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Summer Time! Vacation Comics & Crossovers of the 80s/90s – Episode 90

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 90th 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.

Summer is almost here! This episode Rob and Shag wax nostalgic about some of their favorite comics read as children while on summer vacation. As Rob likes to call them, “Mountain Comics.” Then the guys tackle some of the best (and worst) DC company crossover events of the 1980s and 1990s! Get out your zinc oxide sunscreen, geeks. Summer is coming!

You can find the 90th 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 (50 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?

Here are advertisements for a few of the major 1980s and 1990s crossovers we discuss on the show. We all remember the covers, but the ads are sometimes forgotten. The first one is from Crisis on Infinite Earths before they settled on the final title!

Crisis on Infinite Earths advertisement - Universe

Legends advertisement by John Byrne

Millennium advertisement DC Comics

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  1. Doug says:

    GREAT episode, fellas! I celebrated by busting out my SECRET WARS Omnibus (the first, not SWII) and reading an issue with my lunch today. Wow. What a marketing tool that was. Every character all but reads off an awards-style introduction when they confront another character: “It’s the all-new Hulk with the brain power of Bruce Banner, but he’s really touchy nowadays.”

    You guys have gotten me nostalgic for LEGENDS. I’m going to have to carve out some time to re-read that one soon!

  2. Tim Wallace says:

    Bad news? I got stuck working a shift in the office on Memorial Day.

    Good news? It’s quiet, practically a ghost town, so I got to listen to the podcast without interruption!

    Good, bad, or cheesy, I gotta say I love the big summer cross-overs! Young me always looked at them with excitement and anticipation…wondering what world shattering event would take place. Sure it often led to disappointment and/or confusion…but in those early pre-internet spoiler days, any one of those events could have been magic!

    One of the boxes of comics I lost in my apartment flood last year was full of them. I’ve been slowly replacing them in trade paperback form when available or dollar bins and re-reading them. “Crisis” filled me with awe as a younger reader, but I’ve had trouble getting through it as adult (though I did enjoy listening to the Graphic Audio version)

    Now the podcast is over and I’m wishing I’d brought one of those trades to read! Oh well, I think when I get home I’ll sit on the deck and thumb through “Millennium” or “Invasion”…not my favorites, but I haven’t scored a replacement copy of “Legends” yet.

  3. Anj says:

    Great show guys! Definitely liked both topics and lots to say.

    1) Summer comics: I have mentioned here before that like Rob has ‘Mountain Comics’, I have ‘Beach comics’. My folks have a beach house that we all moved to during the summers and my first memories of comics is from those days. While not as isolated as the mountains sound, we only got 2 tv channels, so I read a lot. This was the later years of the 70s and my comics came from 2 places – a convenience store up the street where I was sent to buy milk and newspapers (occasionally slipped a quarter to buy a comic).

    But I also went to a lot of yard sales and flea markets. There you could get multiple comics for the quarter. These were usually comics from a couple of years before – so I cut my teeth on early 70s DC. I consider my ‘first’ comics to be Superboy and the Legion # 211 and 213. I actually reviewed them on Frank’s Bloodlines blog. But I also can vividly remember other old comics – the Wein/Wrightson Swamp Thing #9, Brave and the Bold #118 (Wildcat/Batman), and some Kamandis.

    My lifelong love of the Legion was born there and with these Mike Grell era issues.

    2) Crossovers: Just a few comments on some of them.

    a) Crisis on Infinite Earths – I appreciated what Crisis did. While I understood the multiverse, ‘Marvel’ friends didn’t get it. I think it also gave some energy to the DCU which seemed reinvigorated.

    Many many people have told me that Crisis #7 is Supergirl’s finest moment and ‘if only her own adventures were like that she would be more successful’ just as Rob said here. Whenever I hear this I ask the person ‘Did you read her adventures before Crisis #7?’

    I have yet to have someone say that they did. So how do they know what her adventures were like to compare. When they say they didn’t, it irks me. (Imagine someone talking about runs of Aquaman and Firestorm that they hadn’t read.)

    So I will ask Rob.

    Did you read her adventures prior to Crisis #7?

    I will admit that her moment in Crisis is a great one. She saves Superman *and* the multiuniverse. It would be hard to mess that one up. But I will say that she showed that same courage and determination in most of Paul Kupperberg’s Daring New Adventures.

    b) Legends – I really love this crossover. It is so ironic that the status quo of the New 52 DCU is one where the public distrusts the superheroes. Even Superman is looked at cautiously or with fear right now. So this plot of Darkseid seems quaint.

    But the stuff that came from it is impressive – Suicide Squad, WonderWoman, Justice League.

