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H.E.R.B.I.E. (Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics) is a fictional character, a robot and an ally of the Fantastic Four in the Marvel Universe. The character was initially conceived for the 1978 Fantastic Four animated series and was integrated into the comics continuity shortly afterwards.

Creation and conception

When the Fantastic Four property was made into an animated series in 1978, the character of the Human Torch was unable to be used, as at the time the character had been optioned separately for use in a solo movie (which never materialized).A popular urban myth contends that the Torch was replaced due to fears that children might attempt to emulate him by setting themselves on fire, but that is not true.

Needing a fourth member to round out the team, Stan Lee pitched the idea for a cute robot sidekick, and artist Dave Cockrum was commissioned to design it. However, Cockrum disliked the character so much he was eventually replaced by Jack Kirby, who first designed and illustrated the Fantastic Four a decade previous. On the Fantastic Four cartoon, H.E.R.B.I.E. was voiced by Frank Welker. Shortly after the cartoon premiered, the little robot was introduced to the comics continuity by writer Marv Wolfman and artist John Byrne. As within the Marvel Universe, the Fantastic Four have marketed their likenesses for...
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