Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Sue Storm, and her brother Johnny are reborn as Mr. Fantastic, the Thing, Invisible Girl, and Human Torch when their rocket ship leads to a bombardment of cosmic rays. With new powers, the heroes form the Fantastic Four and set out to protect Earth from threats. From their home in the Baxter Building in New York City, the Fantastic Four are not only the world’s greatest heroes, but they could be the world’s only hope!
Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes is an animated series that ran for one season on Cartoon Network. The series faced problems immediately with scheduling changes and episodes airing out of order.
Fantastic Four is one of the trickiest comics to adapt. The series has to have a balance between humor and action and family. The series demonstrates some of the good of the Fantastic Four but a lot of the bad. With the screwed up airing, Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes never really had a chance.
The episodes range from good to pretty poor. I like some of the fun that series tried, but for the most part the series is unbalanced in writing. Episodes that feature guest-stars ranging from Namor to She-Hulk and even Squirrel Girl are generally the better episodes. The series also is very heavy on Doctor Doom since it is the Fantastic Four’s primary villain…it maybe should have been spread out a bit.
Part of the series problem is that the characterizations of the people is really bad. I never was that big of a Human Torch fan, but I did like Chris Evans’ Human Torch in the first two live action movies (it was one of the saving graces). Here, Johnny is unwatchable and annoying. Thing is better (I always like the Thing in comics), but both Reed and Sue are rather flat. As mentioned the characters that do work are the guest stars which the series smartly took from everywhere throughout the Fantastic Four’s history. I liked the Impossible Man and Terminus (two favorites), but it is also nice to see mixing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Iron Man and Ant-Man since the cartoon isn’t limited.
The animation also kind of rubs me the wrong way. Though they frame some shots interestingly, I’m not that interested in the almost anime style art (it actually is a French animation company MoonScoop). I don’t like many of the character designs or the backgrounds which combines traditional art with computer animated art in a strange way.
Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes didn’t even air its entire first season and never got the opportunity to really shine. I look at the characters and story choices that the series made and wish it had continued another season to see if it happened to gel more. Unless you are an uber-Fantastic Four fan, this series probably can be missed.
Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes Complete Episode Guide:
Episode 1 Trial by Fire Airdate: 09/02/06
When Johnny attacks a Kree Sentry, the Kree place the Human Torch on trial…and doom him to die! The Fantastic Four must find a way to save Johnny from death.
Episode 2 Doomed Airdate: 09/09/06
Doom finds a way to switch places with Reed Richards. As Doom infiltrates the Fantastic Four in Reed’s place, Reed finds himself trapped in Doom’s body and must prove to the Fantastic Four that he’s the real Reed.
Episode 3 Doomsday Airdate: 09/16/06
The Fantastic Four get reports that Reed might have intentionally exposed them to the cosmic rays, but don’t realize that it is a greater plot by Doctor Doom to defeat them.
Episode 4 Hard Knocks Airdate: 09/23/06
Bruce Banner comes to visit Reed Richards leading to a battle between the Fantastic Four and the Hulk. When men come to take the Hulk as a weapon, the Fantastic Four finds themselves on a rescue mission.
Episode 5 My Neighbor Was a Skrull Airdate: 09/30/06
The Fantastic Four return from a space mission to discover that things seem “off” at the Baxter Building. The team discovers an alien race called Skrulls is involved, but the Skrulls might have an interesting ally.
Episode 6 World’s Tiniest Heroes Airdate: 10/21/06
An experiment with the Microverse goes wrong and the leaves the Fantastic Four shrinking. As the Baxter Building’s security device deems them vermin, the Fantastic Four fight for survival…and their only hope could be Ant-Man.
Episode 7 Zoned Out Airdate: 10/28/06
Johnny’s girlfriend Frankie accidentally opens a portal to the Negative Zone and is sucked in. Johnny heads after Frankie, but an insect monster from the Negative Zone exits the Negative Zone…and an infestation of the Baxter Building begins.
Episode 8 Imperius Rex Airdate: 03/02/07
Namor the Sub-Mariner declares war on the surface world for their pollution of the ocean, and the Fantastic Four must go to Atlantis to try to stop him.
