The Incredible Hulk: Veteran (1981) – Marvel SUPERHERO TV SHOW REVIEW


By Geno McGahee

David Banner (Bill Bixby) would have a much easier life if he just minded his own business. I used to feel bad for him…always getting jumped, but the more I watch the series, the more I see how he brings it on himself. He has this curious nature and it always gets him into trouble, which is certainly the case in the 1981 episode “Veteran”.

Jack Hewitt (Paul Koslo) is walking down the street and it looks like he goes to the same stylist as Donald Trump and it gave me hope. Was he going to make the incredible Hulk TV show great again? He walks into an alley and some balding geek tries to jump him and take his two suitcases. Thankfully, David Banner was there and the guy immediately hauled ass the second that he saw him. He must have known that Banner was the Hulk and would bend him over and split him like firewood should he start some shit on his watch. As Banner speaks with Jack, he begins to realize that there is something very wrong with him, but insists that he goes up to his apartment to get some sleep. We’ve seen this before. Harvey Weinstein ring a bell?


As he sleeps, Jack has flashbacks to the Vietnam War and how innocent people were killed intentionally by some dude in a white mask. I knew Michael Myers did more than just harass babysitters. So Michael Myers the marine begins screaming “kill them all,” which is driving the sleeping Jack crazy. He begins sweating and that should have pissed David off. This slob is sweating through his sofa and this is 1981…before Febreze hit the market. David would have to use Ajax or something to get that stench out and he don’t have time for that.

The nightmare jolts Jack awake and he begins conversing with David about his daddy issues. “My dad didn’t want me.” Jesus…I hate sad sacks of shit like this. David was far nicer than I would have been. Don’t you hate that when you see somebody feel sorry for themselves? Banner should have said: “Listen to me you sorry sack of dog shit. My wife is dead. I have a reporter up my ass every week. I turn green. I can’t fuck anything. I help everyone and nobody does shit for me. So fuck you and fuck your problems and also, fuck your dad.” Damn, why wasn’t I a writer back then. I would have done this series wonders with my incredible dialogue.


Before Jack leaves, David notices a gun in his suitcase and then realizes that he was going to assassinate Harrison Cole (Bruce Gray), a senator (I think). David, once again, feels the need to get involved and phones the cops. This didn’t make sense to me. Cops are never the friends of Banner and the Hulk has not always treated them with the proper respect. I remember one episode where the Hulk ran and knocked two cops on their asses and I have never seen the Hulk sporting a Blue Lives Matter shirt. Banner is almost begging to be arrested by calling the cops…idiot.

At the Lisa Morgan Dance Studio, Lisa Morgan (Wendy Girard) is dancing away, but is totally full of herself. She keeps on looking at herself in the mirror as she dances and gyrates. She was hot, which is probably why she was so impressed with herself, but I would not want her to teach me how to dance. She’d be too preoccupied with herself to teach me the secrets of twerking. Anyway, as she dances and watches herself, Jack walks in and tells her that he needs to borrow her studio for a day. She resists initially but then he takes out a gun and she realizes that he’s going to kill somebody.


Banner, not happy with the cops, goes to see Harrison Cole and he takes the meeting. When Banner notes that Jack Hewitt is back to take him out, Harrison goes ape shit and informs him that Jack is dead and that he doesn’t like David’s game. He stands up and says he doesn’t like his “cock and bull story”. At no time did Banner bring up a bull’s cock. A bull’s cock had nothing to do with the death threat unless Jack Hewitt was going to take a bull cock and bash Cole over the head with it. Cole then follows up with “is this some sort of gag?” What is with him gagging on bull cock?

Instead of thanking Banner, Cole has his goons grab him and drag him to a secret room where they torture people. They hook Banner up to some machine that jolts him with electricity, forcing him to scream like he’s never screamed before. Bill Bixby was really into this episode. I have never seen him scream as loud as he does here. It was awesome for him to scream “no” as the goon says “yes.” The whole episode could be the two just screaming yes and no at each other with them finally agreeing on maybe and shaking hands at the end.


Since the Hulk did not appear yet and you need the Hulk, the electric shock scene made a lot of sense to bring him out. He destroys the machine and tosses it at that cocksucker that was shocking him and also taking down two other goons in the process. He smashes out the window and hauls ass, and this is when we get into the part of the Hulk episodes that I really really hate: the comic relief. Some asshole kid calling himself “Jimmy the Kid”, wearing a cowboy hat and chaps is killing bad guys. The Hulk shows up and Jimmy the Kid pretends to shoot him after saying some old west jargon and the Hulk is confused. He checks for wounds and then realizes that it’s only playing around. He makes a gun with his finger and blows off imaginary smoke, which reveals a new Hulk power. From 20 feet away the Hulk is able to generate a strong wind that nearly knocks Jimmy down by just exhaling. I think it’s bullshit. I’m not a comic book geek, but I don’t believe that Hulk can blow a guy like that. Then again, if the Hulk blows a guy, it’s not my business.


A strange romance begins to brew between Jack and Lisa. What does she see in him? He’s fucking nuts and is holding her hostage, but he tells him that she “likes him.” At one point, he calls her pretty while stroking the gun. I was creeped out by it! Women…they like the bad boys. I guess she could just be manipulating him to not kill the senator but I think she was actually digging him, which sucks for Banner. Usually, Banner has one chick in every episode that wants to see his incredible dong but not here. Banner gets caught up with the detectives who traced the call and showed up at his apartment.

Two remarkable things happened when the detectives arrived. One, they asked him to work with them to identify the shooter and two, one of the detectives immediately goes through David’s underwear drawer when they enter the apartment. Perhaps it wasn’t that odd that the cops would need him to identify Jack, but it was odd that they began looking to him for guidance in other areas and Banner was eating it up. Hell, working with the police is a better job than washing dishes or cleaning shitters…his usual assignments.


(Spoiler) It turns out that Jack is not Jack. Jack is really dead and Doug, his brother that’s been in the nuthouse for the last six years, has assumed his identity and holds Cole responsible for his brother’s death. Rightfully so. Cole was doing a lot of bad things in Vietnam and needed to pay. Everything comes to a head at the Cole’s speech. Bullets fly and Banner Hulks up to save the day. I found it odd that during the shootout a guy was casually standing at his tomato stand. I know it was there for the Hulk to throw somebody through it, but still, if there is gunshots going off, that tomato salesman would be running and shitting his pants while screaming “fuck my tomatoes.”

Jack/Doug is apprehended and starts crying while Lisa gives him a hug and wishes him well. She should have kicked him in the nuts for holding her hostage and not allowing her to look at herself in the mirror as much as she wanted to. He turns over a letter from his deceased brother and that sends Cole away. The episode ends with Jack and a detective talking and being quite friendly with each other. Did the Hulk stop his feud with the police after all these years? Probably not. This was an isolated incident. Hulk hates the cops.


Veteran is a very good episode. The overacting of Koslo was tremendous and really sold it. There wasn’t a great deal of Hulk, but the ridiculous flashbacks and overacting made up for it. I highly recommend this one!

Rating: 7/10