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Western Animation / Fantastic Four: The Animated Series

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No need to fear, they're here!
"Reed Richards is elastic,
Sue can fade from sight,
Johnny is the Human Torch
The Thing just loves to fight!
Just call the Four! Fantastic Four!"
—From the opening theme

Fantastic Four (1994-1996) was a 1990s Animated Adaptation of Marvel Universe Super Hero team the Fantastic Four. Shown as part of the syndicated "Marvel Action Hour" along with Iron Man: The Animated Series, it was retooled between the first and second seasons, gaining more complex writing, improved animation, and an Affably Evil Doctor Doom voiced by Simon Templeman.

Like the comics themselves, the Four in this cartoon would run into other Marvel superheroes. One episode saw the Four joining forces with Daredevil, Thor appears twice, and another episode saw them having to fight the Hulk, who was deceived by Dr. Doom (true to form). They also appeared in episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series (the three-part "Secret Wars" arc) and the Hulk's own cartoon (well, just the Thing; the three others went on vacation).

Provides examples of:

  • Action-Hogging Opening: Both seasons have this. Like everything else, it was improved in the second season.
  • Accidental Murder: The reason Franklin Storm became a fugitive. After developing a severe gambling addiction following the death of his wife, he lost all of his money and had to borrow cash from a dangerous loan shark. When the loan shark failed to get his money back, he sent one of his goons to threaten Franklin's family and convince him to pay up. Enraged, Franklin attacked the goon, which accidentally caused the thug to shoot himself with his own gun.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Johnny's college buddy Wyatt Wingfoot never appears, despite the show doing otherwise-faithful adaptations of storylines he was featured in (such as the Black Panther's first appearance).
    • Like Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the show was unable to use Sandman due to his rights being tied up in James Cameron's unmade Spider-Man movie. Instead, Hydro-Man takes his place on the Frightful Four.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: The Fantastic Four traveled to space to investigate an anomaly, later revealed to be caused by the Silver Surfer. It also caused supposedly harmless cosmic rays to affect them, giving them their powers. Heroes Reborn does something similar with that version of the Fantastic Four's origin.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Frankie Raye becomes Galactus' Herald purely out of compassion for him, and promises only to feed him planets devoid of life; her comics counterpart did so for the power he granted her, and didn't care if a bunch of bug-eyed monsters had to die for her to have it.
    • There's also Daredevil — unlike his usual grim depiction, here he's rather friendly and makes a lot of quips (almost to Spider-Man levels). This likely stems from the plotline they were adapting having been created right as Daredevil was beginning, and therefore his personality hadn't been nailed down yet. (This is in contrast to his Spider-Man: The Animated Series depiction, which pulled from the Frank Miller-style, serious DD everyone's more familiar with.)
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The eponymous Sentry of Episode 25 ("The Sentry Sinister"), which was not so much villainous as blindly loyal. This alien robot waited for ages on a lonely island, guarding the crashed starship of its dead builders in the absence of further directives. Then, when humans discovered the island, it fought the Fantastic Four to defend its charge. They blew up the island in a volcanic eruption, causing both starship and Sentry to sink helplessly into a sea of lava, leaving it with these final reflections:
    Sentry: For the first time in all history, a Sentry has failed. Though I have not heard from my Kree masters for untold ages, I remain at my post, as a Sentry must, until the end. This is Sentry 4-5-9, making his final report... [Cessation of Existence]
  • All There in the Manual: The show generally assumes that the viewer has a knowledge of the comics, as the writers sometimes introduce bits of Marvel lore without really bothering to adequately explain them. Probably the best example is Ghost Rider's appearance in "When Calls Galactus," as he shows up out of nowhere with no buildup or real explanation as to who he is, and then immediately leaves after beating Galactus.
  • Always Someone Better: Demonstrated in To Battle A Living Planet where Thor, a Physical God and described as the most powerful being on Earth, easily gets trounced by an encounter with Ego the Living Planet despite his best efforts. Even Galactus couldn't take Ego down and had to resort to requesting outside help from Thor to destroy Ego entirely.
    Thor: How does one, even a god, battle a planet entirely?
  • Amazonian Beauty: Sue Storm is a very muscular and beautiful woman with broad shoulders and toned abs who gets in several fanservice moments.
