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Unsung Heroes, Wonder Woman on Film & Listener Feedback – FIRE & WATER #72

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 72nd 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 give props to some unsung creators that have worked on Aquaman and Firestorm. In Firestorm’s case, they talk about inker extraordinaire Rodin Rodriguez! Next they chat about the recent casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Superman/Batman film. Finally, the show wraps up with a healthy dose of your Listener Feedback!

You can find the 72nd 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 (40 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?

Below you’ll find some exceptional art by inker Rodin Rodriguez as he worked with multiple pencillers on the character of Firestorm!

Flash #293 with art by George Perez and Rodin Rodriguez

Flash #293 by Gerry Conway, George Perez, and Rodin Rodriguez

Flash #293 by Gerry Conway, George Perez, and Rodin Rodriguez

Flash #302 with art by Denys Cowan and Rodin Rodriguez

Flash #302 with art by Denys Cowan and Rodin Rodriguez

Flash #302 with art by Denys Cowan and Rodin Rodriguez

Fury of Firestorm The Nuclear Man #7 with art by Pat Broderick and Rodin Rodriguez

Fury of Firestorm #7 by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick, and Rodin Rodriguez

Fury of Firestorm #7 by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick, and Rodin Rodriguez

Fury of Firestorm The Nuclear Man #20 with art by Rafael Kayanan and Rodin Rodriguez

Fury of Firestorm #20 by Gerry Conway, Rafael Kayanan, and Rodin Rodriguez

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

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  1. Dave Z says:

    Shag said I should pimp my Tumblr and not one to shy away from potential followers, here I am! I run Osborn’s Pumpkin Bombs, which you could get to by clicking my name up there. I post comics, Doctor Who, slasher movies, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Most of my content is made up of reblogs from other people but I do post my own stuff, like a guide to Paul Jenkins’ various Spider-Man comics and a DVD cover art collection of the various Doctor Who anniversary episodes.

  2. Anj says:

    Thanks for another great episode guys. I love these sort of ‘side mission’ episodes. Like you guys, I love to talk about the dustier corners of comics history and my favorite characters. I don’t get to talk about this stuff in my ‘real life’ so these topics are appreciated. It also makes me think about ‘my character’ Supergirl and how I would discuss the same topic.

    For me, the most ‘unsung’ Supergirl artist was Art Saaf. Saaf did some of the stories at the end Supergirl’s Adventure run and then all 10 issues of her short-lived solo title in the early 70’s. His Supergirl was fresh-faced and beautiful. Unfortunately almost every story in that series was pretty poor – a romance comic dressed in superhero clothes. Still his art was slick and worth a peek and a nice transition away from Mike Sekowsky’s wonky art.

    I don’t think Leonard Kirk is unsung but he did almost 70 issues of the Peter David run on Supergirl and really brought a style to that book that complemented the story.

    As for my comment about DC being dark, I won’t shy from it. But I will trumpet the books that I am enjoying that break that trend. Vibe has really been a nice throwback to the ‘young hero struggling to do what’s right’ comic. I bet you would love it Rob. I also enjoy Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, but read it like an Elseworld’s book, almost separate from the DCU. And, recently, I think Greg Pak has a better handle on Superman than many recent creators and his Action Comics with artist Aaron Kuder has been great so far.

    You guys do a great job plugging my site but it is Supergirl Comic Box Commentary at

    I know, I should have picked a better name for the site. But there it is.

    Thanks again for the show!

  3. Siskoid says:

    Random thoughts…

    I was just complimenting Rodin Rodriguez on my You-tube channel, and saying how I thought I might have dropped Fury of Firestorm after he left, or BECAUSE he left the book. I just did not like the look of the book after that. (The truth is probably spotty availability in my area. I probably missed the next few issues, which made the collection aspect moot, I dunno.)

    I doubt the plan is to make Wonder Woman spin off into her own film, sadly. Why? Because they cast an unknown in the part. Casting the lead is a major part of marketing a stand-alone film. Then again, Cavill wasn’t too well known and it didn’t really hurt Man of Steel. I guess it’s possible. I suppose it depends on fan reaction to the character in the upcoming film.

