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Firestorm Farewell – FIRE & WATER PODCAST #53

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water PodcastThe 53rd 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.

In this episode we bid goodbye to The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man, featuring an overview of the series followed by a recap of the 20th and final issue, by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Travis Lanham, and Hi-Fi Color!

You can find the 53rd 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 (27 MB).

As always, thanks to my co-host Rob Kelly, Sea King of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE, for doing all the post-production on these episodes! Intro theme, “That Time is Now,” by Michael Kohler. Special thanks to Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our fantastic original closing theme!

Have a question or comment? Send us an e-mail at Visit our Tumblr site at

Below you’ll find The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #20 cover by Dan Jurgens, Ray McCarthy, and Hi-Fi Color!

Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Man #20 cover by Dan Jurgens, Ray McCarthy, and Hi-Fi Color

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  1. Siskoid says:

    I understand Rob’s point that replacing something with something just as likely to be unsuccessful seems pointless, however, I see three reasons for why, in your example, Fury of Firestorm would be replaced with The Green Team.
    1) You never know what the next hit will be. Giving new ideas a shot is worthy, and I think ppl might pick up the book based on Baltazar and Franco’s cred, though obviously, they weren’t able to keep Superman Family Adventures afloat (though I suspect this is more about editorial direction than sales). Or the way ot was marketed as 1% vs. 99%, they might think tying into the political climate can get them readers, perhaps new readers, even if they’re a bit late on that.
    2) Deal behind the scenes. Editors who want Jurgens on something else, or want to keep Baltazar and Franco close… these kinds of things are hidden from fans, but froim reading Marvel’s Untold Story last year, seems to be pretty common.
    3) Comics developing concepts for they parent companies. Especially in the world of non-superhero comics, there seems to be a sense that every series is a storyboard pilot for a possible movie or tv project. “Hey WB! How about a Green Team TV show! Glamorous teen idols! Cool SF gadgets! No superheroes!”
    That’s only to use your specific example, of course. (And Gail Simone is on The Movement, not the Green Team, different book, though the same points apply.)

    That’s why I keep bringing up the idea that comics go to trade-direct and scrap the monthlies. If all series are sold as graphic novels, then theoretically, nothing can be “cancelled”.

    For my own tastes, I certainly hope comics companies don’t green light ONLY blockbuster material, because I’m much more into the small, indy type stuff.

    And I’m not saying they should have cancelled Firestorm to make way for anything else.

    Comments on F&W #52… Didn’t even see it coming out! Did you market it the same way? Didn’t see it on Twitter. I BLAME YOU SHAG.

    Fury of Firestorm #20: Sadly, I thought the mad dash to the end was very much rushed (pun not intended). It’s like everyone crashes the party at the end to resolve things. It’s Firestorm’s last issue, but he gets his thunder stolen by Jason’s dad, Major Force and Superman. Major Force in particular, why introduce a new character at the last minute like that? I have the same problem with his rogues gallery appearing all in one go over the last two issues. It’s exciting that Jurgens got to introduce them before it ended, but the lack of space turns them into ciphers. Disappointment.

    The page-turning trick was first developed and mastered by Hergé (of Tintin fame), so I’m a big fan of the technique. Well used here.

    Good idea for continuing Firestorm coverage, retro all the way.

  2. Tim Wallace says:

    I find it interesting, based on Shag’s comments in the podcast, that the New 52 version didnt immediately catch on with long time fans. As I mentioned in my own Firestorm Farewell blog on my page, I recently picked up and read Firestorm number ones from 1978, 1982 and the New 52 version…and it was the New 52 I enjoyed the most.

    Wondering if that is because I’m a new fan, not as familiar with the old continuity? Anyone else pick it up more recently and feel the same?

  3. Siskoid says:

    Well, there’s also the change in writing style since the early 80s and your age when you first read the stories. Those are bound to make a big difference.

    If my first issue of Fury of Firestorm (#13 of the 80s series) had been published as is today, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much as I did at age 12 and at that time in comics history. I don’t think it’s fair to compare a 30 year old comic by today’s standard (especially in terms of verbosity – old comics are dated just by word count).

