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Old December 5 2009, 04:50 AM   #1
Mr Light
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Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

So I'm working my way through the complete series set of this 26 episode cartoon series from a couple years ago. I had already seen most of these episodes on the individual DVDs with only nine unreleased episodes remaining.

Maybe it's just because in the meantime I've read a bunch of the Kirby/Lee issues in the B&W Essential trades, but I enjoyed the series a great deal more this time around. It really felt loyal to the comic book while at the same time being updated and fresh. The animation was top notch, though the character designs were a mite angular.

What did you think of the show?

Also, why the hell did it get that bizarre airing? They aired a couple episodes on Cartoon Network then yanked it off the schedule and apparently only ever aired half of them? Did it get horrible ratings or something?
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Old December 5 2009, 05:37 AM   #2
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

I've been watching it on NickToons. It took a while to get used to the visual style of the show. I don't like some of the characterizations. Reed Richards seems distracted all the time, and Johnny Storm lacks maturity.
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Old December 5 2009, 05:47 AM   #3
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

It wasn't a very good show, but it had its moments here and there. Mainly I liked Sue. Her character design was pretty hot, and she was portrayed as a very strong and capable character, the most level-headed and responsible member of the team (if you discount the scene in the first-aired episode where she faints upon learning of Johnny's abduction). But the portrayal of Johnny was awful and really annoying. He's supposed to be a hothead, not a complete airhead.
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Old December 5 2009, 06:09 AM   #4
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Also, why the hell did it get that bizarre airing? They aired a couple episodes on Cartoon Network then yanked it off the schedule and apparently only ever aired half of them? Did it get horrible ratings or something?
Cartoon Network is strange like that. IIRC, Justice League's last season's episodes aired once a week. You missed it...tough cookies.
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Old December 5 2009, 08:19 AM   #5
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

Bad Bishop wrote: View Post
I don't like some of the characterizations. Reed Richards seems distracted all the time, and Johnny Storm lacks maturity.
Reed Richards is SUPPOSED be distracted all the time, and Johnny Storm is SUPPOSED to lack maturity. Sounds like they got it right.
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Old December 5 2009, 10:47 AM   #6
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

If this is the one I'm thinking of, I saw a couple of episodes and couldn't muster up the interest to watch more; it was uninspired at best.

But I've pretty much lost track of all the Marvel cartoons. It seems that with TV cartoons at least, Marvel can do no right and DC can do no wrong (well, Teen Titans isn't quite my thing). These are sad days for me all around, as a big Marvelmaniac from the 60s and 70s, and into the 80s).
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Old December 5 2009, 11:51 AM   #7
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

I watched I think five episodes which I thought were okay...their costume designs to me look like they were based off the Ultimate FF. Sue was my favorite character.
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Old December 5 2009, 06:02 PM   #8
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
Bad Bishop wrote: View Post
I don't like some of the characterizations. Reed Richards seems distracted all the time, and Johnny Storm lacks maturity.
Reed Richards is SUPPOSED be distracted all the time, and Johnny Storm is SUPPOSED to lack maturity. Sounds like they got it right.
Not really. The show exaggerates Reed and Johnny's worst qualities. In the comics, Reed is a lot more focused, and Sue doesn't have to tell him what's happening every five minutes. On the cartoon show, Reed succeeds as leader of the FF in spite of himself.

As for Johnny, on the show he's just an idiot. I don't like anything about him. When he was captured and tried by Ronan the Accuser (for perceived crimes against the Kree Empire), I found myself siding with Ronan.

Other topic: I used to wonder if Reed and Sue were married on the program. Then I noticed that Sue seemed to have her own bedroom in the Baxter Building. So that answers that question.
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Old December 5 2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
But I've pretty much lost track of all the Marvel cartoons. It seems that with TV cartoons at least, Marvel can do no right and DC can do no wrong...
Actually FF:WGS was one of Marvel's few TV-series misfires over the past few years. The Spectacular Spider-Man was superb, and Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man: Armored Adventures are both pretty good too.