    Fans of the Archie heroes unite! That Fox series that’s barely two months old is very very very fun.

  4. As requested, here is my blatant self-promotion. You can find me at The Hammer Strikes ( where I post my thoughts on all things geeky. New posts every Thursday and if I don’t have something to comment on, I post a retrospective on Walt Simonson’s run on Thor. I hope you enjoy it.

    (This is being cross-posted for almost-super pimpage*)

    * Super pimpage would be “Hey, Jim! Whoa! That’s a BAD outFIT! Whoa!”

  5. Luke says:

    Unsung Heroes for Iron Man? Archie Goodwin and George Tuska. While a lot of folks seem to think that Iron Man simply disappeared into the ether after Stan Lee and Don Heck left the title until Bob Layton and Dave Micheline took over, there was a great run of stories from Goodwin and Tuska which set the tone for 2 decades of Iron Man stories. Ideas such as Tony Stark abandoning weapons manufacture, Tony having everything stripped from him, someone else in the Iron Man armor, Shellhead facing armies of his enemies at once, intra-company politicking, all of it came from Godwin. And while I will very much admit that Tuska is not my cup of tea on more traditional superheroes such as the JLA, his work on Iron Man is really strong. The book seemed to play to his strengths, with the technology (including lots of armored foes), the snarling faces of the Stark board of directors, and Tony’s many lady friends. You know how in the Iron Man movies, the faceplate on the armors always seem to be frowning or sneering? That’s all George Tuska, and I still always picture the classic Red & Gold armor frowning because of it.

    Unsung Heroes for Hawkman and Hawkgirl? This is going to sound stupid but Murphy Anderson. Because when you say “Hawkman” in the context of the Silver Age, 99.44% of fans immediately jump to “Joe Kubert.” As well they should, since Kubert’s vision of the Hawks approaches superhero iconography to me. But, Anderson’s tenure on the Hawkman book is very long and as far as I am concerned, very distinguished. His style is about as different as possible from Kubert’s while still being recognizable as DC Silver Age, but his sturdy, realistic Hawkman and Hawkgirl are crisp, clean, and streamlined. Too often I hear Anderson’s work on the title dismissed as “workman like,” but I think that is a great disservice to his contibution to the characters.

    Maybe my choices are not that obscure but there you go.

    Warners has said on more than one occassion that they wanted to do the opposite route of Marvel with their DC movies, and start out with a team-up movie, and then spin out individual movies, usually specifically mentioning Wonder Woman and Flash. So this move does not surprise me in the least. I’m still high off of Man Of Steel and very intrigued on how this fim will develop.

    As far as pimpage:

    –Being Carter Hall (my Hawkman blog):

    –Earth Destruction Directive (My Japanese Giant Monster podcast):

    –The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales of Terror (A horror podcast I cohost):

  6. Anj says:

    Realized I didn’t comment on the Wonder Woman announcement. I have less issues with Gadot than I do with Affleck. I think she will be able to pull this off.

    My guess is that she will be ‘Diana Prince’ for the absolute bulk of the movie. She will be part of the military trying to track down the heroes. In fact, I think we will only see her in costume once, either the last shot of the movie or the post-Crisis tease for the next flick.

  7. Siskoid says:

    Well, if Doomsday is in it, I expect this’ll be a Death of Superman thing with other heroes showing up to help and get pwned (like the JLA did in the original story) then showing up at the funeral. In other words, will end like The Dark Knight did, on a somber note setting up a resurrection in the third film.

  8. Anj says:

    Ack that should say post-credit tease for next film!!

    Post-Crisis is definitely a mind cramp.

  9. Corey Hodgdon says:

    Hey fellow Nuclear Subs! Check out my art blog at and please considering buying my self published comic The Capture Of Bigfoot which also has a blog here… Thanks everyone!

  10. That Bastard Frank says:

    1) You commentators? Whores, the lot of you!

    2) I’m an atypical Wonder Woman fan, so “Diana Prince” is one of my three favorite publishing eras. Great trade choice!

