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Jan 062016
 

Another classic superhero among the Super Friends to have his own series was Aquaman in The Adventures of Aquaman: The Complete Collection (DC Comics Classic Collection) (1967-1968). This show follows the adventures of the aquatic superhero protecting the ocean from all sorts of evildoers. Especially his home, the underwater city of Atlantis.

Unlike Superman and Batman, Aquaman has no secret identity, which is great because he never has to hide who he is from anyone. Also, whenever Aquaman needs assistance he uses his telepathic powers to summon other sea creatures. He always seems to know exactly which ones are needed for any kind of peril. What I don’t understand is why Aquaman never summons any seals. I could see plenty of ways they could help out.

Aquaman’s young sidekick is Aqualad, who is often nicknamed Tadpole, Minnow, or Sardine. He’s a good fighter but often gets knocked unconscious or ends up captured. If only Aqualad had Aquaman’s powers, then the two of them would be a more equal duo. The two of them also have faithful steeds like their seahorses Storm and Imp.

And of course let’s not forget their pet walrus Tusky. His curiosity tends to get him in a lot of trouble but you can’t stay mad at Tusky for long since he’s so darn cute.

Another reoccurring ally is Mera. Although she is Aquaman’s love interest, it’s not mentioned in this series. In fact, Mera was hardly featured at all. But when she is, it’s nice to see her. Though she’s often a damsel in distress.

There are a fair amount of arch villains in this series like Black Manta, Vassa the queen of the mermen, the Brain, Torpedo Man, and the Fisherman. As interesting as they are, these villains aren’t as memorable. No back stories are revealed and their goals are either to take over the sea or to destroy Aquaman.

As one-dimensional as that sounds, the story lines for each episode are kept simple and simple is good.

This is certainly a classic animated series that I remember watching years ago but was hard to keep track of. Thank you DVD releases.

Jul 302013
 

The iconic superheroes of DC Comics unite once again in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths with the group consisting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and J’onn J’onnz the Martian man hunter. In this feature, there’s another world where all of the superheroes and super villains are all opposites from the real ones.

The only surviving member of the Justice League in that other world is the leader, Lex Luthor. He arrives on Earth to seek the help of this Justice League to save that other world. It doesn’t take much convincing to trust Lex, thanks to Superman’s x-ray vision that he used to check on the real Lex Luthor in prison.

Later at the Justice League’s home base, Lex explains the situation to the other heroes. His world is in danger from the Crime Syndicate. They consist of Ultraman (evil Superman), Owlman (evil Batman), Superwoman (evil Wonder Woman), Johnny Quick (evil Flash), and Power Ring (evil Green Lantern). The Crime Syndicate rules the other world through fear. Anyone who stands up to them pays the ultimate price, if you know what I mean.

The Justice League agrees to help Lex, but Batman chooses to stay behind. Once they all arrive in the other world, the Justice League already has to go into battle, which is a real exciting one against Owlman, Superwoman, and a group of other colorful counterparts I don’t recognize.

Superwoman calls for backup, so the battle continues in the sky. I can’t help but feel sorry for Flash because he’s the only one who can’t fly. I still can’t figure out how Wonder Woman can fly without the invisible jet.

Afterwards, the Crime Syndicate creates a bomb powerful enough to blow up the world. However, Owlman discovers that there are many other worlds out there in the multiverse. In order to truly succeed, the Crime Syndicate must destroy the source world called Earth Prime. It takes a while to find, but once Earth Prime is destroyed all of the other Earth worlds will go with it.

The president in the other world is Slade Wilson. He believes that in order to keep the people safe, he should let the Crime Syndicate do whatever they please without consequences.

The Justice League disagrees with that notion and so does Rose, the president’s daughter. She’s not afraid to speak out against those super villains.

Meanwhile, Owlman discovers that the quantum trigger, which activates the bomb, is back at the Justice League home base because Lex hid it there. So Superwoman and some henchmen go to look for it. Batman struggles to fight them all by himself. Luckily, he called for backup, which includes Red Tornado, Black Lightning, Firestorm, Black Canary, and Aquaman. It seems like it’s been ages since Aquaman fought alongside the Super Friends.

This was a good film about the Justice League. One thing that’s different about this story about another world with evil counterparts is that when one dies, the other doesn’t die too, which is very good.

Jun 292011
 

We all know the classic DC Comics superheroes known as Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. One of the first cartoon shows to bring all of them together is The All New Super Friends Hour (1977-1978). Whenever there’s trouble, the Super Friends are called into action from their home base, which is called the Hall of Justice.

What truly makes this series different is that there are no back-stories, secret identities, or any arch villains, only superpowers and superhero action. Each superhero has their own specialty, so it all depends on the situation as for which heroes are best suited for the job. The bigger missions require the whole team.

Among the Super Friends are young heroes Zan and Jayna the Wonder Twins, along with their mischievous space monkey Gleek. Together the Wonder Twins can shape shift, but their options seem to be limited. Jayna can only change into any animal and Zan can only turn into liquid or objects made of ice. As for Gleek, his long tail is very crafty which does explain what he’s actually good for. The only missions these three do solo are minor ones about rescuing reckless teens from certain peril. Otherwise, they are always told to stay behind at the Hall of Justice. What a drag.

On occasion, other superheroes join in on the action. Ones like, Hawk Man, Hawk Girl, The Atom, Green Lantern, Apache Chief, Rima the Jungle Girl, and others. However, they are always accompanied by one of the regulars, and once again only powers and action are featured as the crucial element.

In between the groups of episodes, there are short segments. They include De-Coders that feature a secret code word that has something to do with an episode, PSAs about safety and health, simple magic tricks, and fun craft projects. I had almost forgotten about that material.

One thing I had missed about Superman is that when he takes to the skies he uses the catchphrase, “Up, up, and away!” In the newer versions of Superman cartoons, he doesn’t say that anymore. Then again, with today’s edgier superhero standards, catchphrases like that can appear to be corny.

This series is a real classic from when I was growing up. Even though each superhero is a champion in his or her own hometown, bringing them all together didn’t create a clash of egos, which I find surprising. Of course, it didn’t end with this show. That same concept continued with other versions of The Super Friends even today with shows like Justice League. There were so many different versions, the franchise became hard for me to keep track of. I still wonder, whatever happened to the Wonder Twins?