Merchandise! Disney loves to market their characters. If you can make a worthless Porg something people want, you can do it with just about any character. Baby Yoda is all the rave right now, and Star Wars is the king of marketing characters. Marvel has had a Baby Groot, but they have not spent much time trying to push ancillary characters in the style of Disney. When is Marvel going to get its BB-88? Well, we may be in luck. I am officially starting the petition for H.E.R.B.I.E.!
Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated Electronics, or H.E.R.B.I.E., was initially conceived as a cartoon character to help make the Fantastic Four (FF) animated show more kid-friendly. The character ultimately made it’s comic book debut in Fantastic Four #209, in 1979. H.E.R.B.I.E. was designed by Mr. Fantastic to help search for Galactus but mainly served as an assistant around the Baxter Building and sometimes a companion to wunderkind Franklin Richards.
H.E.R.B.I.E. would be onscreen gold for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). We are all expecting the Fantastic Four to make some sort of appearance in the MCU. Previous movies of the FF characters have been stuffy and uninspired…so now is the time to throw a robot into the mix and make everything better. It is the same formula that produced every 80’s hit, so why stop a train when it’s already rumbling down the tracks. Star Wars has already proven that people love adorable robots. They could have the guys who made WALL-E working on the design right now! Knowing Disney, they will probably go heavy on the H.E.R.B.I.E. and make him as unbearable as possible. Hopefully, they choose the delicate touch.
If not H.E.R.B.I.E., then we may be forsaken, as Marvel may have no desire to get as many characters as possible on the action figure rack. Miek and Korg were not capitalized on. The Flerken tide has gone out. There were not many “name worthy” beasts of record or cuddly pets. Dr. Strange’s cape is cool, but I don’t see kids running around wearing them and pretending to cast spells. Howard the Duck could have been a great Easter Egg in several more movies. I see more people wearing quidditch scarfs and sorting hats than I have ever seen people wearing any sort of Marvel gear. Is there a reason for this?
Marvel needs to take action with their upcoming slate of movies and start filling them up with the characters that we love. Let’s make sure the next Kitty Pride has Lockheed as a companion. Deadpool should start figuring out how to add Doop to the series. It is a shame we were not already treated to M.O.D.O.K. or Mojo as villains. They joked about Thor as a frog, where are my Pet Avengers (you know DC may throw some desperation out there and do Super-Pets)? I’ve made the case for Slapstick before and I will even take a Sleepwalker. Get weird Marvel, we can take it. You can always double back and make a change or forget a movie like you did with Thor 2.
Who is the character that you feel is missing from the MCU? Could H.E.R.B.I.E. be the answer to the Galactus set-up? Drop your comments and join the speculation!
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