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Firestorm and Aquaman - The Fire and Water PodcastThe eighth episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is now available for your listening pleasure! THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is the official podcast of FIRESTORM FAN and THE AQUAMAN SHRINE. This time around we review THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #3 (by Ethan Van Sciver, Gail Simone, and Yildiray Cinar) and AQUAMAN #3 (by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado), plus we share some listener feedback!

You can find the eighth episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST on iTunes. While you’re there, please drop us a review on the iTunes page. Every comment helps! Alternatively, you may download the podcast by right-clicking here, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (39 MB).

Thanks again to my co-host Rob Kelly, Sea King of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE, for doing all the post-production on these episodes! Additionally, special thanks to Daniel Adams and his band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our super-cool outro theme!

Thanks for listening! Send your feedback to:

Support Firestorm and Aquaman! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

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  1. Robert Gross says:

    Okay, honest-to-goodness conversation I had with my four-year-old son Sam this morning.

    Sam: Okay, I got one. Who would win between Aquaman and Firestorm if he didn’t have his hair?

    Me: Uh… Aquaman. Because if Firestorm didn’t have his hair, that means he’s out of power.

    Sam: Yes!

    Never let it be said I’m not raising my boy right.

  2. Frank says:

    Oh my God! Not only did you guys publish on the same day, but you actually got in a few hours early! This calls for Crossover Comments™!

    1) …Or not. I’m halfway through the podcast and nine points in at the Aquaman Shrine, since everything so far has been Aquacentric.

    2) You overestimate my interest in Barry Allen. I think Barry is a more well-rounded character with a sturdier story engine and direct ties to all Flashes before and since. Wally West was a whiny reactionary jerk of a sidekick before becoming the new Quicksilver. Then Mark Waid turned him into the Silver Age Superman of Speed, complete with reporter wife and extended family. Wally never felt very connected to the Rogues or Jay Garrick, and his contributions to the Flash mythos were infinitesimal compared to Barry’s. All that having been said, the Flash is boring. Speedsters are all boring. They run fast and don’t make logical sense in a shared universe. A care I do not give for any of them.

    3) Francis Manapul is doing amazing work on The Flash. As much as I don’t care about the Flash, his creative pedigree is impeccable. I find the Green Lantern mythos vastly more interesting, but I will always read a Bronze Age Flash comic over a Green Lantern one. Ditto earlier solo Wally versus contemporary Hal.

    4) Martian Manhunter is the big loser of the Brightest Day elementals (discounting Hawkgirl, I suppose.) There was no Martian Manhunter #1 in September, and sales on one six months later would be a fraction of the New 52s (see: The Huntress; The Ray.) Stormwatch is a Wildstorm book with special guest star J’Onn J’Onzz. I’m sure he helped sales, but can in no way take full credit for them.

    5) Hulk on Fire? Sounds more like Voltron to me…

    6) The Walking Dead midseason finale was awesome. Hopefully the context of that comment doesn’t spoil it for anyone. My girlfriend cried. It was the first moment on the show that has matched the comic in oh-dangitude.

    7) Jenna? That’s how you pronounce Gehenna? Comicvine says “juh-HEHN-uh” Look dude, here. And while we’re on the subject, here.

    8) Norm Rapmund will be a really interesting combination with Yildiray. I’m not sure how that will work, but the insides will more closely match the cover, I suspect.

    9) I mock Slipknot as a Firestorm villain because, y’know, rope. However, there’s a really popular band that has gotten a lot of mileage out of the name, and I like the costume, sleeves and all. The problem is that he needs to punch his own weight. Slipknot could be the greatest Green Arrow villain ever, but instead he pits hemp against the powers of matter transmutation. It’s sort of like if Dr. Fate had allergies, and one of his enemies was Mr. Peanut. “How can I maintain the balance between the forces of Order and Chaos without my EpiPen?!?” Bright yellow natural rope nooses on fire with flecks of kryptonite = near defeat of the JLA (“Curse you Flash, for a lack of totally arbitrary catastrophic vulnerability!”)

