For All Mankind #10

Rob and Super Friend Jon Wilson review “The Monster Menace” by E. Nelson Bridwell, Ramona Fradon, and Bob Smith, from SUPER FRIENDS #10! Plus Listener Feedback!

Check out images from this comic by clicking here!

Opening and closing themes by Hanna Barbera.

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18 responses to “For All Mankind #10

  1. Wow what a great episode! I HAVE to find a copy of this issue!
    It’s too bad that Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog were not still part of the book to make it a full on Scooby-Doo pastiche. The cover even evokes the Scooby Gang gathered around reading the book from the show’s opening.
    You’re also right about how awesome an Aquaman and Creature from the Black Lagoon would be! Someone get on that. It would be amazing. Especially since Aquaman could conceivably communicate with the Creature.
    DC should have made a go with this Monster Friends team. They had the WEII Creature Commandos, why not a Galaxy spanning adventure book featuring these characters. Kids love monsters. It would have been a fun book.
    One last thing, yes, ENB totally cheated by having Zan turn into YELLOW fog.

  2. Hello Super Fans!

    As they were my fave characters, I consider myself a “Wonder Twins Expert” and can address the issues you mentioned in this episode.

    As Jon said, the cartoon was very inconsistent with Zan & Jayna fist-bumping to return to their human forms, however, there were a handful of episodes where they did that. Two that quickly come to mind are “The Lion Men” and “The Water Beast”. There were a few episodes where they did not. The book is much more consistent with that.

    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.

    Yellow fog? Not sure I can defend that! However, my one question was always how Jayna survived in the ocean as a goldfish. Aren’t they a freshwater fish?

    Funny comment regarding Joh’s comments on Zan & Jayna’s power set. There was a recent 12-issue maxi-series that re-introduced the Wonder Twins to current DC continuity. In the first issue, Superman is telling Batman & Wonder Woman about the twins coming to the Hall of Justice to be interns, and he says: “she can change in animals, and he morphs into….water.”

    This results in blank stares from Batman and Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman says: “Water? That’s underwhelming. I’m underwhelmed.”


    1. Well… you see… on Exxor, goldfish are saltwater fish! Yes…
      You do bring up an interesting point on Jayna‘s powers.
      Does she gain the traits and abilities of the animals she takes the form of or dies she gain the traits and abilities she BELIEVES they have?
      For instance, if she thought a dolphin was a fish and could breathe underwater, would she in fact, be able to breathe underwater?
      It’s established that she has to learn about Earth animals in order to take their form, perhaps any misinformation she has on the animal would manifest when she becomes that animal.

      1. Matt, it can be confusing. In a Super Friends episode called the mummy of Nasca, Jayna wants to turn into a giant snake, and coil around the mummy. The twins activate their powers and Jayna says:

        “Form of…..what’s that giant snake called? A garter snake?” and she turns into a garter snake, and of course, the plan goes awry.

        We’ll be seeing a version of this happening in issue #12 of this series.

  3. Great show fellas ! I love this issue, and first read the story in the SF digest (sent to me by a certain guy who knows a thing or two about digests). The only reason I didn’t volunteer to cover it is because Cindy and I covered it on Super Mates’ House of Franklin-Stein many years ago! I really wish the Super “Monsters” had returned somewhere. My son Andrew had a stretchy Mummy action figure when he was a kid, and I thought about that when I first read this story. I think there’s a lot of potential in these characters for a spin-off comic or even cartoon, but monsters as heroes wasn’t really new since Dell had done it with their strange comics in the mid-60s, and the TV series Monster Squad had just recently aired when this comic hit the shelves. Later there would be a show with heroic monsters called Drac Pack as well.

    Oh, and I’m glad Jon got this one because not only is he a great guest, but folks had to be tired of hearing me after 3 episodes in a row, anyway!


    1. Oh, yeah. I remember the Drak Pack (that’s the correct spelling, by the way). Among other things, it had what is probably the best acronym ever: OGRE, short for Organization for Generally Rotten Enterprises.

