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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Aquaman Episode 4: The Fiery Invaders

Aquaman Episode 4: "The Fiery Invaders" by Dennis Marks

Aliens invade Earth, aiming a diabolical weapon at the ocean, with one goal: to turn it into a desert!
Aqualad is the first to discover what's going on, and contacts Aquaman who is back in the AquaCave (who wouldn't be?). Just as the Sea King heads out, Aqualad's seahorse gets spooked by the giant wall of flame which causes the young hero to fall off. Aqualad bumps his head, knocking him unconscious, with the flames getting closer and closer!

Aquaman arrives just in time to rescue his sidekick, and then has some Narwhals dig holes in the ocean floor. Water shoots out of the holes, putting the flames out. The aliens invaders try another tack, by going after Atlantis, but this too fails. They then shoot fireballs at Aquaman and Aqualad, who create a whirlpool to suck the fireballs out of the way.
Aquaman then orders some whales to swim beneath the alien ship, and they carry it to the surface. Using their massive muscle, they shoot the ship into the sky and off the planet, with Aquaman and Aqualad watching from below, hoping they don't ever come back. The End!

This episode continues Filmation's penchant for creating really great looking aliens, who are always manning these strange, complicated ships. These aliens are no more competent than last week's cave giants--they basically have no back up plan: they try something, it fails, and then they...try it again.

There's an interesting little detail early on in this episode: after Aquaman gets Aqualad's distress call, his seahorse Storm gets ready for action. The Sea King then says that Storm isn't fast enough to get that far in time, which leads the viewer to think Aquaman will jump in some cool undersea vehicle. Instead, he just...swims there. So Aquaman can swim faster than Storm can carry him? I guess he and Aqualad ride Storm and Imp mostly for the fun of it, which is odd but also kinda sweet.

This episode was written by Dennis Marks, who had a long career in animation writing, ranging all the way from the early 1960s to an installment of Batman: The Animated Series.


Anthony said...

Yeah, the aliens didn't have much of a plan...maybe they figured nobody on Earth was capable of stopping them/fighting back? (That, and gather they'd never heard of Aquaman or the JLA...)

An instance (one of a few in this show) of Aquaman calling whales his "sea elephants," which I guess they were in this show. No sea *eagles* though...

Anonymous said...

Come on Rob, I'm surprised at you! :) We all know, of course, that Aquaman is pretty much the fastest thing under the waves, but that doesn't mean that there is no benefit to his riding Storm.

Speed isn't the only reason someone rides a horse, after all. Horses have tons of endurance, and, we can assume, so do the undersea mounts of the Aqua-Family. Thus, though Aquaman can move faster at need, he doesn't have to "run" everywhere when he travels via seahorse.

Earth 2 Chris said...

Another fun factoid on Dennis Marks: he was also a producer on the Marvel cartoons of the early 80s like Spider-Man and His Amazing friends, and the Hulk, AND he even did a few voices on those shows, including the Green Goblin!

I'll forgive him for writing "Prophecy of Doom" for BTAS. It's probably one of the worst episodes of the series, but I think that's more than overseas animation house's fault than his.


Unknown said...

Hey, is that the Aqua team on the ocean surface in the last frame? That must be a rarity for the Filmation series. Tusky looks awfully confused.

James Chatterton

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Seahorses aren't known for their speed in real life either. I'd always kind of thought the giant seahorses in Aquaman's world were used more for ceremonial purposes than anything, or, as speculated above, when Aquaman and company just didn't feel like locomoting under their own power.