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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Aquaman Episode 2: The Rampaging Reptile-Men

Aquaman Episode 2: "The Rampaging Reptile-Men" by George Kashdan

Aqualad and Tusky, at play, come across an Atlantean power station and wave hello to one of the guards. Moments later, he is suckerpunched by one of a small army of reptile-men, who force their way into the station!

Aqualad sends out an SOS, which reaches Aquaman in his Aqua-Cave. As Aquaman heads out to save his young pal, the Reptile-Men start destroying all the equipment, under the idea an Atlantis without power will be easy to conquer.
One of the Reptile-Men shoots a bolt of electricity at Aquaman, rupturing the station's hull. Aquaman fixes it with the help of a giant turtle, who uses its body to plug the hole. Then the Sea King chases the Reptile-Men to a subterranean lair, where they have laid a trap for him.
The Reptile-Men tie Aquaman to a post, away from the water, leaving him to die while they resume their plan. Aqualad arrives, helps free Aquaman, and they fight the Reptile Men. Aquaman then commands as many finny friends as he can to help out, including two whales who move boulders in front of the cave entrance. With the Reptile-Men trapped, Aquaman and Aqualad take off for home! The End!

Despite not featuring of his comic book foes, this remains one of my favorite episodes of the series, because of the sheer amount of visual invention on display: check out that Aqua-Cave! It's like the BatCave via Jules Verne and Irwin Allen, and I remember being so enamored of it growing up. Heck, I still am.

It's no surprise to anyone that Filmation did these shows on the cheap--really cheap. They reused shots constantly (the final sequence of this episode is the same as the one from the first episode, minus Mera trailing behind), but when you've got shots like the one you see above--Aquaman riding a shark like a boss--who cares if its reused? 

This episode was written by George Kashdan, who wrote Aquaman for a little while in the mid-1950s during his Adventure Comics run. You have to think writing seven page stories that had to have a beginning, middle, and an end were great training for scripting this seven-minute animated adventures.


Unknown said...

Ohhhhhhh maaaaan. I want to live in that Aqua Cave.

James Chatterton

BlUsKrEEm said...

reptile-men < manta-men

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is definitely a great episode, and that Aqua-Cave looks utterly fantastic! It makes the Batcave look downright provincial! Look at that giant world map and all the high-tech equipment! You really get a sense for Aquaman's global responsibility looking at his base, and that is really cool.

Ohh, sorry Bats, I'm sure taking care of a WHOLE city is really hard too...really.

Man, this show has all the elements necessary for a really amazing version of Aquaman.

I like these Reptile-Men. They should make a comeback!

Anthony said...

Nice episode. Yeah, the Aqua-Cave is cool...

Wondered how Tusky could stay underwater that long in this series without coming up for air. A rare species of water-breathing walrus? :-) (Guess the producers didn't want to use Topo for some reason...not as "dog-like" as Tusky I guess...)

Anonymous said...

I think you're dead-on, Anthony. Just how cuddly could you make an octopus?

Earth 2 Chris said...

Am I nuts in thinking Tusky was a proto--Scooby Doo? I've always thought that since first watching this show. Tusky had Scooby by two years.

All the various creatures on the Filmation series are actually kind of creepy, if not deceptively simple in their design.