Who Is HERBIE – Fantastic Four’s Cute & Controversial Robot Friend, Explained

Who Is HERBIE - Fantastic Four's Cute & Controversial Robot Friend, Explained 2

HERBIE — which stands for Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration — isn’t so much a crimefighting member of the Fantastic Four, even in his original incarnation from «The New Fantastic Four.» He’s more of an assistant to Reed Richards in particular. In his first comic book storyline following his TV debut, Ben Grimm is overtly suspicious of HERBIE even though Richards himself designed the machine. This distrust is well-founded since a supervillain named Dr. Sun possesses HERBIE. The robot eventually sacrifices himself to stop Dr. Sun’s evil plans.

This is just the first among several comic book storylines involving HERBIE. Versions of the character have also appeared in «Spider-Man,» «Deadpool,» and «Iron Man» issues, among others, many of which are comedic in tone.

While the notion that HERBIE might join the MCU in «The Fantastic Four» is based on nothing more than the fact Marvel was openly looking for a voice actor for a CGI character, it’s hard to imagine a Disney property passing up an opportunity to introduce a cute robot mascot that exists in comic book canon.

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