For All Mankind #13

Rob and returning Super Friend Terry O’Malley review “The Mindless Immortal” by E. Nelson Bridwell, Ramona Fradon, and Bob Smith, from SUPER FRIENDS #13! Plus another installment of “For All Merchkind” and Listener Feedback!

Check out images from this comic by clicking here!

Opening and closing themes by Hanna Barbera.

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17 responses to “For All Mankind #13

  1. Always look forward to new episode of For All Mankind! I get to experience a classic comic for the first time. As Rob pointed out, there is no villain this time around as would sometimes happen in the cartoon. There were plenty of fun episodes were the Super Friends used their powers to stop a natural disaster or monster run amok I’m glad this transferred over to the comic.

    I had a Light Bright too, unfortunately, my biggest memory is stepping on one of the pegs that had been dropped into the thick carpet and it broke inside my foot. Almost as bad as stepping on a Lego.
    Chris Franklin, I really hope those Etch-A-Sketch overlays pop up in a future For All Merchkind! I remember having those!
    Finally, as far as both Marvel and DC Superheroes appearing together in merchandise. The last time I recall seeing this was in the early 80s building/construction toy Fiddle Stix. My younger brother had a “deluxe set” that came with Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and The Hulk figures.

  2. Nice recap. Still hoping you all one day do an ENB podcast on Mr. and Mrs. Superman. It has that same Super Friends goodness of being a grab bag of trivia, tight plots and great characterization.

  3. Your image gallery reminded me that I also had this issue with the Whitman logo – got it in one of those 3-packs, along with a few more issues of Super Friends from around this time. The only thing I really recall about this issue, though, is Dr. Mist, especially that last page, when he explains the angry looking bust on the mountain. That is some really weighty stuff for a book aimed at the ‘littler’ kids – but it sure stuck with me after all these years.
    And man, that Light Bright jingle/song – it’s such an annoying earworm. It was running through my head for hours after listening to the show. Still is…

  4. Hey guys – thanks for another great episode.

    Terry – your research is much appreciated and adds great information to the podcast!

    I really like tales like this where it’s not so much of a true “To Be Continued Two-Parter” but more of a “here’s what’s happening now because of what happened last issue” story.

    I was a bit disappointed by the cover of this issue (#13) because it closely resembles the vastly superior cover to issue #10 – The Monster Menace.

    Rob – you mentioned that you weren’t sure if kids would understand what a burrow is – but I think that they would have, but not because of a mole – but because of rabbits. Even without seeing ‘Watership Down’, I knew that rabbits lived underground in burrows – although – I grew up in a very rural area – so maybe city kids wound’t be that familiar with the term?

    I loved Dr. Mist in this issue and how different of a character he is/was to the other duper heroes at the time. Of course I wouldn’t have know it then – but when he was paired up with he Global Guardians later he just because even more cooler in my mind!

    Regarding the expertly crafted panel of Wonder Woman with her hair blowing in the wind – – – perhaps because Ramona was a female artist she had a much deeper knowledge of how wind would affect someone in real life and brought that into her artwork.

    I did find it odd that when all of the Super Friends were staring at The Spirit Of Life and scything what they wanted most – not a single one wished for an end to violence or world peace!

    Regarding the Super Friends Lite Brite Refill pack – I’ve included a link to an eBay auction that has a picot of the back of the pack that shows each of the 12 sheets and what they look like when they are pegged and lit up!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-Friends-Lite-Brite-1980-Vtg-Batman-Superman-Wonder-Woman-Hasbro-refill-DC/313295947322?hash=item48f1e4c63a:g:v-YAAOSwJ9Ffq~0p

    1. I got the impression that their reactions to the flame weren’t so much general “fondest wishes,” as they were the specific temptations that immortality held for each of them.

      1. I had the same impression, but one does admit that “what one would do with immortality” and “fondest wishes” might well be a subtle line.

        Rob, I’m surprised that you weren’t more upset at the way Superman was so condescending in his thoughts about Aquaman in their sequence. “Well… I gave Aquaman a chance to take the beast on — and he flopped! I had a feeling I’d be the one who had to make the capture!” Gee, Supes! Thanks for giving me a chance! NOT! If the mole’s a threat, don’t waste time giving the other guy a chance, just get him!

