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Classic Fury of Firestorm #7 Review & Aquaman #27 – FIRE & WATER #78

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 78th 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 dive into Aquaman #27 by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, Netho Diaz, Ruy Jose, and Rod Reis. Next the guys face Plastique in The Fury of Firestorm #7 (Dec. 1982) by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick, Rodin Rodriguez, and Gene D’Angelo. They also spend a few moments discussing Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. and your feedback!

You can find the 78th 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 (28 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 InStockTrades.com!

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

Check out the covers to Fury of Firestorm #7 and Aquaman #27 below!

The Fury of Firestorm The Nuclear Man vol II #7 cover by Pat Broderick and Dick Giordano! Interior story and art by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick and Rodin Rodriguez!

Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Man #7 cover by Pat Broderick and Dick Giordano

Aquaman #27 cover by Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons! Click the image to enlarge.

Aquaman #27 cover by Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons

Thanks for listening! Support Firestorm and Aquaman! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

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12 Comments

  1. Siskoid says:

    I liked Aquaman 27 in large part because Arthur acts, talks and is treated like a HERO. The death of the monster weighs on him, but doesn’t deter him. HE drops his trident and a normal citizen hands it back to him (it’s a Spider-Man movie moment). Good stuff. Pelletier still needs to do the entire thing.

    Quebecker would be the more common usage. I’ve never heard Quebeckees. In French (and that’s used in English Canada as well when people are trying to be respectful) it’s Québécois which you’d pronounce Kay-Bay-Kwah.

    Plastique… a character I’ve always had mixed feelings about. On the whole of it, I do love her. She’s a rare Canadian character (even if she doesn’t consider herself Canadian), French Canadian to boot. She’s gorgeous. She’s one of Firestorm’s best and most exportable villains, I definitely liked her as Captain Atom’s Catwoman.

    But… Must all Québécois characters have ties to the FLQ (the Quebecois Liberation Front), a short-lived terrorist cell that forced Canada to call for martial law in October 1970 (my parents have this story about my conception happening as mailboxes were exploding outside in Quebec City). Northstar also had ties to the FLQ. The separatist movement is still alive and well, but not violent. So Plastique is a real throwback to an earlier era.

    (You can laugh Rob, but the sale of lumber to the U.S. is a major sticking point over here, I guess because of low tarifs or whatever. I don’t know the ins and outs of it, but my stepfather was a woodcutter so I heard about it. Here, there’s the question of paper mills too, so it may be a question of U.S. business polluting Canada/Quebec. Though as a separatist – sorry, a sovereignist would be the more PC term – the REAL issue is about how Canada makes deals with the U.S. against the better interests of some provinces, including Quebec.)

    And my other problem with Plastique is, you guessed it, the French. Like other French speakers in comics, when the French isn’t outright MANGLED, it’s written in Parisian, never French Canadian, which is a whole other patois. It makes Plastique (and Aurora and Northstar sound all wrong. God forbid someone would attempt an Acadian superhero/villain, there’s no way that would sound right. Well, unless an Acadian wrote it. I’d be up for it, I just don’t write for comics.

    In other news, hate the red arrows. It’s a cheat for when you screw up panel layout. Otherwise, great art. Rodriguez on Broderick forever.

  2. Kyle Benning says:

    I haven’t gotten a chance to read Aquaman yet, I need to get on that!

    I actually FORGOT that he transmuted her clothes leaving her nude. I even reread this issue about a year ago and for some reason that didn’t stick with me. I guess I was too caught up in the tension of the issue. There’s just something about this time period at both Marvel and DC that every issue they managed to capture that tension and interest unlike they are today. Conway was the master at introducing tension and resolving it in the one and done format. It’d be interesting to hear Conway’s take on his body of work, I wonder where he ranks his stuff on Firestorm quality wise compared to his run on Spider-Man and Justice League. Obviously I think most people could agree that his single best issue, and perhaps the single greatest comic issue of all time is Justice League #200, but I’d say that his run on Firestorm might be better than his Justice League run, and only edged out by his Spider-Man run which included the Death of Gwen Stacy and the introduction of the Punisher. I’m sure my fondness of this era of Firestorm makes me a little biased, as his Justice League run was pretty incredible, but I’m just curious how Gerry thinks they stack up against each other.

    I don’t think the arrows are lazy, I really appreciate pages that do that in an action packed page, I think that technique works really well when you have a big fight scene with smaller panels around a larger splash scene, which help show the order in which the hero is taking out a gang of villains. Just think about this layout technique as Batman and Robin punch out a group of Joker or Riddler thugs before finally laying a roundhouse kick or upper cut on the villain’s face in the splash.