  • Animation Bump: Season two, done by Philippine Animation Studio Inc., went over a MASSIVE bump when compared to season one, it almost looks like the show was made during two different decades between seasons.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "Super Skrull", Lavina Forbes dismisses Sue's statement of the roof being destroyed during the Four's fight with Galactus by "I don't have time for fairy tales". Keep in mind that she's saying this to a quartet consisting of a man who can stretch himself, a woman who can turn invisible, her younger brother who can fly and project flames around his body, and an orange man made of rock. Though to be fair to her, a planet-sized cosmic space god is still a little harder to believe than that.
  • Art Shift: Many of the characters were also more or less radically redesigned between the seasons. For one example, the Super-Skrull was made to look rather slender, more like he did in his very first comic appearances, whereas the first season depicted him more like he had since come to look in the comics, with rather more of a Heroic Build.
    • Half of Season 1 was colored digitally and the other half traditionally. This stopped in Season 2, which was done with traditional ink & paint throughout.
  • Batman Cold Open: In the Season 2 premiere, "And A Blind Man Shall Lead Them".
  • Batman Gambit: With the team getting curb-stomped by Malice, Reed can only come up with one idea: repeatedly insulting her as the team's weak link and a tantrum-throwing brat. He correctly predicts that it will get Sue to express her repressed anger and snap out of Psycho-Man's control.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • "When Calls Galactus." It's bitter because Johnny's new love interest Frankie has become Galactus's herald and they can never be together again - but it's sweet because Galactus is so grateful that the Four would save his life rather than leave him to die that he willingly renews his vow to spare the Earth (having previously forced them to cancel it in exchange for his help in battling Ego the Living Planet).
    • "Behold, A Distant Star." Morrat is killed and his plot is foiled, but Johnny and Susan's father is still dead, and Morrat's death has done nothing to ease that pain.
    Johnny: I guess we got what we wanted, huh, sis? Funny, I thought it'd feel better. But revenge only keeps the hurt alive.
  • Blatant Lies: When Ben is revealed to have survived his beating at the hands of the Hulk, Johnny says (through audible tears) that he knew Ben was fine the whole time. Sure, Johnny.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Russian dubbers apparently did not realise Wakanda was a fictional country and thought it was a mangled name of some real-life African nation. And so Black Panther became king of Uganda.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • In a surprising aversion of Family-Friendly Firearms, Klaw kills T'Chaka with a real gun (though we only see the Reaction Shot from witnesses) instead of a laser pistol or something like that. Despite that, when T'Chaka's corpse is seen, there's no blood or bullet wounds.
    • In the opening of "Behold, a Distant Star," Sue nearly dies after being injured during a battle with a Skrull robot. The doctor working on her says that a piece of shrapnel ended up embedded in her skull, despite her showing no visible signs of injury when the explosion actually occurred.
  • Bluffing the Advance Scout: Reed tricks the Skrulls into thinking the Earth would be too dangerous to conquer by showing them clips from Ben's old monster movies.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happened to the Thing (twice!) and to the Invisible Woman, adopting the identity "Malice".
  • Brick Joke: Done with the show's original theme song. During the opening titles, a voice remarks "That's ungrammatical" in response to another declaring "Ain't no more". With the ending credits version, the voice declares "Now that's grammatical" in response to "That's all. No more".
  • Broad Strokes: Like with Iron Man, the second season took only a few bits and pieces from the first season (including, as the second season intro indicated, the designs of the FF's rocket and spacesuits from their origin), but otherwise attempted to distance itself from what came before.
  • The Cameo: Stan Lee (voiced by himself), Dick Clark (voiced by himself) and President Clinton (voiced by Jim Cummings), to name a few.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Lavina Forbes doesn't appear in Season 2.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The epic of the Fantastic Four's first journey to the Skrull galaxy was told in multiple issues of the original comic, whereas here it is compressed to a single second-season episode (that also added a big robot battle scene). The result was that a lot of the characterization of the Skrull villains had to be cut, and generally the story feels rather rushed.
  • Continuity Cameo: On the superhero side of things, the X Men (in civilian forms), The Avengers and even the Scarlet Spider appear during Season 2. There's a shot of Juggernaut's hand emerging from the Hudson River in the Hulk episode (possibly after Gladiator threw him in there), and we get brief glimpses of Speedball, Darkhawk and Namorita as the Silver Surfer flies around in the opening of "Doomsday". Jim Hammond, the Golden Age Human Torch, also makes a cameo in "When Calls Galactus."
