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The Elemental War: Firestorm meets the Swamp Thing

Today we conclude our coverage of “The Elemental War” from Firestorm #90-93! On Wednesday we provided an overview of the entire storyline and highlighted some fantastic Tom Mandrake artwork.  Yesterday we chronicled Firestorm’s vision quest and first meeting with Maya. Today we’re going to look at Firestorm’s encounters during this storyline with Swamp Thing, the earth Elemental.

Before we get to that, we need to recognize Frank from Power of the Atom for joining our coverage of “The Elemental War”!  Captain Atom was featured in a one-page cameo during this storyline suggesting the silver-clad hero may actually be another Elemental, specifically a Quantum Elemental.  Click here to visit the Power of the Atom blog for more on this cameo, as well as to read Frank’s hilarious musings on Red Tornado in this story.  My thanks to Frank for sharing in our coverage!

Also, Doug came back with further coverage of “The Elemental War” over on the Red Tornado’s Path.  Check out Red Tornado trashing the mess out of a small Japanese town and a look at his origin by clicking here!  Thanks to Doug for continuing his fantastic coverage!

Today we’ll be covering a few scenes from Firestorm #92 and #93.  In each of these scenes Firestorm interacts with the Swamp Thing.  This was fairly unusual as appearances by Swamp Thing during this era were rare outside of his Mature Readers comic.  Also worth noting, at the time “The Elemental War” was published writer Rick Veitch had just left the monthly Swamp Thing title in a widely publicized creative dispute.  These were interesting times for the earth Elemental.

The scene below picks up immediately after Firestorm’s vision of Maya.  The fire elemental remains trapped at the bottom of the sea after being knocked unconscious by his fellow water and air Elementals.  I love the “pabloodleloop” sound effect!

Firestorm #92 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #92 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #92 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #92 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #92 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #92 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #92 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #92 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

For those of us that loved the “Eden” storyline in Firestorm #77-79 during the “Blank Slate” era, this served as a somewhat sad epilogue.  Also worth noting in this scene was Firestorm forswearing the use of his transmutation powers going forward.  While the Elemental Firestorm had rarely used them anyway, this officially closed the door on that power.

Next up are some pages from Firestorm #93.  As we join the scene, Naiad and Red Tornado have already destroyed the Japanese city of Nohana and are making their way towards Tokyo…

Firestorm #93 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #93 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Firestorm #93 featuring Swamp Thing and Red Tornado by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Wow! I love that scene where Swamp Thing grows to cover the entire city of Tokyo!  That’s so cool!  Godzilla’s got nothing on ole Swampy!  :)

The battle rages amongst the Elementals until Firestorm shows what fury he’s truly capable of (pun intended).  Here once again is the splash page we looked at on Wednesday.  Click to enlarge.

Firestorm #93 splash page by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Once Naiad agrees to listen, Firestorm describes Maya and her plan for the Elementals.  Naiad chooses to call off her war and retreats into the sea contemplating the role Maya intended for her. Firestorm then turns to Red Tornado…

Firestorm #93 by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake featuring Red Tornado and Swamp Thing

Firestorm #93 by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake featuring Red Tornado

Firestorm #93 featuring Swamp Thing by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Once Firestorm burns the empty shell left behind by Swamp Thing, he addresses the citizens of Tokyo…

Firestorm #93 by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Awesome!  Just plain awesome!  John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake crafted a fantastic superhero comic that also conveyed a message.  A message that still resonates.  Nowadays we live in an era where every corporation pats themselves on the back for their “green” initiatives.  We should take a moment to recognize Ostrander and Mandrake for their work spreading this message over 20 years ago.

For those of you that own these issues, I recommend you give them a re-read.  If this story is new to you, seek out these issues from back issue dealers.  You won’t be disappointed.

Once again, here is a rundown of the links for “The Elemental War” coverage:

My thanks to Doug and Frank for supporting this team-up, and an extra special thanks to you for reading it!

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One Comment

  1. rob! says:

    I’ve never read these issues, so these recaps are a first for me. The Tom Mandrake artwork shown is exceptional; he did some amazing work here!

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