Super Friends Season 2, Episode 12, Storyline D – “The Day of the Rats”
Original Airdate – November 19, 1977
Introduction: “Gotham City, where at this moment a truck, carrying exotic electronic equipment, is about to cause a disaster of unimaginable proportions.” – Narrator
Exotic electronic equipment? So, like, vibrators? This is a kids show!
The truck swerves, a crate falls out, bounces on the road, breaks apart, then the contents: some sort of contraption with a red beeping light at the top, perfectly falls through a manhole and lands in the sewer.
Sewer rats approach the blinking red light, and then their eyes turn red, and then they start running around the city attacking people.
Ok, you all, this episode is actually disturbing. Why? Because mad, frenzied, hungry packs of rats are genuinely frightening. Especially when all the rats are the size of small dogs and want to make a phone call (probably to call more rats).
Later, at the Hall of Justice
“Thousands of rats are swarming all over the city, something’s working them into a frenzy,” says the official looking man on the monitor.
“Holy Swiss cheese, Batman!” And a million flesh hungry rats roll their eyes.
This week, Black Vulcan is on the case along with Batman and Robin. This is an upgrade considering he was stuck with Aquaman during his last appearance.
Also, last time I thought his name was Black Falcon, so I apologize to Mr. Vulcan for getting his name wrong.
All these rats are probably under the age of twelve so I bet they paid child prices.
As Batman and Robin approach in their helicopter, they see a swarm of rats rushing into see a movie.
Well, duh. Big Buck$ staring Homer Ambro was only the biggest blockbuster of 1977, of course the frenzied rats would want to see it. Remember that scene when Homer Ambro is all, “I may have big bucks, but that doesn’t mean I have a small heart,” and then he flips that quarter to that kid with the terrible cough living in a dumpster? But it’s really a quarter that’s worth a ton of money to collectors, which is nice and all, but you’re kind of like, “why don’t you just give the kid a lot of actual money or take him to the hospital?” I’m not sure why this movie was so popular now that I think of it.
Anyway, the rats didn’t seem very impressed with the film, so they decide to attack all the other patrons. Well, that patrons in the balcony, specifically.
Batman and Robin try to grappling hook their way to the balcony, but oh no! The rats are chewing the cables!
This leaves Robin perilously hanging from the balcony, and right before he plummets to his death and is eaten by rats, Batman swoops in and saves him.
Black VULCAN then throws a lightning bolt at the rats and wrangles them into a “lightning fence,” keeping them from the balcony people. And then he’s all, “now we have to find out what’s causing the rats to go berserk,” as if he’s corralled all of them. NO YOU DIDN’T, Black Vulcan,
There are at most 35 rats right there. I believe the number was “thousands.” So, either nobody in the Super Friends universe knows how to count, or, no, that’s probably it.
Let’s Solve a Rat Mystery!
“According to the Bat Computer read out, a high pitched electronic sound wave is disturbing the rats.”
If it’s that easy, why didn’t they just split up and have one of them working on the cause? Oh, there I go, backseat superheroing again.
Robin notices that a newspaper has a headline related to this issue:
You can always count on the Daily Banner for the hard-hitting, detailed, important news in Gotham City.
“Later, at the New 200 Story Gotham Hotel” – Narrator
They even sprung for a sign:
Boy are they going to be kicking themselves when the next 200 story hotel gets built.
A swarm of rats show up. Ok, so they didn’t assume they got them all? It’s almost like there wasn’t much thought put into any of this.
Black Vulcan is off to rush through the sewers to find the exotic electronic device, and Batman and Robin race to the hotel, where it’s reported that the rats are making their way to the ballroom.
At this point, I’m getting sad that the rats aren’t going to win.
At the ballroom, they chase a bunch of well dressed people into the elevator, where the elevator then overloads, and Batman and Robin stop it from crashing to the ground with their bat accessories.
Back at the sewer
Black Vulcan has found the electronic device.
He then throws a couple of bolts and shorts out the device, returning all the rats to their normal, still terrifying selves.
This is a very 1970s message about how to properly get a base tan so you don’t burn on your first attempt in the sun. Aquaman tells us to slowly build our sun exposure as we build a nice tan. We may even need to use sunscreen those first couple of times.
If you would like to see these shenanigans for yourself, Season 2 is available on DVD.