    One of the problems 2012’s FOF has is that the audience (I’m only speaking for me, but I’m sure my impressions mirror those of others) is older and the comics more expensive. DC released 52 new series at the same time, remember. Which ones are YOU gonna follow? After sampling 52 series (why #1s got second printings), choices had to be made for time and money.

    Long-time fans particularly had expectations. This wasn’t a new character to them (us). The changes made did not exceed those expectations, only subverted them. This wasn’t exactly the character we liked (and that statement implies a number of versions of Firestorm across the years) and for some, was a disappointing abandonment of the story started in Brightest Day. I stuck around for a couple of issues and bored by the story and dialog, dropped it. Picked it back up when Jurgens came on board, and this is a FOF I would have gladly read longer.

  4. Tim Wallace says:

    That’s a thought…writing styles in comics have certainly changed over the years. Heck, they’ve changed in movies, books, music too…but personally, I’m ok with that.

    I guess the more likely reason for the New 52 version clicking with me then is that I came into with a relatively clean slate, and no expectations. Of course now, with all this talk about Dan Jurgens (I’m a big fan of his stuff!) it’s hard not to have those expectations about what’s to come (for me at least, lol)

  5. Corey Hodgdon says:

    I would just like to say thank you for making me have Bengal’s Eternal Flame stuck in my head for the last 24 hours!

  6. rob! says:

    I would just like to say thank you for making me have Bengal’s Eternal Flame stuck in my head for the last 24 hours!

    I’ve had that joke in my pocket since FoF #6 or so.

  7. Keith Samra says:

    I have to disagree with Shagg… I totally reckon Firestorm could work as live action!
    Cross the super heroics of “Amazing Spider-Man” with some comedic beats from “17 Again” (for the teenage vs adult aspect), add the special effects magic similar to “Ghost Rider” (in relation for the flaming head effect) and a good script like “Ironman 1″ and you could have an awesome Firestorm movie!
    Make it fun and not EMO like Twilight, and kids and adults alike will love it!

    Great episode, really going to miss a monthly Firestorm solo book!… Lets all hope that Geoff Johns decides to write a Firestorm book somewhere down the line.

  8. Anj says:

    Great retrospective guys. Thanks for doing this.

    As I have said before, the Conway/Broderick Firestorm was one of the first comics I collected monthly. And it was a Conway/Kanayan Firestorm issue that got me back collecting after a year plus hiatus from comics. So I have a soft spot in my heart for the guy.

    That said, it was exactly the ‘many Firestorms’ that kept me away from the book when the New 52 started (despite being both a Simone and a Van Sciver fan). And, unfortunately, I didn’t pick things up when Dan Jurgens took over (despite being a Jurgens guy) because I thought too much of the early plots would still be being handled. So, I guess I am part of the problem.

    I did get this last issue and enjoyed it, making me wonder what might have been. I thought the Superman appearance not only riffed on DCCP #17 (as mentioned in the podcast) but also Firestorm #2 from the first volume when Firestorm first meets Superman. In that issue, Superman says he wanted to meet Firestorm to see if he would be JLA material. (That issue was also the first appearance of Multiplex).

    I can’t agree more with Rob about DC pulling the plug on modestly but consistently selling books. If Demon Knights consistently sells 12K, surely there must be a place for that comic in the market.

    Lastly, I can’t help but look across the aisle at Marvel to see how things could be handled. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel has dipped in sales to 18K. If this was DC, I would start the funeral watch. But the book has an energized and rabid fan base and a devoted creator. And Marvel turns around putting her in a mini-series linked to their best selling titles, the Avengers. That is the way to support a book worth saving.

    Having lived through 3 Supergirl cancellations (and one major death event) and knowing that there was another cancellation before my time, I feel your pain Shag. Fan the flames!

  9. The Green Team is by a pair of creators who have won a pile of awards for DC. So I understand the motivation for putting them on a mainstream book. Artie & Franco have more grassroots support and goodwill amongst fans than anyone DC had on Firestorm save Gail Simone, and she doesn’t generate the same heat that these guys do. Go to a Con with Artie & Franco at it and take a look at the line of people (including kids!) queued up to get a sketch from Artie. Part of it also is that DC is giving Artie & Franco a bone because of their deal with Dark Horse and Mike Mignola and their creator owned project.

