For All Mankind #18

Rob and returning Super Friend Derek William Crabbe review "Manhunt in Time" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Bob Smith, from SUPER FRIENDS #18! Plus another installment of For All Merchkind, and Listener Feedback!

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Opening and closing themes by Hanna Barbera.

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18 responses to “For All Mankind #18

  1. Thanks for another great episode of For All Mankind, created from the podcasting legends of the universe.

    Ramona is great, I’m never not delighted by her work, but Kurt Schaffenberger is one of my top three Superman artists. Ramona’s Superman is a tad knobbly, where Kurt’s is super-smooth. So while Super Friends is inarguably Ramona’s book, visually, I’m very happy to have this particular guest artist.

    And yes, that full page image of Superman wafting over Atlantis is spectacular – as Derek says, it’s not not a big, bashy image, it’s about Wonder. I’d like more of that in comics.

    As regards Kurt’s excellent Robin, happily, this wasn’t his only go – Kurt drew Robin in the Bronze Age, in Detective Comics/Batman Family. The look of Kurt’s Robin was at the mercy of the inker, Bob Smith was a good partner for him, the likes of Frank Chiaramonte and Joe Giella were less appealing.

    The toy Derek was trying to think of that would’ve fitted the diving Aquaman art is called Bagatelle – well, in the UK, anyway, it’s bound to be called something different in the US, Cheesebump or Molehole or whatever.

    Mad as it is, I’m glad to see Prof Nichols back, Derek’s idea that he’s using solidified astral projection is great. And how lovely to get a Tuatara cameo – it’s a wonder ENB didn’t use Tuatara having three eyes to boost the time travel (‘Atlantis is too far back for my hypnosis and ray combo – but wait…’).

    Fun For All Merchkind, as ever – I’ll take the Di specs, please, they’re more unapologetically superheroic.

  2. It’s a rainy Sunday morning, the perfect time to listen to the newest podcast from “For All Mankind”!

    When issue #18 came out, I was not a regular reader of Legion of Super Heroes, but I knew of their existence, so I was excited to learn that the Time Trapper had a connection to them. I always felt it made the Super Friends more “legit” when they tangled with established DC villains rather than the one-and-done villains that appeared in some issues.

    As much as it pains me to say, I would think that the “Best Friend” title would go to Gleek for his capture of Time Trapper, and rescue of Prof. Nichols.

    I find it interesting that the groupings for this issue matched issue #13 when the battled the mole creature. Superman and Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Robin, and Batman and the Wonder Twins. Also, this issue is one of the few times the comic had Zan turn into some sort of “ice sculpture” form. Since the cartoon did that just about weekly, I was waiting to see if the comic would follow suit, but they rarely did that.

    While I accept that when reading comics you have to suspend belief for certain things, even as a kid, this issue’s story bothered me. Using hypnosis to send people back in time? Really? Even if you go with the theory of astral projection, it would be the astral forms of the heroes, not physical forms, so how could they use their powers physically? There had to have been a better way to tell this story.

  3. Great episode and always great to hear Derek! (Yes, I hate Wheelie!)

    Some great stuff to discuss.

    1) At first I did not like Kurt Schaffenberger thinking him too cartoony. But his style is clean and his layouts are spot on. And his work has a certain charm. He did a large chunk of Supergirl stories after Jim Mooney left and he is perfect for those books. Hard to believe he was the artist that Muhammad Ali’s team wanted to draw the SupermanVAli treasury!

    2) The Time Trapper has had more secret identities than I can shake a stick at. So in my mind canon, this is someone pretending to be the Time Trapper. How else can Gleek beat him! This makes it feel more like a Scooby story. Someone just needs to unmask this ‘Time Trapper’.

    3) Hypnotic time travel is a sort of trope often preceded by some lecture about time being nonlinear, that all time exists at the same time so we just need to believe when we are. See that Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour movie ‘Somewhere in Time’.

    Loving this podcast!

