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Firestorm, Batman & Superman by D.C. Stuelpner

I love this fantastic piece of Firestorm hangin’ with Supes and Bats by D.C. Stuelpner! Too funny! Click to enlarge.

Firestorm, Superman and Batman by D.C. StuelpnerBe sure to follow D.C. Stuelpner on his blog and deviantART. My thanks to the following Match-heads for sending this my way: Allen Lee HansardNick Martorelli, Hector Negrete, William Byrne, Marty Light, and others (sorry if I forgot to mention you!!)!

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Classic Fury of Firestorm #12, Aquaman #32, and Aquaman & the Others #4 – FIRE & WATER #94

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 94th 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.

Firestorm hits the small screen! This episode Shag and Rob talk about the casting of Robbie Amell as Ronnie Raymond on the upcoming CW television show, The Flash! Then the guys “get savage” and review The Fury of Firestorm #12 (May 1983) by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick, Rodin Rodriguez, Gene D’Angelo, and Ben Oda! Next the savagery continues while Aquaman battles the Chimera in Aquaman #32 by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, Rick Magyar, and Rain Beredo. Finally, Aquaman has a little lie down in Aquaman & The Others #4 by Dan Jurgens, Lan Medina, and Allen Martinez.

You can find the 94th 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 (26 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 The Nuclear Man vol II #12 cover by Pat Broderick and Dick Giordano! Interior story and art by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick and Rodin Rodriguez! Click to enlarge!

Fury of Firestorm The Nuclear Man #12 cover by Pat Broderick & Dick Giordano

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Robbie Amell, Welcome to Firestorm’s Nuclear Family

Hi Robbie (and folks new to Firestorm),

Firestorm the Nuclear Man joins the CW Flash TV seriesCongratulations on being cast as Ronnie Raymond in the upcoming CW show, THE FLASH! I wanted to send a note welcoming you to the wonderful world of Firestorm the Nuclear Man! Reaction to your casting from fans of Firestorm (affectionately known as “Match-heads”) has been incredibly positive! Everyone is excited by the news and your joining the show. I’m not sure if you’ve had a chance to research Firestorm, but I thought providing a high-level overview might be helpful to you and folks unfamiliar with the character.

You’re the third actor to tackle the role of Ronnie Raymond, but the first in live action. Previous actors who voiced Ronnie Raymond in animation were Marc L. Taylor and Bill Fagerbakke, so you’re in good company.

Firestorm was created by Gerry Conway (writer) and Al Milgrom (artist) and first appeared on comic book shelves in December 1977. In addition to creating Firestorm, Conway is also known for creating Marvel’s Punisher & Batman’s foe Killer Croc, a lengthy and popular stint writing Spider-Man comics, and several writing and producing credits for TV & film. Firestorm went on to join the Justice League of America in March 1980, a tale also written by Conway.

As originally conceived, the character of Firestorm (and thus Ronnie Raymond) was similar to Marvel’s Spider-Man. An impulsive teenager with fantastic powers, an upbeat attitude, quick with the snappy banter, and adventures full of personal drama. The primary difference between Ronnie Raymond and Peter Parker (Spider-Man), was that Ronnie is more of a “dumb jock” than a brainy nerd. Ronnie’s heart was in the right place, but he didn’t always make the best decisions. The descriptive word most often associated with those early Firestorm adventures is, “Fun.” Firestorm was a fun comic to read and fun character to cheer for. This translated into success for the character and was one of DC Comics bestsellers in the early 1980s.

One of the unique aspects of Firestorm is that he’s a composite being. At will, two people fuse together to form the “nuclear man” Firestorm. While there have been several variations on the character over the years, typically Firestorm is formed by the merging of Ronnie Raymond and either Martin Stein or Jason Rusch. Originally Ronnie partnered with Nobel Prize-winning physicist Professor Martin Stein through the late-1980s. In more recent years, Ronnie has been partnered with the scientifically-gifted teenager Jason Rusch. Ronnie is prominently in command of the Firestorm form with the second person acting as a voice of reason inside his mind. Banter between the two individuals making up Firestorm is a hallmark of their adventures. Below you’ll find Firestorm’s Who’s Who entry from 1985 detailing the characters origin and powers, followed by his more recent Who’s Who in the New 52 entry from 2012. Click the images to enlarge.

