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Subj: Cartoon Fun 13: The Fantastic Four - Now Comes The Sub-Mariner
Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 02:40:49 pm EST (Viewed 138 times)
The 1994 series The Fantastic Four was part of the Marvel Action Hour, along with Iron Man. It lasted two season, undergoing a change in tone and animation in the second season due to criticism of the series being a bit silly. While the first season did draw it's stories from the classic Lee/Kirby issues of the comic book, it attempted to add humor to the series, which didn't go over very well. I watched this series when it first aired, and have watched some episodes over the past few years, and I agree with the general opinion that season two is better than season one, but I chose to watch "Now Comes The Sub-Mariner", the 3rd episode of season one, to see how well it holds up.
Namor The Sub-Mariner, prince of Atlantis, has tired of the surface world polluting the oceans, and he goes in disguise to tell the humans of his feelings. At an assembly, attended by the Fantastic Four, Namor unleashes a giant squid and battles with the FF. Upon seeing Sue Richards, though, he becomes smitten. He returns to Atlantis and becomes the subject of the schemes of Lady Dorma and the warlord Krang. Seeking to avoid war with the surface world, and possibly find a girlfriend, he kidnaps Sue and brings her to Atlantis to woo her and explain his position. This causes the jealous Lady Dorma to convince Krang to attack New York. The FF rescue Sue, and, after a brief battle, join forces to stop Krang and form an uneasy alliance.
I liked this episode. It had almost everything I expect from an FF/Sub-Mariner story: Namor's infatuation with Sue, ecological concerns, political and romantic intrigues and a battle between the Atlantians and surface dwellers. Namor is in character as his noble, arrogant self, aside from the silly scientist disguise that opens the story. There is a battle between him and the Thing, but it really only consists of a few punches. The silliness is toned down and most of the lines between Ben and Johnny are pretty good and in character. The biggest offense is probably Krang's skill at "eel throwing". This is quite ridiculous. But at least there's no rapping!
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