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Western Animation / The Fantastic Four (1978)

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Passed the Torch, couldn't hold a candle.

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 Mister Fantastic eventually talks all of them except Medusa out of it.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Nobody in this series comes out looking too good, due to them generally acting like idiots, but even then, the show's version of Magneto is justly memetic for the colossal Forgot About His Powers moment in his main appearance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Magneto assumes that he's lost his magnetic powers when he can't manipulate the wooden gun. After being told the truth, he doesn't even try to manipulate the many sources of metal that the officers arresting him have on them- guns, police cars, handcuffs and badges, to name a few.
  • 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".
  • Robot Names: H.E.R.B.I.E.'s name comes from his description ("Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics).
  • Series Continuity Error: When Lockjaw first appears, the Invisible Woman 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.
  • Steal It to Protect It: Feigned in "The Menace of Magneto". Magneto gets the Four to help him steal money from a bank so that actual bank robbers can't steal it. Of course, Magneto is just making up excuses and proceeds to take the money for himself.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: What Reed's infamous "wooden gun" plan against Magneto boils down to. Reed points the gun at Magneto, who assumes he's lost his magnetic powers when he can't manipulate the weapon and surrenders. Of course, the gun is fake, so if Magneto had tried to resist arrest, Reed wouldn't have been able to do anything.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


A Wooden Gun

Mr. Fantastic, after tricking Magneto into believing he's lost his powers, tells nearby police officers to arrest the supervillain. The officers then put a dumbfounded Magneto in metal handcuffs, take him to a metal car, to escort him to a prison, most likely made out of metal.

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