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Classic Fury of Firestorm #4 Review & Aquaman #24 – FIRE & WATER #68

Continuing THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST coverage of the classic Fury of Firestorm series from 1982! We’ve received an incredibly positive response so far and we’re loving these comics! 

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 68th 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 episode Rob and Shag cover the JLA vs Firestorm in The Fury of Firestorm The Nuclear Man #4 (Sept. 1982) by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick, Rodin Rodriguez, and Gene D’Angelo. Next the guys dive into Geoff Johns’ penultimate issue, Aquaman #24, by Geoff Johns, Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, and Rod Reis. The show wraps up with your Listener Feedback!

You can find the 68th 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 (48 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! This episode brought to you in part by!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?

Check out the covers to Fury of Firestorm #4 and Aquaman #24 below!

The Fury of Firestorm The Nuclear Man vol II #4 cover by Pat Broderick and Dick Giordano! Interior story and art by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick and Rodin Rodriguez! Click the image to enlarge.

Fury of Firestorm #4 cover by Pat Broderick and Dick Giordano

Aquaman #24 cover by Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, and Rod Reis!

Aquaman #24 cover by Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, and Rod Reis!

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

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  1. Kyle Benning says:

    A correction regarding the “SNL References,” those are all actually Steve Martin References to his great stand-up albums Let’s Get Small and Wild and Crazy Guy. However, Steve Martin was never an actual cast member, but a frequent guest host. (He has the second most all-time hosting appearances, only topped by Alec Baldwin). I spent many days in my childhood playing Atari or throwing darts with my cousins while listening to his comedy albums on 8-Track in my grandparent’s basement. His smoking in public vs. farting bit still makes me laugh so hard I cry. I know have these albums on cd and listen to them quite frequently while driving. Btw, if you didn’t know, Steve Martin is an exceptional Banjo Player (which he broke out frequently on his comedy albums) and actually has a few great Banjo albums he’s released. Don’t know if that interests you, but I appreciate country, blue grass, and folk music, and find the albums pretty enjoyable.

    I agree with both of you, this is an awesome Firestorm issue, one of my favorites from the series, right up there with the upcoming Hyena saga. There are so many great issues in the first 50 issues of this series, it’s hard to pick out just one favorite.

    Rob, it sounds like you’re starting to get frustrated with some of the aspects of Aquaman and the unnecessary changes being made. I hear you man, that’s how I feel about pretty much all New 52 Superman changes. You’re stuck with the quandry where he’s made Aquaman great at times, but still missing the mark at other points. It kind of reminds me of Gruenwald’s run on Cap. Up and down, nailing some aspects, but missing others. It’s frustrating as a reader and fan to try to be excited about a run that is at times great and at others meh. You feel like you should be appreciative of the spotlight the character is hitting, but at the same time you’re shelling out $3 a month for a book that should be good and at times great, not either great or meh depending on issue or arc. For other titles we’re often wondering if this is due to editorial interfering, yet with Johns you assume he probably doesn’t have to battle editors like other writers have in the last couple of years at DC. I am interested to see what Parker will take to the character, and hope he is given the creative freedom to really bring his vision of the character, uninterrupted.

    I totally agree with you regarding the Atlantis Chronicles, that’s what minis are for, Aquman has definitely been a guest star in his own book for a year now. These would resonate a lot better and meet a better response if they occurred in a supplemental book and not in the actual Aquaman title.

    I am very surprised about Paris Cullins missing deadlines, as I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cullins back in May at SpringCon in St. Paul, MN this year. He shared a story with me about how he was tapped by Len Wein to draw an issue of Justice League of America when Buckler was behind on a deadline. Wein needed the pencils finished by the next morning, and so Paris began drawing instantly, even on the train and bus ride home, and cranked out all but the 3 pages Buckler had done in 24 hours!! A whole book in almost 24 hours!!! Now that’s impressive. Hard to believe he could be late on a deadline after accomplishing that! I’d be interested to hear Kupperberg’s story (ies) regarding Paris missing deadlines.

    Another great show guys! Fan the flame and ride the wave!

  2. […] really enjoyed re-reading The Fury of Firestorm The Nuclear Man #4 (Sept. 1982) for the latest Fire & Water Podcast. I remember these tales fondly, but actually re-reading them can reignite my passion for the […]

  3. Benton Grey says:

    Annnnd I’m behind again. Ha, for one brief, glorious moment, I was caught up, but given the slow shipping schedule of my out of town comic store, I won’t be able to listen to the coverage of Aquaman 24 for around three or four months. Fun. Ahh well, I certainly loved hearing about the Firestorm issue. That does indeed sound like a great yarn!

