Friday, January 27, 2012

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Manta & Moray (1978)

Once again, we reach into the anthology series, Tarzan & the Super 7, this time to spotlight one of two married couples on the show, Manta & Moray.

Moray (Joan Van Ark, later of Knots Landing) was a human raised by dolphins after her parents were lost at sea. Manta was of an amphibian race, and couldn't stay out of the water for a certain length of time, otherwise he would risk death. If that sounds familiar, well, that same weakness was associated with Aquaman for many years, and part of the reason this series won't be on DVD anytime soon may be because of the prospect of litigation from DC/Warner Bros. over intellectual property rights. Of course, that same season, NBC & Hanna-Barbera introduced Jana of the Jungle, who also had lost her father in an accident. Get the picture?

Andre Waynoo uploaded the episode, "The Waters of Doom":

Classic Media now owns Manta & Moray, having acquired the bulk of the Filmation library, but if they wanted to revive the characters, some changes to their origins would be required.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I remember Manta & Moray but for somereason blanked out on them being married. Being a kid, I figured they were just good friends!

Looking back, this toon really stretched the band of credibility even by 70s standards! The fact the Manta was a "missing link" sort of creature was easy enough to buy, but Moray being raised by dolphins too? Oh no!!

Not to mention how much time Moray spent in the water should have led to hypothermia!

The ep itself wasn't bad but geez! It really played it on thick the "smoking is bad" message didn't it? Reminded me of all those people who purposely cough whenever a smoker happens to stroll by just to vent their displeasure!!

IMO, the litigation threat is nonsense. HB couldn't use Black Lightning, so they created Black Vulcan for SF. Birdman can be seen as an expy of sorts for Hawkman. There are only so many super powers out there and sooner or later heroes are going to have similar ones no matter which comic stable they belong to.

If they rebooted the premise, I can see Manta remaining as one of the last of his kind who meets and befriends Moray - a free diver and marine biologist.

BTW - I don't think the subtitles are Spanish. They look Portugese to me.

hobbyfan said...

There were certain limitations on how deep underwater Moray could go, as I understand. The wedding had to have been before the series started, IIRC.