The Adventures Of Aquaman – The Complete Collection (1966/Warner/DC Comics/DVD-Video)
Picture: C+ Sound: C Extras: C+ Episodes: B-
huge success with the animated Superman
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) launching their company, Filmation decided to
take on other DC Comics heroes and the choice of Aquaman was a fateful
one. At the time, he was one of their
lesser-known characters, but his comics were not bad and his participation in
the Justice League Of America series
gave it a certain chemistry and believability that made that comic a
classic. The Adventures Of Aquaman – The Complete Collection arrives on DVD
and includes all the animated short adventures that put the ocean crusader on
and charming as ever down to the theme song and “serious” voice-overs by the
great Ted Knight, the show had the guts to include darker villains like Black
Manta and regular characters like Mera and Aqualad. Even when they added Tusky The Walrus as an
animal mascot, he never became annoying, obnoxious, over-sentimentalized or
childish. It is just the tip of how the
writers respected the audience of all ages and the first-class treatment
Filmation was doing their best to give the whole DC Universe they licensed.
stories are short, they never have time to wear thin, so even when the ideas
are not always the most intriguing, they still work because there is enough
action fit into the segments that they never become boring. Yes, the animation is simple as all TV
production animation had limited budgets, but the art and use of color made up
for that and audiences were more than happy to accept a simple art approach
that looked like the actual comics come to life. Now that too many comics have gutted color
and have often lost their intelligence, heart, soul and charm, the shows take
on a whole new value showing the character in peak classical form.
X 1 image varies little throughout the 36 adventures and Filmation had these
processed in Technicolor, which often shows.
That vibrant color sold these, helping them to become the huge hit they
were and still are. Unfortunately, the
Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono can be restrictive, compressed, even warped at times and
sound more aged than it has in TV broadcasts.
However, the picture helps offset that problem. The only extra is the featurette Aquaman: The Sovereign Of The Seas,
which covers the long history of the character in great detail from his early
start as a semi-developed character, to the most underrated of all the known
major DC heroes.
time, Ideal issued a female action figure series called Super Queens that
included Mera and is one of the most valuable DC tie-in figures on the market,
if you can find her. Some memorabilia of
the time also included Aquaman, but this show in reruns combined with Aquaman
on Superfriends gave the hero a
permanent place in the Superhero culture, along with propelling sales of the
Mego Toys action figures (including Aqualad in 1976) as some of the most
sought-after on the market. See these
shows and you’ll start to understand why.
- Nicholas Sheffo