Firestorm from Who's Who - 1985

Firestorm Who's Who in the New 52 - 2012

Ronnie Raymond has an interesting and surprising history in the comics with the character of Felicity Smoak, a regular on Arrow played by Emily Bett Rickards. In the comics, Firestorm’s super-heroic actions caused 8 million dollars worth of damage to Felicity’s software company. Her response was to sue Firestorm for negligence! Meanwhile Felicity had fallen in love with Ronnie’s father, eventually marrying him and becoming Ronnie’s step-mother. I suspect that same story won’t play out between Arrow and The Flash. Another character from the comics connected to Firestorm is Caitlin Snow, a regular on The Flash played by Danielle Panabaker. In the comics, Caitlin is the latest incarnation of Killer Frost, Firestorm’s arch-nemesis. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out on The Flash given the announcement that Caitlin Snow will be Ronnie Raymond’s fiancee. Exciting!

If you are interested in reading more about Ronnie Raymond and Firestorm, I recommend two collected editions of his adventures. Firestorm: The Nuclear Man features the earliest adventures of Ronnie Raymond & Professor Martin Stein (comics from 1977-1980). While The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man Vol. 3: Takeover collects the more recent adventures of Ronnie Raymond & Jason Rusch (comics from 2012-2013).

Ronnie Raymond has a substantial fan base. Beyond those reading his adventures today, there are many people who fondly remember his appearances on the Super Friends cartoon and his 1980s comics. I started this FIRESTORM FAN blog back in 2009 as a way to celebrate all aspects of the character. With over half a million visitors, more than 900 posts, writer and artist interviews, and lots of followers on social media, I’m proud this site has become the primary source for Firestorm fandom. 

I think I speak for most Match-heads when I say we’re excited to finally see this character come to life! Whatever direction the writers, producers, directors or you take the character, we’ll be supporting you in this role and watching every week!


Shag Matthews (a.k.a. The Irredeemable Shag)

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BREAKING NEWS! Robbie Amell is Ronnie Raymond on THE FLASH

Robbie Amell has been cast as Ronnie Raymond in the upcoming CW television show THE FLASH! Pinch yourself Match-heads, this is for real!!!!

Robbie Amell will play Ronnie Raymond on CW The Flash

The news has appeared in LOTS of places, but here are a few to check out:

From the TV Guide article:

The Tomorrow People alum, who is the real life cousin of Arrow star Stephen Amell, will play Ronnie Raymond, better known in the DC Comics universe as half of Firestorm. On The Flash, Ronnie is a maintenance worker at S.T.A.R. Labs and Dr. Caitlin Snow’s (Danielle Panabaker) fiancé, whose fate is more complicated than first imagined. Ronnie plays an integreal part in the particle accelerator accident that transforms Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) into The Flash.

“Geoff Johns, Andrew Kreisberg and myself designed the pilot and series to include Ronnie (aka Firestorm) — and to actually have someone with Robbie’s talent playing the role is beyond exciting,” executive producer Greg Berlanti said in a statement. “We can’t wait for viewers and fans of the character to check it out.”

Amell, who will first appear in the third episode, added: “I’m so excited to join forces with Greg Berlanti and The CW again on The Flash. Being brought into the DC Universe is a dream, I can’t wait to get started!”

Lots to discuss in the upcoming months, but just give yourself a few moments for this to sink in! We’re getting a live action Ronnie Raymond. Let’s cross our fingers for Firestorm as well!!

Congratulations to Robbie Amell on landing this role. We’re looking forward to his interpretation of the character.  Let’s be sure we give him a Firestorm family welcome!

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Dark Firestorm in Legion of Super-Heroes

It’s a shame, but Firestorm hasn’t rubbed elbows with the Legion of Super-Heroes very often. They bump into each other during crossovers (i.e. Legends, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and such), but not on a regular basis. Clever writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning figured a way for Firestorm to interact with the Legion! During the “Foundations” story line (The Legion #25-30, Dec 2003-Apr 2004), Darkseid creates dark mirror versions of 20th century heroes, including Firestorm! Click the image below from The Legion #26 to enlarge.

The Legion #26 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Chris Batista, and Chip Wallace featuring Darkseid and Firestorm

This “Dark” Firestorm even merited a “VS System” collectible trading card from Upper Deck featuring art by Phil Noto!

Vs System - Legion of Super Heroes - Dark Firestorm  by Phil Noto

If you dig the Legion, Darkseid, or the Conner Kent version of Superboy, you should definitely check out the “Foundations” story line!