Episode 9 Puppet Master Airdate: 02/23/07
When clay is irradiated by remains of the space station crashing to Earth, Phillip Masters finds that his clay has gained the power to control those he sculpts…becoming the Puppet Master!
Episode 10 Impossible Airdate: 03/09/07
Reed’s probe returns with an alien they nickname the Impossible Man. When the Fantastic Four realize the Impossible Man’s potential, they realize he could be a real threat to the world.
Episode 11 Bait and Switch Airdate: 03/16/07
An experiment by Reed causes the Fantastic Four to switch powers and more. Dr. Doom launches a plot against the city, and the Fantastic Four must adjust to their new powers and personalities.
Episode 12 Annihilation Airdate: 07/14/07
The Fantastic Four are sucked into the Negative Zone and find their powers out of control. When the Fantastic Four discover Dr. Doom has teamed with someone called Annihilus, the Fantastic Four learn Doom might have his own plans.
Episode 13 De-mole-ition Airdate: Unknown
An average day out turn into an adventure when the Mole Man sends a monster to destroy Manhattan, and the Fantastic Four must stop more monsters from falling under his control.
Episode 14 Revenge of the Skrulls Airdate: 03/23/07
Sue tries to host a charity “be the Fantastic Fifth” for a day, but Reed uncovers a Skrull invasion plot that could ruin the plans.
Episode 15 Molehattan Airdate: Unknown
Manhattan is rocked by earthquakes, and Thing finds himself sucked into the earth with the buildings. There, Ben meets the Mole Man and learns that Mole Man wants him to join his underground empire. When the Baxter Building is taken, Reed, Sue, and Johnny must try to protect its inhabitants.
Episode 16 Strings Airdate: Unknown
The Fantastic Four find themselves under attack from the city. When they discover it is the Puppet Master behind the attacks, the Fantastic Four learn that the Puppet Master might be controlling one of their own
Episode 17 Doomsday Plus One Airdate: 04/27/07
Dr. Doom takes over the Baxter Building and launches it into space. As the Fantastic Four tries to find a way to get the building back on Earth, Doom makes his move in New York City to steal Reed’s research.
Episode 18 The Cure Airdate: 06/09/07
Reed believes he has a way to cure Ben Grimm, but Ben loses more than just his rocky body when he wakes up with no memories of events after the space flight. When Mole Man realizes it is time to attack, the Fantastic Four get help from She-Hulk after auditioning new replacements.
Episode 19 Frightful Airdate: Unknown
The Wizard has formed a team with Klaw, Trapster, and Dragon Man and begins to take the Fantastic Four’s place as heroes. With the Fantastic Four’s popularity waning, the team tries to seek out what the “Frightful” Four are plotting.
Episode 20 Out of Time Airdate: Unknown
The Fantastic Four returns from the past to discover that Dr. Doom has taken over the world. When Reed is killed by Doom, Sue, Johnny, and Ben must go the time when they gained their powers.
Episode 21 Atlantis Attacks Airdate: Unknown
Attuma leads a coup in Atlantis forcing Namor to go to the Fantastic Four for help in stopping the barbarian horde.
Episode 22 Shell Games Airdate: 06/23/07
The Fantastic Four are attacked by Iron Man’s armor. The Fantastic Four and Tony Stark find Dr. Doom is behind the attack and must team-up to stop him. H.E.R.B.I.E. worries that Reed is trying to replace him for being outdated.
Episode 23 Johnny Storm and the Potion of Fire Airdate: 10/13/07
An encounter with Diablo leaves Johnny’s powers enhanced. The Fantastic Four find Johnny’s out of control and that fire demons could be the cause.
Episode 24 Contest of Champions Airdate: 10/20/07
The Grandmaster poses a challenge and positions the Fantastic Four against Ronan the Accuser, Annihilus, Super-Skrull, and the Impossible Man…and the winner gets the wish of a lifetime!
Episode 25 Doom’s Word Is Law Airdate: Unknown
Doctor Doom’s Adaptoid becomes sentient forcing Doom to attempt drastic measures to try to reclaim it. With Reed and Sue as his prisoners, Johnny and Ben go on a rescue mission.
Episode 26 Scavenger Hunt Airdate: Unknown
Terminus has been directed to Earth and claimed the planet for his own. The Fantastic Four must stop Terminus and save the Earth…with Johnny stepping up!