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How Ronnie was Fired from the JLA by Aquaman – 1984

TEAM WEEK continues here at FIRESTORM FAN! Since his days of playing high school basketball, Ronnie Raymond has been a team player. Perhaps that is why he’s joined so many superhero teams! This week we’re looking at several of the teams he’s joined since becoming Firestorm!

Today we’re focusing on why Firestorm left the Justice League of America. Let me bottom line it for you… Aquaman fired Firestorm from the JLA. Yup, it’s Aquaman’s fault. I’m sure Rob from THE AQUAMAN SHRINE has his own version of the truth, but don’t be fooled. That water-breathing, fishy-smell-loving amphibian kicked our favorite hot-head off the Justice League. Thanks, Water-Boy!

The Earth was attacked by Martians in Justice League of America #228-230. Unfortunately, not many of the JLAers responded to this “War of the Worlds”. With less and less members responding to various emergencies, Aquaman decided to take matters into his own hands. The pages that follow are from Justice League of America Annual #2 (Oct. 1984), written by Gerry Conway and penciled by the amazing Chuck Patton.

Justice League of America Annual #2 by Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton, and Dave Hunt

Justice League of America Annual #2 by Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton, and Dave Hunt

Justice League of America Annual #2 by Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton, and Dave Hunt

Justice League of America Annual #2 by Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton, and Dave Hunt

There it is… how Aquaman tore apart the world’s greatest heroes. So what does Aquaman do for an encore? How does he show the world what a fully-dedicated Justice League can accomplish? With Vibe and Gypsy, in Detroit. That’s how.

Okay, truth is I love me some Justice League Detroit. In fact, my buddy Diabolu Frank has a blog dedicated to Justice League Detroit. I just can’t forgive Aquaman for breaking up with Firestorm after five happy years together. Oh wait, that didn’t come out right…

In the spirit of TEAM WEEK, below are links to previous FIRESTORM FAN posts regarding various teams Firestorm has joined:

See you back here tomorrow for more of TEAM WEEK!

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  1. Charlemagne says:

    Point of the story is this: You can pretty much blame Rob for anything and everything. Well done Shag!

    P.S. – This is one of my favorite storylines from the original JLA even with Stormy getting the boot at the end. Thanks again Rob!

  2. Keith G. Baker says:

    Still hold a grudge against The Fish King for this. Worst idea he ever had. “If you can’t do this full-time you shouldn’t be a hero!” Stupid and arrogant. Plus, he left himself after ~a year because he was homesick.

    A close second in his bid idea list was when he voted to kick The Flash out of the League. “There is never a reason to kill,” was essentially his reasoning. Hypocritical for a monarch to say, I think. (Firestorm voted to keep The Flash, BTW).

  3. Keith G. Baker says:

    *bad, not bid

  4. Ben Ronning says:

    This storyline always bothered me because the whole issue of Justice League members needing to make a “full-time” commitment seemed contrived to me. It also didn’t help that some of the founders were either exiled (Green Lantern, I believe), quit (Batman), or other otherwise off-world at the time (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash), which makes Aquaman look more petty. And that’s not even getting into the issue of where the New Titan Titans, the Outsiders, and other independent superheroes were during the Martian Invasion.

    Did Aquaman really have to disband one of the more powerful incarnations of the League with one of its weakest? That is not to say JLDetroit did not have its charm but they probably would not have lasted very long against against the Martians themselves (partly because they wouldn’t have Firestorm on their side. :P) Too bad nobody thought of doing it like Justice League Unlimited would twenty years later: recruit more members, keep a contingent of “full-timers,” and bring in “part-timers” and reservists on a case by case basis. It might have worked better than trying to make lightning strike twice to copy the success of New Teen Titans.

  5. rob! says:


  6. Keith G. Baker says:

    Aquaman disbanded the greatest assembly of heroes ever (Satellite-Era League) to form Teen Titans of the RustBelt. The Professor saw the coming Crisis.

