2017 Know More than You 2

And here we go!

The first battle is…

Silver Surfer (1998) vs Fantastic Four (1978)

Jason: Silver Surfer is a good cartoon, innovative early combination of Compute and traditional animation. The story was obscure as comics go, Silver surfer is no Spider-Man, but still very popular. The problem with Aliens as heroes or the innocents the hero must save is making them human enough to be relatable, but still keep the flavor of their alien-ness. This show makes the aliens to be too naive or too weak for them to be compelling, and it makes it hard to care about them.

But it is a solid show and worth the time to watch.


ScottHere’s the thing about these two shows; while neither of them is great, they both are extremely improved by partaking in chemical enhancements. On their own they’re okay, but smoke a joint and suddenly they’re fantastic (pun intended). Silver Surfer draws so heavily from the Jack Kirby art, that it practically screams for you to watch while on a hallucinogen.

JasonWell here we go. this Fantastic Four cartoon is mostly notable because they were terrified that kids would set themselves on fire to be Johnny Storm, so we get no Human Torch and instead, we get a super-annoying robot.  Stan Lee must have written this script when he was drunk and high. Reed Richards sounds like super patronizing and misogynistic  Don Draper after a few martinis. They aren’t really doing anything new here, its weird to think that only a few short years later we get the much better Spider-Man and his amazing friends. This is only worth a watch to see how bad it is. 

Scott: I want to say, that for your view of FF, that you’re so wrong about the voice acting. It is top notch. All four members sound distinct, true to the characters, and clear. Thing and Mr. Fantastic are not gonna get mixed up in your head. Herbie’s voice is annoying, but Herbie is supposed to be annoying, so it works.

Jason: Herbie is a fun as Herpes. MUHAHAHHAHA Magneto doesn’t just throw out a mere diss, he drops super magnetic disses that stick to you like grandma Logan’s cookie recipe sticks to the fridge. MMHAHAHAHH.

True the voices are distinct. Maybe it is just slightly stilted simplistic dialogue that bogs it down. Still better than most of the Fantastic Four movies.

Scott: Better than all of the FF movies.

Distinct, and authentic voice acting. Contrast that with Silver Surfer, where everything is delivered at either “bored family dinner” or “Charles Xavier yelling at Liliandra” levels with no in-between, then FF really shines.

All that to say that Silver Surfer still wins this one, hands down. The art in this cartoon is special. It pops more than almost anything else in this challenge, and the use of computer graphics with traditional cell animation is actually (against all odds) wonderful.

Jason: Silver Surfer wins, agreed. But watch out sports fans the next round might just be the end of the line for the Sliver kahuna, as he goes up against the big bad BATMAN:TAS ! One of my odds on favorites to take this whole thing.

Jason’s scorecard:

Silver Surfer:

Animation quality: 4
Writing: 4
Voices: 3
Story: 3
Fun: 3
Nostalgia: 1
Innovation: 3


Fantastic Four (1978)

Animation quality: 2
Writing: 2
Voices: 2
Story: 3
Fun: 2
Nostalgia: 2
Innovation: 2


And the winner is:


Spider-Man (1994) vs Captain Planet

Scott: This is a tougher one than you might think. Spider-Man was a nice, long running show, and it told great Spidey stories, but some of those episodes are so convoluted. “Sins of our Fathers” has something like 19 parts to it.

Captain Planet might seem like a joke, but that origin story is great, and the rings of elemental power are pretty sweet.

Except for heart. They should have given heart to the American kid to at least try and make it cool.

Jason: The Spider-Man animation was constantly good, the writing was straight out of the comics and the voices were good. Venom show up, as well as Carnage, cross over with Blade, and others. Blend of CGI and cell animation that gives it a very 90’s look. This one was on right next to BATMAN TAS, so it was a good block of cartoon time.

While it’s not perfect it did portray a lot of the moral conflicts Peter Parker has, really allows the kids to see him as a person, the true ‘everyman’ of super hero’s. Truth to tell it’s not my favorite of the Spider-Man cartoons, but it is a really solid definitive version.  Truly solid cartoon.

The long series are a half step between the ‘monster of the week’ formula and the true ‘meta-plots’  that were seeing now with Young justice.

Scott: I’m not saying it’s a bad show, but they made some weird choices. Alistair Smythe is one of the major bad guys for season one. Uggh. But, season 5 has the Secret Wars, and that was damn fine cartooning.

Jason: Aye aye. Love the Secret Wars.

Ok so by its very nature (pun intended) its easy to make fun of and crap on Captain Planet. But upon deeper review, there were some very good things int there. Captain Planet was preachy about the environment, but as we see the polar ice caps melting 20 years later maybe there was something to it that we should have absorbed more.

Also, it was a cartoon that took on surprisingly adult themes and issue. They covered HIV/ADIS, also I have to get some props to a cartoon that goes back in time to fight Hilter.

The voice talent on this show was huge. Neil Patrick Harris, Dan Ackroyd, Elizabeth Taylor!


That being said, it’s easy to make fun of this cartoon for a reason. The charters were essentially 2-dimensional cut-outs of what you’d expect. I think the real problem with this show was a disappointment. At its core the message was good, but it was ham-fisted down kids throats. The over exaggerated nature of the cartoon keeps anyone from taking the very serious message with any degree of …gravitas? (Fuck, did I just use the word gravitas?)Other hero teams get the job done themselves, but Captain Planet relies on the judge of a super-powered elemental white man to fix everyone’s problems with a punch or tidal wave. Even Voltron and the Megazord were piloted by the team. Captain Planet’s team just summons their golem of natural disaster and stand and watch smiling while Hurricane Katrina wipes away that oil spill and yanks the fat pig man out of his office into the gulf of Mexico.Look at that, I got through this whole rant without picking on the Latina kid, his monkey and the stupidity of his ‘Heart’ power. Ah nuts!

Scott: While the message might be great, it’s just not cool enough.

Jason: Clearly Spider-Man clears the Captain off the board.

The Winner…


Jason’s scorecard:

Spider-Man (1994)

Animation quality: 4
Writing: 4
Voices: 3
Story: 3
Fun: 4
Nostalgia: 3
Innovation: 3


Captain Planet

Animation quality: 3
Writing: 2
Voices: 3
Story: 1
Nostalgia: 2


Let’s take a look at where we’re at.

group 1 1-2


Some tough battles are coming up, and our winners today are in tough in the next round, for certain!