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This is the End – FIRE & WATER #56

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water PodcastThe 56th 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 Rob and Shag welcome a special guest, fellow podcaster and comics blogger Luke Jaconetti! Luke runs a Hawkman blog, so he understands the pain of having your favorite character’s series cancelled… over and over and over again. We cover all the cancellations of our respective characters and discuss some of our thoughts. So strap on your wings and prepare for Aquaman, Firestorm, and Hawkman… to be cancelled again.

You can find the 56th 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 (46 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! Opening 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!

Be sure to check out Luke’s blogs and podcasts:

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

Check out the covers to the final issues of Firestorm!

Firestorm v1 #5 (October-November 1978)

Firestorm v1 #5 by Al Milgrom

Firestorm v2 #100 (August 1990)

Firestorm v2 #100 cover by Tom Mandrake

Firestorm v3 #35 (June 2007)

Firestorm v3 #35 cover by Pete Woods

Firestorm v4 #20 (July 2013)

Firestorm v4 #20 cover by Dan Jurgens

Support Firestorm and Aquaman (and Hawkman)! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave (and Flap the Wings)!

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  1. Alright, all I have to say is that I LOVE the exit tag!

  2. Anj says:

    Nothing like a new podcast to listen to in my office while doing paperwork! Thanks!

    So I figure I should cover Supergirl cancellations. After being the back-up feature in Action Comics forever, here are the ‘solo’ books that have been axed.

    Adventure Comics: 381-424 headlining/solo adventures.
    Supergirl (vol 1) 1972: 1-10
    (Daring New Adventures of) Supergirl (vol2) 1983: 1-23

    Killed in Crisis!
    Supergirl (vol3) 1994: 1-4 mini-series, so expected ‘cancellation’
    Supergirl (vol 4) 1996: 1-80; 1,000,000; 2 annuals
    Supergirl (vol 5) 2005: 1-67, 2 annuals
    Supergirl (vol 6) 2011 (current): 1-21

    Of all of these, I was happiest to see/read volume 1 get cancelled which read like a blighted romance comic. Just bad stuff.

    I think volume 4 got axed because DC could no longer handle the ‘protoplasm from pocket universe merged with Earth Angel being’ as an origin. Too bad. That was a great book. Great.

    Lastly, a couple of comments piling on Rick Veitch. He had the bad luck of following Alan Moore on Swamp Thing and Grant Morrison and Peter Milligan on Animal Man. His Swamp Thing was okay. But his Animal Man run was abysmal and too damn long.

  3. Kyle Benning says:

    Great podcast! It was a great way to start off a mundane Monday at work! It was nice to have Jaconetti on the show! Hope he’ll be back on sooner rather than later.

    Which gives me an idea, I know you guys have joked about doing a special super long podcast for episode #100, how about a special episode for #75 as well. Since Aquaman has only lasted 75 issues in its longest run, it would only make sense to have that episode of Fire & Water be a special anniversary episode with guest stars like Frank & Luke on again for an Aquaman-centric episode. And since Firestorm has a maximum run of 100 issues, a similar theme could for a Firestorm-centric episode could happen for episode 100 of Fire & Water.

    Not too much to add here, you 3 did a great job, just have a slight disagreement with Rob on Superman staying the same through the years. He says heroes like Aquaman, Firestorm, and Hawkman have had constant re-invention over the years while Superman and Batman haven’t, and I disagree. Just look at the Decade of 2002-2011, I think Superman literally had 5 different origin stories told, you want to talk about re-invention, there it is. It was a decade of constant defining and retconning the Man of Steel’s origins, all in an attempt to erode or eliminate elements of Byrne’s Post-Crisis redefining of the character, which is my opinion is the best take on the character (and Michael Bailey agrees!). Also, I’d recommend checking out the Superman Greatest Stories Ever Told tpb which features stories from the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Copper ages, and you’ll see how much the character has changed in been re-invented over the years in those different iterations.

    Great show as always, can’t wait for next weeks (I hope its WHO’s WHO XI!!!!)

  4. Kyle Benning says:

    @ Anj, I will admit that Veitch’s run on Animal Man was less than great, but I think his run on Swamp Thing was awesome. In fact, where it was heading would have been amazing, before the power’s at be snubbed him on his conclusion to his Swamp Thing through time story arc in #88 that he was working on, and got mad and left the book. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading his plans for that final issue, or seen the gorgeous finished art by Michael Zulli, but you should really check out this link to see where that story was headed:

    It’s a very lengthy, but very awesome read with a ton of great art.

