Episode Three: Evil Under the Sea
This episode opens with Batman and Atom thwarting Felix Faust in his plot to open Pandora's box using a magic book. I really like that the episodes open at the tail end of an encounter. It's fun and it lets you get a double dose of heroes and villains each time.
It was a cute sequence, and it is nice to see that they are running with the current/modern versions of folks like Blue Beetle and Atom, but it left me with several questions. I really don't know if this is a case of the character being presented wrong, or just an example of my ignorance. I am betting on my ignorance as it rarely fails me.
Atom seemed to fly and be able to manipulate things much larger than him while he is shrunk to smaller than the eye can see. He opens some locks, looses some chains, 'levitates' a book, and later floats batman himself, etc. I certainly imagine that when you are subatomic you can of course move in any direction you wish, I have no issue with him moving around like that, I just don't think I have seen the character do some of the things shown in this segment before. I am not real familiar with the new Atom, but I couldn't find anything suggesting the power(s) we were shown. That being said, other than making me curious about that point, It didn't impact my enjoyment of that bit.
The main story of the episode has Batman teaming up with a bearded, orange and green suited Aquaman with two good hands. I have never followed Aquaman all that closely, but when I watched this, I didn't feel like I was watching aquaman, I felt like I was watching Marvel's Hercules. Aquaman was all happy and gung ho about adventure, and certainly more self obsessed than I have ever seen. I wonder again if I missed a chapter somewhere that he was portrayed like that, or if we are just seeing some minor 'character-lifts' to fit some characters into the tone of the show. I didn't care for the way aquaman was portrayed in this. He was a bit too much of a goof for me, and it seemed out of character.
I liked the episode a lot, however, and there is just one reason for that... Black Manta! I realized something about myself this morning, and that is, despite never having intentionally followed him, I sort of love Black Manta. As much as I hated Super-Friends when I was little(not that I didn't watch it, mind you) I think I always really liked at least the character design of Black Manta. He does not disappoint in this episode, and is badass and sneaky as ever. The other villain is Aquaman's half brother Orm who is mostly sniveling and back-stabbing while briefly putting an octopus on his head to be Ocean Master. Everything around Aquaman seems to be true to form, but the Aquaman just doesn't feel that way to me. It's still plenty worth watching.