  4. IT was strange in San Fracisco you could find the second wave of SUPER POWERS, no trouble. EXCEPT GREEN Arrow which was NOWHERE and when say San Francisco I MEAN California

  5. This is one of those cases where I much preferred the set-up to a 2-part story to the eventual conclusion. Let’s start with the ending: the Time Trapper captured by Gleek!?! I’m glad Derek was there to explain away that this must not have been the “real” Time Trapper, because I’m sure that’s how I thought about it the first time I read this story! Gleek!?!

    Of course, it was never really clear what the Time Trapper’s plot was in the first place, so there is that to consider as well! Throw the Wonder Twins back in time to….send the Super Friends after them? Went back in three totally random eras to….mess up time? You would think he could do all that and more before breakfast. He’s the effin’ Time Trapper!

    I was not never a huge Schaffenberger fan unless he was drawing SHAZAM, which I absolutely loved. I didn’t mind his Supergirl stories when I came across them, but his lopsided Batman ears always bugged me. As Martin Gray pointed out, however, Kurt did a LOT of Robin stories in Batman Family and Detective……*after* this issue of Super Friends! So perhaps Julius Schwartz liked Kurt’s Robin and asked him to do more?

    There is a notice in the JLA-centric issue of Amazing World of DC Comics #14 (March 1977) which (to my knowledge) was the first place to claim Gotham City was in NJ and Metropolis was in Delaware. Perhaps ENB was simply trying to include this tidbit in main DCU continuity.

    Prof Nichols’ time-travelling hypnosis was used all over the Silver Age Bat Universe. I was never quite sure how it worked, either, but it was certainly a DC Silver Age trope! All of those stories where Batman and Robin met Bat-Chief of the Indians (reprinted in various Batman Family issues) were all due to Prof Nichols and his Super Hypnotism. Oddly enough, this is not the last appearance of it! The last appearance of it that I am aware of is an issue of B&B late in its run (#171) where Batman asks his old friend to send him back in time to the Civil War where he can meet….Scalphunter, in a story by Gerry Conway and Jose-Luis Garcia-Lopez (Praise Be His Name).

    And lastly, I really like this cover. It’s one of my favorite SF covers, because it shows symbolically the danger the characters are in AND it features all of the members, two things that did not happen very often with this book.

    1. Russell’s right. I’m reading a lot of late 50’s Batman and at least once a year, Bruce and Dick visit Prof. Nichols to have him project them back in time where they immediately change to Batman and Robin to solve a mystery. I looked him up on Mike’s Amazing World, and this had been a story template since 1944! As Anj and others have said, I’m assuming somehow they are conflating memory regression with time travel.

  6. Yes I was *that* nerd screaming into my device when Rob asked where Professor Nichol’s hypnosis time travel thing came from, as I heard myself crying out “that’s like his whole stick in the golden and silver age Batman tales!” Lol

    And then when Gleek’s tail was mentioned as being strangely “extra long”, I heard myself exclaim, “Gleek’s elastic tail is like his whole stick!”

    Finally I heard myself say to myself “I think stick in this sense is spelled differently”

  7. Another gripping conclusion to a two-part episode! Kudos yet again to Derek.
    As to the issue at hand, yeah, I also prefer Fradon’s art, but Schaffenberger is a worthy substitute in the Super Friends. As I recall, his art would appear a few more times as the series went on. (And yes, Rob, that image of Aquaman is really rather striking – I could definitely see that being used as a stock image.)

    And man, that merch. There are times when I think it would be really cool to have, say, the Wonder Woman frames on my everyday prescription glasses…

  8. Impressive Pod cast. Most Impressive. I like the art. And it’s a fun story. Though the Monkey beat the Time Traper… sigh. Well er…. the Criss re set this so didn’t happen. That’s it.