    Did either of you get the Cosmic Boy mini which was a Legends crossover?

    c) Invasion – I didn’t get the mini-series at all. In fact, the only thing I think I got from Invasion was the Animal Man crossover issue by Grant Morrison. Great trippy issue where a Thanagarian is going to blow up some weird emotion bomb.

    d) Armageddon 2001 – It amazes me that the Captain Atom thing was shelved and the awful Hawk ending substituted. Later … I think in Countdown, Atom is finally made Monarch.

    What was worse is that in the end of Armageddon, Hawk kills Monarch. He kills himself! So we know the end of that story. Weird.

    Worse is there were then these bizarre mini-series where Atom fought Monarch in the old west and other crazy settings.

    e) DC v Marvel and Amalgam –
    Perhaps the battle that angered me the most was Storm beating Wonder Woman by hitting her with lightning. Ridiculous.

    But I did enjoy some of Amalgam. The Superman/Captain America Super Soldier was great. But I also liked the wacky ‘Bullets and Bracelets’ – a Punisher/Wonder Woman pairing by Ostrander and Gary Frank!

    f) Elseworlds Annuals – A bunch of these sported Mike Mignola covers, including Action Comics Annual #6 (Superman lands in Colonial America) and Superman Annual #6 (Superman raised by wolves !). Mignola did the covers for the other Superman annuals and the Batman ones as well. But I like the two I mentioned most.

    Thanks again for the great show. Sparked a lot of memories in me of my youth!

  4. rob! says:


    I did read some of Daring New Adventures at the time. I thought the stories weren’t bad, but the villains were forgettable and I felt that Infantino was well, well past his prime. This may sound harsh when discussing a legendary figure like CI, but at the time I remember thinking that if he was put on a book, it was clearly a title DC didn’t really hold out much hope for–instead of getting someone really dynamic, they kinda threw an old-timer a bone.

    I also think a lot of Supergirl’s mid-80s bad PR comes from the movie. I remember thinking Slater was great in the role, but the whole movie around her was dismal, to be kind.

  5. Anj says:

    @Rob –

    Well, you are the first to have actually read some of the Daring issues! I think the earlier issues of the book were better and seemed more like character building than the ‘one-and-dones’ which the title limped out on.

    But the early issues, Kupperberg really showed a young hero feeling comfortable in her abilities and fighting for what was right. And it introduced a bunch of villains which have kicked around a bit – Reactron, Psi, Blackstarr, and (your favorite and mine) The Gang.

  6. Anj, I read the Daring Supergirl series, too, and I so WANTED to like her. I had a huge crush on Helen Slater and always liked *the character* of Supergirl but never the way she was presented. I had a similar problem with how DC was handling Batgirl at the time. Anyway, I agree with you that the initial issues were good, but then she sort of petered out near the end…case in point, there was that “special” issue where the JLA and Teen Titans guest-starred. This huge exciting star-studded special issue featured them on only one or two pages so that they could present to her a statue of herself in the sky? Or some such silliness. Instead of a huge knock-down drag out with, say, The Parasite or Darkseid. Oh, well.

  7. That was a lot of fun. We never went on many vacations as a child, mostly just day trips within state. I’m not saying I had a horrible childhood or anything, quite the contrary, it’s just not something my parents did. But it’s why my family takes at least one big vacation a year to someplace fun.

    I do recall getting Captain America #333 and 334 while on a weekend trip with my parents. These are the issues directly following Steve Rogers leaving his Cap role, to avoid becoming a government stooge. This particular issues introduce John Walker as Cap, and his partner, Bucky, who is a large African-American in the traditional Bucky outfit. No, I’m not joking. Luckily they changed his codename and uniform and he became Battle Star later. Anyway, I had kind of drifted from Cap’s book before this, but caught wind the change was happening. I didn’t find #332 until sometime later, but it was cool to be kind of in on the ground floor of a new era.

    Crossovers…man…so much to say. Rob and I discuss Crisis a bit on an upcoming Super Mates episode, so I’ll leave that for now. I enjoyed Legends, but some of the crossover coordination was off. G.Gordon Godfrey was portrayed as a balding fat man in the first kick-off comic, Detective, as I recall. Millennium was a horrible disappointment, all that for some really lame characters. Invasion was kind of meh for me. War of the Gods was a train wreck, unfortunately. Perez laments the outcome, obviously. Armageddon 2001 had some great “what ifs”, but switching out Captain Atom for the thick-headed Hawk did not work in any way shape or form. He was a muscle-bound hot head, not an all-powerful despot, for crying out loud!

    I have a soft-spot for Zero Hour, because, like Shag, I was really into the DCU as a whole, and there was a lot of energy and drive behind it at the time. Hal being the villain was a surprise to me, I half-expected the Earth-Two Superman from pages DC leaked showing a shadowed cape figure wanting to remake the universe. I will never forgive DC for treating the JSA so callously in those pages, though, although Zero Hour did give us Robinson’s Starman, which in turn brought back the JSA to new heights of popularity.