  5. Ending the old year with a new podcast! Thanks for taking the time during the holidays to do this!

    I remember reading this as a kid, and thinking that Superman had an attitude problem, after his thought bubble saying Aquaman ‘flopped’ and that he’d be the one to make the capture. I was secretly happy when he Supes failed.

    I enjoyed seeing the Wonder Twins carry out Batman’s plan, but Zan walking around as a snowman was just so (to me) dumb. He couldn’t have turned into a cloud or steam or mist and just floated around?

    There were definitely some deep thoughts in this issue, but I appreciated them, kids have their own deep thoughts at time, so seeing it addressed in a comic was cool.

    Mixed thoughts about Wonder Woman and Robin referring to each other as Diana and Dick. It makes sense, those are their names, but it just seems odd to me.

  6. Rob, is there anyone in your family named Machine Gun Kelly? ’cause that’d be totally boss.

    The Lite-Brite toy itself isn’t to blame for being lame, I think. It’s just when you learn that the Mist family down the road has a much snazzier Lite-Brite than yours, it can whirl around and do fireworks and give you superpowers, that suddenly your own Lite-Brite doesn’t seem as awesome. Oh, they’re nice folks and all, it’s just that the dad’s a doctor so they can afford all the best toys. And it’s his prerogative to have a man-cave where he keeps cool stuff away from the riffraff — that’s OK, we can be happy to make a picture of a clown with our own Lite-Brite.

  7. I had to chuckle at almost all the Dr. Mist in this issue.

    First off the scowling mountain base. That’s ridiculous! So much for a secret base!

    But I laughed at the reminder he was on Constantine, the show. We do live in miraculous times. After all, in season one of Supergirl (a miracle she got her own show) we had a Reactron episode.

    A live action Reactron!

    Amazing!

  8. I remember reading this as a kid and being surprised that Superman had to ask if that was Dr Mist at the head of the mountain… who else would it be?

    It may have been a lettercol or a Roy Thomas text page, perhaps a fanzine, but I read that Dr Mist aka Nommo was based on an H Rider Haggard character; looking it up, that’s Noot, the Occult Master, in Wisdom’s Daughter, one of the She cycle. That would go with the magic flame bit in this issue.

    It’s interesting that several of the heroes’ fondest wishes were connected to immortality but this story was telling us immortality wasn’t so hot.
    Batman’s hope to fight crime for centuries was picked up on by Scott Snyder – well, at least he had the same idea – who had him reincarnating in a series of Bat-clones… it’s best forgotten.

    As ever, the art is lovely. Dr Mist looks like he’s wearing a miner’s helmet, which would go with the burrow theme (I think ‘burrow’ was one of the first words I ever learnt, toddler picture books were full of ‘em!).

    Anyway, it was a fun issue, I love Frosty the SnowZan.

    Put me down as very jealous of whoever gets to guest next time, as it’s a total winner and they’ll be back for the sequel in #15, the issue with one of the best male superhero costumes ever!

  9. This was the first issue of Super Friends that I bought as a kid! Fond memories…

    Dr. Mist is indeed based on the character Noot from H. Rider Haggard’s novel Wisdom’s Daughter. In the original Who’s Who two-page Global Guardians entry, when it lists the characters’ first appearances, it says “The man we now know as Dr. Mist first appeared in chapter 18 of Wisdom’s Daughter by H. Rider Haggard.” As E. Nelson Bridwell was one of the contributing writers for Who’s Who, I’m certain that he wrote that entry and made it canon.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the mention of “The Compleat Werewolf” by Anthony Boucher. I remember reading that story and enjoying it very much. It had its own set of rules for lycanthropy…it’s not a matter of being bitten, it’s that some people have the potential to assume an animal form by saying a magic word. (I can’t recall for sure whether it was only a certain group of people, or whether this potential was in everybody.) Each individual has their own alternate animal form; some people are were-cats, were-birds, etc. The title character is a college professor named Wolfe Wolf (talk about nominative determinism), derisively nicknamed “Woof Woof” by his peers, who encounters a stage magician with real powers, who recognizes his potential. After being given the magic word (which is never revealed, to protect readers who might try it out and die after becoming were-fish), he changes into a wolf (an actual wolf, not a wolf-man) but retains his full human intelligence and personality; he doesn’t become wild or violent just because he’s a wolf. The drawback is that, being unable to speak, he has to hear someone else say the second magic word “Absarka” to change him back, which causes problems when the magician isn’t around to say it for him.

