|Created by||Stan Lee|
|Written by||Ron Friedman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||Genesis Entertainment and New World Entertainment|
|Original network||Syndication (The Marvel Action Hour/Marvel Action Universe)|
|Original release||September 24, 1994 -|
February 24, 1996
|Preceded by||The New Fantastic Four|
|Followed by||Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes|
Fantastic Four, also known as Fantastic Four: The Animated Series, is the third animated television series based on Marvel's comic book series of the same name. Airing began on September 24, 1994, until ending on February 24, 1996. The series ran for two seasons, with 13 episodes per season, making 26 episodes in total.
In the early-to-mid-1990s, Genesis Entertainment and New World Entertainment syndicated a new Fantastic Four animated series as part of the Marvel Action Hour weekend block, later renamed Marvel Action Universe (second use of the name), with the addition of another show. The first half of the hour was an episode of Iron Man; the second half an episode of Fantastic Four. During the first season, Stan Lee was featured speaking before each show about characters in the following episode and what had inspired him to create them.
Most episodes in the first season consisted of fairly accurate re-tellings and re-interpretations of classic 1960s FF comic book stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. For instance, this series stayed true to the original comic book story that recounted the Silver Surfer and Galactus' coming to Earth in a two-part episode as well as Doctor Doom's theft of the Surfer's powers. However, the season's cost-effective animation (provided by Wang Film Productions and Kennedy Cartoons) and attempts to add humor through the inclusion of a fussy British landlady (portrayed by Lee's wife Joan) for the FF were generally met with displeasure by fans - to say nothing of then-current FF comic book writer Tom DeFalco, who got in trouble for penning a scene in issue #396 of the series that featured Ant-Man watching and lambasting an episode of the cartoon.
In "The Origin of the Fantastic Four", Puppet Master took control of the Thing and used him to capture Invisible Woman. Mister Fantastic freed the Thing from his control and defeated the Puppet Master. Upon returning to his apartment to reclaim his final doll, he ended up in a fight with Alicia Masters, and then he apparently fell to his death from the apartment window. The Fantastic Four weren't able to find his body and claimed that he "vanished from Earth."
In "The Silver Surfer & the Coming of Galactus", the Silver Surfer, Firelord, and Terrax fight the Fantastic Four while Galactus attempts to feed on Earth. By season 2 however, all but the presence of Silver Surfer in that battle is ignored as Terrax is seen again and referred to as being the replacement for the Silver Surfer. In the episode "When Calls Galactus", Terrax is killed/turned into a worm and Nova (Frankie Raye) becomes the new herald of Galatcus.
In "Mask of Doom", Doctor Doom captures the Fantastic Four and forces Mister Fantastic, Human Torch, and the Thing to go back in time and obtain an object for him. In the aforementioned episode "Silver Surfer and the Return of Galactus", Doom steals the Silver Surfer's powers and tries to steal Galactus' powers, only to be thwarted by the planet devourer himself.
Both the Fantastic Four and Iron Man series were radically retooled for the second seasons, sporting new opening sequences, improved animation (as previously mentioned, the animation for the first season was done by Wang Film Productions and Kennedy Cartoons, while the second season's animation was provided by Philippine Animation Studio, Inc.), and more mature writing (the first season was primarily written by Ron Friedman, while the second season was overseen by Tom Tataranowicz), though noticeably having fewer introductions by Stan Lee, with several of the new shorter intros being used more than once. Not only that, Four Freedoms Plaza replaced the Baxter Building as the Fantastic Four's home base in season 2. The season 2 episodes also drew upon John Byrne's 1980s run on the Fantastic Four comic (as well as John Buscema's artwork), in addition to further Lee and Kirby adventures.
In the season premiere episode "And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them" (guest starring Daredevil), Doctor Doom strikes at a powerless FF and has his hand crushed by the Thing. Doom next appears in "Nightmare in Green" where he directs Hulk to attack the team.