    Final Night was actually pretty good, I thought, and at least gave Hal a nice send-off.

    Underworld Unleashed had it’s moments. I too, hated them killing the Rogues. Having Captain Marvel be the purest of souls instead of Superman was a nice touch, though.

    Genesis was perhaps DC’s WORST crossover. Just a mess, it was rambling and incoherent. I don’t think any of the creators knew what to make of it. I barely recall it, only knowing it involved the Source, and it was during the Electric Blue Superman phase.

    I could go on for days, but I will say I enjoyed some of the Amalgam comics, and I’m the only person who liked the DC “Silver Age” stunt. It was a fun set of comics, nothing more nothing less. And it did bring back some Silver and Bronze Age talent that had been cast aside, like Bob Haney! How can you not love more Bob Haney Brave and the Bold!


  8. I didn’t read a lot of DC in the ’80s and ’90s other than Batman related books, but I remember collecting the FINAL NIGHT miniseries when it came out (weekly, if I recall). At the time I really enjoyed it, and I liked the way it killed off Hal Jordan. The only previous Green Lantern comic I had read was the issue where he became Parallax and turned evil.

    Even though NO MAN’S LAND is generally considered a good Batman miniseries, it was, ironically, the event that turned me off Batman comics for about a decade. It was nothing about the quality of the series, I just thought the earthquake rocking Gotham seemed preposterous and I walked away.

  9. Mark Sweeney says:

    Great topic!

    Re: Legends
    I re-read this within the last couple of years & I have to say, despite my liking the overall plot & the gorgeous Byrne/Kesel artwork, the 6 issue mini is hard to read. I was a little shocked at the amount of recap in each issue. How many times did we have to be reminded that Macro Man was ‘killed’ by Shazam’s lightning. Seems like about 3-4 issues of material stretched out over 6.

    I don’t have many of the x-overs, so I’m wondering if they flesh out the story a little better than the parent mini. I recall that the Superman-related x-overs had quite a bit of relevant action.

    Re: Millennium
    Never read about much love for this event, but I kind of like it. I really appreciate the scope of the series, with a legit cosmic threat but also having some nice character moments as the threat became quite personal to many of the heroes. It also occurs to me that there was a nice balance of action between the main mini and crossover titles (JLI, Suicide Squad, Spectre, Secret Origins were particular standouts). Also, praise or blame for the art cannot be laid solely at the feet of Joe Staton. Ian Gibson’s finishes gave Staton’s pencils a different look. Strange pairing – not my favorite, admittedly.

    Another good one – massive threat, good x-overs (aforementioned Animal Man, JLI again). McFarlane art doesn’t do it any favors, but the series finishes strong with some great Bart Sears art.

    I think Eclipso was my favorite of the ‘Annuals’ x-overs, Bloodlines was my least favorite.

    Re: the weekly x-overs,
    Final night

  10. Mark Sweeney says:


    Re: the weekly x-overs,
    Final Night – awesome! Best art of all the events to date, I’d say. Genesis – left me cold, kind of a stinker. DC One Million, I thought, was a pretty great story – wildly imaginative, though the art wasn’t my favorite.

    And that was the 90s.

  11. Count, I feel you on No Man’s Land. I read it, but I had a hard time swallowing a Gotham cut off from the world…with a universe full of super heroes to help it! That’s where I feel the concept falls apart. If Batman wasn’t part of the greater DCU, it works fine. But I have a hard time excepting Superman wouldn’t have done MUCH more. Heck, the DC heroes resurrected Metropolis just a few years before in the Superman titles after “The Fall of Metropolis” storyline.

    I did ultimately enjoy it, but it always leaves a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, because my fanboy brain can’t get past that nagging part.


  12. Kyle Benning says:

    This was a great episode! I love hearing you guys talk about Nostalgia things and always enjoy hearing Rob’s Mountain Comics stories. Shag I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your sister, I can’t imagine what a tramautic time that must have been.

    Rob it’s funny you mentioned that Hulk Magazine issue where the Incredible Hulk squares off with Namor with that beautiful Starlin cover. Since you mentioned the Rampaging Hulk Essential as one of your instock Trade picks a few episodes back, I’ve been trying to track down all of the issues of the Magazine, and I actually just added that issue of the Rampaging Hulk Magazine (issue #6) to my collection last week!

    You have a lot of other comics in your “Mountain Comics” that I love, including Warlord, man that’s a great title.