The difference between DC and Marvel when it comes to TV production is that all of DC's shows are made by Warner Bros. while the Marvel shows are at least sometimes farmed out to various production partners. So there's less consistency among the Marvel shows. FF:WGS was produced by MoonScoop, a "Franime" (anime-influenced French animation) company.


Bad Bishop wrote: View Post
Not really. The show exaggerates Reed and Johnny's worst qualities. In the comics, Reed is a lot more focused, and Sue doesn't have to tell him what's happening every five minutes. On the cartoon show, Reed succeeds as leader of the FF in spite of himself.

As for Johnny, on the show he's just an idiot. I don't like anything about him. When he was captured and tried by Ronan the Accuser (for perceived crimes against the Kree Empire), I found myself siding with Ronan.
Quite right. Like I said, it's one thing to portray Johnny as an impetuous guy with impulse control issues, but this show just portrayed him as an irritating moron, a character with the maturity of a 6-year-old and the intellect of a 3-year-old. And an annoying, whiny voice too.


Other topic: I used to wonder if Reed and Sue were married on the program. Then I noticed that Sue seemed to have her own bedroom in the Baxter Building. So that answers that question.
Well, she was billed in the credits as Sue Storm rather than Sue Richards. Of course, lots of married women in real life keep their surnames, but in the comics, Sue didn't, so I assume any adaptation that calls her Sue Storm means for her to be single.

Also, the show was basically constructed as a pseudo-continuation of the first FF movie (using the movie origin story, a black Alicia Masters, and other elements from the film mixed with more conventional FF concepts like the portrayal of Dr. Doom), and movieverse Reed and Sue didn't get married until the sequel.
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Old December 5 2009, 08:22 PM   #10
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

Christopher wrote: View Post
RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
But I've pretty much lost track of all the Marvel cartoons. It seems that with TV cartoons at least, Marvel can do no right and DC can do no wrong...
Actually FF:WGS was one of Marvel's few TV-series misfires over the past few years. The Spectacular Spider-Man was superb, and Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man: Armored Adventures are both pretty good too.

The difference between DC and Marvel when it comes to TV production is that all of DC's shows are made by Warner Bros. while the Marvel shows are at least sometimes farmed out to various production partners. So there's less consistency among the Marvel shows. FF:WGS was produced by MoonScoop, a "Franime" (anime-influenced French animation) company.
I think I may have seen a couple of episodes of Spectacular Spider-Man and didn't like them; I didn't bother with Wolverine and the X-Men or Iron Man: Armored Adventures. I had given up on Marvel in general by that point. I was almost encouraged by the new one on Cartoon Network-- I can't think of the name-- that uses some old character designs (Valkyrie is on there, for example), but I couldn't even sit through a whole episode it was so bad.
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Old December 5 2009, 09:50 PM   #11
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

Marvel has really sort of slip in the decent animation department of late. Either you get good stories and shitty artwork or decent artwork and shitty stories. FF:WGH seems to be a mix of both. I mean, I guess I miss the 90s when Marvel had THE BEST animated series. Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk - sure they were a mite kiddified but at the same time they did try to stay pretty true to the spirit of the source material they adapted. With X-Men being probably one of the best in that regard, basically taking entire comics storylines and condensing them down. Same with Fantastic Four and Iron Man. It was pretty cool when the old FF cartoon was on and doing the Galactus Saga and around that time I had discovered my dad had a copy of the original Fantastic Four #48 in his old box of comics and such.