    10) An hour running time seems unlikely, but keeping it under 1½ gives the show a streamlined feel. Tight and vital. Coupled with the experience you guys have gained, this would be in the running for best show yet.

  3. Robert Gross says:

    Fury of Firestorm #28 was written by Joey Cavalieri as a pinch-hitter for Gerry Conway. He is, alas, also the creator of Bazooka Joan, her bazookas, and her orchestra. I’m not sure if Slipknot was outright created by Cavalieri or created by Conway but then farmed out to Cavalieri, but let’s just say this. Cavalieri had a real talent for coming up with dubiously non-threatening villains with dumb-sounding names. It is not for nothing that I agree with Frank’s comment that Slipknot would make an excellent Green Arrow villain, since Joey Cavalieri was also writing Green Arrow’s backup feature in Detective Comics at the time.

  4. Robert Gross says:

    (Oops, I forgot to mention that FOF #28 was the first appearance of Slipknot.)

  5. Keith G. Baker says:

    Once again an excellent podcast (and I’m not just saying that because I received 3 shout-outs). Couple of notes:

    In the bible, gehenna [guh-HEN-uh] or was a desolate place near Jerusalem that was, essentially, a constantly burning trash heap that was also used for sacrifices. It was used as a reference as to what hell would be like.

    The hour & a half works for me. I have a 45 minute each way commute and you guys help to keep me moving.

    Excellent music. I love the selection. Keep unearthing those gems!

    I have to admit, up until the 3rd issues, I was enjoying the Aquaman series a bit better. However, with this issue, Firestorm turned a corner for me. I love the back story of Helix and Zither. Here’s to hoping that Helix can be brought back somehow.

    I am also concerned that Jason resorted to killing Helix. I’m hoping we find out that it was Fury’s doing instead. Good guys don’t kill, IMHO.

    I agree with Frank wholeheartedly about Slipknot. Not the ideal foe for an uber-powerful character like Firestorm, but I think he would fit right in as a Green Arrow or Batman villain…..or maybe as a Dog Team assassin?

    One gripe: I could really do without the snide, MSNBC talking points. I realize that Rob has strong #OccupyMarxist beliefs…got it. But comics are a way for folks to escape the 24-hour news cycle. Now, calling the rantings of Helix “Right-wing bumper sticker slogans” is completely apropos, as it is probably an accurate description of what Gail was going for and had to do with the story. However, political discussion is not why I tune in. Could you save it for the “FDR didn’t really begin the ruination of the country with his Raw Deal and horribly designed entitlement programs” Podcast, please?

    That said, I think Rob is extremely entertaining otherwise and his part of the podcast is informative and an excellent complement to Shag. The two of them go very well together. Thank you both for the time and effort you put into this. It’s the only podcast I listen to regularly and is a high point for me.

    Keep up the good work. Until next time: Prof Stein LIVES!

    Keith G. Baker (BuddyBaker on the DCMBs)

  6. rob! says:


    Thanks for the comments.

    I feel compelled to answer you directly, because your criticisms of the show are aimed at me specifically.

    Maybe this won’t make a difference, but rest assured that any political comments I make on the show are not pre-ordained “talking points”; rather, they are what comes into my head at that moment. Shag and I make it a point to not rehearse too much (and I think that shows, for better or for worse), so I pretty much have no idea what he’s going to say, and vice versa. Whatever I say is not designed to forward an agenda, but simply how I feel.

    Maybe I shouldn’t ever broach the topic of politics on such a silly venture as F&W. But I feel as though the minute I start holding back, then the show stops being fun for me to do. And since fun is the only thing I get out of the show (I won’t presume to speak for Shag), if that goes away then I don’t see any point in continuing.

    Again, maybe that doesn’t make a difference in the end. I’d probably feel the same way if a comics-themed show I liked dropped in all sorts of pro-right wing stuff, because I’d feel it was inappropriate (I’ve stopped reading certain comics blogs just for that reason).