    Yes Armageddon 2001 ended up being a bit of a stinker thanks to the last minute change, but damn some of those annuals were a blast to read and featured some sweet costumes. One of the Superman Annual tie-ins had Superman with a Dr. Strange-like cape, I loved that costume. Armageddon 2001 also had some spin-off series, Alien Agenda & Inferno, which I remember as not being very strong, but they did bring back the JSA and lead into the Len Strazewski & Rich Burchett JSA mini-series which would be followed up the next year by another Len Strazewski mini with Mike Parobeck art, so the end result was a good thing :)

    I can’t believe you guys don’t remember the 1994 Elseworlds Annuals! Those things were a blast! The Superman ones were great! There was one where Superman was essentially Tarzan, another one where a Kryptonian came to earth in the Colonial days and was a weapon of the British Army during the Revolutionary war and then his ancestor Kal fights against his rule 200 years later, there was a story that ran through a Superman and Superboy annual about there essentially only being the Justice League to stand against a race of aliens who have enslaved the earth, and I remember there being an awesome Chuck Dixon penned Detective Comics annual where Batman is a swashbuckling Pirate. I really enjoyed the Elseworld’s annuals that year! No offense to Frank, but the 1994 Elseworlds annuals were certainly a lot stronger than the Bloodlines story that ran through the annuals the year prior.

    I love hearing Rob’s Kubert school stories, that was a great little story about the Pulp Heroes Annuals! Wow I can’t wait to see the cover for the Ace Kilroy Treasury! That sounds like it’s going to be amazing!

    I love the Spectre, I love Hal Jordan, Hal Jordan Spectre was awesome, I love that 27 issue run!

    No Man’s Land may be the the best Batman crossover story ever, I’m not a huge Batman fan, but damn do I love that story.

    Hmm, my Summer Comics stories have to be from when I was in high school, I had very extensive Shoulder Surgery 2 summers in a row from Football and Wrestling, and so I was laid up in a shoulder immobilizer for 7 weeks and heavily medicated 2 summers in a row. I wasn’t able to drive and unfortunately the closest comic shop was over 30 miles away. However this was the time that Dollar General and Walmart were both carrying these wrapped comic 4 packs for super cheap, you could see the outer 2 comics but the inner 2 were always a mystery on what you’d get. So my parents would swing into those stores daily on their way home from work, and bring me a couple packs home each day for reading. These packs seemed to have some titles in common that they collected, so I was actually able to piece together some lengthy runs of the Marvel Damage Control mini-series, which I loved, early 90’s Detective Comics, Dan Jurgens Thor, and the Ryan/Defalco Fantastic Four run. There were also a number of series that I got random issues of, such as Displaced Paranormals, Black Condor, Captain America, and a number of DC and Marvel annuals (including some of the Elseworlds annuals mentioned above). These were a blast to read, you never knew what you were going to get, I think I even got the first 3 or 4 issues of V for Vendetta in some of these packs, and they gave me a wide sampling of comics or titles I wouldn’t have ever read from an era I preferred much more than the modern comics of the time. I was sad to see that Walmart and Dollar General quit carrying these multipacks, as they were definitely selling well thanks to my family. There were a lot of days where my parents stopped in and they hadn’t restocked from the day before when my parents had cleaned them out.

    Another great episode fellas! I can’t wait to see what you guys cover next week!

  13. Frank says:

    You’re both right about the initial Captain America movie. In many foreign territories, it was known simply as The First Avenger due to anti-U.S. sentiment, and that title was also used as a marketing tool to position the movie as a prelude to The Avengers even where the full title was used. Also, I’m sure it helped differentiate it from the 1990 Cap movie, which was released theatrically overseas.

    I met my step-cousins around 1983-84, and borrowed that Marvel Team-Up treasury edition Rob mentioned. I didn’t see them against until 1986, by which point the book had been beaten all to hell, so I never brought it up. I still have it, or at least pages 5-76. It wasn’t one of my favorites, but the reveal of The Orb’s true face was one of the great shocks of my childhood reading experience.

    I usually have more in common with Shag’s reading history, but this “summer” I was more in line with Rob’s. I bought the exact same Sub-Mariner issue of What If…?, followed Power Man & Iron Fist, picked up the Raiders adaptation as a three-pack at Woolworth’s, and even pulled the first issue of For Your Eyes Only out of a flea market cheapie bin. Now I’ve got Sheena Easton playing in my brain.

    Shag made me sad.

    I loved the catch-as-catch-can aspect of newsstand buying, but I don’t miss the anxiety I felt in between issues of Dreadstar & Company, afraid I’d miss a chapter.

    I went back to the 7-11 where I bought most of my early comics after Ike hit town. It was never a good neighborhood, but now there’s bars on every window. The interiors were surprisingly bare and the now privately owned anonymous convenience store was shabby looking. The small wooden rack of comics to the right of the register was long gone. The magazine rack where I had bought Heavy Metal and Marvel black and whites had been pushed to the back wall of the store. It was filled mostly with polybagged porn, Lowrider/tattoo magazines, and maybe a People.

