The Baffles Puzzle was the second episode of season 1. It introduced the recurring character of Colonel Wilcox, who was voiced by John Stephenson. This episode reveals that Wonder Dog is half-bloodhound, although what his other half is is left unrevealed. We also see the library that Wendy Harris works at, which is the Nal Library.
An interesting thing about this episode, was that it was one of the few episodes from season 1 that featured antagonists that were actually bad guys. The villains were Dabney, Darby and the Armored truck robbers. The twist was, that the so-called primary antagonist of this episode, who was Professor Baffles, wasn't really a bad guy, he was just being used by Dabney and Darby.
Another interesting thing to note about this episode, is the blink and miss cameo by Muhammad Ali. He's seen on a boxing poster in the background. Muhammad Ali would later go on to appear in an actual DC comic book, where he is seen boxing against Superman. All this happens in All-New Collectors Edition # C-56 (April 1978).
Another first appearance for the Super Friends series, is Kryptonite, which is shown in this episode. However it should be noted that Kryptonite was seen a number of times prior to this in the Filmation shows, however this was the first time for Super Friends. Interestingly, the episode The Menace of the White Dwarf, which airs later, makes it seem like Marvin White and Wendy Harris are unfamiliar with Kryptonite, implying the events of this episode might take place after The Menace of the White Dwarf, despite airing first.
The overall moral of the episode was that the human race as a society must learn from their history in order to build a better future for themselves. The idea that Professor Baffles had was that history was a bad thing, and it only served to corrupt mankind due to looking back at their mistakes of the past, which was why historical items were being stolen. This was one of many episodes to have an educational theme by use of a moral, and it was up to the Super Friends to teach that moral to the antagonist.
Marvin is studying and wanting helping the captured American scientists, Batman encourages him to go to the library where Wendy is working. So he and Wonder Doggo to the library to lend a hand and do some research. At there, Wonder Dog goes into a sneezing fit because he smells almonds which he is allergic to. At that moment, a set of encyclopedias vanish right in front of them as if they were thin air.
Alarmed, they go back to the Hall of Justice to tell the SuperFriends. Superman believes that it is a matter for the police. Just then, the CDQ alarm goes off, Colonel Wilcox from the Secret Department of Investigation appears on the video screen, relaying a phone message that the government just received. Professor Baffles gives warning: the collection of lithographs lent for the exhibition at the American National Museum from the French government will be stolen tonight at 8 o’clock. If they doubt his claim, he mentions the library and the stolen encyclopedias.
That night, at 8:10 pm, the SuperFriends stake out the museum: Aquaman is in the river by the museum, Wonder Woman is circling the skies in her in invisible jet, and Batman and Robin are on foot patrol. Inside, Superman, disguised as Clark Kent,is on plainscloth guard duty, accompanied by Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog. Wonder Dog goes into a sneezing fit. Just as quikly as the allergy occurred, the guard notices that the lithographs are gone.
Baffled, they arrive back at the Hall of Justice, and confer with Colonel Wilcox, who reads them another note from Professor Baffles.
“Gentlemen, I have proved my powers at the museum, 'I have proved that it is futile to resist any demands that I make. 'A 5million dollar shipment of new paper money is being shipped to Hawaii by the US Mint; I will appropriate that 5 million dollars unless 1 million dollars in gold is credited to Professor Baffles in a numbered account in a Swiss Bank Account.
After reading the message, Colonel Wilcox tells them that they will not submit to blackmail and the ‘Justice League’ is to protect the shipment. He then tells them that if they fail, their credibility with the US government will be in jeopardy and the people of the country will loose confidence in them.
Superman, disguised as reporter Clark Kent watches as the money is transferred from a government office to an armored truck, with two guards guarding it. Batman and Robin patrol the road the armored truck will take to the harbor. There the Ocean liner, the ‘S.S. Grayback’ awaits the shipment of money. Aquaman makes sure that all is well under and around the Ocean liner. Wonder Woman is in her invisible jet patrolling the route from the sky. As the truck leaves, Superman flies overhead to ensure safe passage.
