The Impossible Man
Review and Media by Jon T
Episode #11 - The Impossible Man
Original Airdate - October 28, 1978
A strange green rocket lands on Earth and turns into a powerful green alien. The first people he meets up with are a gangster named Grogan, and his accomplices who have just robbed a bank. The alien tells them that he is from the planet Popup on vacation and has no name. Since he can do just about anything, Grogan dubs him the Impossible Man. Taking advantage of his ignorance of Earth culture, Grogan plans to use Impossible Man to rob every bank in New York. The next day, they successfully steal a large amount of cash from a city bank. The Fantastic Four are alerted to the super-powered theft by the police, and track Impossible Man and his acquaintances to a local restaurant. Completely fooled by Grogan, the Impossible Man refuses to listen to the Fantastic Four's explanation as to what is really going on. Still not wanting to listen, the Impossible Man does battle with the Fantastic Four and manages to hold them off. Knowing that sooner or later the Four will have proof that Grogan is directly responsible for the resulting bank thefts, he has the Impossible Man go to the next bank on his own. At the bank, the Fantastic Four disguise themselves as bank workers and convince the Impossible Man to find out what Grogan really thinks about him. They have to hope that the Impossible Man listens to their advice and turns against Grogan, as well as figuring out a way of getting him off the Earth before he causes any more trouble.
Story by: Stan Lee
Teleplay by: Roy Thomas
Notes: Based on "The Impossible Man" from Fantastic Four #11 (February 1963), written by Stan Lee, art by Jack Kirby.
· The opening scene features a totally different design for the Fantasticar compared to the usual design in the show.
Review: It was perhaps inevitable that this episode ended up as sub-par as it did, considering that it's about one of the most uninspired Marvel characters ever.
The concept of a very powerful, but naive being who is quickly led astray by unscrupulous types is an old one, but at least thanks to the Impossible Man's outlandish powers there are some funny spins on this idea.
A major problem with this episode is that too much time is taken in establishing the Impossible Man and Grogan's gang, with the FF only aware of him about halfway through the episode. The limited quality of the animation is even more noticeable than usual in this episode, as Impossible Man's form changes are quite primitive and the forms he takes are fairly unoriginal. Also, for some reason, the fact that everyone calls Impossible Man 'Impy' really gets on my nerves!
Undoubtedly the series' most ridiculous episode, with a plot that really aims too low for the FF, despite the fact that Impossible Man is supposed to be able to do just about anything.