I just watched the first episode of the new, 2006 Fantastic Four animated series, and for me it’s another example of how DC “gets it” in regards to it’s animated shows while Marvel keeps missing the mark.

Maybe it’s just me, since it seems a lot of people are really big fans of the anime style of animation but for some reason it’s never really worked for me. Especially so in the portrayal of such an iconic American superhero team as the Fantastic Four. I’ve really enjoyed the animation style that DC has used for their shows… Batman, Superman and Justice League were all stylized, but it was a unique style, not a copycat of the Japanese anime style. Even the WB’s “The Batman” although a bit weird in the depiction of Bruce Wayne, again has a unique style all it’s own.

To me going anime is just an easy way out. Especially odd is that the cartoon is produced in France and not South Korea.


Of course I might be able to get past the animation style, but I also found the opening episode “Trial by Fire” pretty weak and more along the lines of a 15 year old Saturday morning cartoon than the more (albeit slightly) complex stories of some of the recent snimated shows we’ve seen from DC.

Johnyy Storm destroys an alien robot/probe and is put on trial with the punishment being death(!). It just seemed kind of a contrived and simplistic way to introduce the Kree, an alien race that has caused trouble in the Marvel universe for many years.

About the only character that I liked was Ben Grimm/The Thing. It’s hard to reduce a character that is big and bulky to the sharp angles so common in the Japanese animation style. He was also the only character that to me seemed to be the right age. It just didn’t work for me (or my 10 year old daughter) and I won’t be tuning in again.

Oh well, hopefully they’ll do a better job on the upcoming Iron Man animated series.

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