Episode #23: Johnny Storm And The Potion Of Fire
Original Airdate: October 13th, 2007
While fighting the alchemist Diablo, Johnny is doused with one of the potions the villain is using in a ceremony designed to give him ultimate power. And while Diablo escapes, the potion is having a strange effect on Johnny. He’s becoming more powerful - which is great for Johnny… but he’s also turning EVIL - which is not so great for the FF.
Story By Chris Yost and Craig Kyle
Written by Len Uhley
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
Diablo - Trevor Devall
Arsenal - The creators of FF: WGH have Reed Richards, Ben Grimm and Susan Storm down cold. They know who they are, their strengths, their weaknesses, their interactions and how to make them entertaining.
They are less consistent with Johnny. Depending on the conventions of each script, Johnny vacillates from glory hound to moron, funny to irritating.
“Potion of Fire” is as uneven as the title character. It has some cool ideas, thought it’s centered around the generic hero-turns-bad trope. It’s got some funny stuff but it has Johnny at his most serious. I do not recommend the episode without reservations, but it has some stuff fans will like.
Sue and Johnny’s character interaction has been downplayed in FF: WGH. Generally, when the team splits up, it’s Ben/Johnny and Reed/Sue. That’s fine. Both duos have good chemistry, but it was nice to see Sue and Johnny talk some things out between family. For as careless as Johnny can be, it’s nice to see him worry about his sister.
Also, “Potion” has a great subplot in which Reed tries to disprove the existence of magic. I never found Reed particularly interesting before this show. I thought of him as the straight man for the others in the group to bounce off of. The writers of FF: WGH have me convinced otherwise. He often gets the best lines.
But the episode is dragged down slightly by another seen-it-before-in-a-dozen-other-cartoons plot and a generic villain. The bad guy’s name is Diablo. He wants to control the elements. That’s all there is to him. Oh, he’s old.
If only this show could have plots and villains as interesting as its heroes.
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