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DC Sampler & Listener Feedback – FIRE & WATER #50

Aquaman & Firestorm - The Fire and Water PodcastThe 50th 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.

We celebrate our landmark 50th episode with special guest Diabolu Frank by discussing the three DC Sampler books from the 1980s! Be sure to visit our Tumblr site so you can follow along at! We conclude the show with your Listener Feedback!.

Be sure to visit Frank’s blogs:

You can find the 50th 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 (128 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.

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

Below check out the covers to the DC Samplers! To see every page from these comics, visit our Tumblr site!

DC Sampler #1 cover by Ed Hannigan & Dick Giordano from 1983! Click to enlarge!

1983 DC Sampler #1 cover by Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano

DC Sampler #2 cover from 1984! Click to enlarge!

DC Sampler #2 cover from 1984

DC Sampler #3 cover by Fred Hembeck from 1984! Click to enlarge!

DC Sampler #3 cover by Fred Hembeck from 1984

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  1. Great idea for a show guys! These are a true relic of an era past, much like the Hostess ads in the last episode.

    Sampler #3 is the only one I own, which I picked up a few years back at Borderlands. The fact that it has a preview of Batman And The Outsiders in it really makes me smile. The Outsiders by the ABCs was very amusing. I also really like the girl wearing the Donna Troy shirt on the cover.

    Frank, claiming that the Outsiders are “hard to look at” after spending several minutes defending the Justice League Detroit is either superb parody or the height of insanity. You can pick for yourself. :)

  2. Siskoid says:

    Because there’s no way I can listen all the way through today, my comments are PER BOOK. So on Sample #1…

    Arion… Like Rob, I’ve always had trouble with fantasy comics. Even when I was playing sword&sorcery RPGs and reading lots of fantasy novels, fantasy comics never did it for me. I’m very surprised at how much I’m enjoying Brian Wood’s current Conan book. Maybe because the focus is on character, or how pulpy the narration is, I don’t know. And I’m with Shag that Lord of the Rings is ATROCIOUSLY written, and I’ve never been able to get through more than 100 pages of it. Like the movies though. In the last few years, I’ve tried to get back into fantasy and have read the Moorcock’s Elric books and the first three bricks of Game of Thrones, and have generally enjoyed them. I’ve even run a sword&sorcery RPG again. Ban lifted?

    World’s Finest… I’m a huge fan of Null & Void and have posted about each and every one of their appearances. The Pantheon sucked so much, however, I traded those comics in for late 70s Marvel comics in bad condition.

    Element Lad… wasn’t out at the time, or ever really. He just continued a relationship with a person despite her changing genders. Because, socially evolved. And that only happened after the 5 Years Later jump. The “Secrets” in this era led to Shrinking Violent being revealed as a Durlan spy (now Chameleon Girl). (And count me in among fans of Giffen’s more abstract work.)

  3. Anj says:

    I only own the first DC Sampler and after listening to this podcast, looks like I own the best. Great fun seeing these and knowing now that I don’t have to go out and hunt for the other 2 – something I was actually thinking of doing. Having Frank on board was a great bonus.

    I actually just recently reviewed the Supergirl sampler page here: I thought it was a nice couple of pages. I think Superman being there served 2 purposes. Make Superman fans read the pages. It also, by their dialogue, does distance Supergirl from Superman. She seems pretty independent here. And this was the Crisis costume, without the headband.

    Just a couple of other comments. It is great to see those Swamp Thing ads. That stuff is great.

    The Superman: Secret Years mini-series is insipid. It really reads like an old ABC After-School special about the perils of drinking and driving drunk. Also, Superboy/man solves the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. Yeesh.

    I still think Lightning Lass is the hottest Legionnaire not Phantom Girl. I cannot wait for the Who’s Who review of their respective pages as I know my opinion will be verified.

    Lastly, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact you guys don’t like Tolkien. Insanity.

  4. Siskoid says:

    Sampler #2…

    Justice League… I think the top half is specifically meant to be the first members (Atom and GA weren’t founders but the first newbies to join?), which is why you don’t get Hawkman, Firestom, etc.