    3) For Martian Manhunter, I’d submit Joe Certa as an unsung hero. Like Paul Norris, he’s a consistent footnote as a co-creator, but that neglects to acknowledge that he penciled and inked all 132 “John Jones, the Manhunter from Mars” stories published across thirteen years. His initial work fit the DC “Frigidaire” house style of slick, professional product bereft of distinct personality. However, lacking the idiosyncrasies of a Curt Swan or Dick Sprang meant that the strip was consistently clean and accessible, with clear storytelling and some lush inks (especially on faces.) Also unlike other DC artists, Certa allowed his characters’ appearances to evolve over time, shifting from double breasted suits to more casual wear and generic Caucasian features to more ethnic diversity. Certa wasn’t content to draw the same way as the strip shifted from crime to sci-fi to super-heroics to creature feature and finally spy adventure. Certa’s work loosened up, recalling the more abstract sketches one might find on a stylized pulp novel cover, and he embraced the more rigid anatomy and violent dynamism of Gil Kane and Mike Sekowsky. Nobody seems to be a Joe Certa fan, but he’s worthy of greater attention.

    4) I think it’s painting with a broad brush to say the Philippine Invasion was DC-centric. Ernie Chan was most prolific at Marvel, and other Filipino artists got plenty of work there, but tended more toward black and white magazines or specific titles. They were all over Conan, Kull, Dracula, Hulk, Planet of the Apes, and Tarzan. Gerry Talaoc was definitely more of a Marvel man. Nestor Redondo worked on OHOTMU, Alfredo Alcala did Dazzler and Man-Thing, while Tony DeZuñiga spent a lot of time on Thor, Dr. Strange, Secret Defenders, The ‘Nam, and New Universe titles. Alex Niño mostly worked at Warren. I really liked most of these guys (but not Romeo Tanghal,) though their more static, illustrative leanings made them better as inkers on American comics. The Filipino style also became heavily associated with the 1970s (and somewhat the Neal Adams school,) so that contributed to their fall from favor.

    5) Regarding the quasi-JLA movie coming up: I just watched the Watchmen for the first time since its theatrical release, and the director’s cut does take an already long couple and a half hours and pushes it into a third. That said, Snyder had a much more difficult job balancing the entire biographies of five primary characters plus countless important secondary players in a divergent universe with a unique geopolitical circumstance. We already know full well who Superman and Batman are after a combined 14 motion pictures including two origin stories in the past eight years. There’s plenty of room to do the advertised Versus movie while offering smaller establishing roles for Wonder Woman and any assumed additional company.

    And yet, as much as people praise the Timmverse, the Justice League cartoon majorly screwed up by stuffing Wonder Woman’s origin into part of the pilot and a two-parter later in the first season. You can do that with Martian Manhunter, but the Amazing Amazon has a complex backstory that needs its entire feature to breathe. My hope is that we’ll get Diana Prince in this movie as some sort of government operative who unbeknownst to her superiors and the other heroes is actually leading a double life to be fleshed out prior to the actual JLA film.

    I’m less familiar with Gal Gadot than most, but she’s beautiful and has an exotic accent, so I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I was less impressed with Adrianne Palicki, who wasn’t terrible, but whose presence served a detestable bastardization of the heroine.Wonder Woman currently has a very divided coalition fandom, and one of the reasons I’m hopeful for a solo film is the need for a “definitive” interpretation that we can all get behind to some extent.

    6) Shag’s frame of reference on female action vehicles is dated as all get out. How about five Resident Evil films (grossing $915.9M) and four Underworld ones ($458M)? Also, Geena Davis & Renny Harlin were coming off Cutthroat Island, which did Kiss no favors.

    7) Best break music ever! The Brady Kids “This looks like a job for Wonder Woman” is exactly the Superman with ovaries take I’m afraid of though, so I wish you’d stopped while you were ahead.

    8) If someone could put together a master list of comic book podcasts, that would be nice. I’ve tried a number of them, but for various reasons, haven’t really stuck with any. I would recommend a couple of movie ones I quite enjoy though. How Did This Get Made is a fairly structure show where a group of comedians comb over the plot of dubious feature films. The Badass Podcast features my favorite movie reviewer and his friends from Badass Digest having organic, freely flowing, and funny conversations about film. I’d recommend either.