    I loved the V mini-series, but never warmed to the “expanded universe.” I don’t even think I stuck with the TV series, and haven’t bothered to watch it on DVD since I bought it, despite several viewing of the mini-series. A local UHF channel used to run that across five nights once or twice a year until it became a FOX affiliate in the ’90s.

    …and that takes us to the break. I half expected little Bobby Kelly to spin “Summer Nights,” but good on him for digging up a track I’m not familiar with. I’m a little bit younger than ya’ll, so I’d be geared for some new wave…

  14. Martin Gray says:

    I’ve only listened to the first half so far, that rubbish record, whatever it was, has done my head in!

    But before I go to sleep, thanks for a great half-episode. I enjoyed your memories, although I wish you’d go into more detail on the comics you liked. A lot of the time this was just listing titles – go in-depth, go all Raging Bullets on me!

    I must say Bobby, you missed out by not being a regular Ka-Zar reader. This must have been around the time of the Bruce Jones–Brent Anderson series, which was a wonderful mix of drama and humour. The characterisation of Kevin Plunder was a surprise but I quickly got used to it, while his relationship with Shanna the She Devil was a treat. And who doesn’t love Zabu? Hopefully the series will be on Marvel Unlimited soon.

    And I do agree, Power Man/Iron Fist was an excellent read under Jo Duffy and Kerry Gammill.

    I have no memories of US comics I specifically associated with holidays, as I bought every comic I could find throughout the year. Here in the UK the excitement at holiday time came from finding Summer Specials – tabloid-sized versions of our weekly favourites printed on super glossy paper in full colour throughout, a rarity in those days. The Dandy, The Beano (starring the real Dennis the Menace not that colonial sissy), Whizzer and Chips, Lion – such great memories.

    Anyway, back after the rest of the show, me old muckers.

  15. marksweeneyjr says:

    Great thread of comments – I also wanted to chime in on that nostalgic feeling of walking into a drugstore/newsstand, not knowing which comics you’d find. There was always something magical about that. Now, I wouldn’t trade my current collection, with it’s long runs – carefully created either by religiously buying each issue off the shelf at the comic store, or piecing a string of issues together over time. BUT some of my fondest comic memories, and some of my favorite comics in the collection were initially bought as a drugstore ‘one-offs’ Titles like Marvel Tales, G.I. Joe and Transformers come to mind.

    Something I’ve come to find strange, however, is how satisfied I could be with only half a story. This would happen a lot with the various issues of All-Star Squadron I’d find at whichever store I happened to be in. The covers to that title were always so striking. I remember picking up #35 which I to this day, think is THE best comic book cover ever. It was the 2nd part of a battle between the All-Stars and the mind-controlled Marvel Family. There were a couple of familiar characters featured prominently on that cover, Superman, the Marvels, Wonder Woman, but tucked away in the background near the bottom was this other character. He had a ring which was making a green bubble to contain the blue marvel, much like the Green Lantern from Super Friends would do. It was the 1st time I ever layed eyes on the garish, yet strangely beautiful
    costume of the ‘new’ (at least to me) Green Lantern.

    Anyway, here I had the resolution to this adventure, and ithe days before I new what a ’back issue’ was, or before I knew that there were whole stores devoted to pretty much just comics, I was somehow OK with only 1/2 the story.

    Another Squadron issue I picked up was #48 which has
    a striking cover depicting a group of heroes, Dr. Fate (whom I met previously in an issue of JLA), Firebrand, and Robotman squaring off against this shiny knight, who according to the cover blurb (’The Shining Knight is BACK! But this time, he’s on the OTHER SIDE!), I could assume must also have been a good guy. I easily jumped back in to the adventures of the All-Stars – this Shining Knight beats up a warrior who when unmasked is revealed to be – King Arthur?! Cut to the other group of heroes from the cover battling there way
    through the flak in the skies over Britain – they hook up with the Blackhawks (nice outfits), and a charged by Winston Churchill, himself, with the task of looking into the Knight’s disappearance, the group takes back off into the sky. The issue wraps up as the
    a plane in which ride Blackhawk and Hourman crashes in a fiery explosion (there’s no way they could escape that, right?), Robotman
    and Firebrand are taken out by a Merlin robot, and the Shining Knight [under the spell of this King Arthur, who is (again?!) unmasked and is revealed to be this other guy, Wotan] about to deliver the beatdown of all beatdowns to last man standing, Dr. Fate! What a mess – but what a cliffhanger!

