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The Incredible Hulk Returns


Nicholas Corea, Bill Bixby (uncredited)
Nicholas Corea
Original airdate
May 22, 1988
David Banion
Preceded by
Followed by

Not to be confused with The Return of The Incredible Hulk (which redirects here). That was the original title for the two-hour "Death in the Family" (1977).

The Incredible Hulk Returns is a 1988 made-for-television film sequel to the 1970s Incredible Hulk television series. In the late 1980s, television movies that reunited the casts of older TV shows were big business. Nostalgic viewers tuned in to see new stories about characters they had followed years earlier. In 1988, The Incredible Hulk became another series that reformed as part of a reunion movie when The Incredible Hulk Returns roared onto NBC as a TV movie of the week. NBC viewed the Hulk as a great vehicle for spinning off television series which featured other Marvel comics characters. This film featured the Hulk's fellow Avenger, Thor, and rocketed into the top five of the ratings that week. The movie garnered the fifth highest rating spot out of all programs aired that week. NBC, encouraged by the high ratings, signed a deal with Marvel Comics to produce more Hulk movies featuring other Marvel comic characters.


Now settled, working for a research institute, David has been able to prevent his transformation from occurring for over seven years. He is very near to completing a machine which will cure him, and is involved in a serious relationship. This is spoiled by the arrival of Donald Blake, a former student of his with an "affliction" of his own: an alter ego that happens to be Thor (a Marvel Comics character). Blake calls upon Thor to appear in order to prove the validity of his story. The Viking god causes David to transform and a battle between the Hulk and Thor leaves David's lab severely damaged. The Incredible Hulk once again begins to make appearances when corruption within the institute prompts a crime organization to steal his invention. With the creature's reappearance, David once again is forced to go on the run.


  • Bill Bixby as David Banner
  • Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk
  • Jack Colvin as Jack McGee
  • Lee Purcell as Dr. Maggie Shaw
  • Charles Napier as Mike Fouche
  • John Gabriel as Joshua Lambert
  • Jay Baker as Zack Lambert
  • Tim Thomerson as Jack LeBeau
  • Eric Allan Kramer as Thor
  • Steve Levitt as Donald Blake
  • William Riley as Sgt. Lindsey
  • Tom Finnegan as Capt. Wills
  • Donald Willis as Elwood
  • Carl Ciarfalio as Barner
  • Bobby McLaughlin as Roarke
  • Burke Denis as Henchman
  • Nick Costa as Henchman
  • Peisha McPhee as Girl in Party
  • William Malone as Henchman
  • Joanie Allen as Reporter


  • This is the final appearance of Jack McGee.
  • This is the only entry in the universe of the TV Incredible Hulk that acknowledges the supernatural. However, in this version, Thor is not the thunder god of Norse Mythology. He is just a namesake ordinary warrior from the Viking past, albeit still under an Odin-curse for his arrogance. He is depicted more as a servant of Blake's (unwilling of course).
  • Unlike the comics, Blake, himself, does not transform into Thor, but rather summons him as with a genie.
  • The movie acted as a backdoor pilot for a potential television series featuring Thor (which was never produced).

On DVD[]

It was paired with The Trial of the Incredible Hulk in Image Entertainment's 2011 DVD double feature.


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