    Another detail I recall is that, during Wolf’s first encounter with the magician at a bar, the drunken Prof. Wolf comments on the magician’s facial hair: “Your beard is bald!” (or maybe he transposed the words to “Your bald is beard”), clarifying “It’s just a fringe running all around.” I remember trying to visualize what that would look like…

  10. Hi, Rob. I’ve been listening to the podcast since the beginning, and thought I would finally drop you a line. I admit that at first, I was a bit disappointed to find that it wasn’t about the cartoon show itself, but I decided to keep listening anyway, and I’m glad that I did. I was vaguely aware of the Super Friends comic book, and even read an issue or two back in the day. I’m ashamed to say that at the time, I probably found it a bit “babyish,” as it was clearly aimed at younger readers. Thanks to you, I’m now able to appreciate the charm of ENB’s writing and Ramona Fradon’s art. In particular, I was unfamiliar with Ramona Fradon before this podcast (I was always more of a Marvel guy as a kid, and she did very little work for Marvel). But now I seem to see her name everywhere.

    What really moved me to write was to throw in my two cents about Anthony Boucher. Though I’m sure you’ve touched base with Chris Franklin by now about Boucher’s career, I will just throw in my own familiarity with him. While I’m not familiar with the werewolf story you mentioned, I know Boucher mainly as a mystery writer. Besides his short stories, he wrote almost every episode of the Sherlock Holmes radio show that Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce did at the same time that they were starring in the classic movie series. Reportedly Boucher had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Holmes canon. The Anthony Awards, an annual award for mystery writers, is named after him.

    A final note, Rob: I don’t know if you’ve seen the new Wonder Woman movie, or if you intend to see it. I won’t spoil any of the plot here, and I won’t give a review of it. I will just say that if you do see it, be sure to watch the end credits. Not for the mid-credits scene that every other comic fan is talking about, but for the section of the credits where they give “Special Thanks” to a long list of comic book creators. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at one of the names in that list. I know that I was.

    In closing, thanks for the podcast (and also for M*A*S*H Cast, which I also listen to). Maybe next time I write to you, I’ll actually say something about the issue you’re discussing! :-)

  11. Actually, I wasn’t aware of Boucher or his werewolf book, but now I want to be! I think the werewolf books I banged on about were Jeff Rovin’s Return of the Wolf Man that eluded me for decades, but a certain Mr. Vandiver was nice enough to send to me, and Frank J. Dello Stritto’s A Werewolf Remembers – The Testament of Lawrence Stewart Talbot.

    Always a pleasure to hear Terry’s voice on the network, and not just in my head playing the House of Franklin-Stein theme. His Christmas version was indeed a treat and that alone makes me want to do another Christmas special next year, just to be able to use it again!!!

    I have never read or owned this issue, so thanks for the great coverage! When Dr. Mist returns later in the series, I was flummoxed by his angry faced HQ! I I think Ryan Daly had a similar Mountain Sanctuary erected after seeing The Last Jedi.

    Chris

  12. A few random thoughts….
    I think ENB himself explained Dr. Mist’s origin, maybe in the letter column about this issue? I definitely remember him writing somewhere about getting the idea from H. Rider Haggard’s novel, because at the time I read that I mis-understood him to be referencing L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology! Boy, was I confused!! 😉
    Likewise, I seem to recall ENB writing somewhere that he was NOT related to the author of Clifford the Big Red Dog. As a fan of that series and the Super Friends, I definitely remember wondering if they were related.
    This is an issue that I remember not liking very much as a kid, but when I re-read it later liking it very much. It definitely is not in the same “league” as the Menagerie Man issues, haha! I still don’t care much for the attitude of Superman, though, the big stuffed shirt.

  13. Great episode! Catching up, but had to chime in on the lite brite issue. I never had one but my younger sister did. She had flowers and animals but the only character I recall was Strawberry Shortcake! I might have stolen it if it had some of the Super Friends…

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