This was the second animated series based on Marvel’s comic book series The Fantastic Four. This 1978 series replaced the character of Johnny Storm/The Human Torch with a robot named H.E.R.B.I.E. (Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics), because the 1978 television rights to use the original android Human Torch / Jim Hammond were tied up by a proposed television pilot movie in development by Universal Studios that ended up never being produced. Even though they were totally different characters – the fact that they had the same name left Johnny Storm’s Human Torch out of the cartoon. The Jim Hammond version of The Human Torch did appear as an Easter Egg in Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011:
The cartoon series starred Mike Road (Gildersleeve on Broadway, Tender Comrade, Music in Manhattan, Heavenly Days, Sea Hunt, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, The Wild, Wild West, Alias Smith and Jones) as Mister Fantastic/Prof. Reed Richards, Ted Cassidy (Lurch in The Addams Family) as The Thing/Benjamin J. “Ben” Grimm, Ginny Tyler (Mary Poppins, The Sword in the Stone) as The Invisible Girl/Susan “Sue” Richards, Frank Welker (Scooby Doo, Transformers, Inspector Gadget) as H.E.R.B.I.E., and Dick Tufeld as The Narrator.
Categories: Cult Cartoon Essentials