An addendum to A Really Red Alert: The canning has been accomplished. 125 jars of delicious tomato goodness stored for the winter. We still had 14 from the last cycle, so looks like this will be a bumper pizza sauce year. Yeah!

Saturday morning cartoons! Ah, the good ol’ days of School House Rock and Sid and Marty Croft. Every time something gets re-released on DVD from the 70’s era of television, I get a warm feeling inside. A whole bunch of stuff has been put out over the last year, which it’s been hard to keep up with on Netflix. Some shows, like the Planet of the Apes cartoon or Scooby Doo* hold up pretty well. Others, such as the Flash Gordon** cartoon or Star Trek: The Animated Series***, not so much. The Mighty Isis show has just been released on DVD, and I can’t wait to see it. That show had to have about the coolest rhymes ever!

Basically, this archaeologist named Andrea goes exploring in an ancient pyramid and finds a magic amulet that when worn, allows her to change into the Mighty Isis when she says the words, “Oh Mighty Isis!” It’s a hoot, because her voice enters the echo chamber while spooky mist and sped up cloud footage goes everywhere. Never mind the Egyptian board of antiquities, that loot gets smuggled back home on the plane, because its finder’s keepers.

Andrea has a pet raven called “Tut”, and a host of bumbling sidekicks and always-getting-into-trouble students who need to learn the lesson of the week. Tut is smarter than any of the humans on the show, and Andrea understands whatever he says, though we the audience only hear “caw-caw!”. Nobody ever suspects she is the Mighty Isis, because of course Andrea wears glasses while Mighty Isis wears this sexy Egyptian mini-dress and high heeled knee boots and the sweet amulet of Goddess power on her forehead. Things like facial features or voice mean absolutely nothing, although to be fair Isis speaks with the power of authoritative command while Andrea is the typical Clark Kent wallflower. Don’t think too hard, it’s the way this alternate reality works. You’ll survive your Quantum Leaps better if you just go with it.

Episode spoiler follows.

At some point, bad guys come onto the scene, or the kids/sidekicks try to do something really stupid and dangerous. For example, there’s an episode where a teenager goes out on her uncle’s boat, even though the old guy has explicitly told her the engine needs to be repaired, or some such foreshadowing. The teenager doesn’t bother to do the local weather report, so of course she has no clue a major tropical storm is on the way. She goes off to have a joy ride in a boat all by herself, to prove how cool she is, because that’s what all well-adjusted teenagers do for fun in 70’s sunny California. She promptly gets jacked.

This episode was notable because of the special guest Captain Marvel, also known as SHAZAM. Mighty Isis was originally a guest on his show, but she proved so awesome that she got her own program. And then his show got cancelled, so he had to show up on her program as a guest star! What a world, what a world.

So, here’s how Mighty Isis’s powers work. She has complete command over all the elements; she just has to tell them what to do by busting out a phat rhyme. If she wants to fly, she says, “Oh mighty winds, that blow on high, lift me up so I can fly.” That’s her bonus rhyme. She can only do one rhyme at a time, which proves important in this episode.

The sidekicks can’t find the teenager for whatever reason, like she was late for the study break or something, so Andrea sends out Tut to look for her. Being a sharp bird, he finds the poor fool immediately, and Mighty Isis does her trippy transformation and flies over. Meanwhile, theteenager is totally panicking, because the engine blew up, the boat’s taking on water, the radio doesn’t work, and the storm is looking pretty scary as it comes in. You know its bad news, because the “people in trouble” music is playing.

Mighty Isis flies in, and sees the storm is looking pretty bad, so she busts out her rhyme: “Oh mighty winds now listen to me, hold back the waves, and calm the sea.”**** The storm is temporarily stopped, but the teenager is still on an express elevator to Davy Jone’s Locker, so Isis sends Tut to get some help, ta-ta! Captain Marvel! Luckily, he also understands raven-ese, and flies to her aid, and tows the boat back to safety using his super-strength.

Whoa, watch out, the double moralizing from both Mighty Isis and Captain Marvel! Teenager has learned her lesson, sidekicks tell her how much they love her. All is right with the world. No episode is complete, however, without the sidekicks noting how “Andrea missed all the fun.” Mr. Dumb-blockhead sidekick #1 says, “You know Isis, I’m beginning to think Andrea is afraid of you.” I forget what her comeback was, but I’m sure it was witty and kind.

Ahh, the late seventies, women’s lib era of superheroines. The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, and Mighty Isis. Lots of strong, independent, and effective women characters on television. Good times.

* The era after the goofy guest star formula like Batman and Robin or the Harlem Globetrotters, but before Scrappy Doo.
** The master of using the same footage over and over again. Need to kill an easy 30 seconds? Cue the long slow entry into Ming’s throne room.  Again.
*** Except for the “Yesteryear” episode and “More Trouble With Tribbles”, which every trekkie knows is authentic, bow down I am not worthy Trek lore.
**** Don’t hold me to this, it’s been 30 plus years since I heard this one.