For All Mankind #23

Rob and Super Friend Billy D review "SOS From Nowhere" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Ramona Fradon, and Bob Smith, from SUPER FRIENDS #23! Plus Listener Feedback!

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Opening and closing themes by Hanna Barbera.

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27 responses to “For All Mankind #23

  1. Thanks for another fun-packed episode, and how lovely to hear the talented Billy D guest.

    This was a pretty decent issue, with the debut of the Wonder Twins’ secret IDS being a highlight, that’s a great detail about Jayna using her powers to become Joanna… but if their powers were activated, as she says, does that mean John was made out of colourful ice? Was he a human popsicle? And the hair dye seems a bit much, a wig would be an easier way to hide his ears. Maybe Wally West had lots of his spare hair-colour-changing formula.

    Flash correctly mentions that Mirror Master teamed with other villains to fight the JLA, but he didn’t actually meet Superman in JLA #111, as members split up to fight the Injustice Gang of the World, and the Man of Steel’s problem was Scarecrow. But Nelson wouldn’t make this up, so can anyone remember when Clark met Scudder? Maybe a World’s Finest issue when it was a team-up book?

    1. Hiya Martin. When the twins activated their powers, they both didn’t have to change, so Zan retained his human form, while Jayna shifted herself into a blonde.

      I would guess that Zan would have to not think about changing into a water form during the day. LOL


  2. Always enjoy this show! It’s a new comic book experience for me ever episode.
    I first “encountered” The Mirror Master in an episode of the Super Friends tv show, Reflections in Crime. By then it was under the title of The Legendary Super Powers Show.
    The Mirror Master traps Superman in the 6th Dimension. The “world behind mirrors”. A limbo similar to The Phantom Zone where Superman can see an communicate with the real world from inside mirrors. As he flies around looking for a way to contact the Super Friends he look though a mirror and confuses a man who is shaving. When he peeks into another mirror we hear a woman shriek and Superman quickly looks away and apologizes “Sorry ma’am.” And sheepishly says to himself “I’ll have to be more careful.” Whoops!

      1. I’ve gone through all my Superman/Flash team-ups and issues of Justice League of America, and I can’t find any encounter between Mirror Master and The Man of Steel. At least not in The Bronze Age. The closest I came was in Crisis on Infinite Earths #5. They were both in the Monitor’s Satellite in the two page spread of characters gathered together. They’re not even on the same page, BUT, Mirror Master is standing next to Supergirl!

      2. Martin, the Injustice Gang returned in JLA #s 143 and 158, both of which occurred before this issue of Super Friends. In issue 143 specifically I remember a “free for all” battle between the two groups, but Superman wasn’t part of that. I don’t have a copy of #158 handy, but maybe they fought during that time?

          1. Yes! I missed that. Most of the issue concerned Ultraa and his battle with The Injustice Gang, but in the last few pages, Superman and other members of The JLA finally step in. You’ve solved the case LRB!

  3. Great show. Some interesting things I found out from my Dad and from reading his comics:

    1. This story was actually not the first time the Wonder Twins were in their secret identities, and yet it was. The Wonder Twins secret identities were introduced in an 8-page Wonder Twins back-up story that was originally supposed to be published during the “DC Explosion” (Super Friends 15) , but because of the Implosion, the story wasn’t printed until later (Super Friends 29, which you’ll get to soon). The story explains where Zan’s special hair spray came from, and it came with a corny joke.

    2. Mirror Master first travelled into a mirror dimension in his 4th Flash story, in issue 126. In the story MM said that already knew how to do it, but it might be dangerous. He decided he’d rather take the chance in order to escape prison, and fortunately for him, it worked out. This wasn’t the same mirror dimension that had the evil Flash (and a heroic Mirror Master). MM discovered that world by accident in Flash 174.

    3. MM’s “mirror-powered jetpack” (actually a light-powered jetpack) was first used in Flash 243. Nice to see it reused. Too bad it wasn’t an accessory for the action figure.

