Western Animation / The Fantastic Four (1978)

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Also called The New Fantastic Four, this is a 1978 Animated Adaptation of Marvel Universe Super Hero team The Fantastic Four. The one with the cute robot taking the place of the Human Torch, who was tied up in a separate film deal at the time.


The Fantastic Four provides examples of:

  • Abridged Series: Sometimes this show gets redubbed in Disney XD's Marvel Mash-Up.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Inhumans are flat out villainous in this version, and want to conquer the planet, though Reed eventually talks all of them except Medusa out of it.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Again, H.E.R.B.I.E. replaced Johnny Storm.
    • Triton is the only member of the Inhuman royal family to not appear in any capacity.
  • Canon Immigrant: H.E.R.B.I.E. was created for this cartoon to replace the Human Torch, but ended up appearing in the comics and in subsequent continuities after this series.
  • Demoted to Extra: Black Bolt only appears in a brief cameo. Instead, Medusa is the ruler of the Inhumans.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Averted, despite popular belief. An urban legend posits that The Human Torch was replaced by H.E.R.B.I.E. at the insistent demand of the network, out of fears that children would set themselves on fire to emulate their hero. The legend was aided by a later issue of the comic in which a kid dies doing just that, and later recollections in the Marvel house magazine Marvel Age which seemed to confirm the rumor. In reality, as mentioned above, the rights had been negotiated separately for a project that never materialized and the Torch character was unavailable (the same snarls prevented the Torch from being one of the "Amazing Friends" in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends).
  • Fantastic Racism: The episode "The Olympics of Space" involved the Thing being caught up in a conflict between two similar-looking alien races who hated each other for having differently colored eyes.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics
  • Hate Plague: In "The Frightful Four", the Wizard at one point uses a gas on the Fantastic Four that causes them to become hostile to each other.
  • Innocent Aliens: This continuity's version of the Impossible Man is portrayed as naive and meaning no harm. He does help a trio of criminals in their crimes, but only because he's deceived into thinking they are his friends, and in the end Reed successfully convinces him that the crooks were only using him.
  • Large Ham: Several villains are quite hammy and verbally grandiose, but especially Magneto.
  • Modesty Towel: The Thing is seen wearing a towel while in the bathroom in "The Impossible Man".
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Or rather, it isn't anymore — but the lines could've been taken directly from Silver Age comic scripts, so you see about how a comic book would sound in life. (The answer, by the way, is "hilarious.") You get characters taking forever as they overdramatically describe what they're going to do, and actually doing it goes on to take half a second. No one ever tries to stop the enemy standing two feet away giving long dissertation on exactly how he or she is about to attack.
  • Robot Names: See Fun with Acronyms above.
  • Series Continuity Error: When Lockjaw first appears, Sue mentions that he was loaned to the team by Medusa. This implies the FF and Inhumans are on friendly terms, when in actuality (as mentioned in the Adaptational Villainy section), Medusa is a villain in this continuity and hates the Fantastic Four.
  • Urban Legends: See Don't Try This at Home above.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The Thing and H.E.R.B.I.E. You'd be hard-pressed to find an episode where they don't mock each other or get into arguments, but they regard each other as friends and it's implied on one occasion that their quarrelsome antics are only done in good fun.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Lockjaw and Blastaar are both miscolored.


See Fantastic Four for a list of all the other works with this title.
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