I'm holding out hope that maybe now that Marvel and Disney are sleeping in the same bed now, that we'll get some better animated stuff. DC had its winners with the Batman and JLA/JLU stuff, Marvel really needs something like JLU - that ISN'T Superhero Squad - which is really pretty lame. Its fun for kids who are into shit like Spongebob, but it just doesn't grab me like JLU or the old 90s era Marvel stuff did. And the sad thing is... some of those old shows are nearly 20 years old!!! :shock: I'm getting old!
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Old December 5 2009, 11:07 PM   #12
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

I didn't find the Iron Man or Hulk or FF'90s series to be that great. And the animation was atrocious. X-Men I loved at the time but I'd have to watch it again now to see if it holds up. I remember the last season was completely horrible. Thanks to only having basic cable I've yet to see Wolverine/X-Men or Spec Spidey S2 but I'm really, really looking forward to them. Iron Man '09 I saw the pilot of and didn't care for it, either the animation or the story.
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Old December 5 2009, 11:19 PM   #13
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

Badarse St. Nick wrote: View Post
Marvel has really sort of slip in the decent animation department of late. Either you get good stories and shitty artwork or decent artwork and shitty stories. FF:WGH seems to be a mix of both. I mean, I guess I miss the 90s when Marvel had THE BEST animated series. Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk - sure they were a mite kiddified but at the same time they did try to stay pretty true to the spirit of the source material they adapted. With X-Men being probably one of the best in that regard, basically taking entire comics storylines and condensing them down. Same with Fantastic Four and Iron Man. It was pretty cool when the old FF cartoon was on and doing the Galactus Saga and around that time I had discovered my dad had a copy of the original Fantastic Four #48 in his old box of comics and such.

I'm holding out hope that maybe now that Marvel and Disney are sleeping in the same bed now, that we'll get some better animated stuff. DC had its winners with the Batman and JLA/JLU stuff, Marvel really needs something like JLU - that ISN'T Superhero Squad - which is really pretty lame. Its fun for kids who are into shit like Spongebob, but it just doesn't grab me like JLU or the old 90s era Marvel stuff did. And the sad thing is... some of those old shows are nearly 20 years old!!! :shock: I'm getting old!
Yeah, it definitely seems to have gone straight to hell since those wonderful early-to-late-90's shows.

I haven't seen FF, but I didn't hear good things about it, so I've never gotten around to checking it out.
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Old December 6 2009, 12:56 AM   #14
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

^I'm surprised by what I'm hearing about the '90s shows. They were really mixed in their quality. X-Men and Spider-Man on FOX had excellent writing for the time and captured the rich characterizations and storylines of the comics better than any prior Marvel animated show, but they were often melodramatic and stilted, and their animation was problematical. Spider-Man started off with superb animation (from Tokyo Movie Shinsha, probably the best animation studio in the world), but as its budget shrank over the years, its animation became cruder. X-Men had consistently shoddy animation. As for the contemporaneous syndicated Marvel shows, the first seasons of Iron Man and Fantastic Four were atrocious in both writing and animation; the second seasons of both rose to merely mediocre. The first season of The Incredible Hulk from the same producers was moderately good (well, the opening and closing 3-parters were excellent, the stuff in between mediocre), but the second season was dumbed down and frivolous by comparison. Then FOX dropped the TMS Spidey series and gave us Spider-Man Unlimited, which was lame. Its short-lived Silver Surfer series wasn't much better.

The present-day Marvel shows are more consistent, more polished, lacking the stilted, awkward qualities of even the best of the '90s shows. In terms of writing, only Spectacular Spider-Man is on a par with the '90s Spidey and X-Men, but they're all much better than the syndicated FF or IM, and somewhat better than Hulk. In terms of animation, the modern shows are better than all the '90s shows except for the early TMS Spidey seasons.

Actually the finest animation in any Marvel show -- and perhaps in any animated superhero show ever -- was in X-Men Evolution. However, the writing in that show was mediocre. Much of the first two seasons was disposable and forgettable, though it got much better in the last two seasons. SSM is the best-animated of the recent crop of shows as well as the best-written, but its character designs are an acquired taste.
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Old December 6 2009, 02:00 AM   #15
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Re: Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Superheroes

Well, Weisman openly stated in the SSM Season set that the character designs were intentional. The simple the designs, the better to animate for fluidity and fight scenes.
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