By the late 80's, Marvel was owned by Roger Corman's New World Productions and along with the young, visionary NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff, set out to bring the Hulk and some friends from the Marvel Universe back into the public consciousness. Tartikoff is credited with turning then low-rated NBC into a powerhouse with hit shows like Miami Vice, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Alf, Saved By the Bell and The Cosby Show changing the medium and attracting millions of viewers. A television movie, The Return of the Incredible Hulk aired in 1988 to solid ratings and introduced Asgardian god of Thunder, Thor. Thor is kind of a loud mouthed douche bag in the flick who likes to drink beer, fight and call Hulk "troll" a lot while hefting a prop hammer that looks surprisingly not hefty. Further adventures of Thor starring Eric Allan Kramer were not commissioned as the telefilm is extremely clunky with lots of slow motion, over the top performances and unexplainable poor story logic.
opening somber piano theme, Bixby's grounded, honest portrayal of David and even tempered directing, I just get into it. Back in those days, this was before Tim Burton's Batman became a global phenomenon, costumed superheroes were not easy to pull off so giving DD an all black leotard outfit was a lot more understandable than giving him a red outfit with horns. Said outfit is like a gymnasts singlet with wetsuit-ish turtle necked shirt and a tight, domed hood with a sleeping mask looking thing covering the eyes. There's some gloves, elbow and knee pads, a belt and big boots to give some texture while the trademark billy club is in effect complete with a few gadgets like a zipline attachment and plunger firing wire thing. The fight scenes are pretty TV movie with lots of slow motion and awkward pause filled karate moves and exhales along with more than a few unconvincing hits. Lance Rubin's synth score is seemingly generic yet appropriate and effective. The ending features some really bad visual effects (this is the late 80's, on TV no less) as Fisk escapes his skyscraper in a helicopter/hovercraft! All in, I dig it, the actors take the material seriously, there's no winking or camp factor and that lends the semblance of drama. They just could have used a bigger budget I'm sure but it's still fun to see The Hulk and Daredevil in the same 90 minutes a decade before the first X-Men movie and 20 years before superhero team up The Avengers.