Meanwhile, unknown to the SuperFriends or Professor Baffles, on the ground, three men look over a map of the route. They radio a 4th man who is driving a tractor. Wonder Woman sees the tractor outside the ‘Wadsworth Tunnel’. She radios Batman to investigate.
The tractor blocks the exit of the tunnel, while the car with the three men drive in from the rear. Batman catches up to the two men after they block the exit to the tunnel. He, however, lets them go, because they have to act quickly and tow the tractor out so that the armored truck does not crash. At the same time Superman was able to capture the three men and escort them to the police.
On the ocean liner, the ‘SS Greyback’, Marvin, Wendy, and Wonder Dog are waiting on board. Superman arrives, followed by Aquaman, who climbs on board, and eventually Batman and Robin arrive. Wonder Woman is flying out to Hawaii to make sure all is well on that end. While on board, Wendy notices Mr. Mergen, who she met at the library. After talking to him, Wendy grows suspicious, and tells Marvin.
As they are talking, they notice Mr. Mergen leaving the ship. They give chase. At the same time, Superman uses his X-ray vision to discover that the money is gone. While investigation the storage area, they see that room is sealed. While inside they all smell a strong ‘Almond’ smell. Robin remembers that Wonder Dog had gone into a sneezing fit when smelling Almonds.
Outside, Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog sneak into the back of Mr. Mergens truck.
Back at the storage room, Batman and Superman realize that the money wasn’t stolen, it disappeared. They reason that Professor Baffles somehow shot a chemical solution into the room causing the money to disintegrate.
This is how he pulled off the other supposed robberies.
Back at the Hall of Justice, Colonel Wilcox relays the latest message. Professor Baffles wants 1 million dollars. He threatens the NY public library, then the Boston Music Library and so on, until the money is paid. The time and place has not been determined. He will contact Colonel Wilcox when he is ready.
Mr. Mergen asks Darby and Dabney to unlock the door of the locked room, so he can take the kids ice-cream. In the room Marvin and Wendy ask him why he stole and he replies that he didn’t, he simply made them disappear. They of course ask him why and he tells them that it is for the good of mankind. He believes that the bad example of history has corrupted the pureness and goodness of mankind. That is why he has destroyed historical items. So that man can start over with a clean slate. They then ask him why he has demanded the money form the government. He tells them that Mr. Dabney and Mr. Darby pointed out to him that their funds were so low that they needed more funds to continue his campaign. Just then Darby and Dabney come into the room and Mr. Mergen asks them to explain why they wanted the money. They come clean and tell him that it was because they wanted the money for themselves. Mr. Mergen realizes that they are crooks. Mr. Mergen is surprised and disappointed. He then tells them that he refuses to make any more solution for them or have anything to do with them. Then Marvin tries to help Wonder Dog is able to jump out a window and escape.
Back at the Hall of Justice, Superman is stating that until they apprehend Mr. Baffles, all libraries, art galleries and Museums will be closed. Just then, Wonder Dog runs in.
Soon after, the SuperFriends, arrive at ‘Mergen Chemicals.’ On a chalkboard they see written the following:
Wendy and Marvin you are no doubt looking to find.
Then hunt in these places that are four of a kind.
Under the sea off the coast of Spain.
Or in a balloon floating free in the rain.
Or perhaps in the Andes on some remote beach.
Or think instead , SuperFriends, of some dark cave in which no one will speak.
They each take a task and take off.
Meanwhile at the ‘local amusement park’ Dabney and Darby have locked Mr. Megen , Marvin and Wendy in a ticket booth. Mr. Mergen apologizes to the kids.
Dabney and Darby have left for a short time to meet Colonel Wilcox in the nearby woods to collect the 1 million dollars which has now turned into ransom money. He leaves the money with them with no incident.
