For All Mankind #29

Rob and Super Friend Scott X review "Invisible Defenders of Earth" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Ramona Fradon, and Bob Smith, plus "Scholars From the Stars" by Bridwell, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Smith from SUPER FRIENDS #29! Plus Listener Feedback!

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Opening and closing themes by Hanna Barbera.

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22 responses to “For All Mankind #29

  1. I thought Wonder Woman’s lasso trick this issue was a different use of the one she used to change from her Diana Prince clothes to her costume in the 1970 Wonder Woman comics. The thought balloons say her clothes would “change” or “transform” back and forth by reacting to the vibrations of the lasso, but did not go into details. Maybe ENB came up with the idea of Diana “wearing” both sets of clothes, with one set following her around in the “far out” dimension. And if she could use her lasso to send her clothes into another dimension while her body remained here, then why not the other way around?

    From Wonder Woman 212, the first time she does this trick:

    From Wonder Woman 215, the first time she is shown changing back to Diana Prince:

    Except writer Len Wein, and editors afterward, explained that this trick required her Diana Prince clothing to be treated with a special chemical solution to create this “magic” effect. I suppose this is one detail ENB chose to ignore. He knew that the Flash used vibrations to travel to different dimensions (like Earth Two), so the lasso’s vibration powers would be enough.

    I only remember this because I read the “Twelve Labors” trade recently. Maybe someone else read a different Wonder Woman comic where she actually pulled this Super Friends dimensional stunt?

    And as I mentioned back in episode 23, this Wonder Twins story was originally planned for issue 15 (and was supposed to be the first story of them using secret identities) but it was cut due to the DC Implosion. I suppose the creative team held onto it until they came up with a shorter lead story. Hmm, since Jayna has to activate their Wondertwin powers to become “a blond”, then that means Zan’s powers are activated the entire time he poses as Johan/John Flemming. I hope he is careful not to order ice cream or iced tea from the school cafeteria.

    1. Man, never thought about it before, but you’re right about Zan’s powers being in ‘activated’ mode the entire time Jayna is “shaped of a blond.” It’s got me wondering if he has to specifically say “form of (whatever)” or if, like you suggest, he can order, say, a sno-cone and accidentally turn into a pile of slush full of fruit syrup…

      1. Well, I was trying to be funny. But let’s just hope Johan doesn’t have to give an oral presentation of the water cycle:

        “…and then the water vapor in the clouds condense into the form of rain–” BING!

  2. A bizarre concept that provides some really neat visuals. I’m in tots agree with Scott X, the cover looks really cool. Especially with the unique design of the invisibility. I really enjoy how intergalactic The Super Friends was. Alien civilization came and went on a weekly basis. aThe heroes traveled to other planets and worlds like it was a trip to the local shopping center. The casual way Wonder Woman, addresses the incoming starship. It’s about as big a deal as finding a new soda flavor at the 7-11.
    The Wonder Twins story was fun. I love that they totally pranked their classmates. They were teenagers after all. They should get up to some mischief. Sure, these are Archie and Jughead style shenanigans, but given the intended audience, it works perfectly. We never really got to see much of the Super-Friends private lives in the cartoon series, so it nice that the comic gave us a glimpse of what The Wonder Twins we’re up to when not on duty.

  3. “For All Mankind” episodes are such wonderful treats for the weekend.
    I had this issue back then (plucked off the spinner rack to tie it into another topic briefly discussed in the show), but to this day I don’t remember much about the first story except for the cover – not even the images on your gallery post helped jog my memory.
    However, so many details of the Zan & Jayna back-up are etched in my memory: from the blond ‘dos through the shape-shifting hijinks to their cover-story. I love how their credulous school chums just shrug off the existence of a holo-projector and readily buy that the twins are from Sweden – that always reminded me of the Coneheads telling everyone they’re from France.

  4. wait, vibrate into other dimensions? Did they mean to use Flash?
    I REALLY LIKE Jimmy Oleson I mean WHY NOT? Of course I REALLY really Felix Fuast
    as to the latest issuse thats a great cover.

  5. This issue is a total blank to me (pun somewhat intended), but the story gimmick is pure nuts, but perfect for comics, or animation! The mostly topless Hawkman would have looked weird in this story, I bet.

    I had no idea Jayna could “Form of a blonde”. Her power set in the comics seems a bit more robust than on the cartoon. Poor Zan is screwed in both!

    Between the shot of the mermaid in this issue, and the naked human butts in the next, I think SF was pushing the Comic Code boundaries more than a standard DC comic at this time! And of course the glorious page of violence on the issue Rob and I covered a few months back too! Wertham was rolling in his grave!

    Always a pleasure to hear Scott X, and if he came for a sleepover back in the kid days, we would have had matching sheet sets! How cool is that?


  6. Justice league
    It’s all about the art

    Why didn’t she just use hair dye

    Thanks for another top show, it was good to hear Scott’s stories. Who knew he was such a naughty child?

