your Sinister Six, like Doc Ock, Kraven, The Vulture, or even the Green Goblin. But, this did at least ground the show in a sense of reality and made Spiderman all that little bit more believable as well.

Stan Lee, who of course made a cameo appearance in all three recent big screen outings, even penned two episodes of the show and acted as its creative consultant, which only lasted 14 episodes over two very short seasons, although he was on record as feeling the series was too juvenile.

The three aspects of this short-lived but fondly remembered show that I loved were Spidey’s spider tracer, which were spider shaped device used to track people to great effect. The music, mostly by Stu Phillips, who also had scoring duties on Battlestar Galactica, and is something that has just stuck with me in my head to this day.

Should have gone to spec savers
Finally, I also loved it when Parker’s Spider sense started tingling as his eyes flashed white and we got to see a negative image of what Parker was seeing unfold as well, their equivalent to Bill Bixby’s green eyes in The Incredible Hulk I guess.

One of the early Spiderman episodes  also dealt with a terrorist with designs on the World Trade Center, which does link this 70s pre-cursor to the original Raimi film, as in its teaser trailer it featured a helicopter being caught in a giant web between the two buildings and some initial posters had a reflection of the Twin Towers in his giant eye, both of which were removed after the 9/11 atrocities.

Raimi’s creation may have had the state-of-the-art sfx and the mega budget but there is always something cool about seeing a live action

A towering success...cancelled after only 14 episodes
Spiderman taking out folk on the TV screen. As good as he# looked in the Raimi movies, when he is flying through the air he is CGI, at least here it is all done for real and sometimes you just can’t beat that , so for me this will always be the real Spiderman and not one created in a computer.

Clash of the Titles

So long Lost, FlashForward fizzled out and time’s been called on 24, great shows that will be long remembered, but for me there was always one thing missing, and much of TV these days, a title sequence.

These were the things that used to make a show truly great, not only would you be humming the theme tune (or if you were like me, recording onto a Dixons tape recorder directly from the TV), but it would generally feature the best bits of the series (that you would always be looking out for in the show), or even if it was a terrible episode you always had the joy of the title sequence.

The Incredible Hulk

There’s that great hurried piano, Bill Bixby in that rotating chair and a fantastically serious voiceover establishing the premise. For all the shots of Lou Ferrigno bursting though things the three things that stick in your mind are the moment where David Banner’s eye goes green, where Banner warns “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” and the split screen moment at the end where The Hulk and Banner’s face share the screen at the same moment, after he has visited his own grave in a rather fetching jacket.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOXpKUu6pUg&feature=PlayList&p=D3C68DE1FD1BA409&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=10

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

After Battlestar Galactica had its space rug pulled from under it, Glen A Larson returned with more space tom foolery. Again, we have Mr Voiceover man doing a marvellous job as we see Buck (Gil Gerrard) blasting into space on the final manned space shuttle flight in 1987 before he is frozen in time and awakes in the 25th Century (2491 to be precise). The stand out moment for me was when Buck spins away from the camera through a time tunnel of sorts, something which could have been quite at home in the Quantum Leap titles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBcaTXNLYQw

The A-Team

One of the finest uses of voiceover magic. Of course, due to sustained Saturday tea time viewing we all know the drill, that in 1972 a crack-commando was sent to a maximum security stockade for a crime they did not commit… For me the standout moments were always those bullets searing into The A Team logo and generally just seeing cars and bodies fly through the air. Perhaps my favourite moment, and certainly my first post-modern one, before I even knew what the word meant, was Dirk Benedict’s double take as he sees a Cylon pass him by from Battlestar Galactica, he being the original Starbuck in that programme of course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIfuaUTH9Y4

Danger Mouse

Cripes, as Penfold might exclaim, a rousing score and fantastic lyrics that we all sang along to every week…and most of us probably made the bomb exploding noise at the end as well. Witty, eccentric and totally British, this was spot on and strangely bonkers kids TV and is hard to believe that this is from the same folk who brought us Cockleshell Bay!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-h25RmS9-Y

The Return of the Saint

For me the music on the title sequence on this show was just something else, and I loved the way that the stick figure emblem of The Saint was the hero of the piece, jumping off bridges, smashing through windows with chairs, getting involved a in some fisticuffs and even getting the girl at the end. It was perfectly tongue in cheek, not to mention probably the only way they could go with the titles after Roger Moore had become so synonymous with the role, but of course was now globetrotting with his Walther PPK. Love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USoH1iDvK_8

The Equaliser

The dark and moody streets of 80s New York were perfectly captured. Memorable moments include the lone woman on the underground station, the woman stuck in the lift with a man and that poor bloke trying to dial 911 when a car screeches behind him. Interestingly, unlike most of US TV at the time, the titles weren’t made from elements that were set to appear in the series but were specially filmed, complete with Woodward stood next to his jag in billowing dry ice that would put Top of the Pops to shame. The Stewart Copeland score is still awesome (even though it sounds exactly like the music he produced for both Wall Street and See No Evil, Hear No Evil) and yes, is even my Dad’s mobile ringtone, seriously, which we always hear when anyone gives him a (Robert) McCall.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB1NiNKwueE

Blake’s 7

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best, and this programmes titles with that great music and not a lot of money thrown at it was an understated brilliance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnautWFuEnQ

Thunderbirds

We all counted down with Mr Voiceover Man and spotting our favourite Thunderbird vehicle, mine was Thunderbird 2 for the record. .Embarrassing fact: when near the end, where a power plant is destroyed by explosions, filmed in supermarionation, is emblazed across the screen. I used to think that this is where the programme was filmed when I was little.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u9HV_8Sh1U

Magnum P.I.

Mike Post and Pete Carpenter were the Dons of 80’s American TV titles scoring and Magnum P.I. is one of the best, even though it wasn’t the original score and somehow has found its way onto some make-up ad – huh? Images wise, you’ve got to love him wheel spinning that Ferrari off the grass, those brilliant helicopter shots and everybody, just everybody who has ever watched it has tried that over the shoulder double eyebrow raise in the mirror that cropped up at the end. Hawaiian shirts and moustaches have never looked so great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CquMO3vJvo

The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest

Little Jonny Quest, think an American Tin Tin, got a revamp in the mid 90s which saw a fantastically bombastic intro and title score and is just pure exhilaration that starts with a sweeping radar and unleashes scenes of mayhem and adventure that really set you up for what is to come. The title score is amazing and would look at home on any live action TV show or even feature film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFccIOABuRE