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Deathstorm Toys, Ocean Master #1, & Geek Talk – FIRE & WATER #67

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water PodcastThe 67th 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 Rob and Shag wrap-up Villains Month with Ocean Master #1 (by Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard, Geraldo Borges, Ruy Jose, and Rod Reis). The guys also discuss the NYCC and the recently-announced Deathstorm action figure (along with a brief retrospective of the character in molded plastic). Finally the podcast degenerates into a somewhat heated argument about the validity of the Earth-2 Aquaman!

You can find the 67th 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 (29 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!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?

As I mentioned on the show, DC Comics’ Villains Month may be over, but I’m declaring October my own personal Bronze Age Villains Month! I’m reading DC Comics Secret Society of Super Villains vol 1 and Marvel Comics Essential Super-Villain Team-Up vol 1! Click the image below to enlarge! And since recording the show, I’ve realized there is already a Secret Society of Super Villains vol 2. Ordered and en route to me now!

Bronze Age Villains Month - DC Comics Secret Society of Super Villains and Marvel Comics Essential Super-Villain Team-up

Check out the cover to Aquaman #23.2: Ocean Master #1 below! Cover Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, and Rod Reis! Click to enlarge!

Aquaman #23.2 Ocean Master #1 cover by Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, and Rod Reis

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  1. Kyle Benning says:

    Great episode guys, I’m a little disappointed it took you 20 years to pick up on the Lois & Clark/Lewis & Clark thing, but what can you do?

    Earth 2 Aquaman, sorry but I have to agree with Shag. I love Roy Thomas, and I love All Star Squadron, and its apparent he loves the JSA and golden age, 4 All Star Companions are proof of that, however that doesn’t make his inclusion of Aquaman scripture, especially when it is in direct contrast to what DC established and stated in the previous 2 decades. Remember, Roy Thomas was his own editor on the Earth 2 books, so he was allowed to do whatever he wanted without any other editorial balance or changes, that means it literally went unchecked by anyone else. He printed whatever he wanted, and 99% of the time it worked out for him. However I compare this to Waid’s inclusion of Supergirl in the post-Crisis Legion stories, despite her dying during Crisis and being eliminated from post-Crisis continuity. Does that make her appearances in Legion during the Byrne era Superman right? NO!! ABSOLUTELY NOT!! That just means the writer and editor were wrong. I contend the same thing exists for Earth 2 Aquaman, this time with Roy Thomas who was both writer and editor, being incorrect. I feel like if there was an Earth 2 Aquaman, he would’ve been in the America vs. The JSA series. That series serves as an in depth review chronicling the JSA’s adventures since their founding, and Aquaman wasn’t once mentioned. Sorry but just as excerpts in the comics during team-ups said, Aquaman is unique to Earth-One while others like Dr. Fate were unique to Earth Two.

  2. rob! says:

    I feel like if there was an Earth 2 Aquaman, he would’ve been in the America vs. The JSA series.

    That series was written by Roy Thomas! So if it didn’t matter what Roy included in All-Star Squadron re: Earth-2 Aquaman, why does it matter what he DIDN’T include in AVTJS?

  3. Sean Koury says:

    I’m with Rob on this one. The evidence is right there for everybody to see. Two completely different origins, plus Aquaman Earth 2 appearing in All-Star Squadron.

    I’m sold.

  4. Siskoid says:

    I believe in the Earth-2 Aquaman.

    That should be a t-shirt.

  5. Keith G. Baker says:

    Yes, Roy Thomas showing the Earth-2 Aquaman in the pages of A*S was the first time this character was acknowledged. However, Shag, if this is your only reason for denying him his “Earth-2 Creds”, then you are wrong. Earth-2 was RT’s playground in the ’80’s and unless you are also willing to discount the Earth-2 veracity of Danette Reilly, Commander Steel, Amazing-Man, and, heck, the All-Star Squadron itself, you need to accept the fact that there was an Earth-2 Aquaman pre-Crisis (admittedly 37-or-so seconds pre-Crisis, but pre-Crisis nonetheless).

    Yes, I, too, grew up looking at that (probably) Carmine Infantino-drawn panel showing that there was an Aqauaman on Earth-1 to counter Earth-2’s Dr. Fate. However, these Earth-2 exposition panels were out of vogue by the time A*S rolled around. So, this is not a valid argument.

    Again, the Earth-2 Aquaman was an almost non-character and pretty much inconsequential, but he existed on Earth-2 prior to (the much unnecessary) Crisis.

  6. I’m right there with Rob when it comes to “The Crush” at comic conventions. My personal favorite show, HeroesCon in Charlotte NC, has not succumbed to “The Crush” yet because it remains fairly focused on comics as well as being family friendly. So the show has not yet been overrun with hipsters or semi-professional coplayers.

