Episode 34


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First of all, great show as always guys.

I know that you are both itching to have a HBO type series starring The Batman. So have either of you considered writing it yourselves and shopping it around to see if anyone wants to produce it? After all if you want something written right, write it yourselves. Believe me, if I was a producer, I would hire you guys. But since I'm not, I would help in any way I can (editing scripts, technical crew, all around go-fer) if you guys were ever to someday write and get this bad boy produced.

Thanks D.W. for finally addressing the Aquaman's powers issue. To add to the Wiki quote, here is what DC has to say about Aquaman's powers. This is taken from The DC Comics Encycolpedia, which was published in a collaboration between DC Comics and Dorling Kindersley (DK) Limited.

Aquaman's special powers/abilities:

  • Can breathe underwater
  • Communicate with sea life
  • Can swim 100 m.p.h underwater
  • Possesses enhanced strenght and toughness as well as limited sonar abilities
  • (This entry is for the current Aquaman as of 2004) Left hand is made of enchanted water and possesses healing powers as well as other magical abilities

Now to the question of whether or not Aquaman can or cannot communicate with sea birds. For that I turn to Showcase Presents: Aquaman, Volumes 1 and 2. In issue #294 of Detective Comics published August 1961, there is a story entitled: The Fantastic Fish That Defeated Aquaman. In said story, we see the return of a guy named Harry Black, who has built mechanical sea creatures to combat Aquaman's organic sea creature friends. As part of his plan to defeat Harry Black, Aquman summons a flock of Albatrosses (much to Aqualad's confusion). Needless to say, Aquaman saves the day, Harry Black is delivered to the Coast Guard by Aqualad, and all is right with the world again.

In Detective Comics #299 published in January of 1962, there is another Aquaman adventure called Aquaman's Secret Teacher. The story kicks off with Aquaman having his octopus pals throw packets that have fallen overboard to a flock of sea gulls, who return to packets to the ship (The packets contained serums to cure an epidemic).

In Aquaman #4 published July/August 1962, the adventure is called The Menace of Alien Island. In it, Aquaman and Aqualad manage to find themselves at the bottom of a deep pit. To get out, Aquaman summons a flock of seagulls lift them out using a chain, which was given to the gulls by some eels and fish.

There are more instances of sea birds in the following:

  • World's Finest Comics #127 (August 1962)- Gulls drop Thorny Burrfish on bad guys.
  • World's Finest Comics #128 (Stepember 1962)- Gulls drop net on bad guys.
  • Aquaman #8 (March/April 1963)- Sea eagles help Aquaman rescue fish from lakes that are drying up.
  • World's Finest Comics #137 (November 1963)- Aquaman "surfs" on the backs of sea eagles after his powers have been severely weakened.
  • The Brave and The Bold #51 (December 1963/January 1964)- This one is debatable. In it Aquman teams up with Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Since Hawkman and Hawkgirl can speak the language of the birds, it is plausible that it is they who do the summoning and not Aquaman. As for me, I am still on the fence.

So yes, Aquaman can communicate with all manner of sea life (fish, fowl, or mammal).

I hope that clears up any question of Aquaman's abilities.

This last few entries are shorter, because I have gone on too long and my fingers are tired. Not that I am lazy or anything. ;)

Until next time,

Erin B.

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Thanks for the confidence, Erin, but we couldn't get a new Batman cartoon off the ground. To work on an icon such as Batman, you'd have to be firmly established in the entertainment industry before Warner Bros. would ever let you in the door.

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That does not mean that you cannot still write, if only for your own entertainment. That way when you are established in the Warner Bros. community, you can dust it off and say "Here look at this script". As "Grammy Flash" used to say "Always have an ace up your sleeve." Never doubt "Grammy Flash".

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I know how you feel, James. It was lessons like computers crashing and data being lost that got me in the habit of backing up my system on an external hard drive (a piece of equipment that I believe no computer user should be without). But there is a silver lining. If you remember what the basic plot is, just start writing it again. Maybe the new version will turn out better than the original that you had been working on. That has been my experience anyway.

Okay, this is going to sound a little weird. I was re-watching Superman's Pal last night and when Superman gave Jimmy in the watch, it reminded me a little bit of Lassie. For those who remember, the famous gag of Lassie is "Timmy's in the well." Well the watch, like Lassie, lets Superman know that "Jimmy's in the well". It is weird I know, but that was the vibe I got.