  5. Ray Tomczak says:

    The Vietch who contributed what are admittedly some pretty lame stories to Animal Man in the early ’90s was Tom, not Rick, who did indeed follow Alan Moore as writer of the second volume of Swamp Thing. They are two different people, though they are brothers.

  6. Anj says:

    Ack! Thanks Ray.

    The Veitch error is a rookie mistake. Can’t believe I did.

    Sheepishly yours.

  7. I’ve mentioned this to Luke over on his blog: Hawkman is one of my three favorite DC heroes but I was one of those people hoping SAVAGE HAWKMAN would be cancelled right away. The first issue broke my heart almost as badly as MAN OF STEEL did last weekend. Tony Daniels is the only writer who has ever made me throw a comic across the room in disgust… and he’s done it twice!

    I love Hawkman. I think he should always have a series on the shelves. I just want one better than we got in the New 52. (Same with Firestorm.)

  8. Keith Samra says:

    Luke J. The manliest voice in Podcasting! I’d like to hear a conversation between Luke and Dan Didio.
    Very educational this week guys. I learnt a lot about Hawkman!

  9. Frank says:

    9. I was inspired by Anj to make another crack about how Martian Manhunter has only ever been cancelled once, but the character has truthfully had more chances than that. To riff on Kyle Benning’s suggestion, I’d make more sense appearing with Shag on episode #100, since the Sleuth from Outer Space’s original run as a back-up in Detective Comics lasted from #225-326. However, the Alien Atlas’ production team simply moved over to House of Mystery for another 31 issues before the strip truly ended due to mediocre sales (156K; vs. Aquaman’s 184K in 1968,) in-house politics (again,) and Joe Orlando’s revamp of the title into an EC style horror anthology. The Manhunter from Mars was one of the rotating features backing up Aquaman in Adventure Comics, but it was only planned for three issues, and the DC Implosion ended any chance for a full return.

    12. I again state that John Ostrander decided to leave Firestorm with #100, and despite the sales still being okay, it was cancelled to set up a new volume that took a lot longer than anybody expected to manifest. I was tired of the Elemental Firestorm by that point, so I didn’t mind. I dropped the Jason Rusch book after the first One Year Later arc, but I’d have come back for a Dwayne McDuffie run if he’d gotten more than two issues.

    13. The Power Company needs its own devoted episode of the podcast. It was significant to Firestorm, but so widely overlooked that even Matchheads would be forgiven for missing his stint on the team. Make it a theme episode, with Rob covering Aquaman’s year on Justice League Europe.

    16. This won’t endear me to the podcast, but I’d say the Jurgens Firestorm was a mercy killing. The earlier runs held promise, but nothing I saw from Jurgens seemed remotely interesting. It was pure nostalgia as the sole attraction. If it helps, Jurgens’ was probably the only Aquaman run in the modern era that didn’t deserve to be put down. Much as I liked Tad Williams, he was never going to sell, and things got too weird to salvage. I hated the Ostrander/Mandrake Manhunter series, and the times I’ve reread the series since haven’t altered my opinion, so if anything I wish it had ended sooner. In fact, there hasn’t been a Martian Manhunter solo feature that legitimately passed before its time. Only Jones/Barreto deserved to produce a sequel out of all the mini-series that have come about, but American Secrets was so good I fear they couldn’t compete with themselves. I can’t say much different with regards to Wonder Woman or the Atom. All their titles malingered.

    17. Out of Brightest Day, Manhunter’s was the worst feature to my mind. Aquaman was far and away the best, and I’d take Hawkman over Firestorm. That was possibly the worst art of Scott Clark’s career, and I think Hawkman’s story was better as well.

  10. Keith Samra says:

    still haven’t finished the entire episode, but a comment made by Luke J. about how and why their is so much “venom” toward to Hawkman…

    My answer to that is, comic fans at certain times are like sheep… They go with the flow of things, and if one guy says something sux… Then most people believe that it does.
    Case in point, in the 90’s, those wankers at Wizard magazine always took pot shots at Aquaman… “his only super power is talking to fish” etc, etc… and unless you were Todd McFarlane (or any of the Image guys) or a Spider-Man and X-Men fan or quite frankly a Marvel fan, then your opinion didn’t count! DC characters had it rough!!!
    Sadly most of the comic community believed in what they were printing, hence the reason why I believe that Aquaman (and Hawkman in this case) to this day are considered lame by comics fandom!

  11. Anj says:

    After reading these comments, I realize that all of our characters have died, some multiple times.

    That would be a great future show. Reviewing their deaths and eventual resurrections and how that was handled.

    Still reeling from Crisis #7,

  12. Siskoid says:

    Great idea from Anj there.

