The Fantastic Four Radio Series
Originally broadcast in 1975
Okay I have been listening to the Graphic Audio productions of DC comics' Justice League novels. I was never really a fan of DC comics but these audio book productions are out of this world and I fell in love with the unique story telling combined with the production work. Being a fan of Marvel comics I wanted to look and see if there were any Marvel audio book productions that could equal these DC stories done by Graphic Audio. My first place to look the internets (sic ... inside joke).
I have come to find that the Internet contains the sum total of human knowledge, organized like the bottom of a teenager's closet, and with that knowledge I ran into some information that I couldn't believe; in 1975 Marvel comics had a weekly radio show featuring the Fantastic 4.
Now in discovering this I had to find the audio and one of the places that had mp3 files of the the actual radio broadcasts was the Internet Archive site http://www.archive.org/details/FantasticFour-10Episodes the problem with this was that this site only had 10 episodes and there were 13. I finally tracked all 13 episodes downloaded them on my iPod and had myself a Retro-Blast.
I've said before that Americans need more radio theatre and in doing my research it seems as though the 80s was the last radio theatre we had here in the U.S. of A. But maybe I can find ways to get that going again. Any investors out there? I think the comics world would be the perfect place to start.
Okay let's talk about this radio series. In listening to the series there are two great treats/surprises. These surprises are 2 of the voices in the series. First is none other than Smilin' Stan Lee as the host / narrator of the program. It is so great to hear Stan telling these stories, his voice really pushes the excitement along with the sound effects and dialogue. The other surprise is a very young Bill Murray as the Human Torch, Johnny Storm. Yes the same Bill Murray from Saturday Night Live (the talented years), Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters and Rushmore. Before SNL Murray was performing with the National Lampoon Radio so the voice talent was already known. There is one scene in which the the Fantastic 4 are returning from an adventure on the moon and what seems like some ad-libbing by Human Torch and The Thing, some very funny things are said, but you have to listen close because it is in the background.
The rest of the cast consists of:
Bob Maxwell....Mr.. Fantastic
Cynthia Adler...The Invisible Woman
Jim Pappas...The Thing
Jerry Terheyden...Doctor Doom
Many of the heroes and villains met in this series are:
Nick Fury, Ant-Man, Namor, The Hulk, The Puppet Master, The Watcher, Skrulls & the Super Skrull, The Moleman, the Hatemonger, The Red Ghost, and the Miracle man.
Here's the link once again for the internet archive site with the episodes:
Do yourself a favor and download these fun stories...most are based on actual Fantastic Four comic issues from the Silver age of comics.