    I went to a show in New York back in 2003 at The Paramount Theatre; I could have sworn it was called the New York Comic Con at the time, but I cannot confirm that. The Paramount was a great venue but the show could never have grown there. I am really familiar with the Javits Center from years of going to the International Auto Show with my father; to fill that space with “The Crush” is absolutely amazing to me.

    Ed Catto is a cool dude, and I loved the Captain Action comics he was involved with over at Moonstone Comics. I actually had contacted Ed many years ago while trying to figure out who owned the rights to Maxx Steel and the Robo Force, since Ed was Moonstone’s POC for the Zeroids, earlier Intel robot toys. True story.

    Shag said that his old job involved planning “Boring Trade Shows.” To you I present a show my friend Adam used to attend: “THE WORLD OF CONCRETE!”

    Also, Shag, if you hated this guy who bullied you about comic, why do you have him on your Facebook?

    The toy sculpting effect which the eyes of the figure will light up when light catches the transulcent plastic is called “Light piping.” This used to be very popular for Transformers toys (being robots, glowing eyes made sense), as well as certain superhero toys like Shag mentioned.

    (Had to skip the review of Ocean Master #1 until I get a chance to read it, as I am working my way through my pile of Villains Month books, nearly all of which I have really enjoyed.)

    The whole Aquaman of Earth-2 argument really makes me glad that we clearly had both an Earth-1 and Earth-2 Hawkman. And that they both managed to survive the Crisis. I don’t get many bones throw to me as a Hawkfan, so I take it where I can get it.

    PS: In the future please sign off all episodes with “God have mercy on your children and your wife.”

  7. Martin Stein Returns says:

    Rob’s right, sorry Shag. Earth-2 Aquaman appeared in ASQ before Crisis, enough said.

  8. Martin Stein Returns says:

    Also, Shag, instead of sending a nasty message to the guy who bullied you, maybe you could send him a letter congratulating him on seeing the light?

  9. Benton Grey says:

    Haha, thank you gents, your response to my poorly parsed thoughts was very kind.

    “Benton ran over that topic and salted the earth behind it!” Ha, that is well put, Rob.

    I like that. If only I could salt the fields of PAD’s run.

    Thanks for the thoughts on Firestorm missions, Shag! I’ve noted them down and have them stashed away for when I return to my project! I like the tale you’ve sketched out. It sounds pretty interesting! I’m surprised you didn’t include Killer Frost in your line-up, though. She could certainly fit the tragic angle. You’ve got me thinking, and it seems that, in a series of stories focused on the tragic elements of Firestorm’s rogue’s gallery, a good ideological conflict for his composite identity to face would be a split between his two halves in regards to the treatment of his foes.

    On another note, my comics finally arrived, so at last I’m caught up on my Aquaman books! I’ve gone back and listened to your coverage thereof, and I find my thoughts running more or less in line with y’all’s in regards to the highs and lows of these tales. The big difference is, I don’t mind Atlantis. It’s an integral part of who Aquaman is and what he is about, at least when it’s done well. The trouble is, Atlantis should be a feature part of the time, not the sole focus for several extended story-lines. “Moderation in all things” is a valid motto for story-telling as well as life. I do agree that it’s time to get Arthur out of the water for a bit, but I’d hate for Atlantis to sink out of sight permanently. Though it is quite unlikely to happen, I’d love to see New Venice make a return. I’ll settle for a return to the royal couple’s previous stomping grounds. Either way, it is time to make Aquaman a superhero again. Let him foil some robberies, defeat some crooks, and fight some supervillains. Let’s see him save the world. Let’s see some more light-hearted adventures. Sadly, it doesn’t seem that is likely, given our cliff-hanger ending.

    The stories have been good on the whole, and I have certainly enjoyed them. Yet, they are marred by the same flaw as all of these New 52 books. They simply have no joy, no real warmth. The stories are all in a terrible rush to get somewhere, a destination they never really seem to reach, and there is just no room for anything but melodrama and action. I like both of those elements, and they are the meat-and-potatoes of comic book fare, but a few breaths here and there for something brighter would be good. I’m reminded of the small, still moments on Batman:TAS, Superman:TAS, and JLU, the little glimpses of character that showed us the humanity and humor of the heroes and their world, that built friendships, and expanded on more than just the plot. Those moments are almost entirely absent from the New 52 at large, and from Aquaman specifically, though I’d wager that the latter is still head and shoulders above a lot of the others, if only because of Aquaman and Mera’s relationship (which, of course, DC would prefer to destroy out of the asinine fear that no-one who might admire a stable, happy marriage could possibly read a comic book). I’m moderately hopeful that this might change with the introduction of a new author, though, like Rob, I worry about the book’s viability without Johns.