    Anyway, this was another fine episode! I enjoyed hearing from y’all and your other listeners about reading comics in public. For my own part, I often read them on my wife’s iPad, which, while not quite as obvious as a regular comic, is a lot more easily portable. When my students occasionally find me reading old issues of Aquaman, JLA, or the Brave and the Bold around campus, their reactions are always interesting. I like challenging their assumptions about the way the world works, both in class and out, so it is entertaining seeing them struggle with the fact that their (occasionally) articulate, well-read literature professor reads superhero comics. I like to think that my comfort inside my own skin helps them to realize that they can enjoy the things they truly enjoy without worrying about what people think.

    Also, symbology may be a word, as Siskoid pointed out, but it is clearly not the word Shag was looking for. Nice try!

    While it is clear that not every character can support a book, I miss the days when all of the major heroes of DC had their own titles. I’d love to be buying well-written Hawkman, Aquaman, and Atom books. I may as well wish for world peace and a winning lottery ticket, though.

    Thanks for reading my comments once again, gents! I would certainly welcome back Sub Diego! That was one of the really innovative ideas of modern comics, and its sudden abandonment was a real tragedy in a run marked by missed opportunities and almost unprecedented amounts of potential. That Sub Diego run is still probably my second favorite Aquaman run, despite its flaws, and that is in large part thanks to the brilliant device of our favorite hero being thrust into such a unique situation, having to deal with a newly sunken neo-Atlantis. Second to the inexplicable cancellation of the SAG run, the pseudo-cancellation of that book and sudden squid-ification of its protagonist is one of the greatest calamities in Aquaman’s publication history.

    Given DC’s modern penchant for truly awful set-piece disasters in their superhero world with terrible costs of life (like the Throne of Atlantis invasion), the sinking of San Diego would be a pretty fitting event. I can’t say I think that is a good thing, really.

    Ohh yeah, the JLU version of Aquaman’s hook is fantastic, which just helps to illustrate how terribly weak and contrived the PAD version is. To be fair, it was a contrived device forced upon him, so his lack of enthusiasm for the concept may be somewhat to blame for the weakness of that iteration. Still, leave it to Bruce Timm and company to bring out the best in their subject matter. For all of the flaws of their portrayal of Aquaman (and it was clear they had read entirely too much PAD), they still managed to make him awesome when he was in action. What I wouldn’t have given to see the real Aquaman leaping into adventure alongside the rest of the League, though! My goodness, the squandered potential there is almost heart-breaking.

  4. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Frank says:

    I sometimes get fixated on how to “problem solve” properties. For instance, a few months back I decided that I knew how to make a Punisher movie work for Marvel Studios after three stinko attempts; my head be scratchin’ while my thoughts were busy hatchin’. More recently, after these last few podcast discussions, I think I figured out how to do for Sub-Mariner what Geoff Johns did for Aquaman. The first thing is that he would never go anywhere near the water, and he’d get an all black costume without water wings or a plunging neckline or a vampire collar or anything stupid like that. Namor = Ninja. In the first issue, Namor would go to Avengers Mansion, ring the doorbell, Hawkeye would answer, and then Namor would kick the entire mansion in its butt. In succeeding issues, Spider-Man would investigate the mystery of why Namor beat up all the Avengers at once, and go to the Baxter Building, only to find Namor beat it up before he’d even beat up the Avengerses. Spider-Man would finally catch up with Sub-Mariner, and ask why he was beating everyone up, and Namor would say “Imperious Rex” and kick his ass. It would turn out that Namor is the angriest black man in the Marvel Universe, which I could only get away with in 2013 because he’s not actually black, but he totally would be because subtext. And not just any black man, but Kanye West, one of the greatest rappers of all time (ALL TIME!) who gets no respect because he’s constantly telling everyone he’s the greatest and why aren’t you respecting him. Namor is the Kanye West of super-heroes– totally awesome at what he does, but an insufferable a-hole about it. Instead of whining to reporters, Namor just snaps and indiscriminately kicks different prominent Marvel heroes and villains in the face. It would be like a team-up book, except instead of teaming up with the Sub-Mariner, characters would just get assaulted by him. Also, Sub-Mariner is like P-Diddy or Snoop Dogg, so he decided that his new name is “The Mariner” or “Black Mariner,” which adds more layered motivation for Namor to punch people when they call him by his old name. Every few issues, an old Sub-Mariner villain like Tiger Shark or Orka or Shamu would show up, and Namor would bite their faces off and spit their faces into their face holes and tell them that they were never good enough to be his villains because they weren’t and then Namor would go assault a lesser Marvel name with the remaining pages of those issues. Namor’s only friend would be Dr. Doom, his Jay-Z, who would have a man-crush on Namor while still pretending like he wants to reign Namor in, but really in private he’d be all like “I craft these intricate plans to destroy the accursed Richards, but you just suffocated him with another part of himself,” and then Namor would point out that he also tongue-kissed Sue Richards, and then “Vickie” would offer a plate of baklava, and Namor would remind him how unforgiving a green speedo is.