Wizard appears in the episode "And the Wind Cries Medusa" (the first part of the three part "Inhumans Saga"). In his appearance, he assembles Medusa, Hydro-Man, and Trapster to form the Frightful Four. On a related note, this episode aired one week from Hydro-Man's debut appearance in Spider-Man. Wizard also used a device to control the Thing. Meanwhile, Crystal, along with the other Inhumans Black Bolt, Gorgon, Karnak, and Lockjaw, also make their debut in the three-part "Inhumans Saga" episode. After escaping the Negative Barrier, Crystal goes on to become the girlfriend of the Human Torch. Seeker appears in the episode "Inhumans Saga: Beware the Hidden Land". He is sent by Maximus the Mad to retrieve the Inhuman Royal Family. After saving the Fantastic Four from the explosion, Seeker briefly shares the history of the Inhumans to them.
Susan Richards as Malice appears in the episode "Worlds Within Worlds". Malice's appearance is the result of Psycho-Man using his powers to make Susan turn against her Fantastic Four teammates. Eventually, Susan is freed of Psycho-Man's influence and defeats him.
The Black Panther appears in the "Prey of the Black Panther". He lures the Fantastic Four to Wakanda to see if they are worthy enough to help fight Klaw. As in the comics, Klaw's history of killing T'Chaka is included as well as T'Challa using Klaw's own weapon on his right hand.
In "To Battle the Living Planet," the Fantastic Four ask Galactus' help in confronting Ego the Living Planet. Thor meanwhile guest stars in two episodes. In "To Battle the Living Planet," the Fantastic Four help him fight Ego the Living Planet even when they enlist Galactus' help. In "When Calls Galactus," he and Ghost Rider (he uses the penance stare, so it is more likely it is the Daniel Ketch version instead of the Johnny Blaze version) both help the Fantastic Four fight Galactus. Also in "When Calls Galactus", Nova volunteers to replace the treacherous Terrax as Galactus' herald. As in the comics, Frankie Raye ends up getting her powers when she is accidentally doused in the chemicals that gave the android Human Torch his powers.
Franklin Storm appears in the episode "Behold, A Distant Star". Just like in the comics, Franklin Storm lost his wife in an accident, and an altercation with a loan shark led to an accidental murder. When Invisible Woman has shrapnel in the lower part of her brain after a recent Skrull attack (Lyja is shown as a commander to the Skrull army), he has to come out of hiding to perform the surgery. He turns himself over to the arriving police. After being freed from his volcanic prison, Super-Skrull replaces him in prison and takes on the guise of the Invincible Man, who breaks out of prison, goes on a rampage on the city, and runs afoul of the Fantastic Four. They soon realize that Franklin Storm is Super-Skrull in disguise. Warlord Morrat has a concussive energy beam projector attached to Dr. Storm's chest. The projector is set to go off the moment he sees the Fantastic Four. When Storm appears, he warns the Fantastic Four to stay away and rolls over on the floor, taking the full force of the deadly concussive blast.
In "Hopelessly Impossible", Lockjaw helps the Human Torch get the Impossible Man to The Great Refuge and away from the Super-Skrull.
In what turned out to be the series finale, "Doomsday", Doctor Doom acquires the Power Cosmic. He once again tries to go after Galactus only to hit the barrier that prevents the Silver Surfer from leaving Earth.
Simon Templeman reprised his role of Doctor Doom for guest appearances in two episodes, in which Doom held Washington, D.C. captive, only to be defeated by She-Hulk, whom he later attempted to claim revenge upon. With his appearance on this show, it can be assumed that Doom survived the fate he met on the Fantastic Four series, if both shows are to be considered within the same continuity.
Following Doctor Doom's first appearance (he appears again in the second-season episode "Hollywood Rocks"), comes the episode "Fantastic Fortitude" featuring his nemesis, the Fantastic Four. The episode seems to place this show in the same continuity with the Fantastic Four cartoon of the same decade, as this episode plays off the Hulk's appearance in the other show. More to the point, Beau Weaver (Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic) and Chuck McCann (Ben Grimm/The Thing) reprise their roles from the Fantastic Four series. In the episode, Mister Fantastic and the other Fantastic Four take their vacation prior to Hulk, She-Hulk, and Thing fighting Leader's Gamma Soldiers. Meanwhile, She-Hulk flirts with Thing, but Ben chooses to rekindle his relationship with Alicia Masters. While the Yancy Street Gang never appear in the solo Fantastic Four cartoon itself, they appear in "Fantastic Fortitude", where they pull a prank on the Thing. After being defeated by the villain Ogress, the Gang, always off camera, distributes leaflets marked "THING WHUPPED BY A WOMAN!", much to Thing's chagrin.