I absolutely love The Demon Within. It is probably in one of my top ten of overall episodes in the DCAU, but then again I like the episodes that involve the magic users like Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Jason Blood/Etrigan, etc. I am still trying to find out how Superman knew Dr. Fate from before The Hand of Fate. At least with Batman's acquaintance with Zatanna and Jason Blood is explained enough to keep the story moving. The only explanation I can see is that Superman and Dr. Fate met in one of the Superman Adventures comics that DC was publishing as the show was being produced. Unless of course there is so lost episode of Superman: The Animated Series that never got aired and is at this moment sitting in the vault of Warner Bros. waiting for the the day where it will see the light of day again.

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I have one long point, so I thought I'd post rather than e-mail.

James, if you think you're back at school too early, let me just say - I've been going nuts doing school physicals, because in Hawaii (we only have one statewide school district) - school started last week. July 30, to be exact. Oy. Vey.

DW's power list for Aquaman was interesting. When I was listening to the episode, I was wondering - if he can control shorebirds, can he also control people who go to the beach a lot? Apparently so.

Mike, James, about your Batman HBO series - don't lose this episode. Keep the part of yourselves laughing at the Barbara cares for Dick joke, and use that in a demo tape for the Joker.

Incidentally, Connor in Old Wounds was in his 2nd of 3 DC appearances. Ian Buchanen had played a criminal named Stan Kovacs on "The Flash" live series ("Honor Among Thieves") and went on to voice the Ultrahumanite on JL.

Alright, here's the biggie. I'll start off with an executive summary - Stop complaining about the stupid black hole thing already!

First, it was a small black hole - 3-10 stellar masses. How do I know? Watch the probe Superman launches. See how it gets stretched out further and further? That process is called "spaghettification" (no, I am not making this up). Tidal forces pull objects into long strings (For a good description of tidal forces, read Larry Niven's short story "Neutron Star". Then, go read his short story "Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex" for a description of the mating problems of Earth-bound Kryptonians). In small black holes, this takes place outside the event horizon; in more massive ones, it takes place inside the event horizon.

What is the event horizon? That is the point at which nothing can escape from a black hole, and if Supes had pulled the ship out from there, I would have called foul. But, light doesn't get out of there either, so we wouldn't have seen anything. Given that we saw what was happening, and that the ship was not being turned into spaghetti by a demonstrated small black hole, the ship must have been a ways out from the hole when Superman intervened.

Yes, the ship was in the gravity well. We're in Earth's gravity well right now (If any readers are on other planets, Hi! Hope you like the podcast! Sorry for all of the Earth lingo involved.) We're in the Sun's gravity well right now. These are readily escapable. The gravity well of a black hole is no different, and the further away you are, the less the force of gravity is, and the less force you have to apply to overcome it. The significance of this scene is to show that he can move something the size of the spaceship - the fact that it's in the gravity well of a black hole is less significant. As to Jax-Ur's panicked "We're trapped in the gravity well" - evidently, he's not one of those military folks who are also well versed in science. Samantha Carter, he ain't.

As to the helicopters - some of that may have been juggling - you've got the fall, 2 vectors from the rotors, don't hit a building, don't let them crash, and don't jostle the people inside to much. It's not the brute force that was tricky but the precision of application needed. The other factor is time - in space, you have time to apply a smaller force over more time to get the effect you want. Superman had to effect the change in velocity in very short time, requiring larger force. I'm not saying that Superman's powers AREN'T all over the place - he and Flash seem to be most affected by this. I'm just saying that you can read too much into the whole black hole thing - the ship was NOT stuck in a black hole, it was slowly falling towards it, and that's not as significant as certain characters (Jax-Ur) thought. Of course, as they got closer to the event horizon, JaxUr and Mala did undergo spaghettification. The science of that black hole scene was actually spot on, and someone like Superman would have been able to apply force to a spaceship that was affected by gravity, but not yet in the event horizon, and push it out.


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Guest GL_Nerd1337

I must say one thing about fish story. . .there were some terrible puns in it. "Something's fishy around here and it's not Aquaman" Alch! Blech! *Insert Disgusted Noise Here* :zzz:

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  • 3 years later...

I truely hated how Aquaman controled seagulls. By now mean should he control birds. I felt that was one of the lamest things to do with that episode. However I must say that I prefer the old school/Super Friends Aquaman costume versus his Justice League: Unlimited costume. I especially despise the hook. Dumb.

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If I wasn't such an Aquaman fan I'd really hate that explanation. I'd much rather it was some mystical sea connection than the DNA BS. Unfortunatly (having read every Aquaman book since '93) I think you're right.

The hook was just part of an era of trying to make Aquaman not a punchline. He was legit badass for a long long time but somehow it still failed because all comedy writers grew up in the 70's and 80's and they're much more influential than the comics. Johns is taking another run at it now and he might succeed, his version is pretty stellar.




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