Though it is true that Johnny Storm/The Human Torch was not in this series, rumors that the reason was that the network was worried kids might light themselves on fire to imitate him is not factual. In 1997, Marvel licensed a number of their characters to Universal Studios to be developed as live-action TV-movies and series. A pilot of a Captain America show and the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno live-action The Incredible Hulk series were results of this license.
In 1978, when NBC decided to green light The Fantastic Four animated series, Universal still controlled the rights to The Human Torch character, but the remaining three characters were free. Universal would not sub-license The Human Torch to NBC, so a new character- H.E.R.B.I.E.- was developed for the show.
H.E.R.B.I.E. was conceived and named by Stan Lee and designed by Jack Kirby.
It is worth noting that The Fantastic Four cartoon series was produced out of the DePatie-Freleng studio on Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys, California... a building that burned to the ground a year or so later.
A Monster Among Us! Production Information
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