Episode #26: Scavenger Hunt
Original Airdate: June 10th, 2008 (DVD Premiere)
An alien scavenger called Terminus has come to Earth looking to steal the planet’s resources and technology for himself, and the only thing standing between him and the end of the world is the Fantastic Four. And while the FF have always found a way to beat their foes and save the day, they begin to realize that Terminus may just be unstoppable.
Written By Chris Yost and Craig Kyle
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 - Normally, nothing rubs me the wrong way like a stupid villain. Heroes are at their best when they’re overcoming insurmountable odds. Insurmountable odds require a competent villain. Who cares if the X-Men whomp Blob? Are we really clamoring for more Paste Pot Pete? No, we want the best baddies for our heroes.
Somehow, Fantastic Four is the exception that proves the rule. FF: WGH squeezed some of its funniest episodes out of stupid villains—epically dumb, Skrull stupid.
Terminus—the antagonist of “Scavenger Hunt”—is another dummy, but he’s a dummy with an indestructible power staff and colossal tech suit. He’s like a greedy 6-year-old with cosmic powers. He graffitis “mine” on the planet and lets Johnny lead him on a scavenger hunt across Manhattan.
How dumb is Terminus? He gets outsmarted by Johnny.
But the episode works, if only because it is funny. I’ve since ceased to consider FF: WGH an action cartoon and think of it as a comedy. Frankly, it’s more enjoyable on those terms.
The action is pretty predictable with a conclusion clipped verbatim from “The Incredibles.” The heroes manage some slick double teams, but otherwise it’s par for the course. But if you like this episode, it won’t be for the action. It will be for the shtick.
The jokes on this show can be hit or miss. The batting average corresponds to how annoying Johnny is in any given episode. But “Scavenger Hunt” is mostly hits. Ben Grimm using Herbie to monitor the score of the World Cup final while the world is slowly destroyed—hit. Terminus’s rambling threats (“Quit doing that or I’ll… eat you… maybe.”) — hit. Johnny convincing Terminus that sewage is treasure worth plundering — hit.
Reed gets the best line.
“Johnny, be ready in case our large visitor attacks. Susan, be ready in case Johnny does something… well, you know.”
FF: WGH will never have the excitement of a JLU or even the 90’s Marvel shows at their best. But it’s a funny show. Granted, I’m not sure too many people watch superhero cartoons for the jokes. That’s a shame, because “Scavenger Hunt” has some good ones.
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