    Captain Marvel is a poor example, I think, because Marvel has abandoned and cancelled a LOT of other lesser selling books over the last 10 years, most of them within 12 issues. Marvel will axe a book with the drop of a hat just as fast as DC does, but DC gets a lot more negative attention when they do it because: The Internet.

  10. I really liked Firestorm #20. I thought it was a nice sendoff to the book as the Nuclear Man moves over into the Justice League. I liked the bits with Major Force and Superman, especially the whole hero-worship bit with Superman at the end. And of course I always dig when my man TYPHOON shows up.

    Looking forward to the continued adventures of Firestorm in the team setting going forward. Also looking forward to the classic Firestorm comics, which I have read thanks to the clasic Firestorm trade!

    Do you honestly think if I did a Hawkman podcast that anyone more would have bought it? Or would it have ended the book sooner? (Hawkman cancellations — 1: Flash Comics (I guess?), 2: Volume 1 Silver Age, 3: Volume 2 Bronze Age, 4: Hawkworld, 5: Volume 3 Iron Age, 6: Volume 4 Modern Age, 7: Savage Hawkman.)

    Savage Hawkman #1 outsold Fury of Firestorm #1. Similarly, Savage Hawkman #20 outsold Firestorm #20. I hold onto that like a drowning man and a piece of driftwood.

    Do not diss OMAC. It didn’t sell, but the book was fantastic. Substantially better than Firestorm OR Hawkman, and numerous other overhyped crap books DC publishes. As good as early New 52 Aquaman, honestly.

    Also, yeah, I gave feedback on the Firehawk and Mera episode, guys. So yeah, just because Frank, Siskoid, and Luke Daab don’t comment doesn’t mean no one does.

    Enjoyed the episode guys, at least the parts where you guys discussed Firestorm.

  11. Keith Samra says:

    @ Luke Jaconetti
    DC gets more flack than Marvel you say… I agree, DC are the “John Cena” of the comic world! No matter what they do, they get alot more grief than what they deserve!… Sometimes

  12. Frank says:

    I never read a single issues of “Nuclear Men.” First Gail Simone was leaving, then EVS was, then Joe Harris. They sounded like they had an interesting direction, despite the turnover, and even if I’m sick of every hero having a corps behind them. I’m sorry, but once Dan Jurgens was announced, I knew it was over. I’ve rarely enjoyed his writing, and he has no heat anymore. I’m not a diehard fan. Retro wasn’t going to bring me to the yard.

    To repeat a previous argument, it was a mistake to rob future creators of the opportunity to introduce the Firestorm rogues in the New 52 while simultaneously forcing them to bottleneck the last two issues’ story. I find the Major Force redesign lame. I liked his weird 80s color scheme, and he was Venom before Venom was cool.

    I think Firestorm needed to be canceled, because DC recognizes that property has potential, and it’s better to kill it to make way for a revival than to leave it on life support. I doubt you’ll have another decade+ wait for the next volume. We know DC has a bunch of proposals already, just sitting in a drawer.

    In a rush– off for the road to listen to Luke’s Hawkman podcast…

  13. Sean Koury says:

    Well, I’m all caught up and am on my way to work with a few cans of gasoline.

    Because the voices in my earphones told me to burn something to celebrate the final issue of Firestorm.

  14. Keith Samra says:

    Oh damn… I forgot to burn something… I’ll put that on the list of things to do tomorrow!

  15. Martin Stein Returns says:

    Call me cynical, and at the risk of starting a political diatribe, I can’t possibly imagine why a large parent corporation like Warner Brothers would possibly want to send a concept like The Green Team down to research and development with an eye toward developing into a mainstream movie or series (/sarcasm). “See? The 1%ers that own the lives of you wage slaves aren’t all that bad. No, really, actually, they’re sort of like heroes! They use money as their superpower and make the world a better place!”

    Yeah, I can’t imagine why corporate America wouldn’t want to get behind *that* message.

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