For All Mankind #3


Rob and Super Friend Michael Bailey review "The Cosmic Hit Man?" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Ramona Fradon, and Bob Smith, from SUPER FRIENDS #3! Plus Listener Feedback and the first installment of a special bonus feature: FOR ALL MERCHKIND with fellow network all-star Chris Franklin!

Check out images from this comic by clicking here!

Opening and closing themes by Hanna Barbera.

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28 responses to “For All Mankind #3

  1. Another great show all around; enjoyed the conversations in both segments.
    On the topic of merchandise, I have to say that I’m impressed with the fact that Chris not only still has things like those bed sheets, but that they were in continuous use. Any stuff like that that I had, like Star Wars bed sheets and Aquaman pajamas, disappeared before I hit my teens.
    And – as per my comment for Digest Cast #10 – it’s nice to hear that Michael shares my view that some of those throwaway villains could, and should, have been used elsewhere.

  2. Ryan and Chris lamented over on Knightcast that they never branded the Max Allan Collins stories by calling Collins “The Notorious MAC”. I think Rob needs to jump on the idea of calling E Nelson Bridwell “The Notorious ENB”. Not because there is anything wrong with Bridwell, but because of how awesome that man was. Seriously. If I had a Mount Rushmore of people that knew a lot comics in general and Superman in specific ENB would not only be on there, I may put him on there twice.

    I hope I’m not trying to make “Fetch” happen.

  3. Do we know why they were called Super Friends? It sounds so sappy, why not the Justice League of America? And since it was SUPER-Friends, why Zan and Jayna the WONDER Twins. It’s illogical, Cindy would agree with me. I get why the fine pooch couldn’t be Superdog, of course.

    Hey, I referred to the three-eyed Kryptonian babbootch on my blog only last week. Points for me! The exclamation goes back to at least to the Silver Age.

    What a fab story this was, and great discussion, boys. ENB really did take advantage of the slacker rules in CCA books compared to TV in having folk killed. I’d love to see some of these one-off guys revived in, say, the Wonder Twins book. Yeah, they’re literally morts but we never got to see what they could actually do – there’s no shame in being captured by a guy who could create the cosmos’ most powerful patchwork man.

    1. The probably apocryphal story about why it was called Super Friends is that by 1973 things in America were pretty divisive thanks to the Vietnam war, so it was decided to go with something more friendly sounding and less jingoistic sounding.

        1. Maybe it went something like this:
          1. Hanna-Barbera got the license to do DC animation.
          2. Someone at that studio got a really good idea to team up some heroes in one show.
          3. They go off and develop from there. Nobody thinks to check whether there is a DC hero team already with their own name, headquarters, roster, etc.
          4. At some point whilst developing the show, they are informed that “Justice League of America” is a thing. (“What’s a Justice League?” some executive might say.) This news might or might not be welcome. Not everyone likes to learn that their great idea has already been done.
          5. So, having already done the work of coming up with a TV show title, cast of characters, Hall of Justice, and so forth, they also retrofit some references to JLA into scripts and such, while also doing their own show mostly as planned. That way the development work isn’t wasted but they can also claim to be “based on” legit JLA comics.

          1. Might be Doug. I know that SF spun out of a desire to do a “Scooby Doo Meets the Super Heroes” show after the success of the Batman and Robin team-up episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. HB pitched an idea that had Scooby and the gang teaming up with lots of other heroes…including Marvel ones! But cooler heads, and perhaps DC, prevailed to make this a DC-centric show, and add in some Scooby-like kids in the form of the Junior SF, and Wonder Dog, of course!


          2. Thanks Doug, that’s plausible. And thanks Chris, you have just blown my mind – I wonder what would have happened had the Scooby-Doo team-ups with Mama Cass been the most popular.

  4. I think my Mom’s womb must have been like the Tardis or something. She only weighed 110 lbs when pregnant!!!

    Fun discussion, and it’s so great to see Fradon arrive on the book. Her style was complimentary to the animation, but unique in its own right. I associate her look for the characters with the brand almost as much as Toth’s designs. And I apologize for defaulting back to my childhood pronunciation of Mister Toth’s name in the Merchkind segment. Old habits die hard!


  5. Thank you for another amazing episode, including the new segment. I’m right there with you that I can hear the voices from the cartoon show when I read through the image gallery posts. In regards to the one-off villains from this issue, I can’t believe that Geoff Johns never revived Spectrum to tie him into the Emotional Spectrum. A golden opportunity lost.

    Looking forward to the next episode.

  6. Great episode.

    The World Beater definitely has a ‘Frankenstein Jr’ vibe to him, perfect for Hanna Barbera stuff.

    I like World Beater. I like Amazo. I like Mimic. But I am in the bag for The Super-Adaptoid. Love that character.

    A babootch is a sort of Kryptonian baboon. Sterling Gates brought back the reference into his Supergirl run a couple of times.

    I like Marvin and Wendy. I don’t like the Wonder Twins. Glad the real junior Super Friends get a chance to shine.

  7. Had this been an episode of the cartoon, the supervillains would have simply had their powers syphoned out of them and transferred into The Worldbeater. Then at the end, the Super-Friends would then have returned the powers to those villains while teaching a lesson about taking things that aren’t yours. Then dumped them all in jail together. The last scene would show the angry villains surrounding the mad doctor who stole their powers as he cringes and whines “No hard feelings… ey gentlemen?”

    1. Matt, that’s really good. I agree that’s the version the show writers would have done if they’d been on their game that week. I may like it better than ENB’s version, as it leaves us a slew of new characters to explore later.

      Of course, if you were leaving the ”power source” villains alive, you could use existing DC villains. Which ones would have given WB the powers and weaknesses he needed to make the story work, I wonder?

  8. Great show, gents! I’ll elaborate:

    Great guests — Thanks for introducing Michael Bailey to the SuperFriends comic, and Chris’s insights are always welcome (if only he could find some enthusiasm about these characters and their merchandise…oh, well).

    Great story — I didn’t have the issue, but I had the digest. I always appreciated the use of actual strategy, or at least a clever tactic. No polarity-reversal deux ex machina for Marvin and Wendy!

    Great sheets! — I had the first set and loved them. Some of my friends had the Star Wars sheets, Rob. The set with the villains might’ve kept me up at night, wondering if those scoundrels were getting royalties somehow. My one complaint: In retrospect, I wish they’d printed some peach coloring for the characters’ skin. I know that as a group, comic book superheroes were far too pasty white back in the seventies, but the albino look is carrying it a bit far. An unintentional commentary?

    Great bicentennial public service announcement! — I plan to use “Practice what we pray” in real life.

    Great sign-off — and great decision, Rob. I would’ve closed the auditions after Xum’s submission, too. And I agree with your other Nuclear Subs; it’s great to know we’ll keep hearing Xum’s voice, despite the way it can trigger those darn eye-watering allergies.

  9. I remember reading this story as a kid and being disturbed by the cold-blooded mass murder of the bad guys. Yowza!
    I always hoped the World Beater or the mad scientist would come back to face the Super Friends again. WB did come back at the very end of the series, I think, but not in any meaningful way.
    This was definitely Wendy and Marvin’s greatest moment, ever.

  10. Hi Rob! Great show kudos to you and Michael! Wow, Ramona Fradon sure kicks up the art a couple of notches. Her work is dynamic and brings a smile to my face and completely captures the Super Friends “Friendliness” and heroic feel for this book. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her work going through the series.
    I was not surprised at all to see the World Beater appear on the JLA satellite, even with the JLA’s safety protocols on the teleporter. It was stated on a previous page that one of the villains that were disintegrated to combine into the World Beater, the Traveler had the power of teleportation. I figured World Beater just had the power of teleportation and used it to gain access. And yes the Traveler did look like he was wearing a cheap Chinese knock off of a Flash costume. Ha! Very nice!
    Lastly, I wanted to say that I really enjoyed the new Super Friends Merch segment. It’s a great addition to your whole Super Friends Podcast Package. Well done, and thanks!

