Episode Number: 3
Season Episode Number: 3
Production Number: 103
Airdate: September 27, 2009
Writer: Eugene Son
Director: Michael R. Gerard
Voices: Tom Kenny (Iron Man, M.O.D.O.K.), Travis Willingham (Hulk, Gray Hulk), Dave Boat (Thor, John Porter), Alimi Ballard (Falcon), Steve Blum (Wolverine, Abomination), Mikey Kelley (Silver Sufer), Charlie Adler (Doctor Doom, Melter), Jennifer Morrison (Wasp), AJ Buckley (Toad, Klaw), Julia Morrison (Screaming Mimi), Unknown (Librarian).
Plot: A fractal turns Hulk into the know-it-all Gray Hulk! Will this new-found intelligence of the Hulk's prove useful when the Squad goes up against six super-villains?
Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Episode three pulls out a lot of in-joke for long time Marvel fans while still providing a story better than the first two episodes! Writer Eugene Son creatively uses all the characters without it feeling crammed. After all, the main cast is six characters, plus one guest star and seven villains in this episode...fourteen characters? Wow! Yet Son finds a way to give them all appropriate screen time while maintaining a well paced story.
Intorducing the Gray Hulk may be the only way to deliver a character driven story starring the Hulk since his green alter-ego is so...shallow. This version of Gray Hulk takes his "brains over brawn" attitude to the extreme, turning him into a Hulk who doesn't even know how to fight! This also provides Falcon with the opportunity to show that he has a bit of character as well.
Guest starring in this episode is the Wasp, who gets to babysit the Hulk alongside Falcon. She has the ability to both shrink and grow, she can fly due to the miniature wings on her back, and she can fire her stinger blast. All of these powers are true to the comics, and Hulk's reference to her new costume comes from the fact that Wasp, a part-time fashion designer, consistently changes her appearance. Wasp's voice is provided by the series' first celebrity guest star, Jennifer Morrison (House's Dr. Allison Cameron).
There are a lot of villains in this episode! Not only Doctor Doom and his top two stooges, M.O.D.O.K. and Abomination, but four more second-tier villains grace the screen when Doom sends them to pick up a newly located fractal!
The four new villains in this episode are Klaw, Screaming Mimi, Melter and Toad. The Super Hero Squad Show is a perfect venue for Toad as he is often not taken seriously anyway. In this show he dons his classic 60s outfit and maintains his powers from that era. Toad is voiced by AJ Buckley who also gave Toad a voice in Wolverine and the X-Men.
Screaming Mimi makes her animation debut voiced by Julia Morrison, who, as far as I know, is not related to Jennifer Morrison. The Klaw also appears but is just as memorable as any other appearance in past Fantastic Four cartoons (ie. not very memorable).
The surprise in this episode is the Melter! This third-tier villain fought Iron Man on a regular occasion in the 60s and 70s and even appeared in the Marvel Super Hero Show in 1966. But he was killed off in the 80s and hasn't resurfaced since making his appearance here quite unusual.
The Melter is just one of the in-jokes in this episode that makes the show enjoyable for us Marvel buffs! Also in this episode is a reference to Amadeus Cho, the child genius who played a major role in World War Hulk, and a cameo from John Porter, the accountant for Damage Control, a construction company that specializes in property damage caused by superhuman battles. Anyone catch any other in-jokes?
Episode three and this series is shaping up nicely! Can't wait to see what's ahead for the Squad!