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Return Of The Beast, Part Two
Review And Media by Stu

Episode #2 - Return Of The Beast, Part Two
Original Airdate September 8, 1996

Hulk is befriended by a group of mutated outsiders, whilst The Leader makes his move towards stealing The Hulk's strength.

Written By: Bob Forward
Directed By: Leo Sullivan 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, Matt Frewer as The Leader and Mark Hamill as Gargoyle.

Review: What began as a thoroughly entertain story turned into this. In short ladies and gentlemen, this episode hit the skids. Whilst itís not horrendous, it does a poor job following up the previous episode.

The main fault here is simple The Leader is a joke. After watching the whole series, this becomes quite clear. His design is terrible. His voice sounds like itís playing for laughs (itís The Pink Panther and The Man Who Killed Batman for Godís sake!) The only thing that makes the character somewhat entertaining is his motivation, specifically, how he wants to combine his intelligence with The Hulkís great strength. I liked how they tied in Hulkís own origin with Leaders, but one of the series major flaws is how utterly ridiculous The Leader sometimes came across as.

Thankfully, instead of hearing him drone on to himself, another villain was brought in, in Gargoyle, once Russiaís greatest scientist, now a gamma mutated freak searching for a cure. His plight is similar to that of Banners, and he also wants Banner, not for his strength, but to learn why Hulk can change back into Banner, whilst Gargoyle constantly remains ugly. It should also be noted, Mark Hamill portrays the Leaderís lackey. And as always, he is awesome. He manages to find a great voice that is different from Joker, Hobgoblin and Maximus The Mad. You can tell its Mark Hamill, but only just. The sign of a great voice actor.

I thought the Outsiders were actually a pretty intelligent idea. It makes sense that other forms of like would be out in the desert the day the gamma reactor went off, but still, they did come across as a little goofy. I can only image the horror that wouldíve been shown had they talked like they did in the comics.

The ending does a pretty good job setting up the rest of the series, with Hulk and Banner now on the run, Rick following, Betty working on a cure and Ross seeking retribution for his destroyed base, but I canít help but feel that the excellent build up in part one wasnít done justice here.