Back at the ‘amusement park’, Wendy finds out that Mr. Mergen has a vile of solution in his pocket. Wendy uses that to make one of the walls disappear. As they wonder through the ‘amusement park’, Dabney and Darby come back and spot them. The trio ducks into the monkey tent only to be captured and locked in a cage by Dabney and Darby.
Aquaman who had gone to the coast of Spain finds himself trapped under a submarine coincedently named Baffles by super-strong cables that entwined upon him. He summons two moray eels and a sperm whale who easily free him.
At the same time, Superman is trapped in the hot air balloon with a lead box loaded with Kryptonite. Because the storm was so terrible and the winds dangerously strong, Superman is able to kick it out, freeing himself. He realizes that if he had been tricked, the other SuperFriends have probably been tricked as well.
He flies off first to Wonder Woman, who earlier, has gone to the Andes, attracted by a beacon, to the remote beach, only to get caught in a pitfall. Superman lowers a skinny tree down to her and pulls her out.
Superman has her go to check on Aquaman and he flies off to Batman and Robin. Superman finds them trapped inside of a cave by a large boulder. He frees them and together they rendezvous at the wooden area where Colonel Wilcox made the drop-off.
At the wooden area, Colonel Wilcox relays the details of the drop-off and tells them that the only reason they agreed to the drop-off was for the sake of Marvin and Wendy. Wonder Dog then begins to sniff around, but sadly, could find no traces of the kidnappers nor their victims.
Back at the ‘amusement park’ Wendy and Mr. Mergen are talking. She wants to know what would happen if she threw the solution on the fire that Dabney and Darby had made to heat the coffee. He believes that it would not only make the fire disappear but create smoke that would raise high into the air. So she throws the remaining solution at the fire. Dabney and Darby make jokes about "the monkeys must not like coffee"
Just then as the SuperFriendscome up with their new search plan, Wonder Dog starts having an allergic sneezing fit. They reason that the almond smell is in the air after Wonder Dog pantomimes an allergy. Aquaman reminds Superman of his super-senses; He looks around using his super-senses and realizes that the odor is coming from the valley below.
The SuperFriends arrive at the ‘amusement park’ and surround Dabney and Darby, who give up without a fight.
Back at the Hall of Justice, the SuperFriends and Mr. Mergen talk about the error of his ways and that no one man can make such a determination for the entire human-race. Mr. Mergen laments over being blinded by his crusade and allowing Dabney and Darby to influence him.
Marvin wants to continue to rescue the American scientists. Wonder Dog, recalling what took place earlier and the troubles he had been put through over all the events, relaxes exhaustedly on a recliner at the Hall of Justice.
- This is the first appearance of Clark Kent.
Continuity in Other Media
References: Bathook, Nal Library, Sneeze, Encyclopedia, Bibliography, Lithographs, Allergy, almonds, police car, robber's car, armored car, helicopter, blue car, speed, role-playing, Deck cleaner, Brazilian agate, dog, nose, bloodhound, pizza, pizza chef, pizza parlor, Muhammad Ali, boxing, Mr. Mergen's van, mathematician, chemist, Mergen Chemicals, New York Public Library, Boston Music Library, ice cream, history, crime, books, painting, music, extortion, Mr. Mergen's chemical solution, glass, cold, gosling, Spain, balloon, rain, Andes, Submarine, Sperm whale, Moray eel, beacon, cave, hobgoblins, Batlight, boulder, Dabney and Darby's car, reading minds, monkey, tree, X-Ray vision, magic, fire, air, flowers and headache.
|“||Holy nose buds||”|
— Source, Robin
|“||Holy super goofs||”|
— Source, Robin
|“||See you back at the Hall of Justice League!||”|
— Source, Wonder Woman
The Power Pirate
Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C.
|Season 1: SuperFriends (1973)|