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Mind Over Anti-Matter
Review By Jim Harvey, Media by Jon T

Episode #16 - Mind Over Anti-Matter
Original Airdate October 5th, 1997

When Banner's mind is taken over by a dark force, She Hulk and Dr. Strange attempt to save him. Will the two Hulks inside Banner be able to save him from a dark demise?

Written By: John Semper
Directed By: Ron Myrick
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, Cree Summers As She Hulk, Maurice LaMarche as Dr. Strange and Kevin Michael Richardson as Dark Hulk

Review: Oh god. A second season episode. When I was asked to review this episode, I had a vague idea what it was about. It was from the second season, and it sucked (ergo, this review is going to suck as well). That was the basic idea I had going into it. Oh, and Dr. Strange was there somewhere, too.

The plot line is pretty simply: Bruce Banner is overtaken by some dark mystical force, so Dr. Strange is called in to help out ol’ Brucie and put up with terribly written She-Hulk dialogue.

There are some obstacles the viewer has to put up with before we get to any of the good stuff, and there is some gold buried under all of this garbage. First off, Bruce Banner, fugitive/presumed dead/exonerated/whatever is out at some country fair with his “how the hell is she a lawyer” cousin She-Hulk. On the roller coaster, Bruce collides with some mystical demon and all hell breaks loose.

Now, work past that pretty stupid set-up, ignore the She-Hulk, and focus on the Dr. Strange subplot, as we delve in Banner’s mind and we have a good little story going. The two Banner personalities need to work together in order to overcome this threat. Not really the most original set-up, but it does invite us a chance at looking closer to Banner’s truly messed up psychological state. Sure, it’s nothing compared to the first season, but it’s better than She-Hulk bench-pressing a car while talking about her sexy, grassy skin.

We all know that UPN’s decision to bring She-Hulk more to the forefront was just a massive mistake. Her personality just managed to corrupt what could have been an engaging look at the Hulk. There’s plenty of depth to that character, instead we got mindless popcorn banter. This episode doesn’t really stick out from the second season, as the majority of the season was mired in such horrible writing. It’s unfortunate to watch a series take such a downturn like this when there is still obvious material that could be explored, such as what could be explored here.

You know what’s even worse? This could be considered a tolerable episode for the second season. It’s just that bad of a season, and yes . . . it does get worse. “Situation green”? Naw, this is beyond saving.

This would have been an excellent look at Banner’s obvious multiple personality problems, and we do get some slight imagery dealing with it, but nothing really concrete or even interesting. It just gets buried under the same tripe that signalled the end for the series.