Super Friends Season 2, Episode 9, Storyline C – “The Water Beast”
Original Airdate – October 29, 1977
Short Synopsis: Ugh. It has the word “water” in the title. It’s Aquaman’s time to “shine,” I guess.
“The mid-Atlantic, where freighters peacefully navigate the ocean, unaware that lurking many fathoms below, is the command ship of the master undersea menace – Manta” – Narrator
*Behind the scene tidbit: I’ve been sitting here for an hour and only gotten 7 or 8 seconds into the story because there’s a part of me that tries to reject the Super Friends like a body rejects an organ.*
Manta says that soon he will rule the oceans of the world and then demands that they “activate the water beast.” Like in the title!
Manta orders Water Beast to seize the freighters. I think he looks kind of cute, like when someone wins too many Grammys for them to hold.
The third freighter got away by using maneuvers only an animated ship could accomplish. Manta is disappointed and believes he can reach his goals with the help of his “arch foe,” Aquaman. This prompted me to look up if this may be the first comic book canon villain that I’ve noticed and it isn’t exactly but I guess kind of is. So the first one they go for is an Aquaman villain? Ok. I guess.
Later, at the Hall of Justice
Jayna mentions that it sounds like one of Zan’s powers “gone wacko.” And just in that moment, I realized that both Zan and Aquaman’s powers are water-related and that perhaps it’s the water that makes people seem so lame. I mean I knew it, but wasn’t really conscious of it. Oh dear God I’ve been watching way too much Super Friends.
Again, I must ask.
IF ZAN DOESN’T HAVE TO BE WATER IN A BUCKET FOR JAYNA TO CARRY THEM AROUND THEN WHY DOES HE DO IT 99% OF THE TIME!?
Why don’t they just do this all the time? I just had to get that off of my chest.
Superman isn’t clear on how Water Beasts work.
I mean, I guess it’s fair – he’s never dealt with a water beast before – nobody really knows the anatomical intricacies of a water beast. But, if it’s truly a beast made of water, then trying to punch it just really isn’t going to work.
He then has the clever idea of boiling the water beast with his heat ray, but then is surprised when the Water Beast reforms itself. So, Superman is now stuck trying to figure out how to kill a bunch of water, which was Manta’s plan in the first place because now he has Aquaman all to himself.
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You’re gonna do what, now?
Ok this is when things get a little silly. I can barely follow it, so I’m just going to transcribe what Manta tells Aquaman.
“That special cage you’re in will electronically duplicate your superpowers on computer tape, which I will transfer to my water beast, making HIM invincible. Nothing will stop him!”
Manta, you had me until you called the Super Friends and told them where you would be attacking next.
Classic rookie mistake. I mean I know the point is to challenge them to defeat your newly “invincible water beast,” but still, you obviously have some other lofty goal – stick with that, don’t get sidetracked.
And while we’re on the subject, IS Aquaman invincible? It is my understanding that he can talk to fish, can hold his breath a long time, and is maybe stronger than average, but I don’t think he’s invincible. Superman is about as close as you’ll get, and he ain’t no Superman. What’s that, you say? You’re an animated character from the 1970s and can’t help me with that question? Very well.
Meanwhile at Labows Island…
Labows Island is where the water beast is going to attack. Yes, I’m guessing at the name.
The water beast is successful in not-losing to the Super Friends, who give up on stopping him and focus on evacuating the locals, which they could have done ahead of time if they ever planned anything at all.
“You’ve proved your point, Manta, what are your demands?” – Wonder Woman
Seriously? That’s it? Ok, then.
“As ruler of the seas, I forbid any ship to leave port without my permission, and without paying a heavy tribute. Violators will be severely punished by my Water Beast. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” – Manta
Batman has a “plan.”
Something about getting a captain to violate Manta’s rules so that Manta sends the Water Beast but the beast is in for a surprise because some of the Super Friends are hiding in a waterproof crate?
Something about being smuggled to Manta’s secret lair. Or something.
WHAT THE HELL
“While the super freighter heads for the open sea, thousands of miles away, Superman and Wonder Woman are doing aerial acrobatics to raise money for charity.” – Narrator
“I hope Batman’s plan works!” – Wonder Woman
“Until it does, we have to be seen here, so Manta won’t suspect a trap!” – Superman
What I assume was said earlier:
Superman: Uh, yeah, uh, we’d love to help save the seas and our friend Aquaman, but, um, you know..we have that thing…
Wonder Woman: Ohhhhh, yeahhh, that charity thing. Yeahhhh, we can’t get out of that. Sorry.
And how is Batman’s plan going?
They somehow get loose (it involves a batgadget) and then Zan turns into steam and Jayna a mosquito and find Aquaman but then they get trapped in a can at the bottom of the sea and then the pressure starts to crush the can..
They’re saved by some jellyfish because Aquaman used his powers which I thought he either didn’t have anymore or was being blocked. I have a feeling this isn’t going to be addressed. And then the plan completely fails and they all regroup at Headquarters because Super Friends hates me and this story line just won’t end.
All the food except for a few carrot sticks has been eaten and there’s one lonely drunk girl on the dance floor, I think it’s time to wrap this party up.
The Super Friends do something smart and consult with a scientist who analyzed the water beast and they all decide splitting the water beast in to smaller units is a good idea even though he lives in the ocean which is a bottomless supply of water and you know what fuck it let’s just go with it…
Sorry, one more little nitpick – the water beast is headed for New York, which the Super Friends have known for quite a while. Did they evacuate the city? I think we all know the answer.
Ok, back to just letting the plan happen…
Batman and Robin vacuum up the water beast into separate containers. The day is saved!
Holy Fucking Shit Zan is Useful.
I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever thought this day would come. And, while it is a stupid convoluted plan, within the framework of that plan….Zan actually did something only he could contribute:
He became the water beast, luring Manta to the surface and into the hands of the authorities.
I can’t take anymore. A long insane story that ends in Zan saving the day? It’s too much for me to handle. Next week he’ll be back turning into ice bridges to save a teenager from popping a pimple and all will be right in the world but until then it’s a confusing, sad place to live.
If you would like to see these shenanigans for yourself, Season 2 is available on DVD.
- Super Friends Season 2, Episode 8, Storyline A – “The Invisible Menace”
- Super Friends Season 2, Episode 9 – “Attack of the Giant Squid”
- Super Friends Season 2, Episode 7, Storyline C – “Will Earth Collide”
- Super Friends Season 2, Episode 8 – “Coming of the Anthropods”
- Super Friends Season 2, Episode 9 – “Game of Chicken”