    Being as young as I was, and not having mastered the rhythm of a new comics cycle, I missed the next issue. I did manage to get my hands on a copy of #50 a couple of months later, and saw that everyone had escaped in one piece, and the Shining Knight was again on the side of the angels – but the resolution to that standoff – I sat on that cliffhanger for 20 years! And 9 year old me was somehow OK with that!

    Despite having finally purchased #49 within the last 5 or so years, I honestly, cannot remember how the situation resolved itself. I can recall just about every panel of that previous issue, however, which I had read to pieces so long ago.

  16. rob! says:

    Someone, someone’s done you wrong
    You thought that
    Your love was strong
    Now you’re feeling like
    Such such a fool, poor you

    You’re thinking
    Maybe if you said goodbye
    You’ll understand the reason why
    The love you had felt so cool

    Oh, but it’s all right (all right)
    Once you get past the pain
    (Past the pain)
    You’ll learn to find your love again
    So keep your heart open
    ‘Cause love will find a way

    Sometimes we all
    Feel a need to change
    Our love we have to rearrange
    And move on to something new
    Yes, you do

    Your dreams feel like
    They’re falling apart
    You need to find a brand new start
    But you’re almost afraid
    To be true to yourself

    Whoa, but it’s all right (all right)
    Once you get past the pain
    (Past the pain)
    You’ll learn to find your love again
    (Find your love again)
    So keep your heart open
    ‘Cause love will find a way

    Love will find a way
    Love will find a way

    Yeah, so now don’t
    Don’t be afraid of yourself
    Just move on to something else
    And let your love shine through again

    Yes, cause it’s all right (all right)
    Once you get past the pain
    (Past the pain)
    You’ll learn to find your love again
    (Find your love again)
    So keep your heart open
    ‘Cause love will find a way

    It’s all right (all right)
    Once you get past the pain
    (Past the pain)
    You’ll learn to find your love again
    (Find your love again)
    So keep your heart open
    ‘Cause love will find a way, oh

    Yes, it’s alright (alright)
    Don’t be afraid
    ‘Cause it’s alright (alright)
    Yes, it’s alright (alright)
    Keep your heart open
    ‘Cause love will find a way

  17. Martin Gray says:

    Now that’s just cruel!

    Pablo Cruise, eh? Never heard of him – summer 1978 in the UK was You’re the One That I Want and Rivers of Babylon all the way. Class!

    I loved the rest of the podcast. My fave ever crossover was Invasion, with its well-worked story, massive instalments, tremendous spin-offs – who doesn’t love LEGION ’89? – and the Blasters (their time will come!).

    No Man’s Land was pants. Gotham cut off from the world by the US and no heroes helping? Ridiculous. Every Gotham villain having it’s own gang? Snoozeville Arizona.

    I’d forgotten about Ghosts too!

  18. Frank says:

    So, a quick look at DC crossovers, which was certainly quick. I know there was some obligatory mentions at the back end, but they were so glancing that I don’t feel like acknowledging them.

    I read Secret Wars in process from the third issue, and was more invested in the Marvel heroes. I only read one issue of Crisis in progress, the best, “Beyond the Silent Night.” I read more issues piecemeal over the years, and finally suffered through the whole spectacle when it was collected in 2000. Looks great. Reads terrible. Martian Manhunter got quality play, but his character-centric sphere were as absent here as in Who’s Who.

    I read most of Legends around 1988, and enjoyed it at the time. It seemed smart to me then, but when I’ve revisited it, the series was rather basic and episodic. Legends reads like a recap of another series, but it has its moments, and swell art throughout. For my money, “The End of the Justice League of America” was better. In retrospect, the ground floor reboot of Wonder Woman was a mistake, and Byrne’s run was a mess.

    I haven’t watched classic Trek since I was a little kid, so in my adult experience, my preferred series is Deep Space Nine. TNG was too safe and repetitious, while Voyager only had one decent season.

    I made it about halfway through Millennium buying it weekly off the newsstand. I liked a number of the satellite books and the premise, but the execution of the central book lost me. Inker Ian Gibson had a major positive impact on the pencils, but Joe Staton had no business on this type of project. Staton had been working with Englehart on Green Lantern, and I recall he was fast, so that’s probably what the deal was. I liked the Belle Reve sub-crossover best, which contributed to my buying the Manhunter spin-off.

    Invasion! was WAY too expensive at $2.95 an issue, and by that point I was only occasionally reading Batman, so I skipped it. The mini-series did get me back into Justice League International after I’d let the title lapse, because its tie-ins were some of the best issues of the entire run. I’ve read Invasion! since, and while it was cute to send all of DC’s Silver Age aliens against Earth at once, the book’s a slog.