  11. Luke says:


    Re: Joe Certa — If I may toot your horn for a moment here, I do want to say that your efforts to showcase Certa’s work on the Manhunter From Mars strip over at the Idol-Head of Diabolu are much appreciated. I knew nothing about the history of the Manhunter nor his long running Silver Age strip until I came across your blog, and your commentary on Certa’s work helped in my education on that front. Certa again is like Anderson in some respects — namely the clean, accessible linework and the fact that “no on seems to be a fan of” either of them when compared to their contemporaries at DC.

    Re: WW on film — Having Diana Prince as an agent of ARGUS or whatnot makes perfect sense to me. I also agree with not needing to talk about the origins of either Superman or Batman in this next film. We don’t need an origin for Wonder Woman in a team-up movie because it won’t be a story driver. You mentioned Justice Legue — you can have the Manhunter’s origin drive the story because you can have Earth being invaded by White Martians, for example, in the wake of the Manhunter being trapped on Earth. But unless you do something ill-advised like Amazon’s Attack, Diana’s origin is not going to drive an ensemble story the way that it can a solo film, where she can fight Ares or Circe or to a lesser extent, Minister Blizzard.

    Good points from all, love hearing about your Unsung Heroes! I am not a walking database on comics creators like some folks I know so it is all very enlightening for me!

  12. Tim Wallace says:

    Shameless self cross-promotion!

    Inspired by several blogs I read online, I set out to create my own (cue inspriational music)…I wanted to tell the stories of my favorite comic book hero, Aquam-…wait, he’s already taken?! OK, then I’ll create something filled with all the things I enjoy and call it my Blog of Geek- ugh, that’s taken too?! Alrighty then…I’ve got it! Something unique, something old, something new, something bwahaha…something…BLUE! Kord Industries: A Blue Beetle Blog! Every week I look at the many lives of the Blue Beetle! From Dan Garret to Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes, from his appearances in comics to radio and TV, and with occasional “What the Kaji Dha? Wednesday” side topics like Doctor Who, gaming and more you’re sure to see something you like!

    And remember, this December at Kord Industries we’re looking at Holiday comics! So stop by, ,say hello and become a “Beetlemaniac!”

  13. Mark Sweeney says:

    I never put it together that there was a ‘Filipino Invasion’ – you learn something new every ‘cast. Anyway, I recently acquired the entire 7 issue run of ‘Rima the Jungle Girl,’ which features the artwork of Nestor Redondo, one of those ‘Invaders.’ I really dug the Kubert covers, but the Redondo interiors blew me away – gorgeous! Interestingly, the backup feature, ‘Space Voyagers’ was drawn by another ‘Invader,’ Alex Nino.

    Anyone who doesn’t have these, I strongly suggest picking them up!

  14. Martin Stein Returns says:

    If you can’t find anything on John Daley/Daly, etc., then I wonder if it’s a pseudonym for someone else.

  15. Frank says:

    Luke, I’d feel honored, but being a glass half empty sort, I just get to thinking about how much better the blog was when you were a regular early adopting commentator. I think I’ve been pretty crap at blogging for the last few years, but I thank you for the kudos of more productive, thoughtful days.

    Not to be a shameless Martian Manhunter pimp, but he certainly is an obvious plot-assisting character when it comes to a JLA movie, as exemplified by Count Drunkula:
    He’s not a big or complex enough character for it to be a “sacrifice” to tell his story in service to a team narrative, and he has a history of being the exposition agent when it comes to conspiracies/alien invasions/etc. Still, it behooves me to point out that one way to differentiate this from the Avengers while plot-blocking future Marvel movies would be to have Aquaman show up in advance of a grave undersea/Atlantean threat requiring a whole team of heroes. Or Firestorm could… yeah, no. That concept is nothing but trouble. Fox News alone would have a field day with just the “two men merge” part.