    I also don’t remember this cover tale, I think it’s the lack of a villain. It’s a real pleasure looking at the crisp reprint in the second volume of The Super Friends: Saturday Morning Heroes (probably available with 42% off…). Ramona is so clever, it must have been tricky getting those floating costumes in the right place in the frames, but she nails it every time. This story certainly fits with what Scott was saying about ENB coming up with the plots first and then fitting the characters in.

    My God, it’s just dawned on me – E Nelson Bridwell invented Tom King!

    How typical of Nelson to begin the story with a reference to the Justice League… this is Earth One, not some kiddie cartoon that doesn’t matter, dammit! And I loved the reference to Interlac, though he might have mentioned the Legion. We all love the Legion.

    The back-up was a fun bit of fluff, and yes, the art was gorgeous, I love Kurt Schaffenberger’s work so very much. I saw his selection of Lois headshots in a Seventies Superman Family, presumably reprinted from some Sixties Lois book.

    Since ‘Form of a blonde’ basically gave us Jayne with a different hairdo, why didn’t she just use hair dye, like Zan. Or try a wig? Maybe sit Gleek on her head and pretend she had a plait?

    1. Start reading that comment from ‘ Thanks for another…’. Blooming sausage fingers!

      And could someone tell me how to paste images in posts?’

      1. I use an html command to post an image, but I need the URL of the image to post. Example:

        img src=”” alt=”” /

        Note, the above line needs to have the “less than” sign (Shift+,) at the beginning and the “greater than” sign (Shift+.) at the end in order to work.

        1. Also, you need the actual URL of the image file, a photo album link will not work.

          BTW, your Lois image referenced “The Three Wives of Superman”, which was a story from Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 51, reprinted in Superman Family 164. That must be the Superman Family that printed those head models. Right now I can’t get into my Dad’s comic collection to check for sure.

  7. Another thought. If Jayna can change into other humans, then why not change to “shape of… Wonder Woman” or “…Supergirl” and get their abilities? Or use her powers to disguise herself as “…Poison Ivy” or “…Cheetah” to spy on the Super Foes?

  8. Another great episode about another issue I owned at one point. Insanity.

    The first story is complete bonkers but it gives Fradon some room to stretch her artistic legs with the Diko-esque dimensional stuff. Love it.

    But I just giggled at the Wonder Twins story. First off, the naked mermaid in the alley was a bit risque for the super friends. But what I love is the ‘last time i saw this I ate too much ice cream’, a sort of nod to the classic ‘drunk seeing super-action and swearing off booze’ joke you have mentioned Rob.

    And I am too lazy to do so but knowing ENB, I bet a town called Eskjo actually exists. Well, at the very least on the pre-Crisis Earth-1/SF world.

    Great show!

  9. Hello Rob and Scott! Thanks so much for another great podcast!

    Rob, when the discussion talked about facial expressions, I’m surprised you didn’t mention Aquaman’s on the cover. I thought he had the perfect expression of confusion, given they had no idea what Wonder Woman was doing to them.

    Wonder Woman was definitely the Best Friend of the issue, no question about it.

    Regarding your comments about being annoyed that the comic didn’t run for 50 issues, I always felt the same way! I had often that issue #48 would finish up the Futuro trilogy (which we’ll see in future issues) and then 49 & 50 would be a two story arc that involved the JLA, and would’ve resulted in Zan & Jayna graduating to full hero status, like Wendy & Marvin in issue #9.

    While I understand your comments about rather having a longer story for all the heroes, I have to agree with Scott, I enjoyed seeing the Wonder Twins tales at the end, which would then alternate with other heroes. After all, the other members could be seen in their own books, or JLA, but we could only see the Wonder Twins in Super Friends.

    See ya next podcast!


  10. Great show, guys. What a trippy issue. My biggest question coming out of the main story was how the other Super Friends held their lunches down after looking at Batman’s floating mouth talking to them in the parallel Yellow Submarine album cover dimension. I have noticed all these alien invasion stories always end with the Super Friends telling the invaders to stay away from Earth or Superman is going to eff them up. Why don’t they do that at the start?

    The backup story was amusing. I’ve never been a big fan of the Wonder Twins. They just always seemed like an interplanetary Donny and Marie. However, I always had a soft spot for Kurt Schaffenberger’s clean wholesome art, so that kept me engaged. And during my bartending days in Washington DC, our bar had a nice Scharffenberger rose brut, which made me think of his art every time I poured it. Good stuff! Of course wholesome Kurt threw us a curveball when Marylou stumbles onto her mermaid dream come to life. Marylou + naked mermaid Jayna + swimming around together in Zan = great story to tell in college.

    1. “…interplanetary Donny and Marie.” Perfect! That explains my lifelong indifference to Zan and Jayna!

  11. If you hear anyone scoff at Ramona Fradon’s skills, show them this issue! She must have drawn full figures, then erased all but the costumes, then filled in the parts of the costumes previously obscured! Then creating the weird backgrounds! Magnificent!

  12. Scott X, welcome to the show. You were a great guest.
    Your opening comments were FANTASTIC!
    A wonderful Ted Knight!

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