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Near the end of the Season 2 premiere, an enraged Thing crushes Doctor Doom's hands for forcing him to sacrifice his normal appearance (and a chance at a normal life) once again. At the beginning of "Nightmare in Green," Doom is shown removing bandages from his hands, which have finally healed after months of recovery. It's heavily implied that his plan to have the Hulk attack the FF is at least partially motivated by a desire for revenge after the way Ben injured him. Doom references this injury again when he fights the Thing in the final episode.
    • After Maximus traps Attilan under an unbreakable dome at the end of the three-part "Inhumans Saga" storyline, several subsequent episodes mention that Reed is working on a way to try and break through the forcefield. "Prey of the Black Panther" also opens with a despondent Johnny pining for Crystal and hoping that they'll be reunited someday.
    • During the "Inhumans" storyline, Reed learns that the Inhumans were created by an alien race called the Kree, who had visited Earth during ancient times. "The Sentry Sinister" centers around a Killer Robot that the Kree left behind many years ago, and Reed even recalls what he'd learned about the Kree from that earlier episode.
  • Continuity Snarl: "The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part 1" begins with the team telling a story of their battle with Namor. However, the third episode "Now Comes the Sub-Mariner" has them encountering Namor as if it was their first time.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Black Panther takes out three of the four heroes by using specially crafted plans to either exploit their weaknesses or negate their superpowered advantages.
  • Crossover: The Fantastic Four appeared in The Incredible Hulk episode, "Fantastic Fortitude", though only the Thing has a major role. Doctor Doom (with Simon Templeman returning) appeared in "Doomed" and "Hollywood Rocks".
    • Iron Man makes a voiceless cameo in "To Battle the Living Planet", and again in "Doomsday". These were the only times the leads of the Marvel Action Hour shows had any interaction on-screen.
    • The team later appeared in Spider-Man: The Animated Series during the "Secret Wars" arc, though in a different continuity (with different appearances and outfits based on their Heroes Reborn look, and only Quinton Flynn reprising his role).
  • Damsel in Distress: The Cold Open of "And A Blind Man Shall Lead Them."
    Sue: This is pretty uninspired. The big, bad Doctor Doom kidnapping me to lure the Fantastic Four to your wretched little island?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Doom in season 2 was a fan of Wicked Cultured snark while in a winning position. The Damsel in Distress quote is an example. Also, when he leaves Thing in a state of And I Must Scream in Central Park during the series finale, he quips, "Do watch out for pigeons."
    • Ben and Johnny.
    • Daredevil proved to be a Deadpan Snarker of Spidey-levels in his brief team-up.
  • Deal with the Devil: "To Battle the Living Planet" has Earth attacked by Ego the Living Planet and the Fantastic Four have to enlist the aid of Galactus to stop him. Galactus agrees to aid them, but only one the condition that Reed releases him from the vow to leave Earth in peace. This means Galactus would return to destroy the Earth in the future but Reed has to accept his terms or Ego will destroy the planet right there.
  • Death by Adaptation: Ego is killed in the same episode he is introduced thanks to the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four, Thor and Galactus.
  • Deus ex Machina: When Galactus looks to feed on Earth in a desperate attempt to survive, the Fantastic Four fight him along with Thor (who met Galactus earlier) and are clearly losing. Suddenly, Ghost Rider shows up out of nowhere with no foreshadowing, brings Galactus down with his Penance Stare, and then leaves just as quickly. Even Thing lampshades how random the whole thing is.
  • Disappeared Dad: Well, step-dad, actually. The Puppet Master and Alicia got into a brief fight when he was about to crown a puppet version of himself to become the supreme ruler of the world. He was accidentally thrown out the window the same time the crown fell off his puppet. By the time the Fantastic Four came to Alicia's rescue, the Puppet Master seemed to have "vanished from the face of the earth", speculated by Reed to be a power greater than the team's.
    • Sue and Johnny's own father. The elder Storm was involved in an altercation that led to another man's death. It wasn't cold-blooded murder, but he went into hiding out of fear. He only returned to perform life-saving surgery on Sue, but subsequently was arrested by the police who anticipated he would come out of hiding when he learned his daughter is injured. He was later killed as part of a Skrull plot, before his name could even be cleared.note 
  • Dimension Lord: Psycho-Man, if only in the sense that his is the only known world in the subatomic universe he rules. Either Annihilus or Blaastar would count, once their battle for the Negative Zone is resolved.
  • Disney Death:
    • The Thing turns out to survive his beating at the hands of the Hulk in "Nightmare in Green."
