Episode #9: Zoned Out
Original Airdate: October 28th, 2006

When Johnny gives an unauthorized tour of Reedís lab to his friend Frankie, things go bad. Frankie is sucked into another dimension, and Johnny goes after her to try and keep anyone from finding out. But what he didnít realize is that something came out of the dimensional portal as he went in - a harmless little bug. Now Johnny and Frankie are trapped and on the run while Reed, Ben and Susan are left to deal with that little bug.

Story By Chris Yost and Craig Kyle Written by Bob Forward
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
Dr. Doom - Paul Dobson
H.E.R.B.I.E. - Sam Vincent


Arsenal - EFantastic Four continues to churn out entertaining but wholly derivative episodes. "Zoned Out" takes the common motif of a pest infestation that gets out of control. It is in the same vein as Teen Titan's "Can I Keep Him?" and Kim Possible's "Roachie." It is also clearly a spoof on the Ghostbusters (almost any episode.)

I'm not saying the episode isn't fun. It is. Reed gets a couple great lines and a phenomenal sight gag that seems so obvious I don't know why it hasn't been done before. (Hint: his jaw drops literally to the floor.) Watching Sue try to make peace with the neighbors was also amusing.

The actual plot itself, however, is something you have probably seen before. Some little critter gets loose, the little thing creates trouble and hijinks and the status quo is restored by the end.

Fantastic Four often makes up for its lack of creativity with stellar character interactions. Even supporting characters like Herbie (who is a scene stealer again), Alicia (who is absent here) and Courtney are usually good for a laugh.

Frankie Raye, a comic holdover who eventually became Galactus's ward Nova after the Silver Surfer quit, is a rare misfire in this episode. She comes across as shrill and shrewish. She and Johnny are both dislikable in their subplot. (Surprising, because Johnny has been consistently entertaining up until this point.)

Is "Zoned Out" original? No, not at all. Is it funny and overall entertaining? Certainly. Will it change your mind about the series? No, if you like this series you will continue to. If you dislike Fantastic Four, "Zoned Out" does not represent any improvement for the series.


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