*** UPDATED WITH MORE LINKS ***
CELEBRATING FIRESTORM IN THE SUPER POWERS COLLECTION!
Fourteen different blogs have combined forces today to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Kenner’s Super Powers Collection! While we’ll be looking at Firestorm here, every other blog in the crossover will cover different action figures or mini-comics from the Super Powers Collection. Back in 1984, Kenner released the first wave of Super Powers action figures based upon heroes and villains from DC comics. While there was a fairly large marketing campaign, I doubt they realized just how celebrated these figures would become.
The first wave of figures had characters like Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, Hawkman, the Joker, Lex Luthor, Brianiac and the Penguin. Two more waves were released, bringing the line to a total of 33 figures. One of the primary reasons the Super Powers Collection became so successful was that the molds were very good. These figures actually looked like the characters in the comics. That may sound like a no-brainer in the age of DC Direct and McFarlane Toys, but keep in mind prior to the Super Powers Collection adherence to characters likeness wasn’t exactly a priority. Another reason for the line’s success was the inclusion of popular heroes and some relatively unknown characters (I mean, who really demanded a Tyr figure anyway?). This mixture proved to be popular with comic book fans and kids alike. Finally, some people will argue that the “Power Action” hidden gimmick in each figure was a big selling point. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but hey, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, right?
Hard to believe it’s been 25 years!
Firestorm was released as part of Wave 2 in 1985. I reviewed the Firestorm Super Powers Collection figure back in January (click here for that review), so today we’ll focus on the mini-comics. The first two waves of Super Powers action figures each came with a mini-comic book starring that particular character. These comics were 4.5 inches by 2.75 inches, and had 13 pages of story.
Not much information exists about who the writers and artists were for these mini-comics. Paul Kupperberg (writer of the full-sized DC Super Powers mini-series from 1985 and 1986) had this to say about Kenner’s Super Powers Collection mini-comics, “I wrote only one of the Kenner minis, for Steppenwolf (#13). Alas, I have no real memory of having done it. Art looks to be Jose Delbo. The rest were probably written by the likes of Jack Harris, Rozakis, and the like. Wish I could remember more about them: don’t even recall who the project editor was…probably Barry Marx, who worked under Joe Orlando in Special Projects.” Special thanks to The Aquaman Shrine for the quote!
Firestorm had his own mini-comic featuring our favorite hot-headed hero fighting alongside Green Arrow against the nefarious Mantis. The mini-comics served to introduce the characters to new readers, as well as to promote other action figures in the line. While both Green Arrow and Mantis co-starred in Firestorm’s mini-comic, they also had figures in Wave 2. In the same vein, Firestorm appeared in the mini-comics of Martian Manhunter, Darkseid, and the Parademons.
Here is the Firestorm Super Powers Collection mini-comic in its entirety:
For more Green Arrow Super Powers coverage, be sure to check out Adama’s blog today, DISPATCHES FROM THE ARROW CAVE. For more on Superman in the Super Powers Collection, visit Michael’s blog today, FORTRESS OF BAILEYTUDE.
In the Martian Manhunter comic, Wonder Woman and the Manhunter from Mars recruit Firestorm for his atomic powers. Firestorm then blasts in full of wise-cracks and creativity. It really seems that Firestorm is going to steal the show. One simple blast from ole match-head and Desaad’s mind control machines should be slag. Instead, Firestorm spends his time protecting the only hottie on the Super Powers team, while leaving the Manhunter out in the cold. Not exactly the team-spirit move, but you can’t fault the teenager for wanting to hang with the Amazonian Princess. In the end, Manhunter saves the day, which is only fair since it’s his mini-comic anyway. For more on Martian Manhunter’s Super Powers activities, be sure to check out Frank’s IDOL-HEAD OF DIABOLU blog today. Here are a few Firestorm-centric pages from the Martian Manhunter mini-comic:
The Darkseid mini-comic stars those hallmarks of the DC Universe, the Delta Probe and the Darkseid Destroyer! …. Huh? …the what and the what?!?! Here Kenner took the opportunity to promote not only the Super Powers action figures, but the accessory vehicles. Also in this mini-comic are Batman, Red Tornado, and Firestorm. It’s worth noting that if Batman had the Delta Probe with him during Final Crisis, he would have survived Darkseid’s Omega Beams. I’m just sayin’. Firestorm’s main contribution to this story is his impulsiveness which lands them all in some trippy Ditko-like prison dimension. Head on over to Tommy’s BAT-BLOG today for more on Batman’s activities in the Super Powers Collection. Doug will be covering Red Tornado’s contribution to the Super Powers Collection today on his Doom Patrol blog, MY GREATEST ADVENTURE 80. Here are a few Firestorm-centric pages from the Darkseid mini-comic:
In the Parademons mini-comic, Firestorm saves the passengers of an elevated train by using his atomic restructuring powers to transform the street below into a giant pillow. I’m not sure that really solves the inertia problem, but hey, we’ll go with it. Beyond that Firestorm spouts some sarcasm at Doctor Fate and taunts an illusion of Darkseid. That’s about it. He’s really just there to help sell figures. Co-stars for this mini-comic include Green Lantern, Darkseid, and the aforementioned Doctor Fate. For more on Doctor Fate in the Super Powers Collection, check out my other blog today, ONCE UPON A GEEK. Here are a few Firestorm-centric pages from the Parademons mini-comic:
CRISIS ON EARTH-BLOG **UPDATED**
As mentioned, fourteen different blogs (**UPDATE** fifteen) have teamed-up today to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Super Powers Collection. While I’m featuring Firestorm here on my site, you can visit these other character-specific blogs to see how they spotlight their own favorite characters today. Be sure to check out:
- Rob (the blogger who inspired most of us to start our own superhero blogs) rolls out the pomp and circumstance for the King of the Seven Seas over at The Aquaman Shrine. Also, thanks to Rob for the excellent “Crisis on Earth-Blog” logo! **UPDATE** Rob followed up a couple days later with an additional post on the Super Powers Give-A-Show projector.
