Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
November 23, 2013 by Dennis Amith
“Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” is an action-packed animated film featuring two of Marvel’s well-known icons such as Hulk and Iron Man. Featuring a storyline with non-stop action and a different kind of animated style compared to other Marvel animated films, “Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” is an animated film worth watching!
TITLE: Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United
FILM RELEASE: 2013
DURATION: 71 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English, French and Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
COMPANY: Buena Vista Home Entertainment/Marvel
RATED: PG (For Sci-Fi Action, Violence and Brief Mild Language)
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Production Coordinator: Shaun Avnet
Script Coordinator: Ora Yashar
Storyboard Director: Tim Eldred
Storyboard Artists: Jeff Allen, Tim Eldred, Leo Riley
Main Title Design by Andy Suriano
Marvel Games Consultant: T.Q. Jefferson
CGI Animation Services by Brain Zoo Studios
Creative Director/Executive Producer: Mo Davoudian
Producers: Tammy Holguin, Lori Gloede
Technical Directors: Francis Co, Hyon Kim, Dave Hickey
Art Director: Tony Weinstock
Animation Director: Wim Beien
Featuring the Voices of:
Adrian Pasdar as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Fred Tatasciore as Bruce Banner/The Hulk
Dee Bradley Baker as Dr. Cruler/Zzzax
Robert Atkin Downes as Dr. Fump/Abomination
David Kaye as Jarvis
Marvel makes cinematic history again with the most unexpected team-up in the universe! Joining forces for the first time ever, Hulk’s pulverizing brute strength and Tony Stark’s high-tech brainpower come together to face off against the ultimate enemy.
When “Zzzax,” a seemingly invincible, energy devouring monster threatens to destroy the planet, Marvel’s unlikeliest pairing of Avengers is mankind’s only hope. Alone, neither can defeat the awesome power of Zzzax. As a duo, they just might have a chance – if they can find a way to work together without smashing heads before time runs out!
Packed with explosive action, loaded with exclusive bonus features and presented in groundbreaking Marvel CG Animation, Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United is a must-own movie event that will blow you away.
They are among Marvel’s iconic characters, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk.
Two characters that were part of the original formation of The Avengers and two superheroes brought together in the latest Marvel animated film “Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” which will be released on Blu-ray and DVD by Marvel/Buena Vista Home Entertainment in Dec. 2013.
The film begins with the Hulk versus Abomination, two beings who have been exposed to Gamma radiation and two who have been longtime rivals and enemies. But while the Hulk has beaten Abomination a number of times, this time around, the Abomination is able to knock the Hulk out with sleeping gas and takes him to a HYDRA base where Dr. Cruler and Dr. Fump are working.
As the Hulk is put into a chamber, they trick the Abomination by using the same sleeping gas and put him into another chamber. The goal is to use the gamma radiation power of these two in order to power-up their laboratory and as the two are able to create an amazing blast, they try to harness the power but instead cause a major electrical imbalance which knocks out the power to the city. As Hulk is able to escape the locked chamber and freeing the Abomination, the laboratory blows up. While something from the blast has manifested and taken life.
Meanwhile, Iron Man (Tony Stark) is testing out his armor vs. the Hulk Buster Iron Man armor which is being controlled by Jarvis. As the two are aboard a flying vehicle owned by Tony, their power is also knocked out and when Jarvis reports that Gamma radiation has been detected, Iron Man worries that it may be Hulk related and leaves.
When Iron Man arrives, he sees that Hulk is there and automatically thinks that Hulk is responsible for the damage. But before Iron Man could let the Hulk speak and explain what happened, the two end up getting into a fight.
But eventually the Hulk is able to pound some sense into Iron Man and they enter whatever is left of the HYDRA laboratory and they are instantly attacked by the HYDRA robots. As both easily beat the robots, they go aboard Tony’s air vehicle, not knowing that a ball of energy has snuck onto Iron Man’s armor.
While aboard the space vehicle, the energy starts to manifest and Zzaxx, an energy-devouring monster is born. And as they try to fight this new monster, Zzaxx has control of anything electrical, taking over various Iron Man armors.
Can Iron Man and the Hulk defeat Zzaxx?
“Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” uses a different animation style that I have ever seen used in a Marvel animated feature but yet, have seen on video games similar to “Killer 7” and “No More Heroes” in which the characters and backgrounds are detailed but instead but there is a certain layer that you can see over the characters. So instead of the usual black or darken shading on a character, you see lighter shades of a color used.
Colors are well-utilized but for the most part, it’s a certain style of animation that may not suit everyone, but it is different and for those open to different type of artwork, will enjoy the character design and shading, while those used to previous Marvel animated films and are not used to this animation style, may have problems with it.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” is presented in English, French and Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. During the action scenes, there is good use of the surround channels. One scene where Iron Man is flying and you hear a plethora of missiles and machine guns firing, the soundscape becomes quite immersive. There is also good use of LFE at times. But for the most part, the lossless audio for this animated film is crystal clear.
Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.
“Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” comes with the following special features:
- Marvel “Inter-Missions” – If you hit pause during the film, you will receive a crazy twist to old-school Iron Man and Hulk animated clips.
- Marvel Team Up with Ryan Penagos and Joe Q – (11:37) Marvel Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and Ryan Penagos (Agent M of Marvel.com) discussing their first comic books they read and the teaming up of Iron Man and the Hulk.
- Marvel Mash-Ups – Featuring three two-minute Marvel Mash-Ups of old Marvel animation receiving a hilarious redub. Featuring: Shield, Betty Ross and Lil’ Hulk.
“Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” comes with the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy (code provided) plus a slipcover.
As a long time fan of both the Hulk and Iron Man, it’s always a treat for fans to see these two together.
For readers of the comic book, we have seen these two heroes get into quite a few skirmishes as Tony Stark had to resort to creating a Hulk Buster Iron Man armor to fight the Hulk and when things were good, these two made a great team but things were bad, these two got into crazy skirmishes.
But these two are Marvel icons, and what we have is the intellectual Tony Stark as Iron Man and as for the Hulk, fortunately not the “Hulk Smash” brute but the more smarter but can still get angry type of Hulk.
For fans, one of the biggest plus for this animated film is to see the Hulk Buster Iron Man armor used (as well as see other Iron Man armor featured) but also an animated film with consistent action that never lets up. Also, for Hulk fans, you can never grow tired seeing the Hulk and the Abomination against each other.
But the primary antagonist for this animated film is Zzzax, a character that first appeared in the Incredible Hulk #166 (back in 1973) and an enemy that had appeared in the ’90s “The Incredible Hulk” animated series.
The history of Zzzax is different as in the comic book, he was a result of a terrorist plot to sabotage the Con Ed Nuclear Power Plant in New York but in this animated film, he is the result of one of HYDRA’s mad scientist who was trying to contain the incredible gamma power of the Hulk and the Abomination.
While Zzzax has never registered for me as a major Marvel antagonist, to be truthful, the coolness factor of Zzzax was definitely much better on this animated film versus what was featured of the energy guzzling monster featured in the “Incredible Hulk” or “West Coast Avengers” comic books. And it helps that the action is non-stop and how both Iron Man and the Hulk tend to antagonize each other while fighting Zzzax. They are the ultimate odd couple when they team-up but it’s always fun to watch these two heroes together.
As for the Blu-ray, picture quality is very good on Blu-ray but it’s the animation style that I feel that people will support and those not so used to it may have a problem with it. It’s a style I have seen a few times on some video games and I’m always up for something different artistically but it’s not for everyone. But PQ is very good as with its immersive lossless soundtrack. The action scenes are immersive, use the surround channels and LFE quite effectively.
And as for special features, you get the Marvel “Inter-Missions” when you pause (plays a few hilariously re-dub clips from older Marvel series featuring the Hulk and Iron Man), a fascinating interview with Joe Quesada and Ryan Penagos and more hilarious re-dubbed clips in “Marvel Mash-Ups”.
Also, the animated film is presented on Blu-ray, DVD and via Digital Copy.
Overall, “Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” is an action-packed animated film featuring two of Marvel’s well-known icons such as Hulk and Iron Man. Featuring a storyline with non-stop action and a different kind of animated style compared to other Marvel animated films, “Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” is an animated film worth watching!
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