    • Lady Dorma is stabbed in the chest in "Now Comes the Sub-Mariner". Reed manages to revive her using his molecular resuscitator.
    • Doctor Doom appears to be killed in "Doomsday," but was revealed to be alive in The Incredible Hulk (1996) in the episode "Doomed."
  • Distant Reaction Shot: Of Johnny's supernova attack in "Doomsday", which can be seen from the upper atmosphere.
  • The Dragon: Slash Curtis unknowingly becomes this for the Puppet Master, who wishes to use him and the other convicts as part of his evil army.
  • Enemy Mine: To stop Ego the Living Planet, Reed and Thor go to the guy who attached his rockets to him in the first place - Galactus.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Doom has one in "And A Blind Man Shall Lead Them" after the heroes escape his attacks.
    Doom: Where's Richards?! And who is this meddlesome fool who fights for them?! Unless, of course, they can't fight for themselves. Of course! My bomb. The radiation. They've lost their powers!
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Seeker is willing to go along with Maximus' coup in Attilan, but is shocked that Maximus plans to have his own brother killed.
    • Ego is so dangerous that even Galactus felt he was a menace.
  • Evil Brit: Despite being of Romani descent, Dr. Doom as depicted as having a British accent.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Annihilus vs Blaastar in "Behold The Negative Zone".
  • Expository Theme Tune / Theme Tune Roll Call: The first season features a relentlessly cheerful theme song with lyrics that explains our heroes' origins and their powers.
    • The theme in closing credits added the lyrics "that's all, no more".
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Berserk over Dr. Doom forcing him to revert back to the Thing, Ben crushes Doom's gauntlets. If you look at the frame closely, the fingers are contorted in a way that indicates they have to be broken.
  • Fair-Play Villain: Galactus has a few scruples he sticks to on a regular basis. One case being restoring the Silver Surfer's powers, no strings attached, after Doctor Doom stole them.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Psycho-Man.
  • For the Evulz: Mr. Fantastic accuses Psycho-Man of using his science to oppress his people through psychological torture. Psycho-Man just shrugs it off and responds, "Call it a hobby".
  • Gender Bender: The shapeshifting Skrulls, since just as in the comic their first-appearance episode was based on, a male Skrull impersonates Sue. No emphasis is put on his crossdressing, however.
  • Godzilla Threshold: For most of Season 2, Attilan is trapped behind the Negative Barrier. While viewers see Reed constantly working on a way to free the Inhumans, "The Sinister Sentry" shows their side of the problem and how hopeless it is. With the air supply running out, Black Bolt does what he always resisted: he speaks.
    • In "To Battle the Living Planet", Ego is so dangerous that the Fantastic Four have to enlist the help of Galactus to stop him, and agree to his terms to release him from the vow to not attack Earth because even though it means he will attack Earth in the future, if Ego isn't stopped the planet will be destroyed now.
  • Gone Horribly Right: After the Silver Surfer turned on him, Galactus sought a herald with no sense of morality. He selected Terrax, a vicious warlord who ultimately tries to poison him.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Namor rips off his human face, the camera shifts angles, showing his back and the horrified reactions of the onlookers in front of him.
  • Grand Finale: "Doomsday." Doctor Doom again steals the powers of the Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four struggle to take him down.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After kidnapping Franklin Storm, Morrat has him boobytrapped with a device that will kill the Fantastic Four as soon as they approach him. Franklin chooses to sacrifice himself by rolling over onto his stomach, which saves the FF by causing his body to take the brunt of the blast.
  • Hope Spot: "The Silver Surfer and the Coming of Galactus, Part I", Uatu shows Galactus that there is intelligent life on Earth. Galactus states he doesn't want to harm intelligent life forms, which causes to assume Galactus will spare the Earth. But then Galactus also points out that if he doesn't feed he will die, and he doesn't want to die either.
  • How We Got Here: The Four discuss their origins at a fund-raiser held by Dick Clark in the two-part premiere "The Origin of the Fantastic Four".
  • Human Jungle Gym: In "Prey of the Black Panther", while in Wakanda, Ben played with a bunch of kids who were climbing all over him. His teammates joked that maybe he could have his own fan club over in Wakanda.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In one episode, the Four’s Cranky Neighbour is shown blocking her dog from watching Ben’s performance on Creator/MTV… while watching it herself.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: In "The Sentry Sinister" Reed and Sue are finally enjoying a vacation on a remote, romantic Pacific island. Even alone together on the beach, however, Reed can't keep his mind off work — To Sue's great annoyance.