  5. Frank says:

    I read an interview with PAD ahead of his relaunching the ongoing series where he teased a major event by simply saying “piranhas.” I imagined Aquaman fending off an attack, leaving scars on his body that he would choose to conceal with the beard and long hair. Not great, but certainly not as blunderingly stupid as what happened in the actual comic. This weakling super-hero is not only bested by the villain, but allows his hand to be held in a conveniently located pool of flesh-devouring fish long enough to lose it? And then Aquaman doesn’t even get revenge or a lasting foe, since Charybdis got dealt out by the shaky hand of fate for five years until Erik Larsen brought him back as Piranha-Man. Horrible writing that diminished the character at the onset of his new book.

  6. MegaFrank says:

    If anything, Delta Force ripped off Megaforce, arriving four years later with its own missile-launching motorcycle. I was quite taken with the illustrated advertisements in period comic books, but only saw the flick for the dud it was many years later. Brad Majors is no one’s action hero.

    The Secret Society of Super-Villains is a beautiful concept diluted by mediocre execution and the competition on the Legion of Doom. The series was neat, but unexceptional.

    I briefly worked at an office where a guy had the scale Alex Ross Captain America bust on his desk. I envied him the opportunity, if not the tangible merchandise.

    COPS was the last toy line I could support before I was too old to do so unashamedly. They are some of the finest figures in their scale ever created, marrying as they did sweet sculpting with impressive articulation. They were essentially enlarged, enhanced G.I. Joes. I still have Sgt. Mace, Louie the Plumber, Beserko (though I customized him into Bishop decades ago), and my favorite, Buttons McBoomBoom. The tie-in art by guys like Bart Sears and Pat Broderick hooked me, but their elevated price point kept me from getting more (see also: Thundercats.)

    The DC vs. Marvel whale was a cop-out, since Peter David insisted Aquaman defeat Sub-Mariner in order for him to agree to co-write the project, but there was no logical way for that to happen short of telepathy. The whale is equivalent to the bar Lobo disappeared under.

  7. I have to disagree with the majority of Firestorm Fans out there when I say I hated hated hated FIRESTORM #4. I hated it so much that it was the last issue of FIRESTORM that I ever bought, after having picked up the original on-going and the back-ups in FLASH and enjoying those. See, I was a HUGE JLA fan. Still am. And I had a copy of The Amazing World of DC Comics #15, which explained some of the JLA’s by-laws. In it there is very clearly a comment about the members all have to be “full-time super-heroes” and above the age of 21. (Or something like that, I don’t have a copy handy at the moment.) So when Firestorm shared his dual identity with his team-mates in this issue, I fully expected some additional scene either here or in JLA where they address the issue of his age. But what did happen….? Nothing. Not a blamed thing. In fact, the JLA *disappears* from this issue entirely. They not only don’t call in Ray Palmer to help Prof Stein, they allow Firestorm to go back in and handle Killer Frost all by himself (well, mostly). This is stupid! Stupidest moment? When Ronnie and Red Tornado go after Curt Holland. Don’t you think Superman or Wonder Woman would have gone instead? He’s only there because it’s FIRESTORM’s book, but in a “real” adventure that wouldn’t make any difference.

    By the way, Rob, isn’t there a by-law that says the JLA member first on the scene has right-of-way? It’s the whole premise of numerous JLA adventures when one member in trouble actually sends an alert. And one last thing….when Killer Frost “kills” the bird, isn’t that the same as her freezing all of New York? Didn’t it get better as soon as it was thawed out?