    More than anything else, I’m trying to be funny, and that’s generally my main consideration, ideology aside (hence my rant about Slipknot shopping at Whole Foods and driving a Prius, and other crunchy liberal tropes). Sorry if it doesn’t come across that way.


  7. Frank says:

    In Rob’s defense, while his politics are no secret, I’ve never felt like they ever overwhelmed a segment or were part of some insidious agenda. I tend to wince when I hear a quick jab very much counter to my beliefs in any media, but so long as that sort of thing doesn’t dominate, I figure to just roll with it. Of course, I also get a lot of practice down here in Texas, so I’ve probably built up sizable calluses in my political sensitivities. Still, we all know how it goes with sex, politics, religion, and your position on Jim Shooter.

    I’d also have to agree that Rob and Shag make a perfect team. Rob’s earnest, generally reserved, but can get deep at times. Shag’s livelier, punchier, has the classic radio voice, and the attitude to break up any tension or offer lighthearted lift as needed. Solid intro/extro/yin/yangage.

  8. Keith G. Baker says:


    I appreciate your response to my criticism. I was just trying to get across that the comments come across more vicious than humorous (think: Bill Maher vs. Jon Stewart). I really am enjoying the show and the occasional comment will not lose me as a listener. Just know, however, that whenever I hear these remarks, I will continue to make a face like I got a Raisinette in my pack of Goobers. Please keep in mind that while the majority of comic creators (and to a much lesser extent comic readers) tend to fall to the Left of center like Gail, there are also many out there who fall on EVS’s and Frank Miller’s side of such arguments. Either way, I would still have said something if the talking points had been Glenn Beckish, also because, as I said, comics are escapism….for me, at least.

    Anyway, please keep up the good work and know that even though I have spent a lot of words on this one point, it is really a minor one in my eyes and does not majorly detract from my overall enjoyment of your program. I hope, too, that the show continues to be as fun for you as it is for your listeners (me included).

    Thanks for everything,


  9. Luke says:

    So if Slipknot drives a Prius to his bank robberies, does that mean he is easily run down and captured when trying to make a getaway?

    Would New 52 Slipknot wear a crazy, scary looking mask, and grumble like Cookie Monster as well? (Anyone? Anyone? Frank?)

    I would say that Flash has been one of the breakout books of the New 52, but I think it was always sort of poised to be a big hit, so “breakout” may be something of a misnomer. So far that book has been what Johns’ and Manupal’s run on Flash should have been. So this Flash Fan is certainly enjoying it.

    Anyways, good show guys, glad to hear your thoughts on the King of the Seven Seas and the Lord of the Puffy Sleeves.

    @Keith, Rob took a potshot at my political views while ostensibly giving my podcast a plug — and frankly my podcast needs all the hype it can get so that was something of a disappointment — so you sort of have to just roll with it.

  10. Robert Gross says:

    I think comics forums are the perfect medium for the discussion of politics because it allows me to draw my favorite analogy. I love Batman. When I go to a Batman movie, I cheer for Batman to save the day and fight the good fight and all that. It’s a great vicarious thrill.

    But when I leave the theater, I return to reality. I don’t actually think that dressing up as a flying rodent is actually a sound crime-prevention policy. Poor Frank Miller may have fantasies about grim and gritty men in flying rodent suits obliterating people with middle-eastern surnames, but I happen to live on Earth-Prime, also variously known as the Real World.

