This Fantastic Four The Animated Series Concept art signed by Stan Lee is one original piece of art fans of Stan the Man and the history of Marvel will love!
In the early-to-mid-1990s, Marvel Productions syndicated a new Fantastic Four animated series as part of The Marvel Action Hourweekend block, later renamed Marvel Action Universe (second use of the name), with the additional of another show. The first half of the hour was an episode of Iron Man; the second half an episode of Fantastic Four. During the first season, Stan Lee was featured speaking before each show about characters in the following episode and what had inspired him to create them.
The show also aired on Fox Kids while most recently aired late night on weekends on Disney XD in the United States.
The vast majority of episodes in the first season consisted of fairly accurate re-tellings and re-interpretations of classic 1960's FF comic book stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. For instance, this series stayed true to the original comic book story that recounted the Silver Surfer and Galactus' coming to Earth in a two-part episode as well as Doctor Doom's theft of the Surfer's powers. But the season's cost-effective animation (provided by Wang Film Productions and Kennedy Cartoons) and attempts to add humor through the inclusion of a fussy British landlady (portrayed by Stan Lee's wife Joan) for the FF were generally met with displeasure by fans - to say nothing of then-current FF comic book writer Tom DeFalco, who got in trouble for penning a scene in issue #396 of the series that featured Ant-Man watching and lambasting an episode of the cartoon.
In "The Origin of the Fantastic Four", Puppet Master took control of the Thing and used him to capture Invisible Woman. Mister Fantastic freed the Thing from his control and defeated the Puppet Master. Upon returning to his apartment to reclaim his final doll, he ended up in a fight with Alicia Masters, and then he apparently fell to his death from the apartment window. The Fantastic Four weren't able to find his body and claimed that he "vanished from Earth."
In "The Silver Surfer & the Coming of Galactus", the Silver Surfer, Firelord, and Terrax fight the Fantastic Four while Galactus attempts to feed on Earth. By Season 2 however, all but the presence of Silver Surfer in that battle is ignored as Terrax is seen again and referred to as being the replacement for the Silver Surfer. In the episode "When Calls Galactus", Terrax is killed/turned into a worm and Nova (Frankie Raye) becomes the new herald of Galatcus.
In "Mask of Doom", Doctor Doom captured the Fantastic Four and forced Mister Fantastic, Human Torch, and the Thing to go back in time and obtain an object for him. In the aforementioned episode "Silver Surfer and the Return of Galactus", Doom steals the Silver Surfer's powers and tries to steal Galactus' powers, only to be thwarted by the planet devourer himself.
As with the case with its sister show on The Marvel Action Hour, Iron Man, the first season of Fantastic Four was poorly received by fans and critics. Many criticized the first season for its campy tone and silly acting in the show. And as previously mentioned, the show was revamped for a second season in 1995, with revamped characters, more complex stories, and a more mature tone. However, despite mixed-to-positive reviews from the critics and fans, ratings still dropped, which led to the show's cancellation.