H.E.R.B.I.E. (Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration) was a robot possessing advanced artificial intelligence designed and built by Dr. Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. He was created to hunt for Galactus. He remained as an allies of the team for many years going on many of their adventures. He became the protector and caregiver of Franklin and Valeria Richards along with being lab assistant to Dr. Richards.
H.E.R.B.I.E. was created by Mister Fantastic and Master Xar of the Xandarians, who hoped that the robot could aid their search for Galactus, who they sought for aid in defeating the villain known as the Sphinx.
What neither of the creators realized; however, was that Doctor Sun, an enemy of Master Xar who had his consciousness trapped within Xandarian computers, was able to escape by jumping from the computer to H.E.R.B.I.E.'s body. The little robot was his sleeper agent, whom he could control whenever he wished. Although an alien pirate mysteriously died in H.E.R.B.I.E.'s presence, and the villain Blastaar suddenly escaped from the Negative Zone, nobody suspected that H.E.R.B.I.E. was responsible.
After Sun's attempt to assassinate the Fantastic Four with Blastaar failed, Dr. Sun revealed himself at last, trapping the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch within the Baxter Building's security system and besting Mister Fantastic and the Thing with H.E.R.B.I.E.'s weapons. He then abandoned H.E.R.B.I.E.'s body and transferred his consciousness into the Baxter Building's main computer, which would allow him to control the entire building, and all of the weaponry within. Fortunately, Mister Fantastic was able to lock Dr. Sun away from the rest of the computer system, but H.E.R.B.I.E., now himself again, realized that Dr. Sun could always simply return to his body. Not wanting the villain to cause any more trouble, the little robot heroically threw himself into the computer, destroying it, Dr. Sun, and himself. Other H.E.R.B.I.E. robots were eventually built throughout the years, serving general duties around the Baxter Building. H.E.R.B.I.E. also served as the guardian and companion for young Franklin Richards.
Due to the rise of activism for the fight of equal rights for artificial lifeforms, Valeria Richards decided it was just to remove H.E.R.B.I.E.'s inhibitor and language censor chips. As a result, H.E.R.B.I.E. disrespectfully lashed out at the Fantastic Four and left on his own. He eventually joined the A.I. Army, a group of robots that emerged from the rights movement, fighting for the cause of robo-liberation often through terroristic means. H.E.R.B.I.E. was one of the most prominent figures in the A.I. Army until the premier forces of A.I. oppression, Arno Stark and Sunset Bain, were defeated, putting an end to human/robot tensions.
Powers and Abilities
- Robot: Cybernetic interface that can connect to any computer system, electricity generators, lasers, various hidden tools and features.
- Flight: The non-humanoid model was able to fly.
- H.E.R.B.I.E. was an original character created for NBC's 1978 Fantastic Four animated series to replace the Human Torch. Around this time, Marvel had licensed a number of their characters to Universal Studios to develop live-action TV movies and series, one of them being the Human Torch. With use of the Human Torch restricted because of that, his place in the Fantastic Four was taken by H.E.R.B.I.E., who was conceived and named by Stan Lee and designed by Jack Kirby. A year later, H.E.R.B.I.E. made the jump to the comics.
- Shortly after the Fantastic Four cartoon premiered in the 1970's, 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 a successful in-universe comic series, H.E.R.B.I.E.'s physical appearance was likewise explained as being based on the animated series based on that comic.
- It seems that H.E.R.B.I.E. didn't enjoy its time with the Fantastic Four. This can be evident as after Valeria removed the control and language chips from it as part of the robot revolution, it left them, while cursing and swearing at them.
- 97 appearance(s) of Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration (Earth-616)
- 11 minor appearance(s) of Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration (Earth-616)
- 5 mentions of Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration (Earth-616)
- 77 image(s) of Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration (Earth-616)
- 2 quotation(s) by or about Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org