DCAU #265: A Fish Story

IN THIS ONE... Lex Luthor captures that urban legend, Aquaman.

CREDITS: Written by Hilary J. Bader and Rich Fogel; directed by Shin-Ichi Tsuji.

Continuing straight from Superman's Pal, Lois is wearing pants and Jimmy uses his new signal watch. Bibbo gets some action too, and Lex Luthor and Mercy are the villains of the piece, all of which I applaud. Lex in particular has been absent for far too long.

And yet, this is a story about another character entirely - Aquaman! To steal Bibbo's words, "my fav'rit!". And this is pretty much an ideal representation of the hero, with the classic look and the more badass attitude of the 90s, versatile with the tricks he can achieve using animal telepathy, as well as an incredibly good fighter. At the end, he becomes more of an antagonist, turning into Namor and bringing some cool looking subs into the action, declaring war on the surface world, etc. While it does give Superman the chance to show his stuff and be the diplomat (I love the way he disarms the bombs so offhandedly too), I do wish we weren't all judged on Luthor's actions. But even so, the episode is high on stunts (even Lois plays Evil Knievel), with some great animation and water effects. Great action throughout - Lois getting swallowed up by a benign shark, Aquaman dragged behind a motorbike, Superman stopping an undersea drill, sea gull attacks... lots of variety.

Aquaman had been, to date, an urban legend. It's an interesting wrinkle that's not really explored, but saves us from getting an origin story weirdly tied to the Superman universe (as happened with Green Lantern). But it's not a back door pilot, not the way it ends. It's too bad...

Aquaman's attitude towards surface dwellers is closer to what Peter David was doing with him (i.e. the "pirate Aquaman" with the hook hand), but the look is that of the classic Silver and Bronze Age Aquaman. Doctor Cardy is an obvious reference to Nick Cardy, one of the Silver Age stories' most iconic artists.

Miguel Ferrer (Robocop, Mulan, Iron Man 3) voices Aquaman. Doctor Cardy is played by Stuart Pankin, who was last heard as the Condiment King.

REWATCHABILITY: High - A great introduction for one of my favorite superheroes.



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