Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Morning 1967- Aquaman

"And the award for most short-changed superhero goes to..."

I have always disliked how Ted Knight (Mary Tyler Moore's "Ted Baxter" and the dad on Too Close for Comfort as well as Filmation voice artist and narrator) said "Aquaman". I mean, this is English and aqua is a Latin word, and Latin is a dead language, but the way he says it just can't be right.

Ted always (without fail) pronounced it ACK-wuh-man. I have always felt that AH-KWUH-man was more correct. And Ted says "Aquaman" a LOT.

1967's Aquaman cartoons from Filmation are really pretty impressive. Filmation gives Aquaman a cool laboratory HQ and a large supporting cast-Mera, Aqualad, Storm the seahorse and even a goofy pet for Aqualad, Tusky the walrus. (I still wince every time Aquaman and Aqualad climb into that rocketship filled with water for an interplanetary voyage and they take Tusky! He's a mammal! It makes me feel a little pannicky, frankly.)

Kinda the Lone Ranger and Tonto of the seas.

Filmation even included a pretty large number of real Aquaman villains, making good use of Black Manta and even The Fisherman.

There were also the mandatory Filmation alien invasion stories , and a LOT of invasions by hostile undersea races. Frankly, I'd never realized the wild diversity of sentient ocean-dwellers.

Aquaman himself has a fairly on-model appearance, although Filmation felt he needed some big,black boots instead of his calf- fins. And his hair sure stays still for a guy who lives underwater:

I bet he uses AQUA-NET!!
Still, these cartoons are wonderful fun and they do a pretty good job of capturing the spirit of 1960's Aquaman comics.


  1. Say what you will about the cartoons themselves, but the closing theme kicks serious butt.

  2. Aaron: No doubt. "AH KWUA," is correct. Any other pronunciation makes you sound like George Bush saying "Nuclear."

    I loved these cartoons. They had the right spirit. -- Mykal

  3. Sorry, but without question it is ACKwa-Man. The AHhhhK variation has no superheroic punch at all. It makes him sound like an effete New Englander who is wine critic for the "New Yorker".

    Underwater heroes are so irresistable to create. Anyone spending a week at the beach can't help but wonder, as they splash about the waves, "Wouldn't it be COOL to swim as fast as a dolphin or faster? No choking or sputtering or floundering, but ZOOM under the water"

    But they never seemt to pay off. Underwater menaces always seem very forced. Trying to include Aquaman in the JLA stories always seems embarassingly awkward. Namor gets away with it to a degree because he can fly, making him truly "triphipian".

    Still, I was sorry to hear some hack writer-spineless editor killed him for cheap melodrama.