    As for the Fire, Air and Water podcast, I loved it! It’s great to hear what the show would sound like with a professional on board (OUCHHHHH!!! 😉

    I’m a Hawkman fan too (mostly Golden Age, Kubert space cop and Hawkworld, lost the thread in the avatar days), but then I tend to like the B-list heroes more than the A-list (they’re too easy to like and don’t NEED dedicated fans). So Hawkman, Aquaman, Firestorm, yes, but also guys like the Hulk (who despite current Avengers fame is still one of those characters who keeps suffering premise changes), Daredevil and the Legion. I suppose my stop-and-go story fandom story relates to the latter, having started reading Legion just as it was about to turn into Tales of the Legion, while the Baxter series started getting published and sold to stores that were, at best, a four-hour drive away. Tales/Baxter became 5YL (opaque as hell but I loved it), then split into LSH and Legionnaires, both of which were rebooted with Zero Hour, though not their numbering) and then I quit comics for a while ($$$ issues), so missed The Legion, Legion Lost, the Threeboot, catching up only when Jim Shooter came back to the book (and supplementing my on Archive book with cheaper Showcase Presents), and then the Levitz era regression (from the pages of Adventure Comics back to their own book), continued in the New52 with new numbering… I dunno, do Legion fans have it worse than Fire/Air/Water fans?

  13. Kyle Benning says:

    @ Siskoid, yes we Legion Fans have it bad!!! Cancellations, renumberings, and reboots galore!!

    @Keith, I agree, Wizard was downright awful at times, and loved to promote books, that time has proven to be absolute crap (I’m looking at you 90’s Marvel & Image). One of the worst was Brian Cunningham, which may sound familiar…as he’s now an editor at DC. Go figure.

    The more that I think about it, there was one thing from the podcast that did bug me, Jaconetti’s statement that DC’s Sword and Sorcery books were awful. To that I say, what about Warlord? You know that book that ran 133 issues, thats longer than any volume of Firestorm, Aquaman, or Hawkman. In fact it’s a longer run than the 3 biggest volumes of Hawkman combined. Just saying.

  14. @Kyle, I actually am a big fan of DC’s S&S books. I must have misspoke if I said otherwise.

    What I meant was that except for Warlord, none of them really sold all that well. In the DC Explosion, we got several which were cancelled very quickly, including Stalker (Steve Ditko!), Tor (Joe Kubert!), Claw the Unconquered, Kong the Untamed, Hercules Unbound, and the insanely awesome Beowulf.

    Arion and Arak would last a bit longer, and Amethyst was pretty popular as well, though they came a bit later. Obviously none touched Warlord for longevity nor popularity.

    Tor is one of Kubert’s home grown characters, a caveman living in the ancient world. He’s been published at various houses over the years, and a lot of it is quite good. Stalker was an odd book, but Ditko brought a very unique perspective to the S&S stuff. And Beowulf is the most wickedly awesome heavy metal comic book of all time. Check it out:

  15. Kyle Benning says:

    @ Jaconetti I was just giving you crap, I agree with your point, the fact that there were so many books, especially Sword & Sorcery books, during the DC Explosion, and they couldn’t give Hawkman any love, was pretty ridiculous.

  16. Siskoid says:

    Oh yeah, Beowulf was crazy. I wrote a post on it too:

    DC tried hard to get some of that Conan the Barbarian money, with Arak, Arion, Warlord, Amethyst and such well into the 80s.

  17. Anj says:

    I guess we all love Beowulf! Who would guess that little known book would resonate with all of us enough to post about it on-line!

    I reviewed the first four issues at length on Frank’s DC Bloodlines blog:

    Issue #3 is my favorite … what a trip.

    I went through a huge DC Sword & Sorcery binge a couple of years ago and ended up co-opting Bloodlines for my rants.

    Here is a link to my Stalker reviews:

    My Starfire review:

    My Claw the Unconquered review:

    And Ironwolf!

  18. Martin Stein Returns says:

    You know what we need? We need a Hatin’ on Doreen Day! (Or a Hatin’ On Doreen Day Day???) Hell, let’s make a week of it. We can highlight one of her ignominious appearances each day.

    1) The time when she turned Ronnie in to the government (unlike Lorraine, who stood by Ronnie).

    2) The time when she ran away from Ronnie, convinced he was going to kill her (paranoid much?).

    3) The time when she found out Ronnie was Firestorm and she just focused on how hurt and wronged she was instead of asking Ronnie’s actual motivations for keeping his identity a secret from her. She also omits to acknowledge that he saves Cliff Carmichael’s life in this issue (though that will eventually bite him in the ass).

    4) The many times when she said “if you fight Cliff Carmichael, I’m leaving you,” failing to notice how thoroughly Carmichael really, really needs a beating at Ronnie’s hands. As mentioned, this happened more than once.

