Next is the second half of the Marvel Action Hour/Universe Fantastic Four. Like Iron Man, the first season was completely campy, until the big retool in season 2.
So here’s the story: Scientist Reed Richards takes his fiance (later wife) Susan Storm, her little brother Johnny and good friend Ben Grimm, go out into space to examine cosmic rays. Subsequently, there space shuttle was hit by said rays causing their shuttle to crash. After the crash, the four are learn that they have superpowers, Reed’s super-elastic, Sue can turn invisible, Johnny can burst into flames, and Ben transformed into a rock-skinned thing. Together they decide to protect the world as The Fantastic Four.
Season 1 was alright, it had a few good episodes, the origins of the team was very impressive (despite being framed at a telethon) Dr. Doom origin arc and the Silver Surfer and Galactus episode were epic in terms of scale. There’s not really much I can say about season 1, oh, there was also a very funny moment in Ant-Man #396 where Hank Pym watched and mocked the cartoon.
As I mentioned in last week, both Iron Man and Fantastic Four were heavily retooled. Originally FF was animated by both Wang Film Productions and Kennedy Cartoons, now it was animated by Philippine Animation Studio, inc. Season 2 (which was inspired by John Bynre’s run on the comics rather than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s run) saw more mature storytelling, cameo appearances, team-ups an epic story arc and a grand finale.
The Season premier alone, set the tone for the series. In “And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them”, Dr. Doom captured Sue and used a device to steal the remaining three’s powers. Daredevil appeared and helped out the others, they got their powers back and Ben fought Doom and had his hand crushed in the process. The next episode had one of the most epic story arcs The Inhuman Saga, in Part I Wizard, Trapster, Medusa and Hydro Man (a week before his debut on Spider-Man) brainwashed Ben into turning against the other three. Part II, Johnny meets The Inhumans, who hates humans except for Crystal, the episode ends with a battle with Blackbolt. Then in the final part, The Inhumans and FF team-up to take down Maximus the Mad.
Other team-ups includes Thor help the Four fight Ego the Living Planet, the FF traveling to Wakanda to help Black Panther (voiced by the legendary Keith David) fight Ulysses Klaw. Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch version) fighting Galactus, And just like Iron Man, Hulk also appeared in the show again voiced by Ron Perlman (I forgot to mention he voiced both Bruce Banner and The Hulk last week). Finally the series came to a head in “Doomsday” where Dr. Doom takes Silver Surfer’s board again, after beating the FF, Dr. Doom spreads a reign of terror across the globe. Reed counter attacks Dr. Doom with a flying drone to lure him to Galactus’ force barrier which drains his power.
Again, alongside Iron Man the show the show was cancelled due to low ratings. Surprisingly, season 2 head writer Tom Tatatanowicz stated that there was going to be a season 3 planned, stories would include Sue’s pregnancy, Medusa and She-Hulk making appearances and the return of the Sub-Mariner (Who showed up in season 1)
Fantastic Four was alright, I didn’t find it as impressive as Iron Man but it’s a decent show. Tomorrow, we’re gonna take a look at everyone’s favorite wall-crawler, that’s right Spider-Man.
RANK: 3 out of 5