Table of content    
  1. So... What Is This Happy Hogan's Hulk All About?
  2. Jon Favreau Directedly Said He Wanted To Do "The Freak"

What Nobody Told You About Happy Hogan's Hulk In What If: Voiced And Approved By Disney Legend Jon Favreau

In "What If…Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?", the second season's third episode of Marvel's What If...?, Happy Hogan's Hulk brings a festive flair to the series. This episode, echoing the beloved Christmas film Die Hard, introduces an imaginative twist to Hulk's tale.
In this holiday-themed episode, Happy Hogan, surprisingly, becomes the central hero. Echoing Die Hard's narrative, this animated chapter masterfully constructs a story with Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan embodying the heroism of John McClane.

So... What Is This Happy Hogan's Hulk All About?

So... What Is This Happy Hogan's Hulk All About? Source: Disney
In Marvel's "What If...? Season 2", Episode 3 is a game-changer with Happy Hogan morphing into the Purple Hulk. This twist is a fresh take on the usual Hulk tale, transforming Happy from Tony Stark's sidekick to a towering, purple beast.
The Purple Hulk here is a big departure from the comic book norm, where he's usually a baddie. But in Happy's hands, he's a different beast – chatty, distinctive in color, and a whole new version of Hulk. The plot thickens with hints of Tony's Hulk cure experiments, suggesting a transformation that's all about the power, minus the rage.
The standout moment? Happy, dubbed "The Freak" in a cool comic throwback, takes on the Iron Legion in a mind-blowing battle. Then enters Justin Hammer in Hulkbuster armor, sparking an epic showdown. The Avengers, in full party gear, initially clash with Happy, mistaking him for a menace. But once they realize it's their friend, Tony steps in to save the day.
Hammer's close call from Avengers Tower ends with Happy, in true holiday spirit, saving him – because everyone deserves some goodwill, even villains. Stuck as the Hulk, Happy becomes the ultimate bodyguard Tony always wanted.
In the Marvel comics, Happy Hogan is not just Tony Stark's bodyguard, he's a fighter with a story. During his boxing days, he faced tough opponents like Battlin’ Jack Murdock and Eddie March. But as Stark's bodyguard, he often clashed with villains like Milos Masaryk (Unicorn) and Titanium Man, until Iron Man arrived.
Happy Hogan as The FreakSource: Disney

A pivotal moment came when Stark tried to heal Happy's injuries using cobalt rays, accidentally turning him into "the Freak." Initially, Iron Man and the Freak clashed, but Stark eventually reversed the transformation.
Happy's ordeal as the Freak continued. While helping Stark with new armor, exposure to a Cobalt-Bombarder triggered his transformation again. Stark quickly contained the Freak in an armored car filled with knockout gas. Pepper Potts, amidst the chaos, realized the Freak's true identity, but Happy forgot everything post-restoration.
The Collector eyed the Freak for his collection but backed off after a deal with Stark. Life got more complex when Stark moved to Detroit, causing strain between Pepper and Happy, which was resolved after a heated argument.
As Stark International shifted focus, Happy became security chief and occasionally posed as Iron Man. When the Red Ghost's Super-Apes kidnapped Stark, Happy engaged but got injured. Stark's use of the Enervator transformed Happy into the Freak again, who now absorbed extra power from cobalt medical supplies. In an intense fight, Stark depowered and restored Happy.
Realizing his transformations, Happy underwent tests to prevent recurrence. Eventually, he and Pepper left Stark's world, trying ranching in the Rockies, then moving to Cleveland. Here, Happy became a fight manager, and the couple fostered two children, starting a new life chapter.

Jon Favreau Directedly Said He Wanted To Do "The Freak"

Jon Favreau Directedly Said He Wanted To Do "The Freak" Source: Disney
What you may not have heard is that Jon Favreau brings a fresh twist to his role as Happy Hogan in the standout episode. Favreau, known for his remarkable talent and warmth, made a playful deal during Season 1 - he'd participate, but only if Season 2 allowed him to headline as 'The Freak,' a character that initially puzzled the creators, A.C. Bradley and Matthew Chauncey.
During Season 1, Favreau made a lighthearted deal, as recounted by "What If...?" creator A.C. Bradley: "First of all, he's amazing; he's one of the absolute nicest and most talented human beings...He said, 'I'll do it, but in Season 2, I get to headline—and I want to do 'The Freak.'" This request introduced the creators to 'The Freak', a character unfamiliar to them, leading to a creative exploration of the episode.
Bradley and her team decided to craft the episode as an homage to Favreau's cinematic achievements. "We started looking at his amazing movies, and we even have a little mention of his Chef show in there," Bradley explained, revealing the depth of thought put into integrating elements of Favreau's career into the narrative.
Season 2 of "What If...?" moves beyond the confines of reimagining past MCU events, venturing into fresh territories with episodes inspired by diverse narratives like Neil Gaiman's "1602" and introducing new characters. It's in this spirit of innovation that "What If... Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?" finds its place, blending familiar Marvel elements with a fresh, Favreau-inspired twist.
In this special episode, Happy Hogan teams up with Darcy Lewis, voiced by Kat Dennings, becoming more than just "Iron Man's errand boy" as the synopsis cheekily states. They find themselves in the thick of the action, defending Avengers Tower from Justin Hammer's siege during the heroes' annual holiday party.
The episode, embracing Favreau's suggestion, features Happy in scenarios that pay direct homage to "Die Hard", complete with vent shaft adventures and the character humorously name-dropping John McClane. It's an exciting blend of Marvel action and Favreau's signature style, with his transformation into The Freak adding an extra layer of intrigue to the story.
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