As promised, I give to you the second half of the Marvel Super Nonsense Power Hour: Fantastic Four. If you read the first part, detailing the hilarious exploits of Iron Man (which I don’t know why you wouldn’t — this is grade-A material, people), then you can already imagine where this is heading. While Iron Man at least had unintentional humor, Fantastic Four was just sad.
Let’s start off with the theme song, which perfectly sets the tone for the series. Honestly, it sounds like it belongs with ’80s shows like Out of this World or Small Wonder. I think the tone of the show can best be summed up by the opening credits image of the team’s head overlaying Mt. Rushmore. You might be saying to yourself, but Mr. Credible Hulk (or Mr. Tony … on second thought, Tony’s fine), how could the same people who made The Avengers or The Winter Soldier movies make such a terrible cartoon? Well, Billy (you’re all Billy now, deal with it), this was a very different Marvel in the ’90s. This was the same Marvel that eventually went bankrupt.
To be fair, the show was pretty accurate, retelling old Stan Lee & Jack Kirby FF stories. Only, those don’t hold up well. The show was so bad that then-FF writer Tom DeFalco had a scene in issue #396 where Scott Lang could be seen watching the cartoon, making fun of it. It was that bad. The show did have some decent voice work going for it, and it introduced a bevy of characters, some of which I’ve yet to see in other incarnations. Brian Austin Green was Johnny Storm in the first season — so, yeah, 90210, ladies. Simon Templeman voiced Doom for a bit. Still, that doesn’t mean you should waste any time on this crap.
After the first, horrendous 13-episode season, the show was completely overhauled, much like Iron Man, switching showrunners and even animation studios. It was too little too late, as the ratings continued to drop, with no one returning for the second, superior season. There was a bit of crossover with the Hulk (1996) cartoon, seeing most of the cast return.
You’d think that with two grand failures under their belt, Marvel would have stopped. Oh no. They were still high on X-Men and Spider-Man money. We still have three more of these to get through. Look, I do this for you, people. Be grateful.
Did you suffer through this abomination (I’m sorry)? Remember that issue of FF? Comment below!
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ’em hi.
Did I mention this had Ego the Living Planet?