    Libertarian-leaning right-wingers are the political equivalent of this. They read Ayn Rand novels and confuse them with real life. They cheer for John Galt, but forget that, like Bruce Wayne, John Galt too is a fictional character. Their view that every person is an island, their petulant bumper stickers proclaiming “All Taxation Is Theft,” their laughable visions of utopia in which each person can miraculously maintain his or her own infrastructure, roads, bridges, libraries, schools, etc., and the articles of faith— devoid of *any* *evidence*— that privatization always outperforms governmental services, and tax breaks for the wealthy trickle down to ordinary masses in job creation (the latter of which, I might add, has been roundly debunked time and time again)—

    —all these are the political equivalent of believing that Batman is real. They’re the views of the politically immature, who read Ayn Rand in high school, formed Objectivist Clubs and stayed there. Yes, in theory we could achieve utopia if only the lazy and shiftless would just die and the productive and prosperous, as libertarian-leaning right-wingers all imagine themselves to be, could just be left alone to create and produce free of any governmental intervention.

    But here on Earth-Prime, things don’t really work that way. The poor don’t just conveniently die for us in the name of utopia. People who live lives of dependency on entitlement programs inconveniently have children who, themselves, did absolutely nothing to deserve starvation just because their parents are social leeches. That’s why here on Earth-Prime, things are a little more complicated. We don’t let blameless kids starve just because we don’t like their parents. We also don’t put them *in orphanages*, which was, in recent memory, a serious proposal by one of the Republican presidential candidates* as to what to do about the inconvenient children in poverty when we abolish, as we of course would like to abolish, all entitlement programs for their parents, as to rebuke socialism and achieve theoretical capitalist purity, which is the only way to build utopia.

    I want a social safety net, thank you very much. Perhaps Mr. Baker is absolutely certain he will be gainfully employed and healthy all his life. I, however, am not too proud to admit that I do not have the ability to prognosticate, and that I might, god forbid, lose a limb, lose my mind, or, more likely than that, eventually, through no particular fault of my own other than the vagaries of the economy, lose my job, and have to avail upon the social safety net which is so blithely dismissed as “socialism” by so many people who think John Galt is real and who can’t tell the difference between a bona fide crime prevention program and a movie about a man in a flying bat suit.

    You keep on truckin’, rob!. Mr. Baker, who cutely tosses off the name MSNBC as if they invented the concept of a politically leaning news channel, has Fox News and all of AM talk radio to listen to if he doesn’t like the podcast.


  11. Luke says:

    Robert, I think your post alone is a perfect example of why comic forums are the absolute worst place to discuss politics.

  12. Shag says:

    Howdy gang! Thanks for all the wonderful feedback! We sincerely appreciate the positive and constructive feedback. Y’all are a very passionate group and we appreciate your support. It only helps to make the show better.

    I wanted to take a second to acknowledge the lively political discussion in the comments. First, as mentioned before, the feedback is great. We sincerely appreciate it. Second, Keith brought forward some constructive criticism, and indicated it was only a minor concern for him. This led to some healthy dialogue between Rob and Keith.

    Now I’m worried an issue identified as “minor” will become the primary topic of discussion in these comments. Some folks are on different sides of the political fence and that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    Therefore, I’d like to ask we discontinue the political discussions in this thread. Sorry to be the party-pooper. I just don’t want to risk this spiraling into a political slugfest. That wouldn’t be fun for anyone.

    I hope you understand my concerns. Thanks for listening and being so passionate about the show!

    Fan the flame and Ride the Wave!


  13. Luke says:

    One thing about guys like Slipknot is that not every bad guy has to be Lex Luthor or The Joker (something I think a lot of modern writers forget). Some of them need to be Terra-Man or The Ten-Eyed Man.

    In wrestling, there is a term traditionally called a jobber (nowadays more often referred to by the euphamism “enhancement talent”), who’s job it is to lose. They are very low on the totem pole and they are usually either young guys who are paying their dues or guys who simply are never going to be the big time. The thing is you need jobbers. You need someone for the big monster heel to destroy in two minutes. You need someone for your young, fresh faced star to shine against. You can’t have top guys fighting in every match. (The modern product has gotten away from this somewhat but it still exists.)