Since we’re on the subject of the Legion, I recently sat down with Michael Bailey to chat about the Legion of Super-Heroes on VIEWS FROM THE LONGBOX! We spent about two hours going over our respective histories with the Legion, a basic history of the property itself, our favorite runs, some of the sillier aspects of the team’s history, and generally celebrated our love for this team. Please head over to VIEWS FROM THE LONGBOX and check out this episode! My thanks to Mike for having me on the show!

Views from the Longbox - Legion Talk

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Power Records Podcast #05: Planet of the Apes!

The Power Records Podcast, Part of the Fire and Water Podcast NetworkThe fifth episode of THE POWER RECORDS PODCAST is now available! Just in time for the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comes this double-sized episode! Host Rob Kelly is joined first by Two True Freaks co-founder (and all-around Apes fan) Scott Gardner for Power Records’ adaptation of “Planet of the Apes” and “Beneath The Planet of Apes”, then regular co-host Chris Franklin joins Rob for a look at “Escape From Planet of the Apes” and “Battle for the Planet of Apes.” This episode of THE POWER RECORDS PODCAST will make you Go Ape!

Find the fifth episode of THE POWER RECORDS PODCAST on iTunes. Each episode is released as part of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST feed. While you’re on iTunes, please drop us a review. 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 (63 MB).

Planet of the Apes Power Record

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Back to the Futures End – Issues #4-7

Hey Match-heads, Shag here! Today our good friend Tim Wallace continues his monthly coverage of DC’s weekly event, The New 52: Futures End! If you missed the first installment, click hereWarning, Tim’s entries contain SPOILERS for the related issues of The New 52: Futures End. Consider yourself warned! Be sure to follow Tim’s regular work over on his exceptional site, Kord Industries: A Blue Beetle Blog! Get all your Ted Kord, Jaime Reyes, and Dan Garrett goodness there! You can also stalk Tim on TwitterFacebook, and Google PlusAnd now, let’s turn it over to Tim…

“For those who came in late…” 35 years into the future Brother Eye, a sentient computer created by Batman and Mr. Terrific, has taken over the world and cyber-converted most of the superheroes into robo-bugs. Doc Brown sends Marty back to the…sorry…Bruce Wayne sends Terry McGinnis back in time to stop this, but Terry ends up 5 years into our future…and things are already going south!

The New 52: Futures End #04

Five years from now the ANT FARM, S.H.A.D.E.’s mobile marble sized base flies high above Tokyo. It seems no one deactivated former agent Frankenstein’s password either, because he teleports in still holding a grudge from the polar bear attack. Father Time, S.H.A.D.E.’s Hit Girl looking leader, lets Frank know they were counting on him showing up. They need him for a mission. It seems they’re planning to send Frankenstein, Amethyst, and Ray Palmer through the Phantom Zone on a mission to rescue Stormwatch.

The New 52: Futures End #4

Meanwhile, back in New York, Cal Corcoran (the owner/bartender of the “Wounded Duck”) is out for a jog with a lady friend, Madison Payne. She’s trying to get to know him a little better and we learn in conversation that he used to live in Gotham, has no criminal record, and no friends or family to lead him back home. Oh, and the image of Batman Beyond on a giant Times Square screen completely spoils his mood! Something Lois Lane, who’s been trailing them, notices. Three criminals meet on the docks…Plastique, the Key, and Coil. Sounds like the set up for a joke, but it’s not. Someone wants to hire them to break into TerrifiTech and is offering enough money to set them up for life!

The New 52: Futures End #4

And across the river, over in New Jersey, Grifter is busy shooting up a community center. Can’t have aliens and daemonites hanging around playing BINGO, can we? He gets a mysterious phone call as he leaves from someone who knows an awful lot about him. His real name. His mission. His location. It’s King Faraday, who proceeds to shoot Grifter in the back. As sirens approach, Faraday offers that the damage to Grifter’s spine can be fixed, if he comes around to Faraday’s side.

