DC Animated Universe

"A Fish Story" is the ninth episode of the third season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 50th of the overall series. It depicts the first DCAU appearance of Aquaman. After a series of attacks by sea animals, Lois investigates Luthor's involvement. She soon discovers that Luthor has captured Aquaman and this incident has agitated all life of the sea. Aquaman warns Lois that if he isn't returned to the sea, worse things will come.


Superman fights Whale

Superman fends off a killer whale.

Lois, Jimmy, and Bibbo are enjoying a boat ride out at sea while Bibbo mentions stories of fish attacks. Lois doesn't believe the stories at first. However, Jimmy is soon attacked by a bunch of flying fish, his camera is attacked and destroyed by a sea turtle, and the ship is attacked by a couple of orcas. Jimmy activates his Signal watch and Superman arrives to save the ship. The whales prove to be too violent however and attack him. Superman is forced to knock them out to finally get them to halt their attack. He then manages to get the ship to shore.

Later, Lois speaks with a marine biologist at an aquarium. The animals in the aquarium are highly agitated and attack the people that they see. However, the biologist claims that there's a logical explanation for the attacks and leaves before Lois can ask more.

After seeing that Luthor is involved with the aquarium, Lois sneaks into the building and discovers the source of the troubles: Aquaman, kept prisoner by Luthor. However, Lois is soon discovered and captured as well. She and Aquaman are taken away and Aquaman tells her the story of his capture and reasons for coming. Weapons tests were being held near Atlantis and a war will soon be incited if the tests don't stop. The truck lurches to a stop in a garbage dump and they are going to be killed. Fortunately, Aquaman uses his power to communicate with sea animals to cause the seagulls to attack Luthor's men and free himself and Lois.

Shark rescues Lois

A shark brings Lois to safety.

The pair escapes on motorcycle and is closely pursued by Lex's men. To evade capture, Aquaman and Lois drive off a cliff into the ocean. A great white shark circles and pulls Lois under the water leaving Luthor's men to believe the job has been finished. Superman arrives and beats the thugs. He then finds Lois and Aquaman alive and well. Superman takes Lois out of the water and leaves Aquaman to finish his mission.

Later, Lois and Superman arrive on Luthor's ship and demand that the tests be stopped. Luthor refuses and orders his men to kill Aquaman. However, Aquaman proves to be more than a match for Luthor's men and with Superman's help he manages to defeat the divers. Realizing that he'll lose money if he doesn't act soon, Luthor orders the bombs to be detonated, but Aquaman stops him.

Superman talks to Aquaman

Superman tries to get Aquaman to make peace.

An Atlantean armada is summoned and Aquaman tells his men to fire. However, Superman arrives and tells him to stop. Aquaman argues that his people have suffered from pollution for too long, and the surface world must be punished. Superman warns that Aquaman will have to go through him, and he is incredulous. Superman says that there are surface dwellers who are working to stop pollution, and Aquaman decides to give them a chance. Unfortunately, the captain of Luthor's ship fires a harpoon at Aquaman and the Atlanteans attack. Once Luthor's ship is destroyed (Luthor himself and Mercy escaping at the last second), Aquaman commands his troops to stand down, then leaves with a warning that if further disrespect follows, there will be a war.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Rich Fogel has stated that when writing the episode, they looked to Marvel's Namor as inspiration.[1]
  • When Aquaman's armada opens fire at Luthor's ship, there's a full screen frame of a fire explosion, which is reused footage from "Where There's Smoke" when Volcana blasted Superman with a fire ball in the parking lot. Soon afterwards, there's another explosion that is reused footage from the gas canisters that Superman ignites in "The Way of All Flesh". Finally, when two crewmen jump overboard, there's another explosion that is reused footage from the explosion of Pa and Ma Kent's barn in "New Kids in Town".


  • The version of Aquaman that appears in this episode is physically based on the golden age Aquaman. His later appearances in Justice League / Justice League Unlimited is based on the third revamped version, which abandoned his traditional orange shirt and clean-cut appearance. He grew a beard and long hair, and after losing his left hand, he replaced it with a retractable harpoon.
  • Last appearance of Bibbo in the series. He later makes a cameo appearance in the Justice League episode "Hereafter".


Actor Role
Tim Daly Superman/Clark Kent
Dana Delany Lois Lane
David Kaufman Jimmy Olsen
Clancy Brown Lex Luthor
Brad Garrett Bibbo
Miguel Ferrer Aquaman
John Rubano Lexie #1
Billy West Lexie #2
Stuart Pankin Dr. Cardy


Lois: Are you nuts?! That was a great white!
Aquaman: Lucky he was passing by. I've got ten more circling us right now.
Lois: Hope they're not hungry.
Aquaman: Want me to ask them?

Lois: It sounds like your 'assets' are getting kicked.