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Classic Fury of Firestorm #20 & Aquaman #40 – FIRE & WATER #121

Continuing THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST coverage of the classic Fury of Firestorm series from the 1980s!

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 121st 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 week Shag and Rob review Aquaman #40 by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, and more, the conclusion of the “Maelstrom” saga. Next up, Killer Frost returns in The Fury of Firestorm #20 (Feb. 1984) by Gerry Conway, Rafael Kayanan, Rodin Rodriguez, Carl Gafford, and Adam Kubert. We wrap up with YOUR Listener Feedback!

You can find the 121st 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 play the podcast using the player below or by right-clicking “download”, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (52 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!

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The Fury of Firestorm #20 cover by Rafael Kayanan and Dick Giordano! Interior story and art by Gerry Conway, Rafael Kayanan, and Rodin Rodriguez! Click to enlarge!

Fury of Firestorm #20 cover by Rafael Kayanan and Dick Giordano

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  1. Xum Yukinori says:

    Great recaps, gentlemen. I had to wait a while between issues #20 and #21 of The Fury of Firestorm while my uncle was putting another comic book care package together for me in the US. At the first read of #20, I was disappointed that Killer Frost and Firestorm did not confront each other in this issue. In fact, at the time I had thought that the Firestorm title had reached its peak (I suppose nowadays it would be referred to as “jumped the shark”) with the first Firestorm Annual. Fortunately I would eventually be proven wrong.

    And yes, Shag, Slipknot is indeed dead. He was brutally murdered by the Mark Richards version of the Tattooed Man in Titans v2 #31 (this was after Infinite Crisis was released), as revenge for Slipknot killing Richards’ son. In fact, that was the last issue of Titans I had ever purchased because that grisly splash panel on page 18 was the final proof that this title was not really my idea of entertainment…

    “Zuhm Yahk-ah-noo-ie”… At least I am not a grilled chicken dish anymore…

  2. I hope this is the last we see of “cal-lassic” Aquaman. I don’t trust DC to leave well enough alone, I’m afraid to say.

    The time is more than right for Mera to get at least a mini-series. C’mon DC…make it happen.

    I’m ashamed of Ronnie too. Just cut Doreen loose and make a clean break. You can still be friends with her parents, right?

    As for that Batgirl/Joker cover…I understand this new Batgirl title is marketed toward teenage girls, primarily. In that case, I think the cover was potentially disturbing for that audience. I wouldn’t want that kind of cover on Scooby-Doo team-up, which my daughter reads, for instance. But that’s me.

    But I honestly have a problem with DC and Marvel taking their characters in such dark directions, and marketing those same characters on children’s diapers, toys, etc. I’m not saying there isn’t room for mature storytelling with those characters, but the kid audience should be kept in mind at all times. Early 80s comics were about as mature as super hero comics needed to get, IMHO. I’m old fashioned that way.


  3. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that, even though Slipknot *was* murdered post-Infinite Crisis, the fact that the New 52 pressed the giant reset button renders that murder null and void. There’s no reason Slipknot can’t show up in current continuity.

  4. Michael Chiaroscuro says:

    So I caught up with the entirety of Maelstrom just in time to listen to this latest episode. I really enjoyed the arc, and Parker’s entire run, very much. There were some times it dragged (right before Maelstrom, which is why I stopped reading it for a few months), but I think it picked up steam in this final arc. And all in all the art and writing for the entire run were some of the best in current superhero comics (from what I’m reading, at least). I loved the old school adventure and sci-fi spirit to it all. I recently started reading Parker’s Flash Gordon and can see that the man has a real talent for that style of writing. He’s great and will be missed. Here are a few things I really loved about Maelstrom, just quick points:

    – The cover to issue 39 – WOW. Atlanna looked amazing. It’s such an iconic image for such a new character. Just gorgeous, I still can’t stop staring at that cover.