    I initially passed on the similarly pricey Armageddon 2001, plus it looked boring. I liked many of the related annuals though, and got rooked into buying the bookend finale, which was lame. I wouldn’t have been happy to lose one of my favorite DC heroes, but at least I knew who Captain Atom was– a credible threat. The isolated What If…? tales were far better than the event that prompted them, especially the JLI ones, which allowed the creators to do their desired ending to the run in the midst of “Breakdowns.”

    Whoa– big leap over crossovers here. The New Bloods would not be pleased. Omitted two of my favorites.

    Zero Hour f@#$ing sucked, and I’ll tell you something else I’ve held back on– Dan Jurgens is dull. You guys can wax his car all you like, but it’ll never change from a Chevy Tahoe into a Ferrari. I learned more about what the “Crisis In Time” was meant to accomplish from related magazine articles than the actual book. DC got lucky that I decided to go all in on “Zero Month” despite how bad the mini-series was, because those #0 issues were good enough to hook me on numerous titles for years.

    For a change, I liked Underworld Unleashed and its direct tie-ins, but wasn’t much for the monthly titles in affected. The art was good by the standards of the day, the fluorescent ink was nifty, and it was a horror story for super-heroes. The downsides were the ruining of Blue Devil, the killing of Mongul, Neron=Mephisto, and the premise being a rip-off of “Acts of Vengeance.” This was during my card collecting frenzy, so I of course have a full set of DC Villains: Dark Judgment.

    DC vs Marvel was predictably mediocre, if only because of the inclusion of a certain common denominator, Dan Jurgens art. I liked the Claudio Castellini drawn pages. As I recall, Peter David only took on the assignment under the stipulation that Aquaman beat Namor, a sham. I wasn’t online in 1996, so I don’t recall an internet component. At my shop, we collected paper ballots, which I was supposed to mail in but to my eternal shame never did. My main memory of the series is frustration with the bogus outcomes. I had a set of these and the Amalgamumamum cards, which were fun. The single Amalgam issues were interesting when creators drew out the similarities and differences of the combined characters, but I’m glad that got put to bed after the second round, with the novelty wearing off fast. Ron Marz seemed to be the main champion of Access, who he revisited in the first sequel.

  19. Rob, I have never been to Lake Wallenpaupack but I have driven past it countless times, on I-84 in Pennsylvania. I drive right through that section of the Poconos when I head back to NY to visit my family. I used to go through there when I drove with my parents to Florida, or SC, or visited my friend Bob at his house there, which he had dubbed “Fake Home.”

    Sad Sack was Shag’s favorite, huh? Somehow that is appropriate. Beyond that, as far as trolling through Books-A-Million, I’m right there with him. Not so much BAM, but I have two used book stores here in Greenville which have tons of comics and collected editions. So I make a weekly trip to each of them in order to scan the racks and longboxes for hidden treasures. (Added bonus, I have about a hundred bucks in trade credit between the two stores, so I pretty much never pay money out of pocket in these places.) I’ve found such awesome stuff as all three HC volumes of The Life And Time Of Scrooge McDuck, The Complete Dirty Laundry Comics, all of the latter half of 100 Bullets, most of the back half of Marvel GI Joe, Frank Miller Visionaires Daredevil volume 1 (for 6 bucks!), all three volumes of Knightfall, lots of Classics Illustrated for my father, pretty much every Ghost Rider comic I own, and lots of other stuff. Gotta love it!

    I also have a comics vacation story. Right around the time I was starting to get “real on” into the Marvel Universe (1993, I think), my family took a vacation at Walt Disney World, one of many we had there. On that trip, I got two multi-packs of comics from a vendor inside what was then Disney-MGM Studios. One set was Excalibur (issues 42-47, with writing and art by Alan Davis!) and Nomad (issues 1-3). I read the hell out of those comics, over and over. I was already an Excalibur fan, but I fell in love with the group from these issues… so of course Davis’ run ended soon after that, heh. And I still have a soft spot for Jack Monroe due to his Nomad days from these comics. Issue #2, involving rednecks who tie up animals to hit them with trucks, has one of the most obvious but at the same time most satisfying conclusions of my comics reading career.

    As a guy who grew up as a Marvel reader who only got into DC following the return of Superman, Zero Hour was the first DC crossover I bought into. As a DC neophyte, I didn’t understand much of what I was reading, but I was so excited that I didn’t mind that at all. Of course, when I came back to it a few years ago, as a seasoned, “vet” DC reader… I still couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I personally think that Jurgens wrote a story which was designed for 10 or 12 issues, and was condensed down into 5 issues, so it’s somehow both too dense and too scattered at the same time. Like Frank, though, I did love the Zero Issues, including the Superman ones (Conduit!) and the Flash, plus it did launch Fate, whom Frank may also remember is a Character I Like (TM) from the old Comic Book Bunker blog. I’ll pick up just about any Zero Issue I find in one of my used book stores, heh.