    I don’t know how I feel about Shag’s kindness and understanding towards Doreen.

    Despite what Frank says, I think the review episodes may be some of my favorites.

    Another great episode, Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

    PS, Glad you liked the Bela Lugosi Ed Wood reference! It’s been too long since I’ve watched that, I may have to give it a rewatch this week.

  3. Anj says:

    Another great show guys, adding the my increasing interest in the Aquaman book.

    I am glad you name-checked ARGUS Shag. I have really liked that book. It reads like the Ostrander Suicide Squad a little. You are right, these are anti-heroes, doing good but for their own reasons. Trevor is a simple Rick Flag equivalent.

    And Vibe was a great book with a young idealistic hero trying to figure out his place in the world.

    I also loved the issue of Fury of Firestorm. There was a lot of tension as you hoped the super-hero would make an appearance while the Ronnie and Prof Stein try to be ‘everyday heroes’ and save the day.

    Like Vibe, I always thought this Firestorm was still young and learning what he could do and should do. That is why I assumed he didn’t change the bombs with his powers. He was intent on getting the bombs out of the building and in that rush, didn’t think of the simpler answer of transforming them. I also think he wanted to embarrass Plastique so changing her clothes added to that effect. It is a simple mistake of a young hero, probably one he will learn from. But it makes sense that a newer hero might not be cool and collected enough to do things neater and cleaner.

    Glad Fury of Firestorm will continue to be reviewed here!

  4. Frank says:

    1) Just for the record, my disinterest in synopsis segments is not limited to the Fire & Water Podcast. Everyone I’ve listened to who does these things slips into an affected, stiff, scripted-sounding tone that I find so off-putting that I’ve given up on some podcasts that rely heavily on them. Since you guys (well, Rob) cover brand new books with intentions toward promoting active current readership, I’m more understanding toward your working against your own strengths.

    2) Shag’s recommendation of Salvation Run negates any criticism he could level against me regarding the 1993 Bloodlines annuals. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work as a ward against Rob, who takes most of those potshots. Matt Sturges’ script (Willingham only did the first couple of issues) was a hate crime against DC villains not EXTREME enough for the current regime, and its banal nihilism-for-hire cemented my dislike of the writer. If this is your bag, quit half-assing it and go directly to Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit instead.

    3) Rob is much too hard on his Aquaman synopses. I thought they were perfectly fine for this sort of thing, which I’m not into anyway, so admittedly he could be crap and it wouldn’t matter much to me personally, but objectively they’re about as good as anybody could reasonably expect someone talking about the major plot points of a friggin’ single issue comic book could be, I guess. So we’re going to be doing this with a third or even fourth title in the months to come, eh?

    sigh.

    4) Aquaman #27 had the best cover of the Paul Pelletier period to date. I loved the contrast of scale, and the Sea King’s figure recalled Mike “Zowie” Zeck. Very impressive expression of Aquaman’s abilities. I still prefer Aquaman as a lithe, Spider-Man level hero, which is reflected better on this frontpiece and with the girder “hammering” than with hurling cars like softballs (more Sub-Mariner’s shtick.)

    5) Hey! An issue of Firestorm that I currently own, have read, and liked! Those aren’t as common for me as one would hope. Plastique is like a gender-flipped alternate universe Batroc ze Lepair. She’s still a ridiculously broad Francophobic caricature who is deceptively formidable, but Plastique is much more threatening. Also, I doubt any girls ever found the Master of Savate as sexy as us boys find Bette Sans Souci. This story won a coveted Canuck Consciousness Award for it’s in-depth look into the cruel face of the Quebec sovereignty movement as it stood in 1982, only nearly a decade after legit scary terroristy stuff had been snuffed out. “This Issue: Plastique will have her referendum on political sovereignty with economic association to Canada, or she’ll demand a constitutional clarification written in blood!”

    6) Panel direction arrows are only ever not a cheat if the series heroes are teaming up with the Family Circus.

    7) Wasn’t the Sgt. Rock line of toys a combination of limp response to G.I. Joe and anticipation of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that never happened (see also: Steven Spielberg’s Blackhawk?) Anyway, I had one or two of those, and I got more play value out of Remco’s line of the previous year, Dukes of Hazzard. Bo Duke had something like twice as many points of articulation. He could go all Chuck Norris on Sgt. Rock’s arthritic Lew Ayres. “Hold still, you dang Jap lover! I can only punch and kick in one straight line! Quit swivelin’ your pelvis, ya limber prevert!”