- Frank investigates J’onn J’onzz, the Manhunter from Mars, at Idol-Head of Diabolu. **UPDATE** Frank followed up with four additional posts. (1) Doctor Fate mini-comic, (2) Mantis mini-comic, (3) Martian Manhunter Super Powers action figure, and (4) Super Powers #1 Martian Manhunter biography.
- Tommy applies his detective skills to the Batman universe of characters over at the Bat-Blog. Also, special thanks to Tommy for the fantastic “Super Powers 25th Anniversary” logo! **UPDATE** Tommy did eight separate Super Powers related posts. (1) Super Powers 25th Batman & Robin Wallpapers, (2) Batman-related spin-off products, (3) The Penguin action figure and mini-comic, (4) The Joker action figure and mini-comic, (5) Batman, Robin and Riddler toys, comics and vehicles, (6) Super Powers Batman-related cup holders, (7) a post with links to all the other participating blogs, and (8) Super Powers action figure and vehicle original production art.
- The Clowny Princess brings us a different view at her blog dedicated to the Clown Prince of Crime, Love Dat Joker.
- Kelson types the fastest blog alive and covers the Flash over at Speed Force.
- Running side-by-side with Kelson is Dixon’s Flash blog over at Crimson Lighting. **UPDATE** Dixon followed up with four additional posts. (1) Super Powers Flash action figure, (2) Super Powers TV commercial with Flash, (3) Super Powers #2 comic book cover, and (4) complete Super Powers Flash mini-comic.
- Frank explores the figures and mini-comics that might have been for Justice League Detroit. **UPDATE** Frank has followed up with two additional posts, one on the Super Amigos Vibe mini-comic and the other on the Super Amigos Vixen mini-comic.
- Luke provides the rundown on the winged wonder, Hawkman, over at the cleverly named blog Being Carter Hall. **UPDATE** Luke followed up with another post on Super Powers Puffy Stickers.
- Doug puts a new spin on the adventures of Red Tornado today over at his Doom Patrol blog, My Greatest Adventure 80.
- Adama keeps Green Arrow’s aim true over at Dispatches from the Arrow Cave.
- Michael will be providing up, up and away coverage today of Superman over at the Fortress of Baileytude.
- Frank tackles as many Super Powers mini-comics today as humanly possible over at his blog called … nurgh … **UPDATE** Frank managed to get through all the mini-comics! Starting with #1-8, then #9-16, and finally #17-23.
- Finally, today I’ll be tackling the Doctor Fate Super Powers antics and the unproduced Blue Devil figures over at my other blog, Once Upon a Geek.
- **UPDATE** A surprising fifteenth entry appeared by Michael over at The Legion Omnicom covering the Tyr Super Powers action figure from the Legion of Super-heroes. Thanks for joining in Michael!
While the following blogs are not participating in today’s crossover, I’d like to thank them for their support. For various reasons, they were unable to join us today but have been very supportive of the project. Thanks!
- Ryan over at Green Lantern Spotlight
- **UPDATE** Rick was kind enough to promote our blog crossover on Plastic Man Platitudes and Mail it to Team-up
- **UPDATE** Bubba Shelby was also kind enough to promote our blog crossover on his site Toyriffic. In September, Bubba Shelby did a post on the Super Powers Parademon action figure.
- **UPDATE** Matt over at No Cure for Comics and PopCultureShock discussed the crossover and even included a Super Powers TV commercial!
- **UPDATE** Reis over at About.com Guide to Action Figures talked about our blog crossover.
What a great series of action figures! For those of us who owned some back in the day, we’ll never forget the magic of these toys. My thanks to all the bloggers involved today in this crossover event! Happy Birthday Super Powers Collection!
Support Firestorm! Fan the flame!