    Reed: Just think of the technological marvels that ancient space probe might hold, darling!
    Sue: (Sighs) I guess a bikini doesn't stand a chance with you, honey?
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Season two uses a heroic, and awesome orchestral theme.
  • Karma Houdini: Super-Skrull got away scott free despite his involvement in Franklin Storm's death.
  • Loophole Abuse: Uatu's excuse for trying to talk to Galactus in "The Silver Surfer and the Coming of Galactus, Part I" despite his oath to not infere. He argues that talking isn't taking action.
  • More than Mind Control: It's heavily implied that Psycho-Man took hold of Sue Richards/The Invisible Woman by using his science to exploit the already existing insecurities in her as a member of the team, and especially her fears about how her husband views her. Malice is therefore not entirely a creation of Psycho-Man, but Sue's darker side brought to the surface. See That Man Is Dead.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: One notable change in the second season was that the Four's costumes had the blue parts changed to being colored black with blue highlights.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Susan Storm, obviously. One specific example is her spending most of the pilot serial running around in just her slip.
  • Mugging the Monster: A couple of guys swipe Alicia's purse in the Hulk episode, apparently not noticing the giant orange guy in the trenchcoat sitting next to her.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The second season intro features references to the cover of Fantastic Four #1, their first battle with Doctor Doom, their adventure in Attilan: the hidden city of the Inhumans, and their battle against the Super-Adaptoid.
    • In the Season 1 Finale, the Thing and Johnny beat up some dinosaurs and they pretend to be Fred and Barney, which may be a reference to Fred and Barney Meet the Thing.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Averted - the Grand Finale involves Doom recycling his "steal the Silver Surfer's power" plot from season one, although he makes sure that Galactus is a long way away this time.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted. Since the show was produced for syndication rather than Fox Kids, it could get away with having explicit references to death, in sharp contrast to X-Men: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series, both of which played this trope painfully straight.
    Doctor Doom: I will now suck all of the air out of the room, and like the Martyrs of Masada, you may watch each other die. Have a nice day.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Inverted with Lyja, the female Skrull officer. In the comics, being Johnny Storm's love interest is a major part of her character, but this is completely ignored in the show, where she hardly ever even notices that he exists.
  • Putting on the Reich: Both the Skrull and the Sub-Mariner military officers use a variant of the "Heil Hitler!" fascist salute.
  • Recap Episode: "Hopelessly Impossible", which features Impossible Man fleeing from the Super-Skrull, sees the former learn about what the Four have been through so far in the second and final season.
  • Rushmore Refacement: Near the end of the first intro, the faces on the mountain switch to the team's heads.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Super-Skrull for the rest of Season 1 in the end of his debut in the titular episode, after he was thrown and sealed in a volcano.
  • Series Continuity Error: When Terrax shows up in the Season 2 episode "To Battle a Living Planet," it's treated as though he's a new character who has never encountered the heroes before. This is then reinforced in the episode "When Calls Galactus," where Reed has to explain who Terrax is to the Thing. This ignores the fact that Terrax actually showed up during Galactus' initial two-part debut in the first season, and that he'd already fought the Thing by that point. It's unclear why Ben doesn't recognize Terrax despite having traded blows with him the past.
    • The second season in general seemed to only run on a Broad Strokes version of season 1's events — given how bad it was, you can't blame them for wanting to disregard it as much as possible (Iron Man did the same thing).
  • Shockwave Clap: Hulk vs Torch.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part 2", Thing says "Say goodnight, Gracie!".
    • In "Worlds Within Worlds", Ben can be seen reading a Biker Mice from Mars comic book.
    • In "And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them," Doom says that he regrets missing the chance to see Cats on Broadway before destroying New York.
    • At one point in "To Battle a Living Planet," Johnny says "Ben, this is no time to play John Wayne!"
    • In the same episode, the Thing sarcastically compares Thor to iconic male model Fabio.
    • In "Prey of the Black Panther," Ben calls T'Challa "The Lion King", "Felix" and "Shere Khan" at various points.
    • When Johnny asks how his acting was in "Behold, a Distant Star," Ben sarcastically responds "De Niro ain't gonna lose any sleep."