    Thriller… I DID read the whole thing recently:

    Star Trek… As you know, I read them ALL for my daily ST reviews, and the Mike Barr stuff was among the best. Given what I think about his Outsiders, this came as a surprise to say the least.

  5. Sean Koury says:

    If podcasts could be thrown across the room in disgust, this one would have been tossed from one end of the house to the other when I heard you guys bad-mouthing the Lord of the Rings books. Shame! SHAME!!! Membership in the Real Geeks of America Club revoked! And you are NEVER allowed back in.

    Seriously, guys. Shame on you. SHAME!

    The rest of the podcast was great though!! All 4 and a half hours of it. This is how long EVERY episode needs to be. EVERY. DAMN. EPISODE!

    And it was great to have Frank back! :)

  6. Siskoid says:

    Sorry Sean. I don’t know what Shag and Rob’s reasons are, but for me, it’s the English lit degree. Tolkien is a great world-builder, linguist, and ethnologist, but I’m afraid he’s not a very good novelist.

    It’s my area, so I can afford to be a snob about it. You should hear me trash Poe and Balzac.

  7. I was reminded of these old DC Samplers when, in the lead up to the New 52, DC released that freebie New 52 preview book. I had about three of them floating around my bedroom for a while which my older boy really enjoyed flipping through and trying to name all the characters. He also really liked the green fire trucks that Green Lantern made in the Justice League #1 preview.

    Anyway, while the execution of each ad is something which can be debated, overall I think that as concepts the Samplers were really well done promotional pieces which I would have loved as a young reader. With previews being on the Internet months before the books are released nowadays, this sort of promotion is irrelevant, but it does bring me a sense of retroactive nostalgia.

    I am not sure why Frank feels the need to attack and mock me when my own statements were already self-depricating. (Try actually reading the comments, Martian Boy) Also not sure why Frank thinks I sound like Olive Oyl, when CLEARLY my dulcet tones are more in line with her brother Castor.

    Speaking professionally, which as a registered and licensed Professional Engineer (SC #30386) I am totally allowed to do, I believe that Frank’s emotional and unregulated outbursts are tied to a deep rooted trauma in his childhood, possibly involving the so-called “Jo-Jo Floyd Incident” and a Super Powers Golden Pharoah action figure. I can think of nothing else which would indicate such strongly neurotic symptoms such as running a Martian Manhunter blog and actively defending the Detroit Justice League.

    I’d recommend seeking professional help, possibly from the firm of Risperidone, Demerol, and Jack Daniels (check your local listings).

    PS: Robotech is not robots, it’s piloted battle suits. Never read the comic, just sayin’, K THX BAI.

    PPS: Tolkien’s work showed an amazing breadth of imagination and creativity, but he lacked even the most funamental ability to properly size control valves OR flow orifice plates. Like Siskoid, this is my area, so I retain the right to be snobby about it. You’d be surprised by the number of well regarded fantasy authors who don’t have any solid footing in the realm of instrumentation and control systems! 😉


  8. cリnical says:

    LotR is deadful. But then, I also loathe pure fantasy in general. At least Star Wars and Masters of the Universe had the decency to mix in sci-fi elements to break the pious monotony. I never connected to any of Tolkien’s characters, not even in the films. Not once was I given a reason to care if anyone died. I suppose it’s hard for a modern city boy to relate to British accented, bushy footed dwarves who drink out of goblets, never bathe, and recite Zeppelin lyrics by ye olde fireplace. I’m still confused as to why Magneto was so fond of little people, or why the spawn of Steven Tyler deserved so much attention. Three movies of people walking… blech.

    I passed out at what I assume was near the six hour mark, but was jolted back into consciousness by Shag(g)’s mention of KID VIDEO! God, I miss that show. That almost makes up for his mocking of the mighty Hordak, but not quite. The Evil Horde will soon invade his home. His screams will be drowned out by the maniacal growls of Grizzlor. Modulok will destroy his family’s psyche, and Leech will flawlessly clean his windows, all while Mantenna watches for the cops. You will rue this day, Shag(g)ward. You will rue this day.

