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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Super Friends #18 - March 1979

Comics Weekend "Manhunt in Time!" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Bob Smith.

Last week's issue of Super Friends was an unexpected two-parter, so I felt compelled to go out and get the second part to see how our heroes' battle with the mysterious Time Trapper wrapped up:
With the help of Global Guardian Tuatara, the Super Friends learn that the Time Trapper escaped to three different eras of time, but Tuatara isn't sure in what order he went.

Batman surmises that the Time Trapper hopes to change history during any of those visits (to 19th century Michigan, 15th century Spain, and 59,000 B.C. Atlantis). But since he would be able to detect the Super Friends following him, they have to find another way of time traveling: via hypnosis, administered by Prof. Nichols. Huh?

Anyway, the Super Friends are down with this, and Superman and Aquaman head for Atlantis:
With the Time Trapper's machine deactivated, Superman harmlessly grabs it, hurling it into the sun. With their mission at its end, they find themselves fading, returning to their own time.

Wonder Woman and Robin try to find the Time Trapper in Spain, getting involved among the events that will lead to the voyages of Columbus discovering America. Similarly, their mission ended, Wonder Woman and Robin return to their own time.

In Michigan, Batman and the Wonder Twins arrive just in time to make sure a young boy named Edison isn't killed during a train accident. But they don't find the Time Trapper either before they are brought back to their own time.

Prof. Nichols wonders how they're doing:
Hmm...looks pretty bad for the Super Friends, doesn't it?

Except that the Time Trapper forgot about one other member of the team:

...wow, defeated by Gleek? That is one humiliating ending for a would-be super-villain. I bet when the Time Trapper ended up on trial in a court of his peers, he tells them it was the combined efforts of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman that did it.

With only seventeen pages to work with (the late 70s was the nadir for comics, in terms of the story-to-ads ratio), these Super Friends stories tend to flow pretty well, then end very abruptly, like this one does.

As a kid, I took notice that frequently during these wrap-ups, Aquaman got left out of the group shots, like what happens here. I guess we just have to assume he woke up from his hypnotic trance.

Still, Aquaman did get some stuff to do in this issue, which is always nice. And as much as I love Ramona Fradon's work, Kurt Schaffenberger does a nice job here--I like Aquaman's floating hair in the last panel of page 6, a nice little way of reminding the viewer we are, in fact, under water!


Josh Hill said...

Gotta love any comics drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger!

Wings1295 said...

Fun comic, for sure!

wich2 said...

Love The Schaff; gotta love The Schaff!

(From Big Red Cheese, to ACG Horror, to THE cutie-patootie Lois...)


Aaron said...

Tuatara is my favorite Global Guardian, except for maybe BUSHMASTER.

Russell said...

Rob, I just noticed the price tag on this comic is 12p. Is this the British version?!? How cool is that!!

rob! said...


Yep. When I was reading SF #17 for review, I didn't know it was a continued story, so I had to go on ebay and buy the cheapest copy of SF #18 I could find--which just happened to be the British edition!

Earth 2 Chris said...

I love Schaff, but I never cared for his Batman. His Robin was also looked pretty young for Dick's Teen Wonder college days.


Unknown said...

Back around the 50's, Batman & Robin (and sometimes Superman) used a professor (who's name might be Nichols, my books are in storage) who would hypnotize them and send them to the past. So, while the logic might be flawed, there is some precedent for it.

hobbyfan said...

I had this issue before, but didn't get the 1st half (issue 17).

Butch R: It was indeed Prof. Nichols who sent the Dynamic Duo on time-trips back in the 50's.