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Cartoons: New Fantastic Four

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Episode Review
History of New Fantastic Four
Quick Facts
Voice Cast

History of New Fantastic FourA Filmation TV cartoon series from 1978.  The animation, for a TV cartoon, is actually pretty decent.  This show has the distinction of NOT having the Human Torch as a character.  He was replaced with an original character called H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot.  A lot of people have thought this was due to the fact that a character who could light himself on fire would give kids bad ideas.  This is not true.  The real deal is that the Human Torch character was not legally available to be in the cartoon show.  Marvel tried to make a live-action TV series of the Human Torch with Universal Studios and CBS-TV.  They were on kind of a kick with "The Incredible Hulk" and "The Amazing Spider-Man."  At any rate, the Torch was going to be solo.  However, due to the fact that budgets were limited and special effects were even more limited back in the 1970s, the TV show never came into being.  Plus, they were planning to merchandise the Human Torch if he became a live-action show, and did not want that merchandise to conflict with that of a cartoon Human Torch.

    Although not visually as exciting as the Human Torch, H.E.R.B.I.E. was a good character.  He pestered The Thing, just like Torch always had.  What really bothered a lot of fans at the time was that there was no explanation of Torch's abscence...it was as if he never existed!   Still, it was a funny character and it was neat to see a robot in a team of superheroes.  The stories are also a lot of fun.  Bright and colorful animation!  Worth seeing!

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