Rob welcomes back fellow Network All-Stars Chris and Cindy Franklin to discuss the SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES episode "A Fish Story" guest-starring Aquaman!
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- Opening theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler. Closing music by Shirley Walker.
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9 responses to “Fire & Water #199 – A Fish Story”
Thanks for reminding me about this episode and the Superman Animated Series in general. It’s been too long since I have gone back to rewatch the show. I am especially glad you commented on the top notch voice acting courtesy of Andrea Romano. Her shows always bring in top notch talent. She recently was a guest on the TV Guidance Counselor podcast and I would encourage anyone to listen to it. Her story about George O’Halloran (the voice of George Jetson) and his final recording session is truly poignant.
Andrea Romano deserves her own DC Collectibles action figure in their wonderful BTAS line.
Thanks for covering this one. Like Rob, I remember how excited I was to see Aquaman in animation again, when this episode of S:TAS first aired. I had read Peter David’s run on Aquaman, and, while I had some issues with how David characterized the Sea King, I generally enjoyed that book. That being said, it was so good to see a “modern” version of Aquaman that (at least in my mind) was clearly connected to my childhood hero from the Super Friends.
I also think Superman TAS is criminally underrated. It is the other side of the coin to Batman. And the early episodes are just so slick, The introduction of Luthor, Metallo, Mxyzptlk, Bizarro, and the Toyman … all spot on.
I also think it was easier to showcase the DCU in this series than in Batman. You can’t have The Flash or Darkseid or Aquaman appear in Batman TAS, they just don’t jibe with the noir feel there. This episode did set up Aquaman to be something of a Namor but who cares. I feel they needed something to cleanse the Superfriend Aquaman from the collective consciousness of the audience.
As you say, Delaney was fantastic as Lois.
I was a bit confused at the beginning of the episode, where in an attempt to consider why Superman TAS isn’t as well-loved, you described the network hopping undertaken by the various DCAU shows (especially on Fox and The WB), and then suggested that finally ending up on Cartoon Network meant that they were now more readily available.
Even granting that some areas didn’t have full WB market penetration yet (as Chris described for his own situation), I have trouble believing that. Broadcast networks, being *free*, pretty much always beat cable networks for distribution many times over. While it’s true that The WB hadn’t yet reached certain specific markets by the time of STAS, can it really be the case that more people were paying for cable packages that included Cartoon Network than would have been able to watch The WB for free?
I suppose it’s possible, but I have trouble getting my mind around that as the reason for the apparent lack of nostalgia for STAS. That said, I’m not sure I have a better alternative.
I can see your point Mark, but CN was part of basic cable here, whereas WB shows were only run on WGN…when they wanted to. They were often pre-empted by ball games and the like, and WGN wasn’t in all the packages in this area either.
It was just an off the top of my head remark trying to explain it away. Probably not much to it beyond my locale.
The Andrea Romano homage presaged the announcement that she had retired. She deserves it! How many characters do we associate with the voices she specifically found?
I stopped watching Superman: The Animated Series fairly early on because of the incessant reruns during the first season, but I still have strong positive feelings toward it. I’ve caught some of the later episodes that were very good, and more warmly received that series than I did Batman:TAS, which I found too dry and mystery-oriented to compete with Superman’s rock ’em sock ’em replay value.
I’d never seen “A Fish Story,” but found it on Vimeo because of this podcast. I didn’t like it. I love Miguel Ferrer, but his voice just does not fit Aquaman the way it does John Jones. I love the Aquaman character design, but his personality here feels even more like Namor than the JLU hook hand version. Fatigue was surely an issue, but I honestly fell asleep several times during the lame story. Dana Delany’s Lois Lane was the only highlight, because I’m always here for S:TAS Lois Lane. She’s the Kevin Conroy of Lois Lanes.
All in all, I’m finding Brave and the Bold the most distinctive and appealing modern adaptation of Aquaman, and I’m increasingly relieved at the similarities seen in the Jason “Go Deep” Momoa interpretation. Hopefully he’ll be more thoughtful and sensitive in his solo movie, but I’ll take his surfer-bro enthusiasm over any more Aquaman commanding his armies to attack the surface dwellers.
When this episode of Superman TAS came out, I was over the moon excited. Thanks for covering it here, guys! This was fun! Any chance you’ll cover the reappearance of Aquaman in the Justice League animated series?