  7. Shag says:

    Thanks for all the comments and support gang! Never forget, it’s all Aquaman’s fault. :)

  8. rob! says:

    While I find all this Aquaman-bashing unfair and unseemly, Teen Titans of the RustBelt made me laugh out loud.

  9. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    To be fair, Aquaman left because his infant son was murdered by Black Manta, which put a strain on his relationship with Mera. He quit to deal with his son’s death and salvage his marriage.

    Batman quit because he felt the JLA wasn’t proactive enough and founded The Outsiders. Flash was on trial for killing Prof. Zoom. Ronnie was starting college and Martin was looking for a new job. Canary was mourning her parents. Oliver had political differences with Hawkman and a mid-life crisis. Tornado got married and adopted a girl. Atom divorced Jean and moved to a sub-atomic realm. The Hawks were dealing with shit on Thanagar. Hal was replaced by John Stewart as GL of Sector 2814. I don’t remember why Clark and Diana were persona non grata.

    At this point, the JLA was an empty shell of its former self. Everyone was too busy or distracted to be an effective team. Arthur had to tear it down in order to build it back up again.

  10. […] How Ronnie was Fired from the JLA by Aquaman – 1984 […]

  11. Ben says:

    Because of the podcast, and all this talk of the Justice League Detroit, I bought this run of JLA, from this issue to the issue where Aquaman finally leaves. (I figure if I like it, I can track down the others and if not, well, I got something of a “character arc” featuring Aquaman. Or something.)

    But let’s face it, Stein was the one who forced Ronnie to quit. Rob’s right . . .

  12. Shag says:

    @rob & Keith – “The Teen Titans of the Rust Belt” made me laugh out loud too! Great descriptor!

    @Ben – I hope you enjoy the JLD comics! There are some gems and some stinkers, like any series. Personally I can find something great in each issue. In regard to this crazy notion that “Rob’s right…”, don’t feed into his ego. You have no idea how hard I work to humble that guy. Without me, his ego can’t even fit in our atmosphere. :)

  13. Jeff Metzner says:

    I always wondered who had to tell the Phantom Stranger that he’d been fired.

  14. rob! says:

    Ben, I love you.

  15. Frank says:

    Not to be mean, but that art is so, so, so very much better and more contemporary than Dick Dillin’s. I wish Chuck Patton had worked with the legends longer, because they played to his strengths far better than the Detroit crew. For me, the JLD doesn’t really get started until the arrival of Luke McDonnell, who brought with him the necessary grit to do the Motor City kids justice. Patton was too pretty, and looking at him draw all those outgoing heroes so well makes me melancholy.

    “Teen Titans of the Rust Belt” was a great rag.

    “Atom divorced Jean and moved to a sub-atomic realm” isn’t quite accurate. Ray was still married to Jean when he became trapped at six inches tall on a mission to the Amazon. He was forced to adapt into a warrior among stranded aliens of similar stature who had descended into barbarism, and fell for their princess. Ray and Jean divorced in the time between his return to the States and rediscovery of the half-foot Amazon kingdom, about a year after the JLD formed. I’m glad this came up, because I didn’t know Batman: The Brave and the Bold had featured Ray in his Sword days until I had to google up dates. Outrageous!

  16. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    Sorry Frank, but Wikipedia says otherwise:

    “The Atom had one short-lived mini series and three subsequent specials, all titled Sword of the Atom, in which he abandons civilization in the wake of a divorce from his wife (who had an affair with fellow lawyer Paul Hoben) and becomes the Conan-like heroic paragon of a tribe of six-inch (152 mm) -tall yellow-skinned humanoid aliens called Morlaidhans (and consort to their princess Laethwyn) in the jungles of South America. He would pass on his size-changing belt and role as Ivy Town’s protector to Jean’s new husband Paul Hoben in his stead. During this time, Ray’s friend Norman Brawler pens the book The Atom’s Farewell in which Ray’s identity as the Atom is revealed to the world.”

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