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Super Powers: Galactic Guardians/Filmation Aquaman Commentary – FIRE & WATER #86

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water PodcastThe 86th episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is now available for your listening pleasure! THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is the official podcast of FIRESTORM FAN and THE AQUAMAN SHRINE.

This episode Shag and Rob provide audio commentary for the second episode double-header of the 1985 classic, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians: “The Ghost Ship” and “The Bizarro Super Powers Team”! It’s Firestorm, Cyborg, Superman & Wonder Woman vs Darkseid, Bizarro & Mxyzptlk!! Then they tackle the first two episodes of the 1967 Filmation Aquaman series: “Menace of the Black Manta” and “The Rampaging Reptile Men.” Aquaman, Aqualad and Mera vs Black Manta and … The Trench?!?! This episode brought to you in part by!

You can find the 86th episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST on iTunes. While you’re there, please drop us a review on the iTunes page. Every comment helps! Alternatively, you may download the podcast by right-clicking here, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (26 MB).

If you want to follow along, you can watch the episodes here:

As always, thanks to my co-host Rob Kelly, Sea King of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE, for doing all the post-production on these episodes! Opening theme, “That Time is Now,” by Michael Kohler. Special thanks to Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our fantastic original closing theme! 

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?

Below are just a few screen captures featuring Firestorm from this episode of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians! For even more, be sure to check out Tumblr!

Super Power Team: Galactic Guardians - The Ghost Ship

Super Power Team: Galactic Guardians - The Ghost Ship

Super Power Team: Galactic Guardians - Bizarro Super Powers Team

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  1. What a way to brighten a rainy Monday!
    The chick in “Ghost Ship” does look like Jocasta! I thought that way back in 1986 as well. The Bizarro episode is a favorite of this run. Should a Bizarro Firestorm be the body of Bizarro Martin Stein? That would have been awesome, with a floating Ronnie head!

    I think Mxy was voiced here by Frank Welker, who was the Toyman, and is also Darkseid and Kalibak on Super Powers! He’s now THE voice actor in Hollywood, and has done the voice of Fred on Scooby-Doo since the first episode in 1969!

    I believe Wonder Woman got her “WW” symbol in 1982. Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show was the first season where they switched over from the old eagle. SF was off the air in the states for several years following the change in the comics.

    I entered that Post Cereals contest! I had actually one a prize in the earlier scratch-off contest (a special Super Friends comic and some stickers, as I recall) and did receive some puffy stickers from entering this one.

    I first encountered the 60s Filmation toons on those Super Powers VHS tapes in 1984. I was constantly renting them from the local video store. Despite being a bigger fan of Batman and Superman, I really enjoyed the Aquaman show because it gave him a chance to shine, where Supes and Bats have plenty of shows to do that on. This show is probably why I called my son “Tadpole” when he was little.

    Great show as always guys! Can’t wait for another of these!


  2. Kyle Benning says:

    Hell yeah! Another Galactic Guardians episode commentary!! Since the last episode I’ve been able to track down a new copy of this DVD. I may have to watch this episode again tonight when I get home from work. YES!!!! Finally some Aquaman Filmation cartoon love!!

    In addition to all of the voices credited to Welker mentioned by Chris, he also did countless characters of the original Transformers cartoon, including Soundwave (my favorite!) and Megatron. He is a voice acting genius, on an elite level with very few other Talents such as Mel Blanc.

    Don’t try to determine any logic or consistency for “Bizarro Speak”…there is none. They use it selectively in almost all his appearances, whether that is cartoon or comic. They change the rule to fit whatever goofy sentence they want to drop on us, and I’m actually okay with that.

    I could be mistaken, but I don’t think Mxy made an appearance in the Legendary Super Powers season. I think all of the “Notable” villains in that season were either forces of Apocalypse, or traditional Super Friends “one-off” villains, as were the norm for the comic and Super Friends Hour, such as the scientist who turned himself and the Super Friends into dinosaurs with some high tech evolution ray.

    Thank you Chris for clarifying the change in the Wonder Woman costume design. When I was younger, and that awful Rob Liefeld Captain America series came out as part of the Heroes Reborn event, I wondered why Liefeld’s Captain America had the damn Wonder Woman “W” sign on his forehead. But that wouldn’t be the only Wonder Woman parallel in Liefeld’s new design of the first avenger, he also “gifted” Cap with some Amazon sized Double D man boobs.

