Episode #8: Puppet Master
Original Airdate: June 16th, 2007

When a cosmic-ray saturated piece of the Fantastic Four’s space station falls to earth on the Jersey Shore, the clay of eccentric local sculptor Phillip Masters, becomes energized with the power to control the minds and actions of others. The sculptor becomes THE PUPPET MASTER and uses miniature clay versions of the Fantastic Four to control the real heroes. Puppet Master captures award-winning New York artists, including his own step-daughter, Alicia, in an attempt to take over his “rightful place” in the art world.

Story By Joseph Kelly
Written by Rob Loos and George Taweel
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

Stu - Ah Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes how I have missed ye. Since Toonami is being a little dumb right now, it appears Mighty Canada is the only place to view new episodes from our superheroic quartet and this week sees them battle one of the villains from the Lee/Kirby days as The Puppet Master makes his debut in the show.

He’s been given a more modern upgrade as Kirby originally depicted him as a creepy old man but now he’s been given more of an artistic flair, the most noticeable being that he has a tattoo on his face. He, like Alicia, is now African American, which I suppose, makes sense in the grand scheme of things. I personally don’t mind it, he looks a lot more interesting now and I doubt the creepy old man design would’ve fit in this version of the Fantastic Four.

They’ve added a really interesting twist to his origin here, as it was actually debris from the space station that was bombarded with cosmic rays giving our heroes their powers which crash-landed to Earth, mutating the clay which in turn allowed Mr. Masters to manipulate his sculptures. It’ll be interesting to see if the cosmic radiation comes to play in the origin of more supervillains in the show, as long as it doesn’t become a weekly occurrence like on Smallville, it’s actually a very plausible option of explaining the extraordinary. It appears YTV is just as annoying as Toonami as they don’t air the correct’s episodes ending credits either so I’ve no idea who voices The Puppet Master at this stage but I thought he did a really good job. The one redeeming factor in the 94’s show version of PM was his voice actor Neil Ross and I think I prefer the new guy. The voice does sound familiar but I can’t quite put my finger on who it actually is…

Another pleasant point about the episode – it was nice to see the FF leave The Baxter Building! Here, they actually go to explore the unknown and fight crime in the street. I know a lot of people complain about the visuals in this show but I got a big kick out of seeing Ben fight the other three members in the street, I think the staging is actually pretty good, the designs are great and the backgrounds look spectacular. It actually looks and feels like New York to me, which is something none of the other Marvel cartoons have really captured – they all seem like generic cities with tall buildings.

Johnny was once again on fine form this episode. It appears the youngster is trying to break into acting and has invited Ricky, the current biggest thing on TV to the Baxter Building as he is trying to convince him to let Johnny guest star on his show. If any of you have ever had baby sitting experience, Ricky would be your worst nightmare. His ego makes Johnny’s look small by comparison. I couldn’t help but giggle hysterically when The Puppet Master started tying Reed in knots as Johnny comes close to wetting himself laughing. The Torch has dozens of great lines in the show, I think this cartoon version of him is the best there’s ever been. He’s cool, he’s funny, he’s constantly entertaining to watch – we’ve got an outstanding version of The Human Torch on our hands.

Overall, Puppet Master was another fun and satisfying episode of Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes. The ending was slightly predictable but still a little creepy – I’m looking forward to seeing The Puppet Master appear again. Keep ‘em coming YTV!


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