    8) Whew! I’m sure glad my forgotten month old easter egg comment closing out #FWPodcast #75 discussion was available to salvage #78! I’m so amusing to me, I cannot tell you, not that your opinion matters, because me, me, me. I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.*

    @Kyle Benning reminds me, did that Gerry Conway documentary ever come out? I’d pay $20 for that; $30 if it ultimately topped out at 3+ hours.

    *I’m getting as bad about late ’80s SNL references as Rob is with The Simpsons.

  5. Frank, the Gerry Conway interview DVD has been released, if that is what you are talking about. I have a copy, but I haven’t watched it yet.

  6. Siskoid says:

    “This Issue: Plastique will have her referendum on political sovereignty with economic association to Canada, or she’ll demand a constitutional clarification written in blood!”

    Genius!

    The interview came out? I’m a backer but never got a copy. I guess I’m going to go ask about it over on Kickstarter.

  7. Patrick M says:

    Great episode as always!

    Reading up on some Doctor Fate…is Frank actually Charles J. Sperling?

  8. rob! says:

    I feel like if/when I do the synopsis for Aquaman #28, everyone will want Mike back for #29.

  9. Frank says:

    I’m going to buy that $20 DVD just as soon as I can remember my moribund Paypal identity and password. 2015?

    Not familiar with Charles J. Sperling. T.M. Maple and Elvis Orten were the top letterhacks when I was growing up, and I met Rich Morrissey at SDCC (he may have been the first person to mention Harry Potter to me.)

    Rob, if it makes you feel better, I can totally throw Michael Bailey under the bus and demand your reinstatement. I hear he always sweats when he podcasts and smells like Zamorano sheep milk cheese. My source is Sha-ahh-anonymous.

  10. Patrick M says:

    Frank — I think I got you mixed up with whomever runs the Tower of Fate blog. I had been reading the late 80s Dr. Fate run and Charles J. Sperling has had at least one long letter in pretty much every issue.

  11. Sean Koury says:

    Rob, no offense against you or Mike (you both do great recaps, in my opinion), but if you really really think you suck so hard at doing the synopsis stuff, why don’t you guys get a guest blogger/podcaster ever new issue to do the thing for ya?

    Then when you see how hard some of the other guys suck at it, you realize how good you really are. ;)

  12. Sorry my comments are late. I was in River City, Iowa. ;-)

    I think Rob should do the plot synopses. I don’t think he’s all that bad, and it seems odd that Mike is there just to do them. It pulls me out of “the moment.” Besides, do you really think anyone is listening to this who hasn’t already read the issue in question!?

    I really liked AQUAMAN 27. I think the “reporter” or “spy” or whatever he turns out to be will bring something exciting. It means Aquaman and Mera will get back to Maine, even if the plot thread itself doesn’t pan out! Me, I’m hoping this guy has a connection to the new Aqualad. Could “Richard” be Dick Grayson?? Could this be Mal Duncan!?

    I like Paul Pelletier’s work. I don’t mind Nethro Diaz, but I do wish one artist could draw one book.

    I have a question about what actually happened in this story, though. Aquaman hammers his trident THROUGH the monster, and it slams into its brain. There it is on the bottom of the fifth page from the end. Yet Aquaman appears on the next page and pulls the trident out of a wall. So the guys in the Triton sub pull the brain off the trident, then stab the trident into the wall? Seems odd. At first I thought there were two tridents. It was confusing.

    As for FIRESTORM #7….well, I can’t speak for 12 year old fanboys, but this middle-aged man found it pretty badly done. Sorry, Shag!!
    Sure, the main plot of “Die Hard in a newspaper building” IS exciting. I agree with you both that the drama shared between Prof Stein and Ronnie over whether they should reveal their identity to save lives is done very well. And I have no complaints about the art. In fact, I think I bought this issue back in the day because of Pat Broderick’s art. However, all of the little bits of the issue just made me mad. A few examples…Firestorm posing for five pages almost gets dozens of people killed. Let’s face it, in his face-off with the initial terrorist Firestorm is an idiot. Speaking of the male terrorist, why is HE masked and hiding his identity, while Plastique flaunts her name and face (among other things)? It doesn’t make sense. Next, on page eight writer Gerry Conway gets away with two (count ‘em two) shortcuts in his narration: he uses the theatrical contrivance “The Scene:” as he explains where we are. Editor Gerry Conway shouldn’t have allowed him to get away with this silly verbiage…especially since we can tell where we are in both cases without any help from the narrator, anyway!

    And the story ends with Ronnie and his Dad maybe making up? Sorry, but this type of melodrama isn’t my cup of tea.

    Next issue features Typhoon, who I seem to recall fondly. Let’s hope that story is better written.

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