SPIFFY DISCLAIMER THINGIE!

Ah'm not sure exactly who the character belongs to, save that he isn't mine:):) He was conceived by the staff of Wizard Magazine in July, 1997 for an article entitled "Amalgamania: The Top Ten Amalgams 'Wizard' Wants To See!" He caught moi's eye immediately, and Ah kept this story possibility in the back of moi's mind ever since! Hope ya'll like him, too:):)

This is a fanfic for entertainment purposes only! No copyright infringement is intended for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, OR Wizard Magazine, so don't sue moi:):)

Rated PG-13 for a bit of violence and bad temper on Supermanta's part and maybe a naughty word or two in Japanese:):) Hee!

It should be obvious, but Supermanta is an amalgam of DC's Superman and Marvel's Namor, the Submariner! Special thanks to the Wizard staff who conceived him, and to Rachel Erhlich for tinkering with the outstanding illo of Supermanta! Thanks, Rachel, Sugah:):)

And now, on with the story!

The Coming Of ... Supermanta!

An Amalgamated Tale by Dannell Lites

Captain Hiro Fugimoto made a wry, disgusted face and breathed out heavily through his nose in irritation. "Not you *too*, Kenjiro-Sama!" he exclaimed in a barking voice, perhaps a bit harsher than he'd intended at first. First Mate Kenjiro Yamahara was a fine sailor and a worthy son of Nippon. No need to be so thoughtless, Fugimoto chastised himself.

Kenjiro assumed an attitude of proper respect for his Captain, and bowed quickly; perhaps a bit lower than was absolutely necessary under the circumstances, Hiro decided, embarrassed.

"With respect, Captain-San," Kenjiro pointed out in an apologetic voice, "I only remind the honorable Captain of the nervous state of the crew. Three whaling vessels have disappeared in this area within the last month. They say a demon haunts these frigid waters. A most powerful water spirit."

With an effort, the Captain forced himself to smile. "Nonsense, Kenjiro!" he chuckled heartily. "Superstitious claptrap! Surely you do not believe it any more than I!"

Kenjiro looked away, unwilling to face his Captain just then. He studied his feet, clad snugly in weather proof boots. "Hiro, my old friend," he addressed the other man, "I do not know what to believe. We were sent to investigate this 'demon', were we not? The last transmission from the Hokkaido-Maru speaks of a "a great wind' and a 'terrible force rising from the depths of the sea'...and all the witnesses agree. Whatever this thing is, demon, man, or...something else...it is mighty, possessing abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Beyond even the power of we poor mortals to describe." Reflexively, as if to protect himself from a sudden bitter cold invading the warmth of the bridge he stood upon, he pulled the hood of his heated all weather parka closer about his flushed face.

"That's why I'm here," declared Dr. Reicho Namasara, late of the Osaka Institute for Advanced Oceanographic Studies. "To see this thing for myself, and perhaps help you deal with it. Did you know that your men have given this 'demon' a name? They've begun to call it 'Supermanta'." The diminutive scientist smiled, bowing in greeting to his two hosts.

Captain Fugimoto sniffed hot derision. "Your pardon, learned sir, but I have been sailing these waters for more than twenty-five years! I have no need of a nursemaid!"

The scientist understood the sailor's ire, but still could not help being put off by his verbal jab. "Truly, Fugimoto-San," he returned dryly, "you are lucky the Son of Heaven did not call upon Sunfire and the Big Hero Six to assist you! Or perhaps the Imperial Bodyguard, Rising Sun, himself. Nippon is surprisingly dependent upon the bounty of the sea for her continued survival. Anything that adversely affects the Japanese fishing or whaling fleet is a serious matter." Fugimoto's sharp gesture of dismissal was almost rude in its abruptness.

Sighing, Dr. Namasara shook his head. He opened his mouth to speak, but he was interrupted by the harsh cry of the lookout on deck.

"Whale!" the cry went up. "Whale off the port bow!"

Abandoning Doctor Namasara, the two sailors clambered out onto the deck. The biting subzero Antarctic winds of the Weddell Sea lashed them unmercifully as they both raised powerful binoculars to their eyes, aimed off the port bow.

"A humpback!" the Captain rejoiced, at the sight that filled his eyes. "Scarce these days! And a *big* one, at that. Seventy tons at least!"

The first mate nodded happily. Turning, Kenjiro barked orders at the scurrying crew. "Hard a port!" he shouted over the howling wind. "Man the harpoon guns!"

Like the well-oiled cogs of a smoothly operating machine, the crew of the Shinobi-Maru leapt into action, lulled by the succor of long practice. The Captain watched with considerable pride as his gunners tracked the huge, fleeing marine mammal sliding swiftly through the ocean's dark waters. A great spray arose in the creature's wake, water forced from the whale's body out through the anterior blowhole.

"Thar she blows!" cried a mirthful Kenjiro, in a terrible impression of a New England American accent he'd picked up during his student days at the University of Massachusetts. Beneath his breath, the Captain gnashed his teeth, cursing in foul Japanese.

"Watch out!" he warned. "She's going to sound! Quick! Before she dives! Fire! Fire!"

Obediently, his gunners took careful aim, then released the pneumatically powered tungsten steel harpoons at their fleeing target. The Captain gripped his binoculars tightly enough that his knuckles turned white with the effort. Yes! Already he could tell that the deadly projectiles were right on target. A solid hit, it would be, lodging deep within the whale's blubber-coated body. He waved at the forward harpooner in triumph.

"Captain, look!" Kenjiro cried suddenly, the fear in his voice rising, pointing out to sea with a trembling finger.

The surface of the sea boiled like a heated cauldron, roiling and frothing in great agitation like cooking soup stirred by a giant hand. With a mighty rush of sound, a huge waterspout blasted high into the air, sucked into this alien element by the sheer force and speed of the being at its apex. All eyes turned to the skies, just in time to see the harpoons shatter themselves into small pieces against...something...then fall harmlessly into the sea.

"Look! Up in the sky!" shouted one crewman, pointing at a hovering figure.

"It's a *bird*!" scoffed another, shading his eyes against the sun's refection off the silvery waters.

"It's a plane!" corrected yet another nearby crewman, who could see clearly that the figure was larger than a bird.

"It's...Supermanta!" howled a fourth, in great fear. "Aieeee! Amaterasu, save us!"

With a merry salute of her flukes in thanks and gratitude, the great cetacean, one of the last humpback whales in these waters, swam serenely away, unmolested, both she and her unborn calf safe.

For the moment.

Part 2