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Raw Power
Review And Media by Stu

Episode #3 - Raw Power
Original Airdate September 22, 1996

Banner's attempts to cure himself turns his friend in Zzzax, a being of pure raw power. Meanwhile, Ross' Hulkbusters strike.

Written By: Jess Winfield
Directed By: Dan Thompson
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahchi
Animation Services By: Sae Rom Productions
Guest Starring: Neal McDonough as Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk, Genie Francis as Betty Ross, John Vernon as General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Luke Perry as Rick Jones, Kevin Schon as Major Glenn Talbot/Zzzax, Micheal Bell as Mitch McCutcheon/Zzzax, Lisa Zane as Zzzax, Shadoe Stevens as Doc Samson and Thom Barry as Agent Gabriel.

Review: Probably the poorest episode in the otherwise excellent first season, this episode never really kicked out of second gear and featured a ridiculously cheesy villain to boot.

Zzzax was an annoying villain; with a pretty terrible design and dialogue even the legendary Michael Bell struggled to work with. For those of you who arenít in the know, Bell provided the voice of Bruce Banner in the 80ís series. A great little nod to the fans of olí Jade Jaws previous animated series.

This episode also introduces the Hulkbuster unit that Ross pleaded for in Return Of The Beast, Part 2. Unfortunate, Agent Gabriel from SHIELD came along with them. I realise that having Nick Fury be an antagonist wouldnít have been in the characters best interests, but Gabriel was simply dull. Dull voice, dull design, there simply wasnít anything interesting about the character. Iím not sure if heís an original character to the show, or a translation from the Hulk comic books, but this arrogant agent was little more than an annoyance to General Ross, which isnít really something the show needed. Just try not to fall to sleep listening to his voice!

One of the better aspects of this episode is the introduction of Doc Samson. Iíve always liked Samson, and I thought this series found a perfect voice for him in Shadoe Stevens. Heíd have much better appearances than this episode, but they did a good job with the character, in my opinion.

One of the first seasonís weakest moments, without a doubt. Raw Power isnít a terrible episode; itís just not a very good one. Bonus points for casting Michael Bell though.