Episode #13: Molehatten
Original Airdate: June 10th, 2008 (DVD Premiere)
Ben is abducted by the Mole Man – along with half of New York City! The Mole Man tries to convince Ben to join him in creating an underground paradise, a place where no one is judged by their appearance. But when the Baxter Building is pulled underground as well, the rest of the FF must fight off the Mole Man’s Moloids, protect their troublesome neighbors, and figure out how to get the city back above ground while Ben makes his choice: live underground as a king, or protect a world that considers him a monster.
Story By Avi Arad
Written by Chris Hicks and Francais Lombard
Directed by Franck Miohel
Music by Noam Kaniel
Animation By Sunmin/ The Animation Studio/ Fantasta
Mr. Fantastic - Hiro Kanagawa
Invisible Woman - Lara Gilchrist
The Thing - Brian Dobson
Human Torch - Christopher Jacot
Arsenal - Cartoon Network did not do FF: WGH any favors. The marketing for the debut was solid, but after a few weeks in which the series performed modestly, the network changed the air date repeatedly.
Also, the network had a nasty habit of airing shows out of order. Occasionally the show called upon earlier produced episodes that had not been aired yet. Such was the case with “Molehattan.” This episode introduced Mole Man. It also is one of the better character spotlights for Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew.
In later episodes (which audiences saw first), Mole Man was a generic, comedic villain. In this episode, he comes across as smarter, savvier and more as a threat. I think viewers might have preferred later Mole Man episodes had they seen this first.
This show is almost the opposite of later episodes. It is less funny, but the action is slightly better. Mole Man’s little fungi lackeys make for some cool visuals. Also, we get to see Ben Grimm struggle with other’s perception of him.
It’s a plot we’ve seen before, but it is well tackled here. Also, this episode shows Ben accept his appearance, a key plot point in later episodes.
“Molehattan” suffers from the same malady as other early episodes. It occurs predominantly in the Baxter Building. Even though the action happens in Subterranea, the heroes are still in the Baxter Building. This show might have fared better if it featured some more fantastic locales.
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