It’s about that time again. Every once in a while, I crack open either Metroid: Fusion or Metroid: Zero Mission on my Nintendo DS, and get a-playing. And every time I do so, I get a renewed appreciation for how cool Samus Aran is. Samus will be trying her luck this time against one of the few characters who can eclipse her cool factor, the Incredible Hulk. Between the Hulk’s excellent ongoing series, currently written by Greg Pak, and the video game Ultimate Destruction, I never have to be reintroduced to how cool he is. Samus, however, will be introduced to the Hulk’s fists soon enough.
The Hulk is going on a rampage. Normally, this wouldn’t be something to be concerned about, since the childlike but dimwitted Hulk can be talked down by one of his friends. But the childlike Hulk hasn’t shown up in the comics for a few years now. he’s been replaced by what I have dubbed the mean son of a bitch Hulk, who is not only very foul-tempered but also pretty cunning and downright mean when he wants to be. The reason the Hulk is in such a bad mood is because a select group of Marvel’s heroes decided to blow up the planet he was on, killing his wife and unborn child. One of those heroes is Iron Man, and that’s who the Hulk is after right now.
Knowing that a pissed off green-skinned juggernaut is going to tear out his liver, Iron Man comes up with his most cunning plan yet: let someone else take the beating for him. That someone else is the best bounty hunter in the universe, Samus Aran. Her mission: to take down the Incredible Hulk, or to at least calm him down a little by letting him smash her and get some violence out of his system. She goes about this mission with her usual elite array of weaponry, including surgically attached armor that allows her to turn into a ball and roll around. Oh, and shoot missiles.
Unfortunately, she bears just enough resemblance to Iron Man to piss the Hulk off on sight. For a while, Samus manages to dodge the Hulk’s punches by jumping in the air and doing unnecessary somersaults. Then the Hulk claps his hands together, creating a sonic boom that nearly knocks all of Samus’s systems offline. Round One goes to the Incredible Hulk.
Staggered but not defeated as of yet, Samus decides that making herself into a smaller target is a better idea than letting herself get pounded on by the Hulk. She curls up into her morph ball and starts speeding around, dropping power bombs wherever she goes. The bombs do little more than make the Hulk angrier, though, and the Hulk moves faster than Samus expected from someone so large. He manages to grab hold of the morph ball, and pops Samus into his mouth like a bite-sized snack. Luckily, Samus’s suit protects her from the acids of the Hulk’s stomach, and leaves her free to drop some more bombs in old greenskin’s small intestine. Even the Hulk’s innards are pretty much bullet and bomb proof, but the pain does give the Hulk a nasty case of indigestion. With fire literally in his belly, the Hulk is left with little other choice but to provoke vomiting. He yaks up Samus, leaving both of them covered in green vomit. They take a moment to clean themselves off, and both of them decide to categorize this fight as out of continuity in order to save themselves some dignity. Round Two goes to Samus Aran.
From there, the battle breaks down into flat out chaos. The Hulk goes berserk and starts tearing apart Samus’s armor. Samus fires her wave beam, her super missiles, and anything else in her arsenal that might slow the Hulk down. All through the battle, I get out a video camera and film it in that annoying too-close shaky cam style that action movie directors seem to love these days. Finally, Samus goes to her last resort. She takes the time to charge up her ice beam to its fullest, which means that she’s standing still long enough for the Hulk to get his hands on her. Just as he’s about to wring her neck, she lets go with a full blast. The blast freezes the Hulk solid, but also leaves Samus stuck in the Hulk’s frozen grip. As she watches the Hulk start to thaw, she tries to formulate another plan… Round Three is a draw.
The Hulk thaws out, and Samus twists free from his grip. Using her speed dash, she runs back to her ship, planning to nuke the place from orbit – it’s the only way to make sure. She blasts into orbit, and then fires a couple of nuclear warheads down to the planet’s surface. Then she returns to make sure everything’s taken care of. Much to her surprise, she finds the Hulk still there, kicking back, eating gamma-irradiated pork rinds, and watching the Post Nuclear Holocaust Channel on satellite TV.
“I was created in the heart of a nuclear blast,” explains the Hulk. “Radiation is like vitamins to me or something.”
“Um…oh.” Eventually, Samus looks at the television screen. “So, what are you watching?”
“Well, you did nuke this entire city, so it’s pretty much test patterns from the emergency broadcast station.”
“Oh…mind if I watch?”
The Hulk shrugs. “Sure.”
Samus sits down on the couch next to the Hulk. The two watch TV for a while, letting their minds melt away. At least it’s better than American Idol. Eventually, remembering that he’s a mindless rampaging beast and not just a couch potato, the Hulk punches Samus in the side of the head, knocking her out cold for about a month. Then the Hulk goes back to rampaging. Sure, TV’s nice, but he’s got some smashing to do. Round Four and the fight go to the Hulk.