    Not surprisingly, Frank stole the show. Again.

  9. Bailey Samra says:

    4 hours of utter nonsence!
    By hour 4, all 3 were cackling like witches from the land of OZ…

    Robb doesnt like Lord of the Rings… What else would you expect from a man that also dislikes the Transformers… He obviously doesnt have any taste in good pop cultural icons!

    Shagg… Maybe you should change your name to Shame Matthews instead!

    Frank should never be allowed near a podcast ever again!

  10. Keith Samra says:

    Gee Bailey, dont you think your a little to hard on the boys there?
    I thought it was a great episode. As a matter of fact, I was on a long dr……………

  11. Bailey Samra says:


    No one wants to hear your stupid story! Shut up and crawl back into that hole from which you came… Candy ass Jabroni

  12. Bailey Samra says:

    …..yes sir….

  13. Siskoid says:

    Day 2… Sampler 3…

    I hate it when a Crisis ruins a picnic. And since they seem to happen simultaneously in all times and places, they’ve ruined every picnic ever.

    Yeah, last Sampler was pretty bad. Most of the books were ENDING. Either mini-series (designed to end soon) or continuing books soon cancelled (like WFC, Atari Force and Amethyst).


    Listener feedback…

    Ok, well, it’s done. Just wanted to chime in that ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: FIRE & WATERBOARDED

  14. Sean Koury says:

    Oh and regarding the Captain Carrot ad, the only thing I have to say about that is…

    …can one of you send me a scan? I want to see this thing. :)

  15. This comment is for Jack Dauer — I found my box of old school Super Hero toys last night, and I discovered that appaently I have my Toy Biz Penguin… and the Super Powers umbrella. Which he CAN’T HOLD. ARGH! I’m a TERRIBLE Penguin fan!

    I’m going to have to scour the eBay to see if I can find a SP Penguin for cheap. The umbrella still has the sword tip at least! :)

  16. Keith Samra says:

    @Luke Jaconetti

    I have a spare penguin dude. Give me your address, and Ï’ll send it to you!

  17. Frank says:

    I haven’t had time for myself to listen to myself so I can comment on me giving commentary, but I must say that my blogs have definitely benefited from the links this time based on a broad spectrum comment spike (a.k.a. a couple or three guys bothering with my b.s.)

  18. Luke says:

    @Keith Samra, I sent you a PM on Twitter. Thanks dude! :)

  19. Keith Samra says:

    All good’s man. If you have a spare SP HAwkman mace, throw it my way! Mine has gone walkies somewhere…

  20. My Dixie Wrecked says:

    Whoop Whoop! Just bought all 35 issues of Arion Lord of Atlantis plus the annual for 99 cents on ebay. Never heard of the series before but sounds like it is right up my alley. I’m also intrigued by Spanner’s Galaxy. I’ll maybe get that next. You guys are such a great source for finding obscure stuff. So, it was a great show. I did listen to the whole thing, including the 45 minute long giggle session starting at hour three.

  21. Martin Stein Returns says:

    HOORAY!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! HATIN’ ON THE LORD OF THE RINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    God, I thought I was the *only* one.

  22. Martin Stein Returns says:

    Gypsy and Vibe ruin that Justice League Detroit ad. They look ridiculous.

  23. Xum Yukinori says:

    RE: DC Sampler 2, The New Teen Titans spread: “Who is the chick with the Dr. Light headband”?

    My understanding is that was actually the initial concept of a new Dr. Light character that was going to debut with the Fearsome Five in “Tales of the Teen Titans” (the story where Cyborg receives a more human-looking appearance), but this Dr. Light was replaced by a completely new character named Jinx when Marv Wolfman decided to have her debut in the Crisis series instead. Somewhere along the way Mr. Wolfman also decided to change her from a black woman to Japanese.


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