The New 52: Futures End #05

In the heart of New York City, Mr. Terrific is about to have a press conference for his latest product launch…and everyone is watching! Both Batmen (though not together), Lois Lane, Cal the bartender, Cyborg, the Key and Coil…most of the players we’ve seen in this book. What’s Terrific selling? The uSphere, a device that promises to not only act as our phone, gps, computer and “brain back-up”, but also will unlock our infinite possibilities. You know that old saying…if it’s too good to be true it probably is? In Sutters Cove, Maryland King Faraday offers to heal Grifter’s paralysis (brought on by Faraday’s bullet) if he accepts a job offer. At the same time on Cadmus Island several OMACs are pursuing a woman codenamed “Fury”…and get destroyed for their effort. Fury keeps running until she finds a little girl. The girl seems to know who Fury is, judging by the way she calls her an “Apokoliptian half-breed” (wait, that sounds like the “Fury” in “Earth 2”, hmmm)…before dropping the woman with what appears to be a blast of heat vision. Back in New York, Firestorm is returning from a party at the Playboy Mansion. This is one of the rare moments since the series started that Ronnie actually seems to be enjoying himself. Sadly Jason is not! He’s still trapped inside the matrix and giving Ronnie the silent treatment. When they finally separate we learn that Ronnie has kept Jason prisoner for 3 weeks! They argue about the last few weeks, about the price they’ve paid, about betrayal…and then we finally learn why Ronnie has been reluctant to play hero. “Someone with the power of Firestorm…should’ve been around to save his own mother.” Damn! Maybe it’s because I lost my own mom a little over a year ago…but that was a powerful moment! They part ways swearing that due to their lack of trust, among other things, they will never become Firestorm again. (Anyone want to bet how long that lasts?)

The New 52: Futures End #5

Jason meets up with Dr. Yamazake who’s working on developing teleporter technology. The issue continues with something that puts me in mind of the “X-Files”…Constantine standing in a corn field investigating 9 charred skeletons, and 3 crop circles. From above, the circles look to me like something we’ve seen before…the symbol usually associated with Brainiac!

The New 52: Futures End #5

The New 52: Futures End #06

Plastique, the Key, and Coil meet near TerrifiTech to hatch their plan to break in. Nearby a homeless man watches them. We learn based on the A.L.F.R.E.D. word balloon and the shopping cart full of Brother Eye “bug” parts that this is really Terry McGinnis…also scouting out TerrifiTech. But wait, there’s more. While watching the villainous trio, Terry himself is being watched by Mr. Terrific!

The New 52: Futures End #6

And at the very same time, 100 miles above the city, in S.H.A.D.E.’s mobile base, Frankenstein, Amethyst and Ray Palmer prepare to board Ray’s specially designed ship, the Nan-Knight, to travel into the Phantom Zone. Once there though they’re quickly attacked by prisoners…Kryptonians, Parademons, Black Adam! Back on Earth, Ronnie tries hitting on Madison at the “Wounded Duck”, and gets hit and then tossed out by Cal. And that’s when Lois Lane confronts Cal with her theory that he is/was Red Robin “Teen Titan and partner to Batman”.

The New 52: Futures End #6

Lois is asked to leave, a bit nicer than Ronnie was, but the revelation has Madison asking more questions. As Lois leaves she’s watched by a shady figure in a nearby alley. King Faraday is interested in finding out what she knows and who gave her the info. When Faraday alerts the mystery man (or woman) on the other end of his earpiece that he’s moving in on Lois, he’s quickly stopped by the masked Superman. “Ms. Lane is off-limits.” Reluctantly Faraday backs down, but he assures us, if he doesn’t take her…she’ll come to him…eventually.

The New 52: Futures End #07

Black Adam is pissed! He wants the crew of the Nan-Knight to take him back to Earth so he can get revenge on Superman for imprisoning him in the Phantom Zone. Frankenstein tells Amethyst and Ray that he’ll hold off the villain while they escape, and fights to keep Black Adam back.

The New 52: Futures End #7

He loses an arm, but manages to make it through the portal opened by Ray Palmer…in time to see the wreckage of the Carrier, and the lifeless bodies of Stormwatch floating in space. Lois is looking at the contents of the mystery box that led her to the “Wounded Duck”, still unclear what the arrowhead and green pyramid are, when Madison Payne stops by for a visit. Madison wants to know why Lois thinks Cal is one of the Teen Titans. They died during the “War” (same one that took Ronnie’s mom I’m guessing). Lois asks why Madison isn’t just asking Cal directly. She then adds that she recognizes Madison from the trial of her father, Maxwell Payne, and apologizes if anything she reported hurt the family. After getting in a dig about reporters being jackals, Madison promptly leaves. At Columbia University, Dr, Yamazake and Jason discuss the benefits of transporter technology, and how it could have saved lives during the “War” (two mentions in one issue…I have a feeling this is important!).The doctor suggests that they could use the help of Jason’s friend Ronnie…too bad they aren’t friends anymore. For his part, Ronnie is visiting the “Battle of Pittsburgh Memorial”, and finding his mother’s name etched in the marble apologizes for not being able to save her.

