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Name: giant robot
Classification: supporting character villain
Publisher(s): DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
First Appearance: The Fantastic Four - Season 1, Episode 3 (16 Sep. 1978): "The Phantom of Film City"
Creators: Stan Lee, Roy Thomas
Super? (Has Super Powers/Special Abilities/Technology): Yes
Number of Appearances: 1
Enemy of: The Fantastic Four
Employer: Mammoth Studios
Location: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Note: film prop robot Skrulls sabotaged to attack F.F.
An unnamed giant robot was being used in the production of a film directed by J.J. Colossal for Mammoth Studios. This was to be an epic science fiction adventure film starring the Fantastic Four.
In one scene, the Fantastic Four are supposed to fight this giant robot. The robot was created specifically to be used in the film production.
At first, the team is not certain what the giant robot really is. It might just be a prop or perhaps a remote-controlled device. But H.E.R.B.I.E., the robotic member of the team, confirms to them that it is indeed a real robot. When H.E.R.B.I.E. tells his team this, his eyes flash with numbers in them: 666 and 597.
The giant robot was designed by Mr. Belmont, the film's art director.
After filming begins on the action-packed fight scene, the robot attacks the Fantastic Four for real, with the potential to cause serious harm. It seems intent on actually killing them!
What's going on? The robot - which was intended to be harmless - was sabotaged a mysterious villain known as The Phantom. This villain has done other acts of sabotage in an effort to destroy the Fantastic Four.
The Fantastic Four are able to defeat the giant robot. Mister Fantastic fashions himself into a trap by stretching between two poles. Invisible Girl makes him invisible, and then the Thing lures the giant robot into the trap.
Despite the danger posed by the robot, director J.J. Colossal dismisses the mishap as unimportant, saying that the robot simply had "a couple of crossed wires." The production moves on to film the next scene featuring the Fantastic Four.
The next scene is sabotaged as well. The Fantastic Four a space ship which is supposed to be fake, but turns out to be real. They are attacked by "actors" who turn out not to be actors at all, but are actually real Skrulls!
Art director Mr. Belmont is revealed as a Skrull himself. It was he who sabotaged the giant robot and caused it to attack the Fantastic Four.
In defeat, the Skrulls agree to leave the Earth if the Fantastic Four help them repair their ship.
J.J. Colossal uses footage of the Fantastic Four in the sabotaged scenes (including their fight with the giant robot) to complete the film. The film is edited so that H.E.R.B.I.E. emerges as the real star, and the film is a big hit with audiences.
As for the giant robot? It was probably never repaired after being defeated by the Fantastic Four in that sabotaged scene.
The title of the film J.J. Colossal was on location directing when he first met the Fantastic Four was "The Gigantic Vacuum Cleaner that Devoured New York." But the film the Fantastic Four were starring in was a different film, titled "The Fantastic Four Battle the Flying Saucers from Outer Space." They team agreed to be in the movie because J.J. Colossal promises them that their fees would go to charity.
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