    • In "Hopelessly Impossible," Impossible Man references to quite a few movies and TV shows, including The Partridge Family, Scooby-Doo, Star Trek (including a William Shatner impression) and even Citizen Kane. He also transforms into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for a gag.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • In the comics, Alicia's mother passed away long before Alicia's first appearance. Here, she ran away, so terrified of the Puppet Master that she doesn't even return for Alicia. Of course, those are the Puppet Master's words.
    • Lady Dorma doesn't get killed in her only appearance.
  • The Starscream: Warlord Krang to Namor. Terrax to Galactus.
    • In "The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part 2", when Slash Curtis was apprehended, one of the other convicts attempted to take over before being stopped himself.
  • That Man Is Dead: Malice, who is really a Brainwashed and Crazy Invisible Woman:
    Reed, Ben and Johnny: (together) Sue!
    Malice: The name's Malice. Susan Richards was a pathetic creature. Ignored at worst, patronized at best - someone who was frustrated at every turn.
  • This Cannot Be!: Doom's reaction to Ben overcoming his gravity-increaser.
  • Title Drop: The episode "Nightmare in Green" has a news report refer to the Hulk as a "nightmare in green".
  • Truer to the Text: As the first cartoon since 1967 to star all four members of the Fantastic Four, this show managed to restore several comic elements lost in The Fantastic Four (1978) (which replaced the Human Torch with a robot named H.E.R.B.I.E. because of rights issues with Universal attempting to make a TV movie about the former) and the Thing segments from Fred and Barney Meet the Thing (which focused solely on the Thing and didn't even acknowledge the other three members of the team).
  • Two of Your Earth Minutes: When Annihilus faces off with Blastaar.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Lavina Forbes continues being an ungrateful grouch to the Fantastic Four regardless of how often they save the day.
    • The Thing nearly kills Doctor Doom in "And A Blind Man Shall Lead Them," only to be stopped by the rest of the Fantastic Four. Doom repays them for saving his life by trying blow up New York just to kill them.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Thing to Doctor Doom in "And A Blind Man Shall Lead Them" (see Tearjerker above for why). Doom hits him with a device that magnifies gravity's effect on him - and is genuinely terrified when Ben gets right back up and keeps attacking. He even crushes Doom's hands, which are shown to be in bandages in his next appearance half a season later.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: In the episode "Behold, A Distant Star", Susan and Johnny's long-lost father Franklin Storm was killed by a Skrull plot. They both want to avenge him by attacking the Skrulls (or killing the Skrull responsible). By the end of the episode, after the Skrull Emperor gives the team a pardon for saving his daughter from a crossfire between Skrull groups, they ask for the one who killed Franklin. The Emperor sadly points to Morrat, her daughter's lover, who tried to overthrow the Emperor and was just cut down during said crossfire. The team leaves for home, feeling much worse.
  • Villainous Crush:
    • The pretty Skrull officer Commander Lyja was very impressed with Mr. Fantastic, flirting with him and even giving him a ritual medallion to show her affection. Though of course, she believed him to be a fellow Skrull, and was quite annoyed later, when she learned the truth.
    • Doctor Doom seems to have one on Sue, especially in the three-parter that introduces him. Aided by the fact that she spends the better part of at least one of those episodes blatantly flirting with him—Albeit only to keep him distracted while the other team members escape from his dungeons.
    • And of course, Namor and Sue. She even hints that she might reciprocate the feeling a little... Though that might just be to annoy Reed.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The Thing and the Human Torch, as always, are friends who tend to get into arguments and quarrels for the hell of it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Lyja, who was presented as an aide to the Skrull emperor in the Skrull-themed first-season episodes. In the only later appearance the Skrulls made, that emperor had apparently been replaced by another one, and Lyja was never seen again. Was she still working for him offscreen, reassigned or demoted, or perhaps even killed in some purge of the old emperor's followers? We never find out.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "Behold, A Distant Star", a woman was shocked that the Invisible Woman prevented her teammates from hitting her father. A man pointed out the reason why.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Netflix lists its streaming of The Marvel Action Hour under Iron Man's name.
  • Worf Effect: During "Doomsday", Johnny tries to fight a Power Cosmic enhanced-Doom alone with a secret move that creates a 1,000,000 degree Celsius explosion from his body that's big enough to be seen from space and make a massive crater in the Earth. Doom shrugs it off by turning his body into heat-immune crystal.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Ulysses Klaw killed T'Challa's father when he was young.
    • Morrat had Susan and Johnny's father killed in a Skrull plot.

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