    In terms of specifics, here are a few thoughts:

    I like this version of the Scavenger, but I’d like to see him do a bit more and actually come to grips with Aquaman. I also want to know what in the screaming blue heck his plan actually is, as this arc ended without ever bothering to explain it. I liked the twist of his assault on Atlantis (and, like Rob, I was sad to see Urn die, given his status as the one loyal character in the book).

    What Johns has done to Vulko breaks my heart. No matter what else is done with the character, this iteration is forever tainted by what practically amounts to attempted genocide. He’s got thousands of deaths on his hands. Gone is the wise and noble adviser, gone forever, and replaced by a monster.

    Ha, I certainly chuckled when I heard Rob’s reaction to Murk’s vital, utterly central role in the prison break of Ocean Master. That does seem like a huge waste, especially since we didn’t even see their group’s actual decision. Their subplot can’t hinge on their decision to serve the greater good if we don’t actually seem them make the decision. The entire exercise just seems unnecessary now.

    The Dead King was interesting, but yes, he too was too truncated to be as effective as I’d have liked. What is actually going on with him? What is he trying to accomplish? I enjoy suspense, but I also enjoy knowing what’s going on. There were a number of interesting threads introduced with this arc, though, and I look forward to seeing where they end up. I also enjoyed seeing Aquaman turning up the strength, but I wonder if it is perhaps getting a bit ridiculous.

    The Black Manta book was pretty weak. The intereaction between scrawny-Waller (a freaking crime, that) and Manta was almost interesting, but that’s about it. Really, this new version of Aquaman’s greatest villain is just not that interesting. I actually miss the charismatic leader of men attempting to establish a homeland free of outside interference. That guy was more interesting, and while still motivated by hate, also had more going on than JUST hatred. I also agree with Rob. I don’t mind violence in comics, but I think the more we have this level blood and gore, the more we continue to shove superhero books into the tiny niche of a market that is already killing them.

    Unlike Shag, I really don’t care much for the types of time jumps we see in that last Aqua-issue. They can be good, but the entire New 52 setting has overused this trope. I just want to read these freaking stories! Tell me about the first time that Aquaman and Scavenger actually met! Give me the first story with Black Manta! Tell me about how Aquaman discovered Atlantis! I want to read those stories!

    Tula, Tula…man, I miss the groovy chick from the classic book. Does everyone have to be an assassin these days? “How do we make character X relevant and interesting?” “Ohh! Let’s make him/her an assassin/secret agent! That way they can be all dark and dangerous!” That well is going dry. Everyone is a brutal, trained killer. Mera, Tula, Orm, everyone. Okay, we get it. Why not try something different? I would love to see Tula develop a personality and become Aquagirl, but that seems a long way off. Like y’all said, I would also like to see poor Lorena return. She, like pretty much everything else in the book, had finally hit her stride and become really interesting when Tad’s Aquaman run was cancelled. For that matter, I miss Garth too. The Aqua-family in general is a concept that would do wonders for this book.

    Jumping back a bit, I was surprised to hear Shag speak postively about The Others (in episode 64), but perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at such poor taste from a man who defends PAD’s Aquaman run! Ha, forgive me, but the Others are my single least favorite thing about Johns’ Aquaman run. I love pulp characters, but they are so poorly developed and generic that I just consantly felt like they were wasting my time and money.

    On the subject of the great debate, Shag, you are completely wrong, as I’m sure every other person who commented on this last show has said. There was clearly an Earth-2 Aquaman. DC just hasn’t always had their acts together…or rather, they have NEVER had their acts together.

    Well gents, thanks for several more entertaining shows.

  10. Alright, had a chance to finish up my Villains Month books, so I listened to the review of the Ocean Master book. Honestly, I liked it, as I liked pretty much all of the different ones I picked up. I thought the two Aquaman books did a good job of differentiating between his two big bad guys. I will agree that the Black Manta book was very much “shifting the camera” but I still enjoyed it. I did like that the two of them had a little cameo in each other’s book.

    Besides Killer Frost, there were some other Villains Month books which qualify as a “Complete Story,” of the ones I read: Shadow Thief, Eclipso, The Creeper, The Penguin, Cheetah, Two-Face. Eclipso was CREEPY as hell.

    There were also quite a few which I thought did a bang up job as a straight “Rogues Profile” of the type made popular by Johns during his time on Flash: Grodd, The Rogues, Reverse-Flash, Man-Bat, The Riddler, First Born, Brianiac. The Flash books, I thought, were very nicely building upon not only the stuff already happening in Flash, but also to something larger.

    Interestingly, we now have had 3 Rogue Profile books on the various Reverse-Flashes. Hunter Zolomon got one back in Johns first run, Eobard Thawne got one in the post-Rebirth series, and now the new Reverse Flash (name withheld to avoid spoilers) has one here in Villains Month.

    Secret Society was like issue 1.5 of Forever Evil. That is a good thing to me.

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