Episode #48 The Deadliest Man Alive
Original Airdate - October 7th, 2012
In the midst of the alien Skrull invasion, Captain America convinces Hulk to transform back to Bruce Banner and turn himself in to General Ross and the U.S. Government for a crime he didn't commit - an attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier caused by Red Hulk. When the Skrull threat is over and Bruce Banner's name is cleared, Bruce seeks revenge.

Written by Man of Action
Directed by Steve Gordon
Review by RoyalRubble
Media by Marvel Animation, Marvel Animation Age

After a pretty long absence from the show, the Hulk finally returns in this episode which also serves as a neat conclusion to the Red Hulk storyline which started in "Nightmare in Red". Overall the episode is pretty cool but there are some things that don't make a whole lot of sense or just ignore stuff that has previously already happened on the show. Hulk is freed but runs amok and only the Red Hulk manages to stop his rampage. Afterwards, apart from Captain America, pretty much every other Avenger apparently gives up on Hulk and welcomes Red Hulk as a new member of the team. Not surprisingly Red Hulk turns out to be the real threat and the Hulk is the one who ultimately saves the day but doesn't seem all that interested in returning full-time to the team.

Cap desperately tries to reason with Hulk; he's the only one who never gave up on him, especially considering that a Skrull posing as Cap was the one responsible for Hulk getting locked up in General Ross' prison in the first place. Even though the other heroes seemed to give up on him, I liked that Wasp did reconsider and join Cap towards the middle of the story. But Hawkeye didn't, which was the main thing I didn't like about this episode. The show has established very well just how close their friendship is in past episodes so seeing them so willing to fight Hulk was kind of weird. These three characters were actually the only ones who decided to remain as Avengers when the team split up during the Skrull invasion. Plus, Hawkeye was the reason Hulk re-joined the team after the events of the two-part "Gamma World" episode, back in season one. That should say something about how close they became. Another rather nice surprise was that Iron Man didn't really trust Red Hulk from the beginning - as revealed towards the end of the episode, when the Avengers ID card he gave Red Hulk turns out to be booby-trapped with some kind of goo (sorry, I couldn't remember the exact name of Tony's invention!) which traps Red Hulk and leaves him at the mercy of the original, Green Hulk.

Red Hulk's real identity is also revealed in this episode and as suspected, he's General Ross; just like in the comics. And I guess the Ross we saw pretty much simultaneously with Red Hulk back in "Nightmare in Green" was either a Skrull himself, or one of those Life Model Decoys SHIELD sometimes uses. Here, his plan was to frame the Hulk and infiltrate and try to manipulate the Avengers, while also posing as a hero. Him using Stark tech to drive the Hulk insane with rage was a nice touch; as well as seeing Tony and Cap discussing about how to deal with Hulk if necessary, while in the room where they stored the Destroyer armor they fought in "Powerless". Another thing I liked was that Ross didn't blow his cover by mentioning the Red Hulk was a real hero just because he's red or something similar - I think that would have made him look as bad as how J. Jonah Jameson is portrayed on the currently airing Ultimate Spider-Man. And another small detail I kind of liked was Tony mentioning that after a scan, the Red Hulk showed signs of possible mind-control in the past - I didn't really care for this explanation towards the end of "Code Red", but it seems now that it was foreshadowing the events of this episode, while also offering Red Hulk a possible alibi for his past actions.

Overall, this episode was pretty good. It had some cool action scenes and some neat moments for Cap and Hulk. Though the inconsistency with Hawkeye kind of overshadows all that. Still, it was a good enough adventure and a satisfying ending to the Red Hulk's story-arc. And I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Hulk on the show; the Avengers will most likely need his help for their upcoming adventures.

Video Clips