Saturday, August 6, 2016

From Comics to Toons: The Fantastic Four vs. The Phantom of Film City (1978)

One year ago, critics were panning 20th Century Fox's reboot of the Fantastic Four, and rightfully so, as it was the worst movie adaptation of a Marvel comic since "Howard the Duck" 30 years ago.

Nearly four decades earlier, Stan Lee and Roy (credited as Ray) Thomas sent the FF to the movies, only to find someone is waiting for them. Here's "The Phantom of Film City":

Not sure if Don Messick played a dual role as both director JJ Collosso and Belmont, aka the Phantom of Film City. The one big difference between this series and the other Fantastic Four cartoons is the use of announcer Dick Tufeld as narrator, something that wasn't used in 1967 or in subsequent revivals.

Rating: B-.


Goldstar said...

This was from "The New Fantastic Four" Saturday morning series in which H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot was created to replace Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch on the team. As I understand it, a movie starring the Human Torch was in the planning at the time (although the project was never completed) so Johnny couldn't be used for the show, and because this was post Star Wars, every sci-fi TV show had to have a cute robot.

After this series ended, H.E.R.B.I.E. found his way into Marvel's comic continuity and stayed on in various incarnations as the Fantastic Four's robot servant. This I honestly liked more. I didn't mind H.E.R.B.I.E. as a character, just not as a member of the F4. I'm a F4 purist.

hobbyfan said...

Yes, H.E.R.B.I.E. was added as a sort of mechanical servant to the FF in the books, then was killed off, only to return. Fortunately, he didn't survive too far into the 80's.