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Monday, December 05, 2011

The All-New Super Friends Hour: Episode 15

It's time for another episode of The All-New Super Friends Hour!

Actually, this is the last episode of
The All-New Super Friends Hour, so let's enjoy it while we can! First up, Batman, Robin, and Aquaman face "The Protector":
We see a series of crimes perpetrated by the supervillain known as The Shark, who has a ray that can freeze people in place. He aims at a cruise ship, and while the crew and passengers are frozen, his henchmen climb aboard and steal everything in sight!

All in all, The Shark is a relatively imposing bad guy:
But wait--isn't this segment called "The Protector"? Then why is this guy called The Shark, you may be wondering (in fact, you may have been so confused you've emailed the Shrine, demanding an explanation, before even continuing on with this paragraph).

Turns out that The Shark is so sick of how people treat the Earth's oceans--weapons testing, dumping harmful chemicals and garbage--that he wants to steal enough to build a fleet of Shark ships so he can protect (a-ha!) the seven seas forever!

Once the Super Friends get wind of this, they step in. Surprisingly, Aquaman is on board with stopping The Shark, and while Batman and Robin take over his freeze ray, the Sea King chases after him and stops his getaway with the help of some sharks:
The Shark is apprehended, and given to the authorities. While they express some sympathy for The Shark's mission, they conclude he was wrong the way he went about it. It's here that Aquaman utters the single-most un-Aquaman-esque line in probably the character's history:
"If we can't freely enjoy the benefits of the ocean, there's no reason to protect it in the first place." WHAT?!?

Following that (as if anything could follow that), Superman teaches us seatbelt safety, and then the Wonder Twins rescue some kids who get in trouble on the high seas (probably escaping those angry sharks Aquaman called in the first segment).

After Batman and Robin give clues for the De-Coder word, all the Super Friends are together to take on Gentleman Jim Craddock, aka "The Ghost":
The opening scene of this segment is set in a graveyard, with Craddock's toady reciting an incantation to bring him back to life. As Hanna-Barbera goes, its fairly atmospheric, if not actually creepy. The Ghost rises, swearing revenge on the two that "tricked" him back into his grave: Superman and Wonder Woman!

Later, The Ghost arrives at the Metropolis Convention Center, which is currently hosting a contingent of foreign dignitaries (I guess the U.N. was busy dealing with The Streaking Crisis). The Ghost starts zapping various people, turning them into hollow-eyed ghosts! Again, not scary exactly, but a shade more intense than what you normally saw from H-B.

The Ghost escapes Batman, Robin, and Aquaman (who arrived upon hearing the news), and brings one of his hostages back to his creepy mansion in the swamp. He then issues a threat to the Super Friends: Superman and Wonder Woman must surrender to him in one hour, or he will turn more people into ghosts!

Batman and Robin find The Ghost's mansion, but are felled by one of his death traps. The Ghost then heads back to Metropolis, to make good on his threat. Aquaman makes like Tarzan to rescue people from The Ghost's undead assault:
But The Ghost is too fast for Aquaman, and with the tap of his wand, turns everyone in sight into ghosts! Superman and Wonder Woman arrive, just to watch The Ghost escape.

They all arrive at The Ghost's mansion, where Superman and Wonder Woman are put "on trial" for what they did to The Ghost. Found guilty, they are turned into ghosts, too!

The other Super Friends visit The Dept. of Parapsychology at Metropolis U, who have a whole ton of gadgets that work on ghosts: crystals that keep the wearers from being turned into ghosts, and a set of seven wands that, when all aimed at a ghost at the same time, banishes it back to the grave! Thanks Dr. Venkman!

Back at the mansion, the Super Friends fall victim to The Ghost's death traps. Aquaman gets dumped into a well where the walls begin to move inward:
Water seeps in, and that gives Aquaman a chance: he commands microscopic fish to follow, bringing more water into the chamber, keeping the walls from moving any further.

After Superman and Wonder Woman are returned to normal, the Super Friends chase after The Ghost with their wands. He tries to escape, but finds it impossible:
With The Ghost back in his grave (see? kinda creepy for an H-B show!), the Super Friends clean up all the damage he caused. They all return to Hall of Justice--sans Aquaman, oddly enough.

Wonder Woman teaches us some crafts, Superman gives some tips about not messing with pills and, finally, the episode--and series--ends with Superman teaming up with the always-tan Green Lantern to rein in some wild elephants in "Rampage":

...and so ends The All-New Super Friends Hour!

Aquaman isn't in any of the short segments, but he does get the big team-up and gets a lot to do against The Ghost, so I'd say Aquaman wraps up the series thusly:

This episode's Aqua-Content: Medium

This episode does feature a commercial for next week's show, but that is Episode One, bringing the whole thing full circle.

Of course, this wasn't the end of the Super Friends show; on the contrary, it would be back the following season as Challenge of the Super Friends, which to many people is the show's finest incarnation. Maybe we'll cover those down the line some time, as well.

I hope you all enjoyed these looks back at
The All-New Super Friends Hour!


Russell said...

Wow, I did not know/remember that Gentleman Ghost ever appeared on THE SUPER FRIENDS. Cool!

However....how exactly do you make someone a ghost without actually killing them? Does "ghost" mean something different on Earth-HB?

rob! said...

It means whatever the Network Standards & Practices Department wants it to mean.