    And lastly, Shag, since Ronnie *is* Firestorm, what difference does it make that he came up with the idea to hide the machine in Red Tornado, and not “Firestorm”? I totally didn’t get why you thought that was a cool bit.

    Looking forward to the rest of the FIRESTORM series, since I haven’t read most of them….!

  8. @Megafrank, COPS was designed to essentially be a “two-up” version of the GI Joe ARAH buck, so your description is accurate. COPS did, however, “up the ante” by offering 3 basic bucks on which to design figures — a slight build (ie, Dr. Badvibes), a large build (ie, Rock Krusher, my personal favorite figure from the line), and then a more standard heroic build. A nice toy line, and a pretty decent cartoon, which will unfortunately never be revived.

  9. Frank says:

    Note to self: “Zany” name variants get my comments caught in the moderation filter and held in queue.

    If it makes you guys feel any better, the same work schedule that contributed to my skipping the Martian Manhunter Who’s Who episode also saw me miss out on an invitation to be a guest on Shawn Engel’s Just One Of The Guys podcast until it was too late to do anything about it. Somehow, some way, I just know that renegade C.O.P. Luke Jaconetti is behind this!

    Showcase Presents JLofA Vol. 4 also features the first appearance of Commander Blanx and the massively revised background of Martian Manhunter.

    I think I’ve had FoFtNM #4 in a box for many years, and I’d have probably read it by now if it wasn’t the late Satellite Era team. Man, we should have had a Pat Broderick run on JLA, though. He had THE WORST luck with team assignments, his longest being a year and a half near the end of Alpha Flight’s first volume and the same following Michael Golden on Micronauts. Then there was Lords of the Ultra-Realm, COPS, that New Guardians arc, some Legion fill-ins… woof.

  10. @Frank, I’m not saying that I had anything to do with your troubles. But I am not going to say I didn’t, either. Signore DiMonzo may seem like a kindly old gentleman, and in many ways he is, but he is not someone you want to cross… I am going to leave it at that!

    Although the idea of you and Shawn on a show together sounds irresistably fun to me!

  11. Siskoid says:

    Super late listening. So keeping it down to a few short comments.

    I’d love to get stuff from InStock Trades, but they don’t ship to Canada. Oh well.

    Great Firestorm issue, love the iced city in Killer Frost’s eyes in that early close-up.

    I’m like Rob as far as Aquaman goes, not interested in the current stories and can’t wait to jump on again for Jeff Parker. I think Brightest Day made a LOT of promises and New52 broke all of them, not just re: Aquaman, but all the other resurrected heroes too.

    I “represent” at work, and in fact, serve as chief adviser to anyone who wants to get into comics, genre TV, etc. No shame in it, and a lot of pride.

  12. Frank says:

    They’ve institutionalized the Power Records segment, so I’m just going to keep making comments on this episode for another week.

    As a comic geek, I’m neither “in” nor “out.” I read Previews and digests in the break room, but I don’t court discussion with co-workers, mostly because I don’t care to hear their thoughts on the medium. I also love music, and often listen at lunch, but I don’t need insights like “I don’t get this Fox song” or how “Drake’s the kind of n-bomb that…”

    I’ve had a complete set of The Atlantis Chronicles since the early ’90s, and only ever skimmed it. In the context of the various Byrne reboot Superman related mini-series and Hawkworld, it doesn’t seem quite so chancy. It’s nice that they’re still playing with PAD’s mythology, though. As I’ve stated repeatedly, Super-Hero trumps King of the Deep, so anything that deemphasizes the “royal lineage” suits me fine. All this underwater political crap is part of Aquaman comics though, so if Johns needed to get his take in, probably best it was while he was on his way out the door.

    I don’t feel the presence of Diane Nelson at DC Entertainment. I only feel the absence of Paul Levitz. You may recall that the previous Aquaman volume came into being under Levitz only because a licensor got miffed that a super-hero they were creating an (infamously crappy) video game for had just been put on ice indefinitely. That sort of swift reversal was uncommon previously, but is all too common today. Aquaman is one of DC’s brands, which they have been building across media in live action and animated television with an eye toward a major motion picture. DC waited for Geoff Johns to relaunch Aquaman, and I’m sure he took on the project for both affection and the challenge it presented, but also because DC Entertainment has prioritized managing the brand. Aquaman worked because of Johns and the boys, but having worked, the Aquaman brand is now bigger than the talents themselves to DC. He will not die, and he will not stay dead, because a money cruncher wants Aquaman swim trunks on Target racks by spring 2015.

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