  4. Although – as noted in comments to earlier shows – I did read a few of the earlier issues of the series in one way or another, this is the first one I remember buying off of a spinner rack. After this I became a semi-regulary reader of the series. And man, I really loved the monster heroes, or, as Matt dubbed them, the Monster Friends. They definitely should have made more appearances in Super Friends if nowhere else.
    The letter to the editor you mentioned, with the fan complaining about the appearances of non-Super Friend JLA-ers, is interesting, in that my thoughts back then were just the opposite. Furthermore, I recall really loving it when – in the earlier seasons of the Super Friends cartoon – the Flash or Green Arrow made a guest appearance.

    1. On the JLA, I have the exact same sweet spot for the series, i.e., the run of issues from the JSA/New Gods team-up to issue #200. Kind of similar to my personal sweet spot for the Avengers, which goes from issues 181 through 202 – excepting, of course, the rather problematic (to put it politely) issue #200.

      1. Edo, same for both. I’ve enjoyed other runs of Justice League and Avengers — some of them quite a lot — but those were great when I was at just the right age, and they still hold up. They probably helped cement my love of both the medium and those characters.

  5. Great job, Rob and Jon! I think I read this one in the digest multiple times, ‘cause I’ve never seen the excellent cover before yesterday, but all the rest was super familiar.

    It had the didactic effect ENB was going for, too. I think I internalized that just because someone looks like the bad guy (or good guy), it doesn’t mean they are. The fact that it’s such an important lesson may be why it shows up so much in children’s media.

    I also remember pondering how these “monsters” were probably very popular where they came from, maybe even glamorous celebrities like the media in the DCU try to portray Wonder Woman and Superman (and of course the power couple of Aquaman and Mera, Rob). It was a great early lesson in shifting one’s perspective, and it continues to pay off today.

  6. Thanks for another terrific episode, it was lovely to have Jon’s insights added to your own.

    Batman did use a trained bat to deliver a message in an early adventure, of course he’s a bat expert! 😉

    I apologise for ‘Frigid Sigrid’… I did hear what sounded like an edit after you said that, Rob… you were probably sighing very heavily!

  7. Impressive podcast. Most impressive. Was cool seeing the monsters as heros. I know it’s been done a lot. But, it’s still fun. And them mostly being the harro version of the super heroes they fight was cool. The normal looking person being the villain isn’t new either, but it was cool. And it works in this case.

  8. Hello Jon – and welcome to the podcast.
    It was great hearing you talk about this issue. I agree with what you said about this comic ‘filling in the spaces’ that the show could never delve into!

    Two things I want to mention about the art:
    1) Rob – I’ve always loved Evan Doc Shaner’s artwork (he is SO especially suited for Captain Marvel / SHAZAM!) but never saw the influence of Ramona until you mentioned it! Thanks for that!
    2) I love the detail on the splash page of the Wonder Twins reflection on the curved mirror above and behind them. There’s absolutely no need for that to be there but it looks so good!

    Rob – do you remember back when I USED to like you?
    Those happy times were back before you DIDN’T mention that you talked about this story on Episode 10 of DigestCast! Even though your love for Digests WAS eclipsed on that episode by your guest host it still should have been talked about on this show – after all, we ARE ALL Super Friends!

    1. Oh Rob – – – – who am I trying to kid?

      I just can’t stay mad at someone who loves the Digests, Super Friends, M*A*S*H, What’s Up, Doc, and Treasuries!

  9. I have always loved this story! Although every time I re-read it there is another glitch or scene I catch (such as Zan’s yellow fog), it is still one of my all-time favorite stories.

    In fact, I used it as a base for one of my own home-made JLA stories! I wrote and I and Andy Kapellusch drew “Universal Heroes!” back in 2016. So if you want to see how I would have written a meeting between Aquaman and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, check out the story here:

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