According to season 2 supervising producer Tom Tataranowicz, had there had been a third season of Fantastic Four, he would have wanted to go into the whole Sue Storm pregnancy story arc. In Tataranowicz's eyes, this would have given the production crew a chance to do their own take on the Sub-Mariner (who only appeared in season 1), as he played into the arc in FF issues leading up to and around issue #100. Tataranowicz also wanted to bring Medusa and She-Hulk into the mix as part of the Fantastic Four.
|#||Title||Writer(s)||Original Airdate||Prod. Number|
|1||"The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part One"||Ron Friedman||September 24, 1994||101|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #1 and #8.|
|2||"The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part II"||Ron Friedman||October 1, 1994||102|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #1 and #8.|
|3||"Now Comes the Sub-Mariner"||Ron Friedman||October 8, 1994||103|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #4.|
|4||"Incursion of the Skrull"||Ron Friedman||October 15, 1994||104|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #2.|
|5||"The Silver Surfer and the Coming of Galactus, Part I"||Ron Friedman||October 22, 1994||105|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #48-49. The end credits list this episode as "Silver Surfer & the Coming of Galactus, Part 1".|
|6||"The Silver Surfer and the Coming of Galactus, Part II"||Ron Friedman||October 29, 1994||106|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #49-50. The end credits list this episode as "Silver Surfer & the Coming of Galactus, Part 2".|
|7||"Super Skrull"||Ron Friedman||November 5, 1994||107|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #18.|
|8||"The Mask of Doom, Part I"||Elwin Ransom & Ron Friedman||November 12, 1994||108|
(Part 1 of 3)Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #5.
|9||"The Mask of Doom, Part II"||Elwin Ransom & Ron Friedman||November 19, 1994||109|
(Part 2 of 3)Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #5.
|10||"The Mask of Doom, Part III"||Elwin Ransom & Ron Friedman||November 26, 1994||110|
(Part 3 of 3)Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #5.
|11||"Mole Man"||Ron Friedman||December 3, 1994||111|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #1.|
|12||"Behold the Negative Zone"||Ron Friedman||December 10, 1994||112|
|Notes: Chronologically, this is the last episode of the first season.|
|13||"The Silver Surfer and the Return of Galactus"||Ron Friedman||December 17, 1994||113|
|Notes: Although it aired last in the season it takes place before "Mole Man".|
|#||Title||Director(s)||Writer(s)||Original Airdate||Prod. Number|
|14||"And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them"||Thomas Mclaughlin jr.||Steve Granat & Cydne Clark||September 23, 1995||201|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #39 and #40|
|15||"Inhumans Saga, Part 1: And the Wind Cries Medusa"||Ernesto Lopez, Graham Morris & Tom Tatatanowicz||Glenn Leopold||September 30, 1995||202|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #36 and #41-43|
|16||"Inhumans Saga, Part 2: The Inhumans Among Us"||Thomas Mclaughlin jr.||Glenn Leopold||October 7, 1995||203|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #44-45|
|17||"Inhumans Saga, Part 3: Beware the Hidden Land"||Ernesto Lopez & Tom Tataranowicz||Glenn Leopold||October 14, 1995||204|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #46-47|
|18||"Worlds Within Worlds"||Myrha Bushman||Steve Granat & Cydne Clark & David Ehrman||October 21, 1995||205|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #76-77 and #280-283|
|19||"To Battle the Living Planet"||Ernesto Lopez||Steve Granat & Cydne Clark & Jan Strnad||November 4, 1995||206|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #234-#235|
|20||"Prey of the Black Panther"||Thomas Mclaughlin jr.||Glenn Leopold||November 11, 1995||207|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #52-53|
|21||"When Calls Galactus"||Richard Trueblood||Jan Strnad||November 18, 1995||208|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #242-244|
|22||"Nightmare in Green"||Thomas Mclaughlin jr.||Glenn Leopold||November 25, 1995||209|
|23||"Behold, a Distant Star"||Ernesto Lopez||Steve Granat & Cydne Clark||February 3, 1996||210|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #32 and #37|
|24||"Hopelessly Impossible"||Thomas Mclaughlin jr.||Greg Johnson||February 10, 1996||211|
|25||"The Sentry Sinister"||Ernesto Lopez||Glenn Leopold||February 17, 1996||212|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #64|
|26||"Doomsday"||Thomas Mclaughlin jr.||Cydne Clark||February 24, 1996||213|
|Notes: Based on Fantastic Four #57-60|
|8||"Fantastic Fortitude"||Bob Forward||November 10, 1996|
Only Quinton Flynn (who replaced Brian Austin Green as the voice of the Human Torch in the second season) came back for Spider-Man. Beau Weaver, Lori Alan, and Chuck McCann were replaced by Cam Clarke, Gail Matthius, and Patrick Pinney as Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, and the Thing respectively, and Doctor Doom was voiced by veteran voice actor Tom Kane for parts 2 and 3.