    – Atlanna’s depiction by Pelletier throughout the run was awesome. There were times I saw shades of both Neal Adams and Alan Davis in his Atlanna – and I mean that as high praise. I don’t think he’s aping those guys at all, I just think he’s reached a high level with his art on this book. He seemed to pick up steam as the series went on and just kept getting better with each issue. His Mera is damn near definitive to me now. In fact, I will just say that it is my definitive Mera now. I mean, the man owns that character’s design. The image of her in issue 40 creating the water creature?!? Stunning. Seriously, Pelletier just knocked it out of the park.

    – Sandra Hope rocks!

    – Yes please on the Mera min! Please ask Pelletier to draw it too!

    – Still wish that Parker had been able to flesh out the secondary characters a bit more during his run, but with the fast pace he established for this series it never really allowed for time for that to happen. Which is fine, but a few slower issues that offered room to breathe might have been nice.

    I am sad to see this team leave the book. But so happy we had this run for as long as we did. A great, fun Aquaman run that will be remembered fondly over the years, I bet.

    Love that cover to FoF #20. Killer Frost does look hot, as Shag said, but even more so she looks downright adorable. Kayanan got off to a great start in his comics career. What did he go on to do after his long run on Firestorm?

    Unrelated to this episode, but still Aquaman related: would you guys consider reviewing the Sub Diego collection when that comes out? I think it’s this summer. I enjoyed that run and would love to hear your thoughts on those issues. I believe the new trade paperback will collect the heart of the Sub Diego run.

    Fan the flames and ride the waves! Have a great weekend, gents!

  5. rob! says:

    Unrelated to this episode, but still Aquaman related: would you guys consider reviewing the Sub Diego collection when that comes out?

    That’s a great idea, we will do that for sure.

  6. Frank says:

    So “Maelstrom” is finally over with. I’ll have to cover that Martian Manhunter appearance soon on the Idol-Head podcast, now that I know for sure that it was largely pointless filler. The high school reunion issue aside, I haven’t been impressed by what I heard of the Parker/Pelletier run, but at least it helped keep up the standards of the Johns/Reiss period. Unfortunately, the solicits for the Bunn/McCarthy issues sound eerily similar to damaging arcs from prior volumes (Mera & Atlantis vs. Aquaman again, just like in the Giffen/Swan mini, the Veitch run, etc.) Been away, staying away.

    Fury #20 has to be one of the better Firestorm covers, even if it is false advertising. That’s a nice splash, and the Kayanan/Rodriguez team start out strong. That lovebirds stuff was nauseating, but the lengthy build-up for Killer Frost’s return was intense. The viciousness of Captain Cold under Geoff Johns made him a fan favorite, so I’m steamed Killer Frost doesn’t get credit for beating him to the flesh-cracking icy prod by a couple of decades. Was she in suspended animation, and if not, how did she eat/breathe/make bomb pops? Did Crystal Frost get a hotness upgrade when she got her powers? She calls herself “plain, unattractive” in her prior incarnation, but now has the admiration of Rob & Shag.

    I personally like the density of panels, though it did cause Doreen Day to lose a whole dialogue balloon on page 15 where she asks Ronnie “Do you hear me? Do you care?” Also, page 16 is hardcore black & white boom amateurish work, especially the last two panels that look like they were drawn with a fine tip Sharpee.

    God Lorraine– that perm crosses the line into white girl ‘fro/ orange poodle.

    The advertisements this issue was fiddling my nostalgia circuits like those monkeys with buttons wired into their pleasure centers. 1983 was a year where I really got into collecting comics and still had few enough of them to have absorbed each page so deeply they still recall vividly thirty years later. That Spidey reel ad vexed me then, as I needed more explanation of what a costumed nebbish from Queens was doing with a fishing rod. I thought there was supposed to be a contest or something, but there was only the reference to a rebate, and I didn’t even know what that word meant. I owned me some Power Lords and Rock sergeants and played Qbert at the roller rink arcade.

    I’m really too much of a nerd when I hear the stinger and my immediate knee-jerk reaction is “That’s the wrong incarnation of Killer Frost!” I prefer Louise Lincoln, though. Crystal’s prom dress fairly screams high maintenance psycho, where Louise (especially under Paco Medina) was a more practical and sexy murderess.

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