Today I’m pleased to present A FIRE AND WATER CROSSOVER between Firestorm Fan and The Aquaman Shrine! I had originally planned to make this another installment in my “Completist’s Burden” series. However, I prefer to think of this as…
“Look who got invited to the wedding of the century… and look who didn’t.”
When it comes to Firestorm comics, I’m a completist. I want to own every appearance of The Nuclear Man in comic book form. Back in the days before the internet, I had a hard time identifying all of Firestorm’s Bronze Age appearances. That all changed when I got my hands on the 1993 Mayfair Games role-playing supplement to Who’s Who in the DC Universe. They provided an excellent list of Firestorm appearances up to that point!
One of those appearances was Wonder Woman vol I #300 (February 1983). I bought the comic many years ago, but didn’t give it much thought as Firestorm’s involvement was minor. Recently my good buddy Rob Kelly from The Aquaman Shrine, and my FIRE AND WATER PODCAST co-host, contacted me about this particular comic. He asked me to take a second look at this issue. Boy, I’m glad he did!
Wonder Woman #300 was written by Roy and Dann Thomas, drawn by Gene Colan, Rick Buckler, Ross Andru, Dick Giordano, and a bunch of other artists. Below is the gorgeous wrap-around cover by Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano. Just behind Wonder Woman at her wedding, you’ll find good buddies Firestorm and Aquaman hanging together! It’s FIRE AND WATER – 1983 style! Click the image to enlarge.
In this 72 page blockbuster, Wonder Woman dream-hops with Sandman (the 1970s Jack Kirby version) as they battle a series of nightmares. One chapter in the book focuses on Diana getting married to Steve Trevor on Paradise Island with the JLA in attendance. Here is the full-length roller coaster of a synopsis from the DC Comics Database:
Wonder Woman is plagued by a shadow-monster which equals her in power, until she encounters the Sandman, who calls the thing an escaped nightmare and helps her against it. The dream-creature vanishes, and the Sandman explains that he was monitoring her dream and saw the Shadow-Thing emerge and attack her in the real world. She becomes Diana Prince again and goes to the Pentagon, where she is rewarded with a promotion to major by Gen. Darnell. After she becomes Wonder Woman again, she dozes and briefly encounters the Shadow-Thing again, but her Robot Plane vibrates into the Earth-Two dimension and she is saved by the Wonder Woman of that world. Wonder Woman accompanies her Earth-Two counterpart to the latter’s home, where she meets Steve Trevor of Earth-Two, married for 20 years to his Wonder Woman, and Lyta Trevor, their teenage daughter, who also has Amazon powers. After she returns to her own Earth, Wonder Woman helps her Steve Trevor defeat terrorists, after which she proposes marriage to him, and he accepts. Later, Diana Prince fakes her own death so that she will have no identity-conflicts later on, and is touched by Steve’s, Etta’s, and Gen. Darnell’s words at her funeral, which she attends as Wonder Woman. Afterward, the Sandman appears to Wonder Woman, explains his origins, and reveals that he is in love with her before departing. Wonder Woman has several dreams of what her life might have been like if she had had to rule Paradise Island in her mother’s stead, if she had fallen in love with a man who turned out to be a crook, if she had married Superman, or if she had been an arrogant, power-hungry Wonder Woman. None of these dreams turn out happily. Finally, when Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor are exchanging vows on a special platform just off Paradise Island, with the Justice League and several other heroes joining Hippolyte and the Amazons in attendance, she says “I do”, but Steve refuses to marry her. In private, he tells Wonder Woman that he has lately become obsessed with Diana Prince, and her death has left a void even the Amazon cannot fill. Steve and the wedding guests leave, and, hours later, Diana finds herself crying on the beach. The Sandman appears and makes her sleep with some of his sand, taking her into his dream dimension. He proclaims his love to Wonder Woman, but they are interrupted again by the Shadow-Thing. Both of them fight the creature, but, after she encircles it with her magic lasso, she learns that it is a personification of her fears, self-loathing, and death wish. Then it vanishes forever. The Sandman and Wonder Woman end up back on Paradise Island’s beach, where he confesses that he knew the true identity of the Shadow-Thing before he returns to the Dream Dimension. Afterwards, Wonder Woman manages to convince others that Diana Prince is still alive, and reestablishes a romantic relationship with Steve Trevor.
Wow, that’s quite a story! Now let’s go ahead and focus on the fourth “Interlude”, the critical scene where Wonder Woman is about to wed Steve Trevor. Please note this issue is riddled with dream sequences, but this particular scene takes place in the waking world. Yup, this is for realz. Below you’ll find a couple pages from that scene. Click the images to enlarge.
Very cool that the JLA is there for the wedding of the century! And just like the cover, Firestorm is hanging with his good buddy Aquaman! … oh wait … that’s not right. Firestorm isn’t with Aquaman. Why not you ask? BECAUSE AQUAMAN DIDN’T GET INVITED TO THE WEDDING! Apparently the Sea King got invited to Diana’s dream wedding to Superman (from the cover), but when it came to the real wedding with Steve Trevor, she just couldn’t face walking down the aisle with Aquaman there. Maybe she was bothered by Arthur’s unrequited love for her, or maybe it was simply uncomfortable to invite an often-deposed King to her royal wedding. Either way, I feel kind of bad for Arthur. All the other cool characters were there. Even Jemm, Son of Saturn, was at Diana’s wedding (a full 18 months before his first appearance; time travel was so crazy in the Bronze Age DC universe)!
Adding insult to injury, the only JLA member to get a speaking line at Diana’s wedding was Firestorm! In fact, the art and dialogue imply that Firestorm may have walked her down the aisle and given Diana away!
I gotta tell ya… If I was an Aquaman fan, I’d be pretty sore right about now. Be sure to stop by The Aquaman Shrine today, check out their half of this crossover, and let them know just how sad you feel for Aquaman.
Support Firestorm (Wonder Woman’s Pal)! Fan the flame!
P.S.: Okay, that probably wasn’t a time traveling version of Jemm. It’s probably a mis-colored Martian Manhunter. I’m just having fun picking on Rob and Diabolu Frank at the same time.