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Super Tuesday: We Hate H.E.R.B.I.E.!

This week’s ad is for Fantastic Four, a 1978 cartoon series that ran one brief season on NBC’s Saturday morning slate.

The series is primarily (in)famous for introducing H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot in place of the Human Torch. Fans has long speculated that the Torch was dropped from the series because nervous TV executives were worried he would encourage kids to set themselves on fire. While this would be entirely in character with television thinking, the truth is more mundane — the Human Torch had been optioned for a separate entertainment opportunity which forbade his appearance in this series.

H.E.R.B.I.E. has been the subject of special ridicule by comics fans entirely out of proportion to his forgettable 13-episode run on television, eventually appearing in Marvel’s Fantastic Four comic, quickly revealing himself as an evil drone bent on the team’s destruction.

Et tu, H.E.R.B.I.E.?

Did anyone get their introduction to comics through this cartoon series? Share your memories in the comments, below!


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