    I look at supervillains the same way. Sometimes they are there to annoy our hero more than anything else. Maybe (like Slipknot’s ropes being organic) they have some minor advantage over the hero which the hero has to overcome. Maybe they are just unpredictable or crazy or otherwise a pain. But the hero still has to deal with them, and this sort of obstacle allows the writer to show us some aspect of our hero; be it a new way to use their power, a secret fear, a nagging injury, or any of a million other possibilities. Jobber villains serve the same purpose as jobber wrestlers — to build up the star (in our case, the hero) so that when he does face that Big Bad we are all the more emotionally attached to them.

    PS: Does Slipknot have any known connection to the minor Hawkfoe Warwhip? He also used “organic” weapons, in his case whips which he created out of his arms. Hawkgirl dealt with him pretty harshly early in Johns’s run on Hawkman, and he ended up being shot to death by the police. Just a thought!

  14. Robert Gross says:

    Back in the days before Reagan, TV and radio stations had the fairness doctrine. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it said that a station had to give equal time to an opposing viewpoint whenever the station gave an editorial. And you know why it isn’t there anymore? Because people with the same right-leaning libertarian orientation as Keith and Luke bellyached about station owners’ rights. It’s *their* station so they should be able to have on who they want, and keep off who they want.

    So, by the same token, if it’s Rob and Shag’s podcast, it’s Rob and Shag’s podcast. You should be able to say what you want. If they don’t like it, tough. It’s just amazing how right-wing criers have gotten it in their heads that despite the oodles of money they have promoting their viewpoints in the mass media and how they’ve bought off about 7/8ths of the political machinery in Washington, *they’re* the persecuted ones.

    If they listen to a comic book podcast and, god forbid, have to be reminded of the fact that their viewpoints are not actually unanimous, they throw a hissy fit.

    If they aren’t allowed to shove religious holidays down everyone’s throats, they say *they’re* persecuted and call it a War on Christmas.

    If someone passes a law that says you can’t discriminate against blacks, gays or whoever in the workplace they say *they’re* persecuted because they’re forced to work with people they don’t like.

    They put bumper stickers on their cars decrying the existence of taxation as if they and they alone uniquely pay taxes.

    For a political orientation that prides itself on its masculine self-image of rugged individualism, they sure are a bunch of crybabies.

    As for Luke’s comment, he might have failed to notice that the writers on Firestorm in particular are *themselves* putting themes with political overtones into the book. Therefore, a certain amount of political discussion is *inevitable*.

    I wonder if Luke has ever himself wondered why it seems like creative people— artists, composers, writers, dancers— tend to be so liberal. I wonder if thinking creatively rather than rigidly, being open-minded rather than needing absolute right answers in life, and wanting to celebrate the good in people rather than obsessing over people to demonize might have something to do with it.

    When the right actually finds a creative person who leans their way like Frank Miller, they gleefully jump up and down pointing at him. See? See??!! There’s one! Ooh! Ooh! But it’s still a dog-bites-man story. The man-bites-dog story is that, like it or not, the people who tend to be attracted to creativity— you know, that ephemeral quality that keeps comics, for one medium, going— tend to lean more my way politically than Luke’s.

  15. Robert Gross says:

    I got the dogs and men reversed above. Frank Miller is the man-bites-dog story. Creative people tending to be liberal is the dog-bites-man story.

  16. Shag says:

    One more time… I’d like to ask we discontinue the political discussions in this thread. Some comments are becoming personal and I’m not cool with that.

    Let’s move on.


  17. Shag says:

    @Luke – Great point about “jobber” supervillains. We need those guys to make the “big bad” look even cooler!

    And I don’t know of any connection between Slipknot and Warwhip. The whole “organic” rope thing is truly ridiculous. In order for it to be resistant to Firestorm’s powers, this “organic” rope would need to actually be alive. Not just made from hemp, or some other previously-living substance. Just my two cents. … and he’s fun to pick on. :)


  18. Frank says:

    Slipknot is like the Aquaman of super-villains!


  19. Keith G. Baker says:

    Maybe the new DCnU name for the 2000 Committee could be the Jobber Committee?

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