  9. Hold on a second. Part of the Time Trapper’s plan was to cause the fall of Atlantis?! But, wasn’t Atlantis supposed to fall? Unless, it wasn’t supposed to fall, and did, which means the Time Trapper’s plan actually succeeded, despite Superman and Aquaman’s intervention?! Sorry, I think I need an Aspirin.

    In regards to hypnosis as a means of time travel, I’m reminded of the 1957 movie, The Undead, where hypnosis is used to regress a young woman into one of her past lives. Her present day consciousness is able to share her past life’s body. Perhaps, Prof. Nichols’ technique works along similar lines? Yes, for that to work, I know their powers would have to regress with their consciousnesses, and they would have needed time to recreate their present day costumes in the past, but that’s the best I’ve got.

    Thanks for another spectacular episode.

  10. Awesome episode! I read this story when I was a 10-year-old living in Michigan, so I was especially pleased to see the scenes with Young Tom Edison in Michigan. And has been mentioned above, the Prof. Nichols plot device of hypnotic time travel was used in many Batman stories before and after this issue. I never tried it myself… until after I saw the film “Somewhere In Time”, and then I became obsessed for years trying to self-hypnotize myself through time. Boy did that turn out badly….

    Anyhoo, I look forward to future episodes of both “For All Mankind” and “Somewhere in Time Movie Minute”.

  11. Late to the game, but I really enjoyed the continued discussion of this story. I love Kurt Schaffenberger…except his lumpy Batman. His Batman is a very unique take, and I just don’t care for it. He drew quite a bit of World’s Finest around this time as well. But I did enjoy his Robin solo tales. I think Schaffenberger may be one of the most consistent comic artists of any era. His characters look the same from every angle, like he was working in animation.

    Our pal Dan Greenfield just published an article about how Schaff actually worked for Archie in the 70s, so your young estimation was not off, Rob!

    Oh, and speaking of the DC Style Guide, Schaff did some artwork for the guide, one of the few artists aside from JLGL (PBHN) and George Perez (for the Titans) to make it into the 82-era guides. His segment was labeled “Super Friends” art, appropriately enough, but I recall first seeing some of that art on the Super Powers Newsletter I got by sending in proofs-of-purchase from the action figures! I only got one issue though!

    I still have a dog-earred copy of this issue, sans cover. I don’t even remember the cover, it’s been gone so long! But I still recall that Superman splash, and the panels with him and Aquaman, and of course Schaff’s Robin!

    Great show guys!


  12. Another great episode covering a good issue.

    One great thing about this issue is that it reminded me of issues 7, 8 and 9 where the heroes divided into teams to dismantle traps set for them.
    I LOVE that story telling device so much!

    In this story Zan turns into a tornado which I found rather odd. Is a tornado really some form of water?!?!?
    I guess I’ll have to study up on all the scientific accuracies of tornadoes by watching ‘Twister’.

    Although I love Ramona’s artwork i think Shaffenberger’s style is also perfect for Super Friends.
    I think he does a great job not only on Robin (he draws Robin’s collar so much more open than other artists),
    but on Wonder Woman’s tiara (pages 8 and 11) where you can see the backside of the top of her tiara and especially on Aquaman’s hair as it moves from side to side when he’s in the water!

    I agree with CellarDweller and 12,457,158 OTHER ‘For All Mankind’ listeners that Gleek IS the Super Friend of the issue.
    He is the hero who caught the Time Trapper and saved the day!

    1. Hello Shawn!

      I just saw this reply today, when listening to the latest podcast.

      Zan turned into a tornado in issue #10 (The Monster Menace) as well. When that episode was aired, I left this comment:

      “Regarding Zan as a tornado, a tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Since thunderstorms contain water, Zan could conceivably turn himself into a tornado.”

  13. I am glad to see that Somewhere in Time was mentioned. I thought of that, especially with the Christopher Reeve connection, but was driving at the time and couldn’t comment. Then I forgot but I’ll be going to Mackinac Island, where the movie was filmed, in a couple of weeks and it suddenly popped into my head that I wanted to make this comment.


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