The New 52: Futures End #7

On Cadmus Island Deathstroke is sparring and chatting with the weird little girl that took down Fury. Slade Wilson questions the addition of the currently paralyzed Grifter to the team, and the girl seems jealous…she thought she and Deathstroke were a team. “I don’t do rejection”, she says. Apparently this is all Faraday’s call. Meanwhile, in the island’s medical facility, Grifter is up and walking again, as a man in a suit explains they’ve chosen him for his skills and that until Deathstroke calls for him he’s free to roam the island. “Do not get the girl worked up. It never ends well.” Speak of the devil, and she appears! The little girl appears and introduces herself. “Fifty Sue. That’s my name. Laugh and die.” Back in New York, Mr. Terrific approaches the homeless disguised Terry McGinnis, and a fight ensues. Batman Beyond gets away, but not with his shopping cart full of robo-bug parts…and not just any robo-bug, either…it’s the Brother Eye infected form of the nearby Plastique!

The New 52: Futures End #7

Shag here again – That’s it for this month! Thanks again to Tim for this fantastic coverage! Next month Tim will return with further coverage of, The New 52: Futures End! Let us know what you think of this weekly series in the comments.

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Slipknot in Robin #145

I can’t get enough Slipknot! Yesterday we covered Slipknot in Who’s Who, and today we’re getting another Slipknot post! Hooray for the Lasso of Larceny! This page comes from Robin #145 (cover dated February 2006). A very strangely-clad Slipknot is fighting Ragman, the Tatterdemalion of Justice! It appears Slipknot is carrying a whip, rather than a rope. Odd. Story by Bill Willingham (which explains the inclusion of Ragman) with art by Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens.

Slipknot in Robin #145 fighting Ragman by Bill Willingham and Scott McDaniel

Notice Ragman says Slipknot hasn’t, “.. done enough evil to be collected yet.” That’s because Slipknot doesn’t have much time for evil; he’s too busy being AWESOME!

My thanks to fellow Match-head, Edward Crosby for sending this my way! Also, if you want more Ragman, check out Chad Bokelman’s blog dedicated to the Tatterdemalion of Justice!

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WHO’S WHO: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe, Volume XXI

Who's Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC UniverseThe Fire and Water Podcast Presents… WHO’S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE PODCAST OF THE DC UNIVERSE, Volume XXI!

The twenty-first episode of our WHO’S WHO podcast is now available — the show that dares to tackle one of DC Comics’ greatest publications! Each episode Rob and I cover a single issue of the legendary 1980s series, Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe. This time around we chat about WHO’S WHO: Volume XXI, discussing characters such as Shrinking Violet, Sinestro, Slipknot, Solomon Grundy, Space Cabbie, Slipknot, The Spawn of Frankenstein, Spectre, Speedy, Slipknot, Silver Deer, and many more! Plus Slipknot! We wrap up the show with your Who’s Who Listener Feedback! This episode sponsored in part by!

Be sure to check out our Tumblr site for several pages from this Who’s Who issue:!

Have a question or comment? Send us an e-mail at:

You can find the twenty-first episode of WHO’S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE PODCAST OF THE DC UNIVERSE on iTunes. Each episode is released as part of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST feed. While you’re on iTunes, please drop us a review. 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 (71 MB).

Thanks to my co-host Rob Kelly, Sea King of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE, for doing all the post-production on this episode! Special thanks to Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our fantastic Who’s Who theme song!

One of the coolest aspects of each Who’s Who issue was the amazing wrap-around cover! Check out this Ernie Colon & Dick Giordano cover for Volume XXI! Click the image to enlarge.

Who's Who The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #21

Here are your Firestorm-related Who’s Who entries from this issue…

First up is Silver Deer, Firestorm foe and sometimes ally of Black Bison! Art by Joe Brozowski & Rodin Rodriguez! Click to enlarge.

Who's Who Silver Deer by Joe Brozowski & Rodin Rodriguez

Next, one of Firestorm’s “greatest” foes — Slipknot, a.k.a. the Lasso of Larceny! Art by Joe Brozowski & Jerry Acerno! Click to enlarge.

Who's Who Slipknot by Joe Brozowski & Jerry Acerno

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Random Panel of the Day

Here is your random panel of the day! Take a guess where it’s from, then check the image properties for the answer!

Justice League of America #197 featuring the Justice Society by Gerry Conway and George Perez

What a splash page! Wow! Love seeing the JLA and JSA together!

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