    1. Excellent. Your comment saved me the trouble of doing a search for that Wonder Twins back-up story – I have such a clear memory of reading it and the fact that it basically introduces their high school secret identities with the amazing hairstyles. When Rob and Billy mentioned them appearing briefly in those disguises in this issue, I was wondering if a past show had skipped that back-up…

  4. 4. And Rob is right that John Broome likely created the Mirror Master. Broome wrote the first MM story in Flash 105.

  5. Another five-star show, and Billy is another outstanding guest – this show seems to attract them!
    I will say to Billy, though, that, *ahem* we old-time Bronze Age fans use the term ‘Marvel zuvembie’ rather than ‘Marvel zombie’.

  6. As soon as I heard that this issue involved mirror dimension shenanigans, I took a closer look at the image gallery, and noticed the hotel clerk’s boutonniere was on the opposite jacket lapel in the mirror dimension. I didn’t notice any other mirror image flip-flopping in the posted panels, but now I’m curious if Ms. Fradon sneaked some in elsewhere in the issue. Does anyone know on what side Barry Allen normally parts his hair?

    Thanks for another excellent episode.

    1. Brian, if I remember correctly, Batman also noticed that in the mirror universe, everyone’s buttons and buttonholes were on the sides opposite of where they should have been. I was seven when I read this, and I was surprised to learn that a) there were rules, or at least common practices, about what side buttons were on, b) that girls’ clothes had buttons on the opposite side of boys’ clothes, because it seemed like a pointless distinction, and c) that Batman paid attention to all that. I’m a fan of both Superman and Batman, but I was way more impressed at Batman’s knowledge and powers of observation than I was with Superman using microscopic vision to check the direction of people’s fingerprints.

      So, bottom line, your observation puts you in the same league as Batman.

      1. I remember reading/hearing that men’s shirts button the way they do, because most men would carry their sword on their lift hip, and the sword could catch when they drew it, if the buttons were on the other side. So, definite right-hand bias on display.

        DISCLAIMER: While I’m right handed, both my father and one of my brothers are left handed. So, I have been educated in the evils of handism.

        I have never heard why women’s shirts button the other way.

    2. Oh, and now that you mention it, I think Ramona switched which breast was in front on the clerk’s double-breasted suit jacket, too. I think in real life, if things were flip-flopped like this, I would be able to tell something was off, but maybe not know what until I tried to read something.

      1. Yes, I’m guessing she didn’t include too much flip-flopping of images, because that might have spoiled the mirror dimension reveal.

  7. Fun show! Mirror Master actually made it onto the Super Friends during the Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show season in the episode “Reflections in Crime”. There he trapped Superman in a mirror dimension! It made me think we might be getting a Mirror Master figure in the Super Powers line. Unfortunately, that never came to be.

    A mirror dimension was also seen in the WONDERFUL Justice League Unlimited episode “Flash and Substance” where Mirror Master, Captain Cold and Captain Boomerange team-up to wreck the grand opening of The Flash Museum. Batman and Orion have to help Flash save a very smitten reporter named Linda Park from being trapped in the Mirror Master’s domain. I can’t wait until we get to that one on JLUCast!


  8. 1. Great podcast covering an excellent comic. It was my intro to the Mirror Master, who quickly became my favorite rogue in Flash’s gallery. His costume is terrible, but his power set is amazing. Even as a primary school nipper (Martin’s a bad influence), I knew that his powers made no sense. However, mirrors really did seem pretty magical, so I pressed my “I believe” button and went with it.

    2. Regarding the In-Stock Trades ads, I’m buying that Treasury edition tonight. It’s too good a deal to pass up. That’ll be the third hardcover treasury Fire and Water led me to buy. And yes, I will tell IST who sent me, Rob. Also, the Darwyn Cooke cover on that Flash Omnibus is sweet.

    3. I have two suggestions: 1) Get Matt, Russell, and Isamu their own Unsolved Mysteries of Comics podcast, and 2) (This one’s easier) Ask Isamu to guest on a podcast! Anyone who knows this much about Silver and Bronze Age comics and yet doesn’t have joints that creak like ours has got to be fascinating.

    Bye ’til next time, my Super Friends!

  9. This was one of the Super Friend comics I owned so good to rediscover it again.

    I was a fan of the Flash at this point. His book was actually the first book I collected monthly (or tried to collect monthly off the newsstand). So great to see him and the Mirror Master here.

