Which was the first live action adaptation of a Marvel Comics property on the small screen? It was the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno The Incredible Hulk from the seventies, right? Or maybe the short-lived The Amazing Spider-Man starring Nicholas Hammond? Or was it this short-lived version of The Fantastic Four from back in 1963, starring Elizabeth Montgomery from Bewitched as Sue Storm, and Russell Johnson, the Professor from Gilligan’s Island, as Reed Richards? Thanks to Bleeding Cool, we’ve learned of the site AuntPetunia.com (named for the ever-loving blue eyed Thing’s beloved aunt) which has all the details on this great lost series, including a very detailed show history, an episode guide, background info on all of the main actors, and all the behind-the-scenes info on everything that went into making this lost gem of a series. Just why haven’t you ever seen this show, you might ask? Well, a warehouse fire in 1974 destroyed all existing tapes of the series, along with production notes, that’s why.
Except, there was no fire, and there was no show…. it’s all just a really well done hoax. There never was a Fantastic Four live-action series made during the early sixties, nor do I think one was ever even considered. There are a few dead giveaways on the site, such as the fact that in the list of unaired episodes it mentions the Galactus story arc, which means that the Silver Surfer and Galactus’ appearance on television would have pre-dated their comic book first appearance by three whole years. (The website of course has an explanation for this.)
Of course, probably more than anything else, the biggest telltale sign that the site is an internet hoax is the Photoshopped pics are just that-very clearly Photoshopped pics of the actors faces on the bodies of members of the cast of the never released Fantastic Four film from Roger Corman, circa 1994 (which was recently made the subject of a documentary called Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four.) Any Fantastic Four fan worth their salt knows the FF had blue and black uniforms in the early days, not blue and white, which are shown here. Those didn’t come until the John Byrne of the eighties.
Still, this website is thorough enough and detailed enough that you could probably prank at least one comic book fan you know that there was the short-lived Fantastic Four television series that they somehow have never seen or heard about till now. Of course, one Google search is all they’d need to know they’ve been punk’d, but after seeing this site, they are gonna kind of wish this all was true. Especially Paul Lynde as the Impossible Man. I want to visit the alternate reality where this was actually something that happened for real.
Who would you cast in a 1960s version of the Fantastic Four? Let us know in the comments below.