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Robbie Parry
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Posted: September 09 2018 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

If the various sites I have checked are correct, THE FANTASTIC FOUR cartoon made its debut forty years ago today:


This is one Marvel cartoon that would be in my top 5, surreal though it was at times.

I love the theme tune, there's something epic about it, perfect for the sci-fi exploits of the FF.

I was disappointed Human Torch wasn't in it, though.

There are some good examples of "brain vs brawn" in the episodes, particularly in the first one. The FF did often have to rely on brains rather than raw power.

A weird (but fun) episode saw Magneto take on the FF. I was always a fan of "cross-pollination", but Magneto here seems akin to a hoodlum rather than what he was in the comics. He takes over as leader of the FF, gets them to rob a bank, and does other bizarre stuff. (SPOILERS AHEAD) Reed beats Magneto by creating a wooden gun, although I am not entirely sure how the gun worked.

Back in the day (80s), before we were lucky enough to get complete seasons released on tape, some episodes of this were released randomly; I am pretty sure some also made it on to tapes featuring the 60s Spider-Man series, although I really can't remember.

Any fans of the show? I prefer it to its 60s predecessor and the mid-90s FF cartoon.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: September 09 2018 at 11:57am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I enjoyed this iteration of the FF very much. I used to tape record the episodes and listen to the audio at night while lying in bed. I must have listened to that series' take on "The Infant Terrible" dozens of times. 

I didn't mind Herbie and didn't miss Johnny, just so long as the Thing had someone to fight with. "Don't you wave that wet noodle finger at me..." 

"Get your stubby digit out of my viewscreen, you overgrown granite-head!" 

Ahh, good times. Good times...

Mike Road's voice is still the one I hear when I imagine Reed speaking. And Ted Cassidy playing the Thing meant that he did the voice for both Ben and the Hulk over on the Bill Bixby series. (Cassidy's is only one of the many voices used for growls and snarls on that show.) 

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: September 09 2018 at 12:08pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Yes, Mike Road is the "Voice" for Reed. He always will be for me.

Mike Road even looked like Reed, I thought. 
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Jason Scott
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Posted: September 09 2018 at 10:09pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Yep, he had Reed down all right. Perfect voice for him.

I prefer this to the 60es FF cartoon as well. It's also a lot better than the first season of the 90es FF animated show.

And I did so love the in episode music. It's very similar I felt to classic Trek, in backing up the drama very well indeed..
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: September 09 2018 at 11:08pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I’m on the same page, Robbie. Love this show. Stan Lee wrote some teleplays, and Jack Kirby did storyboards. The voice casting is pretty spot-on. As noted, Mike Road gets Reed spot-on.

I also love the music. The opening title theme often comes to mind when I think of the FF.

The only real downer is the replacement of Johnny with H.E.R.B.I.E., but, hey, Frank Welker!


My favorite episode is the adaptation of FF # 5, the first Doctor Doom story.


My personal sweet spot of Marvel cartoons would be the Marvel Productions era from the late 70s and 80s. FANTASTIC FOUR, SPIDER-WOMAN, SPIDER-MAN, SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, the failed X-MEN pilot, etc.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: September 09 2018 at 11:11pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

This is pure nostalgic bliss, for me:

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Brian Hague
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Posted: September 09 2018 at 11:12pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I began to notice and then look for Frank Welker's name after I saw he was the voice of Uni in "Dungeons and Dragons" AND was credited in Star Trek III as "Spock Screams." 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: September 09 2018 at 11:26pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I love the fact that Walker voiced young Spock, who grew back into Nimoy’s Spock, in TSFS, and then Welker voiced Megatron, who turned into Galvatron, voiced by Nimoy (then later again by Welker) in THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE.

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Eric Smearman
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Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:40am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Hated that robot, much in the way that I hated Marvin & Wendy or the
Wonder Twins. I really resented Johnny not being on the show.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:53am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 Greg Kirkman wrote:
I love the fact that Walker voiced young Spock, who grew back into Nimoy’s Spock, in TSFS, and then Welker voiced Megatron, who turned into Galvatron, voiced by Nimoy (then later again by Welker) in THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE.

There's a gameshow question in that post somewhere. ;-)
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Jim Muir
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Posted: September 10 2018 at 5:10am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Hi Robbie - where did you see these in the 80s?

Every time I saw the cartoon ads in Marvel comics I
wished that British tv would show them more, but other
than the classic Spider-Man, superhero cartoons were
really hard to find!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: September 10 2018 at 5:15am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I don't recall them on TV, Jim, but there were a limited number of VHS releases. 

One release had the first three episodes on; I'm pretty sure they appeared on random releases.

"Random" is the keyword. One tape I had featured the THOR episode "Enter Hercules" and the 60s SPIDER-MAN episode "Neptune's Nose Cone". Two episodes on a tape, eh? How spoilt we are now.

A lot of superhero cartoons in the 80s did tend to air in very early slots (around 7am), but I don't recall ever watching this on TV.
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