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Interview with Gerry Conway – FIRE AND WATER Episode 19

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water PodcastThe 19th 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 we’re dipping into the vault, presenting an interview from 2009 with the legendary Gerry Conway, co-creator of the Firestorm The Nuclear Man! Gerry Conway was one of the most prolific comic book writers of the 1970s and 80s. His writing credits go on for miles! He’s probably best known for co-creating the Punisher and scripting the death of Gwen Stacy in the Amazing Spider-Man. He also wrote for and produced such TV series as Law & Order and Diagnosis Murder. Back in 1977, Gerry created Firestorm the Nuclear Man along with artist Al Milgrom. Gerry continued to write the character of Firestorm for about nine years. During the interview we cover Firestorm’s creation, artists, the writing process, creator rights, the DC Implosion, merchandise, where the character has journeyed since his involvement, and much more!

Gerry Conway - Co-creator of Firestorm

You can find the 19th 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 (38 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! Intro theme, “That Time is Now,” by Michael Kohler. Special thanks to Daniel Adams and his band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our super-cool original outro theme!

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  1. Luke says:

    Great interview! I actually heard this interview the first time it “aired,” but its still a great listen. Thanks for reposting this, fellas!

    As before, loved Shag trying to explain who Carter Hall was to Gerry Conway, lol!

  2. Frank says:

    I commented on this one the first time, but I hate to break my F&W streak…

    1. Just to put this out there, the immolated kid imitating Human Torch is pure urban legend. I think it started when he was replaced by H.E.R.B.I.E. in the ’70s Fantastic Four cartoon, which was because Torch had been part of a separate license.

    2. Firestorm does have a distinctive silhouette, not that folks would line up for that particular one.

    3. Conway mentions Killer Frost as a favored villain. Also, Multiplex. No mention of Slipknot.

    4. Firestorm was the Kitty Pryde of the JLA. They tried to stick her in New Mutants once they’d formed, but Kitty didn’t belong there. She was created as a unique, whole character intended to serve a specific role in the X-Men, and her age was nothin’ but a number. Firestorm would have been horrible in the Teen Titans, because he was much too powerful and was partially defined by his naivete, which wouldn’t wash amongst his contemporaries. The League needed fresh eyes to admire their adult heroes, and Ronnie served as that reader proxy. I didn’t come to like Kyle Rayner until he joined the JLA and served the same role.

    5. My brain melted a little bit the other day when I realized Kelly Clarkson was singing a song built around a Nietzsche quote, specifically one that I hate. That which does not kill you can still compromise you mentally/bodily/spiritually for the rest of your life and perhaps make you welcome the inevitability of death. Just saying.

    6. People walk around with Punisher t-shirts because of John Romita’s fantastic design, followed by the Grant/Zeck mini-series. Grant pushed it through over much in-house objection, and Zeck won over fandom with it. Ennis’ contribution was returning the character to legitimacy after the excesses of the ’90s, and providing a long, strong run. The Jane movie did suck, though.

    7. Ronnie is an athlete, Jason is a brain. I’m watching Buck Rogers in the 25th Century right now, and Buck is constantly using football plays to win battles against space aliens. I like the idea of Ronnie and Jason switching places as needed, with Rusch in charge during complicated transmutations, Raymond having the body when reflexes are more important, and so on. I think we’ve moved past Stein as a component of the matrix.

    8. Shag, do you take any credit for the rebirth of Vibe? I sincerely hope Martian Manhunter, Vibe and company end up in a bunker under Detroit in Trinity War. I still think a great series could be had out of running with all that Dale Gunn and Commander Steel material. Obviously, Vixen deserves more love, in my book.

  3. I really did not want to listen to this interview, as I am not a huge Gerry Conway fan. His JLA run was bumpy at best (too many Zatanna-Red Tornado melodramas, not enough Aquaman & Atom & other JLAers besides the big five, etc). Not a huge fan of his Avengers run. Didn’t like his Legion stories AT ALL. However….I’m glad I listened! Gerry reminded me why I liked Firestorm when he first appeared. And if he had been portrayed in JLA as more of a “this guy needs guidance” then I think I would have warmed to him. (Well, I have, 30 plus years later…haha!) It just really really bothered me that the JLA was tacitly allowing this teenager to “kidnap” Prof Stein to be a part-time super-hero. The JLA should have *cured* him, not let him join!!! Anyway, it was a fun interview. Nice job, Shagg. You’re actually pretty interesting even when Rob isn’t interrupting you. Your Pal, Little Russell Burbage

  4. Nathan Adler says:

    Really enjoyed your interview. Thanks:)

    Keen to likewise interview Gerry and wondering if you know how I can get in touch?

  5. Kyle Benning says:

    Thanks for directing me to this interview Shagg (in Episode 61 of F &W), did not realize a firestorm was a term used for the aftermath or the mushroom cloud of a Nuclear Blast.

    I don’t know how I missed this interview & episode before!

  6. […] Conway courtesy of We Talk Comics (2014) and The Fire & Water Podcast […]

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