    I love these old Filmation Cartoons, the Aquaman, Superman, and the DC Super Heroes dvds (featuring the Atom, Green Lantern, and Hawkman) are great, I love pulling out these dvds and watching them every now and then. I’m excited that they are finally releasing volume 2, containing seasons 2 and 3 of the New Adventures of Superman Filmation cartoon is coming out June 3rd, 2014. I don’t have the Batman & Robin dvd, I need to rectify that. I thought the same thing when I rewatched this episode recently, that this may have been Geoff John’s inspiration for the Trench!

    Filmation cartoons get a lot of flak of being “too kiddy” or dumbed down cartoons, but I really love these things, they like the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon have some great animation, and while the morals may be simple, I still dig that the cartoons had some sort of clear educational or moral message for kids. Which would be great to see come back again today, instead of the frankly straight up stupid cartoons on tv for children today. Maybe I’m an old prude, but I think some simple “kiddy” cartoons like these, that have a clear and good message, would be a welcomed change to the crap on television today for kids.

    Great episode, thanks guys! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

  3. Tim Wallace says:

    Great episode guys! Made me feel like a kid on Saturday morning again! I have the Aquaman DVD, and while I have some Super Friends episodes, I don’t have Galactic Guardians…guess who’s going to Amazon to look now? Yup…this guy!

  4. David Jeffreys says:

    Shag wanted to know why there were surface dwellers at the power plant. The answer is there wasn’t. The makers of this cartoon decided for some reason to make all the Atlanteans air breathers expect Aquaman, Aqualad, and Mera. They even changed the comic to match the cartoon. To find out how and why they became air breathers read Aquaman #35(1967). I don’t know if they ever explain how they became water breathers again.

  5. @Kyle, I just wanted to say that from what I have read, Frank Welker’s voice for Darkseid and Soundwave is the same voice, but for Soundwave, his lines were put through a filter to give it the electronic drone.

    Also, for what it’s worth, his voice for Darkseid is essentially the same as his voice for Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget.

    Loved this episdoe guys! I have a lot of memories of watching Super Friends on tape as a kid, as my father would tape them (and Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends), and then my brother and I would rewatch them over and over! So much fun!

  6. Frank says:

    I’ll be busy watching Captain America 3 on the weekend of May 6, 2016, so we’ll have to see if I can find time for Warner Brothers’ feature length stinger for the 2018 Justice League movie. I’ve actually read the script, and it’s… familiar. In the opening scene, the Unknown Soldier breaks into Wayne Manor to “invite” Master Bruce to join the “Justice League Imperative.” Then Bruce smugly tries to convince Lieutenant General Swanwick to allow Waynetech to help with his Superman problem. Next, King Faraday travels. Finally the movie ends with Cyborg’s shiny butt swaying back and forth as he works a punching bag (perfect Tumblr gif bait) before launching into a full-blown trailer. It’s all very been there, done that.

    I quite liked Watchmen when I saw it at the theater, but didn’t see it again until I bought the extended cut on Blu-Ray last year, which I found tedious once revisted. I was already over what I liked about Man of Steel while still in the theater watching the dull 45 minute CGI orgy. Sucker Punch as excremental. I have no confidence in either David “The S” Goyer or Zack Attack Snyder, and I fully expect them to produce an unwatchable film. I think they’ll give us the Heaven’s Gate of the super-hero genre. I will be just fine with the Martian Manhunter sidestepping associative taint.

    Our Worlds At War was a solid crossover, except for the shoehorned-in Wonder Woman portions. I hated that Queen Hippolyta was sacrificed to a Superman crossover so Diana could be orphaned just like Kal-El and Bruce Wayne. Phil Jimenez’s art and writing “voice” didn’t fit well, either.

    I’m pleased that the podcast motivates me to finally check out these old Super Powers episodes. I saw some of this stuff as a kid, but I have little recollection of any of it. Nice to revisit as an adult in small portions. While I like the JLGLPBHN flavored character designs, everything about Super Powers seems much more stiff than earlier Super Friends incarnations. It reminds me of the defense given by the creators of Batman: The Animated Series when ’90s fanboys took FOX to task for not given the Dark Knight the X-Men treatment. Timm and company wanted a more fluid animated style than the detail-heavy but movement light X-Men look would allow. I see that case made here, with some moments of Clutch Cargo.

