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Trivia / Fantastic Four

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The 1994 cartoon:

  • All-Star Cast: Somewhat unusually for a Marvel cartoon at the time, the show featured a pretty big number of recognizable live-action actors in guest roles. These included Mark Hamill as Maximus, Michael Dorn as Gorgon, Ron Perlman as Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk and the Wizard, Keith David as Black Panther, John Rhys-Davies as Thor, model Kathy Ireland as Crystal, Richard Grieco as Ghost Rider, Brad Garrett as Hydro-Man and Dick Clark as himself.
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  • Edited for Syndication: A rather unusual case. When the show was on Netflix for a while (albeit solely under the Iron Man name; nothing in Netflix's listings indicated that the FF show was included), the show was, for the first time since its' original broadcast, presented with its' original Marvel Action Hour branding and Stan Lee intros! (The only thing changed in this case was removed the outdated Marvel and Genesis and/or Saban logos in favor of the current Marvel Animation logo.) However, season 2 was rather strange since the season 1 Marvel Action Hour intros were edited together with the season 2 intros, apparently to remove any trace of the Marvel Action Universe branding they used for that season (possibly because for said season, IM and FF were joined by another New World show, Biker Mice from Mars, which Disney doesn't own the rights to); it was very obvious as the voiceover suddenly switched from Jim Cummings to Tom Kane.
  • The Other Darrin:
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    • Doctor Doom was voiced in the first season by Neil Ross and by Simon Templeman in the second season.
    • Brian Austin-Green voiced Johnny Storm in the first season. By season two, he was instead voiced by Quinton Flynn.
    • Brad Garrett replaced Rob Paulsen (from Spider-Man: The Animated Series) as Hydro-Man.
  • Recycled Script: Both seasons end with Doctor Doom claiming the power of the Silver Surfer. The second season production team actually did this on purpose. They felt that the first season's take on the classic comic story was poorly handled and deserved a better adaptation.
  • What Could Have Been: Plans for a third season included Sue's pregnancy (with She-Hulk or Medusa filling up the vacancy) and the return of the Sub-Mariner and Puppet Master.

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The comic book:

  • Follow the Leader: By Stan Lee's own account, the Fantastic Four were conceived as a way to cash in on the success of DC's Justice League of America series.
  • Name's the Same: Nathanial Richards shares a name with Kang the Conqueror. They're different characters, though it's strongly implied the man who would become Kang was not only his direct descendant, but was inspired by the time-traveling ventures of his namesake who created the very utopia he grew disenchanted with, making him something of a Legacy Character.
  • Screwed by the Network: The reason the comic series came to an end in 2015? Blame Ike Perlmutter. Due to him being very bitter over Fox owning the film rights, he canned the series so that the 2015 movie wouldn't get any publicity from Marvel. Fortunately, after Disney bought Fox, the Four were revived in a new comic series in 2018.
  • What Could Have Been: According to Stan Lee's initial plot, published in Fantastic Four #358:
    • Reed's stretching powers would've harmed him.
    • Sue was originally permanently invisible, and she'd be more or less an Invisible Streaker. To compensate, Sue would wear a mask to indicate her location.
    • Ben would suffer from Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder.
    • Johnny's powers were limited, meaning at any point his flame could shut off.
    • During Chris Claremont's run on the title, he had initially planned for Kitty Pryde to be a recurring cast member, serving as a live-in nanny for Franklin Richards (this took place shortly after Excalibur was cancelled). Then-editor of the X-Men franchise Bob Harras wanted Kitty back in the main X-Men team.
    • When the book returned in 1998, Scott Lobdell talked of his big plans for it. He intended to turn C-list baddie Doctor Demonicus into a huge threat and have the Wizard engage in a dark battle of wits with Reed while leading a "Frightful Four that lived up to their name." He also had an idea of the FF discovering the cosmic rays had left long-term new effects. However, just three issues into his run, Lobdell left the book after battling editors and all his plans were scuttled.
  • Writer Revolt: At least one version recounting the team's creation explained that it was meant to be Stan Lee's final comic work, filled to the brim with Author Appeal as a way to get back at Martin Goodman for pressuring Lee to Follow the Leader and write stories based on whatever genre was popular at the time. If the book had been a failure like Lee anticipated, he would've readily retired from comic book writing to pursue writing for Hollywood.

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