    I was glad that the Wonder Twins get a little bit of shine here. As I have said before, the margin between Wendy and Jayna is shrinking!

  10. Welcome to the podcast Billy D. you were great!

    I don’t have anything to add about the episode, per se, as everyone else covered my talking points,
    but I did want to say that this issue was one that I (as an adult) deliberately cut up!

    Years ago when I worked at Borders Books and Music we had a promotion where when you bought a certain movie (I forget which one) you would get a plastic clock.
    NO ONE bought the movie and we had about 30 or so of these clocks left over so anyone who wanted one could take one.

    I didn’t care about what was actually on the clock face so I spray painted over the original graphic and used the logo from THIS issue of Super Friends because it was the only duplicate issue that I had where the logo was complete and uncovered by any of the action on the cover.

    I put the logo at the top and for the ‘main’ image I used the artwork from the two page Clark Candy Contest Sweepstakes. I will say for a free plastic wall clock that thing lasted for about 20 years or so! I think it was the power of the Super Friends that kept it going for so long!

  11. Great episode as always, Rob. I always enjoy For All Mankind because it introduces me to issues that I have never read before. With most of the other comics-related podcasts I listen to, I usually have at least a passing familiarity with the comics being discussed. But as I mentioned the last time I wrote to you, although I was a big fan of the Super Friends TV show, I never read the comic book version. Foolishly, I always thought it was too “young” for me. Your show lets me know what I missed, and I love that.

    I enjoyed your discussion with Billy about how the Mirror Master seemed rather overpowered in this issue, with his ability to travel between dimensions. It strikes me that ENB was just going along with the TV show in that regard. One of the fun things about the show was the way, as you mentioned, sometimes things would happen just because they needed to happen, and frequently that seemed to apply to the characters’ power levels. I remember an episode of Challenge of the Super Friends where Toyman lures the Super Friends through a black hole, which transports them to a distant galaxy where they are trapped on Toyman’s planet of evil toys. Yes, Toyman, of all people, has his own planet which you get to by travelling through a black hole! Compared to that, a little dimension-hopping from Mirror Master doesn’t seem that far fetched anymore!

    If I can comment on the comments from last time, I wanted to talk a bit about the Super Friends voice cast, in particular Olan Soule, the voice of Batman. He was actually a very busy character actor for many years, and once you learn to recognize him, you’ll see him popping up everywhere. He had a recurring role on The Andy Griffith Show as Mayberry’s choir director, and played a lab technician on both the 50s and 60s versions of Dragnet. He also shows up in several of the classic sci-fi movies from the 1950s, including The Day the Earth Stood Still and This Island Earth, among others. Listen and you’ll hear that distinctive Batman voice. I always think it’s fun to spot these reliable workhorse actors who were never stars, but seem to show up in just about everything.

    Looking forward to the next episode!

  12. the superpowers seasons had a bunch of bad guys that never got figures uh from memory
    1 MYPEDLEX (THAT’S wrong but easier to type)
    2. Mirror master
    3 royal flush gang
    4 Scarecrow
    5 felix Fuast (that made me mad! i wanted a figure of him)

  13. Hello Rob and Billy D! Thanks for the podcast!

    Got this issue as a kid, and was very psyched to see big a part the Wonder Twins played in it. One thing that did annoy me was the ‘reasoning’ by Zan & Jayna. The cartoon played up “dumb” for them, but the comic made them smarter. However, I cringed reading this:

    Zan: If he were in that place, he’d expect me to come in as part of the water!
    Jayna: But he’d never expect water to flow through the mirror house!

    What? Mirror Master isn’t going to notice a sudden stream come into the mirror house?

    About Zan & Jayna’s blonde hair, it wasn’t wigs. Zan used a spray dye, while Jayna became a blonde with her powers.

    Regarding wishing there was a “Challenge of the Super Friends” comic book, what I had wished for was for the Super Friends to become a dollar comic, and have it mirror the All New Super Friends series, a small tale for a few of the Super Friends, a Wonder Twins solo, the main story, and then a closing short with a guest star!

    See ya in about a month!


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