"The New Fantastic Four" (1978)This version of Fantastic Four was made in the late '70s, which was a very dark time for superhero shows. The pussies had won the war on violence, and animated crime had to be fought without punches. Plus, in an exceptional display of overcaution, Johnny Storm was cut from the show and replaced with a little robot named Herbie. There were some kind of ownership laws involved, but rumors say they were worried that dumb children would light themselves on fire in a misguided attempt at turning themselves into the Human Torch. Well, great job, Fantastic Four. That idiot kid that would have lit himself on fire is now 40 years old, has 11 children, and every single one of them will accidentally blow up a firework stand before he or she dies. Your decision to replace the Human Torch with the fruity Herbie thing has doomed thousands. Thousands.
Characters: Every member of The Fantastic Four had an intense distrust of the obvious. If a dinosaur was wrecking the city, it might have taken them several minutes of discussion just to agree on what they're looking at. They also narrated every action as they performed it, but I assume this was for the benefit of the blind viewers. The animators probably figured children were cutting out their own eyes in a misguided attempt at turning their little brothers into the Invisible Girl. Nothing would surprise me. We all assume everyone else is dumber than us, and when your brain is capable of making something this fucking dumb, your perception of everyone else has got to be impossibly nuts.Theme Song: This show's theme song was just a narrator shouting "The New Fantastic Four!" and his excitement seemed a little dishonest. "The New Fantastic Four" wasn't an action program. It was a psychological thriller about three dipshits in a flying bathtub trying to say something nonsensical enough to make their robot's brain explode.
"Fantastic Four" (1967)
Every action cartoon made by Hanna Barbera is a bizarre mix of failure and awesome. Let's just take a look at an actual scene from their version of Fantastic Four:Characters: The Fantastic Four are all astronauts. One of them is the smartest scientist on Earth, and their main enemy's only ability is being an evil genius. And yet every single character on this show is medically retarded. It works for them, though. Like in all Hanna Barbera cartoons, their universe is governed by stupidity and unlogic. For example, in one space battle, the Invisible Girl stops a group of aliens by turning them invisible. Now normally your enemy might say, "Weird, but thanks!" Instead the aliens freeze in place and cry, "How can we walk if we cannot even see our own feet!?" That's obviously stupid, but it's even stupider since it came from the same people who write the character who turns invisible-- they basically made the rules on what invisible people can and can't do, and they already decided that goddamn invisible people can walk. Maybe I'm being too hard on them. This show was obviously written long before pregnant women knew the dangers of thermometer eating contests.
Theme Song: In an unshocking display of laziness, the Fantastic Four theme is about 3 notes away from the same background music used in every Hanna Barbera show at the time. If they thought they could have gotten away with it, Hanna and Barbera would have farted onto microphones and kept the ten dollars they paid their tuba player.
"Fred and Barney Meet The Thing" (1979)The poor The Thing has been in some really bad cartoons, and this is the worst of all. He never had any adventures in Bedrock like the title suggested, but the character was completely re-imagined. Despite the amazing second half of this sentence, Hanna Barbera decided that children had no interest in Ben Grimm, a spaceship pilot transformed into a punching rock monster by cosmic rays. They decided to turn him into Benjy Grimm, an unlikeable little boy who becomes a non-violent Thing with the help of a magic ring. Reboots are always controversial, but this was like going into someone's fridge and replacing their hot dogs with photos of yourself masturbating. No one wants to know why you did it; they just want to never speak of it again.Characters: Benjy Grimm was so hated by children that his show was canceled within a year. To give you a point of reference, "Jabberjaw," Hanna Barbera's fever dream cartoon about a detective shark who played the drums, lasted three times as long.
For more ideas comics should've given up on, check out 5 Superheroes Rendered Ridiculous by Gritty Reboots. Or check out more Seanbaby, in 5 Self-Defense Books for Women (Who Want to Lose a Fight).