    5) Her failure to say “Ronnie, you don’t need to join a bunch of radical eco-terrorists to impress me, I like you just as you are” all the way back in issue 1, 1978.

    I’m sure there are many more we could add.

  19. Sean Koury says:

    At least your characters have had multiple books to be cancelled. And your characters, once canned inevitably show up in another book.

    I’ve had one cancellation, 3 guest appearances in Teen Titans and 2 mini-series and that’s it. Oh, and a better left forgotten cameo in Final Crisis.

    Oh, and Captain K’Rot (who, coincidentally, is getting cancelled shortly lol).

    I want your pity. 😉

    Loved the episode. Luke can come back any time. And I love Franks’ suggestion up above (#13, the Power Company etc episode). Get on it, you two!

    So I have you guys beat in

  20. Sean Koury says:

    Please disregard that last unfinished sentence. Think it was going to say “So I have you guys beat in the pathetic deparment” or something like that. I’m typing half asleep again.

  21. Martin Stein Returns says:

    Regarding the allegation from Frank that the Jurgens run was based on “pure nostalgia,” I’d have to take issue with that. And to a lesser extent with Shag too, who says that this is the Ronnie he knows and loves (thus promoting the “nostalgia” meme). I’d have the question whether Frank ever read any Firestorm from 1978-1989. I think the resemblances to Conway’s run are superficial at best. Jurgens’s take on the book really is sort of its own thing. It’s more a pastiche of the Conway run along with the New 52 run that precedes it. If anything, the “nostalgia” run was probably the Stuart Moore era when Jason was fused with Martin (and sometimes Lorraine).

    And the key issue here: teen insecurity. With the Stuart Moore run we had Jason, an insecure teenager, fusing with an elder mentor (Martin or Lorraine). With this run, I honestly don’t recognize Ronnie. Sure, he’s a jock who likes to have fun. But he’s so *headstrong*, so sure of himself.

    The Ronnie I know and love was always putting himself down as a dumb jock. He was *never* sure of himself with girls. I don’t even think the old Ronnie would even *consider* cheating on a test— witness how strongly he reacted to Cliff Carmichael in FOF #40 (vol. II) when Carmichael accused *him* (old Ronnie) of cheating. (It turned out Ronnie aced his science exams because he had some of the Professor’s residual smarts.)

    It was important to me as a kid because I was not by any means a jock. I was a classic nerdy kid. But the old Ronnie entailed some important lessons: first, that just because someone isn’t in your clique doesn’t mean they don’t have their own set of problems; second, that just because someone isn’t in your clique doesn’t mean you can’t relate to them. That’s why I loved Firestorm so much in its original incarnation: I could relate to *both* Ronnie and Martin. I related to Martin as the classic nerdy academic type; but, even though I wasn’t a jock, I could also relate to Ronnie’s insecurity and his fiery temper.

    The Jurgens Ronnie, not so much. Not that it’s a criticism— I think it’s fine for Jurgens to take the character where he wants to go. But it’s very much *not* the Ronnie I know and love. Therefore, I don’t think it’s fair at all to characterize nostalgia as the primary attraction to the Jurgens book. The closest element it gets right in terms of the Conway origin is the contrast between brain and brawn, with Jason as the Martin surrogate.

    It’s interesting how in Stuart Moore’s hands Jason was a Ronnie surrogate, but in Jurgens’ hands, Jason was a Martin surrogate. That tells me that Jason is probably quite a flexible and interesting character. Just an afterthought.

  22. @Sean, I know it is not much, but I have to mention that I always enjoyed that Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew were established as fictional cartoon characters in the DCU, at least after Infinite Crisis. There’s a bit in Superman when Kurt Busiek was handling the writing where Chris Kent is absorbing too much yellow sun radiation, with literally explosive young results. So Superman and Batman work up a solution in the form of a small red sun radiation emitter which will help him regulate his yellow sun absorbtion until he is old enough to physically handle it. They build it into a character watch… which character you ask? Pig Iron!

    Chris’s response to the watch is a simple, “Pig Iron… cool!”

    That struck me as a nice tribute to the Zoo Crew… and a hat tip to the old Earth-1/Earth-2 deal where Barry Allen read Jay Garrick comics. The Zoo Crew is real, but they are subconsciously influencing the showrunner for a kid’s cartoon show at the same time, heheh.

  23. Dan Janes says:

    @Luke I’m so happy that you mentioned ReBoot! That show is amazing!! So much so I started a podcast for it over at

    Another great episode guys. I’m glad the show continues in spite of the lack of Firestorm book…

    Love it!

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