    It’s funny, but you just made me realize how Wonder Woman could drive the narrative for a JLA movie. Borrow the premise of Ares attempting to start World War III by possessing key military leaders, as seen in the opening arc of the Perez series. It could even retroactively explain the antagonism of the military seen in Man of Steel, and is a big enough menace without copying any previous comic book movies.

    Oh, and I’d throw Larry Lieber in there as an unsung hero for Iron Man, since he essentially “ghost wrote” the strip for Stan. For my own part, I think everything goes better with Murphy Anderson, and he definitely had and retains a fan base. Despite Kubert’s association with Hawkman, he was never especially popular with super-hero fans in the Silver Age, and sales on the book went up after Anderson took over art chores (see also: Barry Smith vs. John Buscema on Conan.) We may embrace innovators unappreciated in their time, but there’s something to be said for moneymakers of yore who have become undervalued over the years. Anderson is so, so, sooo much better than “workmanlike.” He’s the successor of Lou Fine, for frig’s sake.

    Siskoid, I’ve wanted to be a fan of the MLJ heroes since Archie Adventure Series, but it never seems to take in practice.

    Anj, I respect Leonard Kirk, but I could never quite bring myself to forgive him for not being Gary Frank.

    9) I was taught to hate Steve Trevor by Bob Kanigher (plus the general uselessness of Lyle Waggoner) so I had no issue with his decades in exile until the past decade or so. I now recognize him as a key element in the Wonder Woman formula, and appreciate Geoff Johns for restoring him as an active feature of the DC Universe. I can’t bring myself to follow Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chang’s “New Wave Xena: Warrior Princess,” but I doubt I could resist a more conceptually faithful volume from Sterling Gates.

    10) I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with learning to draw for comics from comics. Virtually every Golden Age artist actively swiped Hal Foster and Alex Raymond, and to my taste served the strengths of the medium better than either. Many of the worst current artists swipe from “life,” which is to say soulless recreations of Google image search results. An artist is an artist, and is defined by their aptitude within their field, not by the breadth of their influences. I do think there’s something to be said for fundamentals though, which is probably why a great man of my favorite comic artists started out as slavish Neal Adams clones.

    11) I’m definitively down for Tales of the Kubert School. I could do with less Downton Robbie, though.

    12) “Daylec” sounds like the lemon-scented polish used on Daleks.

    13) In my ongoing defense of Tad Williams, I often forget to mention that it took John Arcudi to get me to start reading that volume of Aquaman, and my preference for his run contributed to my disdain for Sword of Atlantis (plus it sucked. Suck suck sucked! Suuucked!) I’m glad Arcudi finally found a home in the Hellboy sphere. I hold out hope for Len Kaminsky and Tom Peyer to do the same someday.

    14) Odd that I referenced ripping off Garth’s jaw shortly ahead of Aquaman: The Teen Drama introducing a toothy overbite version.

    15) God Rob, could you be more pedantic! Calling me out for addressing Jennifer Lawrence as an Oscar nominee instead of a winner? I slave away week after week on this “commentary track,” expanding/correcting/refuting your every podcast point-by-point on a virtual minute-to-minute basis, and you have to go and nitpick one tiny little detail? You’re why the internet can’t have nice things!

  16. Siskoid says:

    Frank has a good point. To be an Oscar winner, you also need to have been a nominee. So he was technically correct, if not complete in his answer.


  17. Derek Crabbe says:

    Thanks Rob and Shag!

    Fanholes! A pop culture Podcast by the fans, for the fans! Rob will
    be on Fanholes Podcast Episode 90 on December 19th!

    derekwc presents:
    History of Comics on Film,
    A chronological video documentary on Comic Book to Film and TV adaptations!

  18. I was reading WORLD’S FINEST issue #266 when I saw that the Green Arrow/Black Canary story drawn by Trevor Von Eeden was inked by Rodin Rodriguez! (Rodriguez also inked the Hawkman story in the same issue.) I remembered the name but couldn’t remember the context until now. His inking was pretty terrific, Shag, and I’m glad you got to showcase his work on Firestorm, Adam Strange, etc.

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