Classification: Animated cartoon series

Creator: An unidentified animation studio

User/Possessors: Whoever was unlucky enough to tune in (including Ant-Man/Scott Lang and Thing/Ben Grimm)

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#396 (January, 1995)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Fantastic Four cartoon set out to entertain kids of all ages, but would invariably generate unwanted groans and guffaws from people who watched it and were even remotely familiar with the source material.

History: (Fantastic Four I#372 (fb) - BTS) - Strapped for cash after the Human Torch accidentally burned down Empire State University, the Fantastic Four ordered their business managers to generate additional revenue streams to be able to afford the massive settlement. One of the deals they struck was a licensing agreement with an animation studio that gained the rights to produce a cartoon series based on the FF's earliest adventures.

(Fantastic Four I#396 (fb) - BTS) - The FF cartoon was quickly rushed to series. The Fantastic Four were too preoccupied to monitor production and development. As a result, the show that aired was cheesy with crude, oversimplified animation.

(Fantastic Four I#396) - Scott Lang, serving as the FF's technical advisor, happened to catch an episode of the animated series while on duty at Four Freedoms Plaza. He was so horrified by its low quality level, he couldn't help but yell out in horror. His shriek summoned the Thing who figured they were under attack. Scott explained what had upset him, pointing to the set which showed the poorly drawn cartoon versions of the Thing and the Torch. Much to Ben's chagrin, Scott began to needle him about it, calling the show "almost as bad as that crummy comic book they publish about you guys." Fed up with both Lang's teasing and the sub-par cartoon, the Thing smashed the television set before walking off.

Comments: Created by Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils) and Dan Bulanadi (inks).

The cartoon FF of Earth-616 are of course a not too subtle dig at the actual FF cartoon that had begun to air as part of the syndicated Marvel Action Hour in the Fall of 1994. By all accounts, DeFalco was displeased by its level of quality (or lack thereof) both in writing and animation and decided to have a little fun at its expense.

Other online sources list the cartoon FF among the appearances of the Fantastic Four of Earth-534834. However, the exposition provided by Scott Lang and the Thing clearly establishes that the FF seen on the screen are cartoon versions that only came about due to actions and events based on Earth-616.

Profile by Norvo.

The Cartoon Fantastic Four should not be confused with

images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#396, p7, pan4 (main image)

Fantastic Four I#372 (January, 1993) -
Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#396 (January, 1995) -
Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 08/18/17

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