  11. It sure is fortunate for the Juniorfriends that the villain had a power he (1) hadn’t used yet, (2) would defeat himself by activating it, and (3) failed to anticipate point (2). (Logically the World Beater would have gotten around to that power sooner or later regardless, wouldn’t you think?)

    A story ending with the brave kids deducing and exploiting that kind of convenient weakness is a tricky feat to pull off. ENB’s careful handling of the story’s tone and Ramona Fradon’s champion art give this comic just the right amount of magic that the ending doesn’t undermine it. I’d almost go so far as to say you could ONLY pull off this kind of cartoon ending in the kind of cartoon tie-in book that Bridwell and Fradon brought us.

  12. SUCH a great episode!

    I loved hearing Michael on ‘Superman Movie Minute’ and am very happy that he is now reading the Super Friends comic! It was just so neat to hear HIS thoughts and feelings about the story we talked about earlier on DigestCast!

    I’m so excited that Chris will be guesting on several upcoming episodes featuring the merchandise from SF instead of just a ‘very special episode’ or two. I’m eager to hear the discussion about the various things that I have amassed over the years!

  13. Rob and Michael, I really enjoyed the show, if not the comic. Michael, if you enjoyed this one, you’re in for a better ride ahead. This is probably my least favorite issue of the Super Friends series.

    SF 3 came out a few months after I began collecting but I didn’t get it. I wonder if it was due to Batman’s absence on the cover or Wonder Woman’s prominence. This was during my “girls have cooties” period. I first discovered the story in the Super Friends digest. I feel like this issue is the “I’ve Got Batman in my Basement” of the Super Friends comic. Even back when I was a kid, I didn’t like when the heroes were taken out only to be rescued by children. It makes the heroes look weak and it makes World-Beater seem like a weak villain. While I don’t hate Marvin to the degree Chris does (I save that for Damian Wayne and Green Arrow), I’m not real fond of him either. I guess Wonder Dog is ok, but you’re talking to a guy who has action figures of Ace the Bathound and Krypto in his collection, so I’m a fan of the Caped Canines.

    After being underwhelmed by this issue in the Digest, I got the original issue in one of the “old comics collections” in the Christmas catalog. That was a disappointment to get a story I had already read and didn’t like. I promise to be more positive next episode, because SF 4 was the first issue of Super Friends I ever bought new and it is one of my favorites.

    Ramona Fradon drew a Wonder Woman pin-up for the Wonder Woman #750 issue, which came out in February. Very Super Friends looking and Ms. Fradon still has her artistic chops. I thought her Super Friends Fans like to know.

    I love the Merch segment and am looking forward to more of those! I just hope you don’t send me to eBay in search of lost treasures from the 1970s. I didn’t have the sheets that Chris had, but I had this DC blanket when I was a kid. Sorry, Rob, no Aquaman. I don’t remember is it was branded as Super Friends. I got it for Christmas so I’m sure I never saw the packaging.

    Now that I’m 48, I’m too old for Super Hero bedding. So if you think I don’t have a Batman blanket with Jose Luis Garcia Lopez art or a Batgirl/Wonder Woman/Supergirl blanket with Jose Luis Garcia Lopez art…well, you’d be mistaken. I could say I get to go to bed with three beautiful women every night, but that might be considered sleazy, so I’ll keep that to myself.

  14. Great news! I just saw on DC Universe that the Super Friends issues are coming to the service. The first three issues in March.

  15. Another great podcast! Thanks so much for doing this!

    Regarding Marvin using Green Lantern’s ring, in issue #6, a reader asks about that very topic in the letter column, and ENB gives an answer to him.

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