    If Superman knew that his powers would be halved while charting the McGuffin System, why not let Green Lantern do it? Oh, because this was an opportunity for the new heroes to show off under the safety net of the Man of Steel. Yup, Firestorm got to really strut his stuff here. And Cyborg… was great at running away and some mechanical work. The unintended racial politics are wince-inducing. Say, there was a surprising amount of Darkseid cheesecake in this episode. I didn’t know that was a thing that was out there, but I guess if anyone wears tight briefs and thigh high boots, someone will embrace the fetish. Why of all people was Kalibak the Sulu of this show?

    Bizaros are a fun idea that usually wear out their welcome long before an individual story ends. It’s like, I dug the SPT’s Bizarro duplicate designs, and the computer interface bit was cute, but I’m glad Myx was around to carry most of the villainy. Bizarro Supermen #91 & 246 seem to have been early advocates for marriage equality. Warden Johnson running a prison has got to be an in-joke. Did the Super Friends have to call a press conference and start a massive rebranding push to make “The Super Powers Team” a thing people would reflexively say? No offense to Wonder Woman, but duplicating Mr. Mxyzptlk in any capacity seems like a bad idea. I liked this edition of Firestorm & Cyborg Team-Up better than the Superman one.

    Oh man, I thought I was going to just watch a Galactic Guardians episode! Now I’ve got to sit through an Aquaman show? Well that’s okay, I’ll just chase it with an episode of the Wonder Woman cartoo– damn it!!!

    Where are the winners of that contest today? Speak up!

    An entire hour of adventure? Outrageous! The DC Filmation shows ran in the afternoon daily on a local UHF channel, so I was quite a bit more familiar with Aquaman than the once-a-week Saturday morning Galactic Guardians (plus, I was never a morning person.) These reruns also fed my grossly disproportionate perception of the Atom’s relative status in the super-hero pantheon.

    Manta’s ship is rad. Saving Mera and leaving Robin of the Sea to fend for himself shows Aquaman has the right priorities. I feel bad for the whale, which is clearly in pain. Of all the diminishing aqua-terms Aquaman “nicknames” Aqualad, no “chum?” The finny friends do an awful lot of Aquaman’s work for him. The Aquatic Aryan is a friggin’ slave master! Manta’s blades are rad, and he worked them well. At one point, they use a modified version of Atom’s theme song as filler music. Manta’s modified costume is less than rad, and his henchmen are goony, plus they reworked that same shot of their entering/exiting the ship three times inside seven minutes. Dictating/condescending to adolescents, African-Aquarians, “lesser” sea lifeforms, and now women? Aquaman is clearly the most entitled, whitest, blondest man in all the seven seas.

    Wow, what a bad day to be an undersea guardsman. Water’s warm, schools of fish swim by pleasingly, Aqualad waves hello, and SMASHFACE! The green-skinned Yellow Peril reptile man just widowed your wife! Savagery of the sea! Every time one of those guts reaches from off-screen, I think it’s Aquaman’s glove. Such an elaborate communication ring, where today Aqualad could just whip out a cell phone in a sandwich bag. What’s more of an issue: Firestorm not even being allowed a simple alternating color flicker to indicate his flaming head, or Aquaman’s hair helmet at all depths? How much Aqua Net must he go through? Speaking of aqua nets, just swimming there in lengthy monologue as the Reptile Men captured the Sea King surely contributed to his becoming a super-joke for nearly fifty years. Oh no– a net! Oh no– rope! Oh no– open air! The audience isn’t exactly trembling sympathetically at Aquaman’s plight. How about needing a giant seahorse to save the day (though Storm is severe looking? Respect.) Then there’s Aquaman and Aqualad needing help just to retreat, only to learn that the Reptile Men were wimpy enough that they figured “might as well press our unexpected advantage.” Was that the exact same closing shot as the last episode, sans Mera?

  7. Frank says:

    “Next, King Faraday travels to the Mojave Desert after Checkmate detects a Green Lantern Power Ring there.”

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