Superman: The Animated Series: "A Fish Story"
Story By: Alan Burnett
Writers: Hilary J Bader and Rich Fogel
Director: Shin-Ichi Tsuji
Producers: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, Bruce Timm
Associate Producer: Shaun McLaughlin
Superman Theme by Shirley Walker
Music by Lolita Ritmanis
Voice Director: Andrea Romano
Casting Director: Leslie Lamers
Cast: Miguel Ferrer (Aquaman), Tim Daly (Superman), Dana Delany (Lois Lane), Clancy Brown (Lex Luthor), Brad Garret (Bibbo), David Kaufman (Jimmy Olsen), Stuart Pankin (Doctor Cardy), John Rubano and Billy West (Lexie Goons)
Original Airdate: 8 May 1999
NOTE: Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Please also check out the official Animated Aquaman Page for details about the character and his history, as well as pictures from the episode, and the Video site for a short clip from the episode. Also look at the Superman: The Animated Series section of the Superman Homepage for more information on the show in general, and detailed plot summaries.
The sea life is going wild, and it's up to intrepid reporter Lois Lane to discover why. The why is Aquaman, who has been captured and imprisoned by Lex Luthor. Lois and Aquaman have to get free and, maybe with some help from Superman, stop a war between Atlantis and the surface world.
I really wasn't sure about the Aquaman design at first. Not only was he the classic version, hookless with short hair, but his face was a little too square. His face reminded me of Mr. Freeze, my favorite character from the Batman animated series... only that face is suited to a villain, not a hero. But I've always been a fan of the classic outfit, and once seen in action the face looks quite good, so no real problems there!
Nice use of continuity early in the show, when Bibbo, Jimmy and Lois are on a sinking boat and Jimmy uses the signal watch he just got from Superman. Superman's battle with the whales attacking the boat was visually impressive, but I wanted to see Aquaman swim up and ask him what he was doing.
Lois tells Aquaman that he's an urban legend. I don't suppose the same holds true for Batman in the animated universe?
The Luthor employee that wanted to study the Aquaman "specimen" was named Doctor Cardy. Hmmm, where have we heard that name before? Another nice tribute to the classic Aquaman is embedded in the plot. Aquaman's Silver Age origin tale also involves bombing near Atlantis, though the bombers in that tale were nice enough to leave when he asked, unlike Lex Luthor and his goons.
The animation in this episode was a disappointment when compared to the average Superman episode. Everything seemed a little sloppy. I might've been in hyper-critical mode, but I was let down.
The plot also seemed overly loose. Lois finds Aquaman, Aquaman gets free, Lois and Aquaman get wet, Superman arrives to save Lois, and then everybody goes to take on Luthor. It felt like it was missing something somewhere. Like character development for Aquaman, maybe. Something good started when he and Lois are in the water, and Lois asks if the sharks are hungry. Aquaman's response, "Want me to ask?" seemed in character and interesting, but that was all we got.
I thought that the animated Superman couldn't live underwater? He didn't appear to be holding his breath, and he didn't have his aqua-suit on, so I think continuity got stepped on there.
The Atlantean sub was great, and basically said that Atlantis didn't need Aquaman to protect it if the surfacers wanted war. The response of the Atlanteans to the harpoon shot at Aquaman was natural. I don't know of many loyal soldiers who wouldn't counter-attack if someone attempted to kill their king. I was slightly surprised that Superman didn't make any attempt to stop it, but maybe Superman thought Lex needed a lesson. I assume that Supes picked up the survivors once the Atlanteans left.
I want more. I want another Aquaman episode with more lines for Aquaman. I want to see Atlantis.