|61||"Secret Wars, Chapter I: "Arrival""||John Semper & |
|November 7, 1997|
|Part 1 of 3.|
|62||"Secret Wars, Chapter II: "The Gauntlet of the Red Skull""||Virginia Roth||November 14, 1997|
|Part 2 of 3.|
|63||"Secret Wars, Chapter III: "Doomed""||Ernie Altbacker, |
John Semper &
|November 21, 1997|
|Part 3 of 3.|
Despite the fact that the show ended in 1996, the success of the live-action Fantastic Four film have sparked more interest in new fans, allowing the series to air in reruns on Jetix block on Toon Disney due to its new owners: The Walt Disney Company.
In February 2012, Marvel.com uploaded every episode for streaming purposes, although they have now been removed.
The entire series is available for instant streaming on Canadian Netflix as of July 28, 2016. The entire series is available on iTunes, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and Vudu. The series is shown on Disney's streaming service Disney+ since its launch on November 12, 2019.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date||Publisher||Stock Number||Notes|
|The Origin of the Fantastic Four||"The Origin of the Fantastic Four" Parts 1 & 2||July 2, 1997||20th Century Fox Home Entertainment||4193||Trailers:|
FOX Kids Video Promo (1997)
Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997)
FOX Toons Interactive CD-ROM Promo (1997)
In the late 1990s, another selection of VHS compilations were released by Marvel Films/New World Entertainment (these tapes were distributed in Canada by Telegenic Entertainment). These releases featured episodes edited into 40 minute movies based on the particular story arc.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date||Publisher||Stock Number||Notes|
|The Origin||"The Origin of the Fantastic Four" Parts 1 & 2||May 19, 1998||Marvel Films/New World Entertainment||03033||This Tape Is In SP Mode.
Contains 40 Minutes Of A Feature Length Movie.
And Contains Various Commercials At The End Of The Movie:
This section does not cite any sources. (April 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Following the release of the 2005 live-action film, The Walt Disney Company (through Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment) released the series on Region 1 DVD on July 5. The DVD set now featured new introductions by Stan Lee for all 26 episodes (replacing the original introductions, which had been removed for network broadcast). Additionally, pieces of footage from the episodes themselves had also been removed for network broadcast, and it is these cut episodes that comprise the DVD set.
The first Region 2 release received only a DVD comprising the first two episodes and the trilogy of the first appearance of Doctor Doom. The second release, now by Liberation Entertainment, features a double DVD set with the complete first season with remastered video and audio footage. Due to Liberation's closure within the UK, the rights to all Marvel cartoons were brought by the company Lace International, but has since changed again to Clear Vision LTD.
Clear Vision LTD released Season 1 in two parts. Part one was released on May 4, 2009, with part two released on May 13, 2009. Season 2 was also released in two parts, with part one released on June 10, 2009, and part two released on June 17, 2009.
In April 2009, a DVD box that collects both Seasons 1 and 2 was released in European countries with Dutch subtitles under the Liberation Entertainment label.
An 8 issues comic-book series based on the show was published by Marvel:
An action figure line based on the TV show was produced by Toy Biz, and ran for four series. The line included the main characters and many of the various guest-stars, as well as characters that never even appeared on the show, such as Dragon Man and Thanos.