Review and Media by Jon T
Episode #7 - The Way it all Began
Review:The origin of the Fantastic Four had to be told sometime, and considering the non-linear nature of most cartoons at the time, it was probably a wise move to do it in flashback. As a welcome bonus, we also get the origin of Dr. Doom too!
Unsurprisingly, both origins are taken almost verbatim from the original comics, with no needless embellishments or alterations. It's great to see just how Reed first met with Ben Grimm, and even with Victor Von Doom himself. Due to time constraints we sadly don't get to see how Red met Sue or Johnny, but we do get to see their fateful flight to the stars, which is quite different and more impressive than the interpretation seen in the opening credits. Through the origin we again get a brief glimpse of Ben's sadness about his condition, a helpful reminder about his true feelings, which weren't often dwelt upon in this show (and not at all in the 1978 version).
As for Doom, well his voice was more tolerable this time, probably helped by some stronger scenes than his last appearance. Also, having Doom simply land in New York and rightfully claim diplomatic immunity is an old, but annoyingly smart plot device used many times in the comics, and I'm sure such a move would've caught many uninformed viewers by surprise!
Dating this episode somewhat are scenes stating that Reed and Ben served in World War II (as was originally the case in the comics), complete with a few scenes from the war, one including the complete destruction of an enemy ship thanks to "The Grimm Reaper"!
In the end, it's the very fascinating back-stories that make this episode worthwhile, with the surrounding present-day segments quite illogical and simplistic, serving only as an excuse to tell the origin stories in the first place.