    Amusingly, I just read a summer crossover — a Marvel one, though, not a DC one: Rise Of The Midnight Sons! Man, I wish I had read this when I was a kid, because I would have eaten this up with a spoon. Ghost Rider! Johnny Blaze and his Hellfire Shotgun! Morbius! The Darkhold Redeemers! Blade! Hannibal King! Frank Drake! Lillith! The Lillin! Enough demons, violence, and horror to make Rob Kelly turn his nose up! What’s not to like?! 😀

    Great show fellas, thanks!

  20. Also, as far as Amalgam: all I have to say is IRON LANTERN! As a pitch perfect combination of Silver Age Iron Mand and Green Lantern, Kurt Busiek and Paul Smith absolutely knocked it out of the park! Shawn Engel and I talked about this issue not too long ago on Just One Of The Guys episode 105 —

  21. Iron Lantern was one of my faves too Luke. My absolute favorite was Super Soldier. Superman plus Cap by Dave Gibbons? SOLD!!!


  22. Phil says:

    Another great episode, I really enjoy these special themes!

    My summer memory is of pickup up the JLA/JSA/LSH team-up vs Mordu in JLA #147! My first JLA/JSA crossover and my introduction to the Legion! Loved that story. I became a huge fan of the Legion in the late 70’s from that book, my intro to Mike Grell. Bronze Age JLA, JSA/All-Star Comics and LSH are some of my favorite comics!

    RE: Batman’s No Man’s Land – this was actually the crossover that lead me to drop Batman. I just didn’t want to invest the time and money to pick up all the various parts of the series. However, I did pick up the Greg Rucka novelization in a discount bin years after the story came out. It was a great read! I then went on to read all of Rucka’s Atticus Kodiak books which I highly recommend. I’ve actually been picking up the No Man’s Land books in the quarter/dollar bins and will read it through one of these days!

    RE: Discovery – I also have fond memories of the spinner rack. We had three drug stores in our small Canadian prairie town and it was always a gamble to see what issues would arrive and how long they would stay on the racks until I could afford to buy them. I remember pulling some issues off of the spinner rack and “hiding” them in the magazines so I could go back and buy them later.

    I also loved the process of discovering back issues in the “used book stores” before comics book stores were mainstream. There was a great store in Edmonton called the “Wee Book Inn” which had a “Comic Book Annex” next door which stacks of poorly organized comic books. I’d spend hours digging through piles of comics to find an occasional gem. I remember finding Marvel Fanfare #1 with that great Michael Golden art and Claremont story. Great book!

    Now it’s great to find almost any issue on eBay or an online store but it was much more fun digging through back issue bins. I find that most stores these days don’t maintain much back issue stock and are focusing on new issues, trades, games and toys. I can understand the financial justification but I miss the bins!

    Keep up the great work guys!

  23. Great podcast. After listening to three episodes (including the recent Who’s Who), this is quickly becoming one of my favorite podcasts.

    Quick comment re: Armageddon 2001, Captain Atom’s role in it, and War of the Gods. I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention it, since both the final issue of Captain Atom and War of the Gods had a Firestorm connection….

    The last issue of Captain Atom was BOTH an Armageddon 2001 (demonstrated by a brief scene in the issue) AND a War of the Gods tie-in (this was actually called out on the cover). It featured a battle with Shadowstorm that was to create some of the ambiguity (which you referenced in the issue) about whether or not Atom was “good” or “evil” at the end, thus possibly leading to his becoming Monarch. Shadowstorm then appeared briefly in War of the Gods (for his last appearance to-date) to briefly zap Firestorm (the ONLY appearance of the Stein Elemental before Ronnie Raymond regained Firestorm’s powers in Extreme Justice).

    I don’t know how common it is for an issue to crossover with multiple events simultaneously, but thought this was noteworthy.

  24. Xum Yukinori says:


    Very interesting how you mentioned that you found out about Barry Allen’s death in Crisis through Mayfair’s DC Heroes Role Playing Game. I had heard about the game in early 1985, but living out of the country at the time, I was not able to acquire it for a number of years (and it was the closest to owning the DC Style Guide by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez [praise is with his name]). When I first read about Allen’s death in the DC Heroes Flash entry, and remembering that the game was released in the US in summer of 1985, I was curious if the game had actually “spoiled” the death in Crisis #8 (which would have come out in August 1985). I recall that when DC revealed the Crisis #7 Supergirl death months in advance in the newspapers, they also mentioned there would be a “major hero” death in issue #8, but they were keeping that a secret.

    So I checked with the only other person I knew that owned the game and lived in the US at the time, and he told me that he pre-ordered the game through Westfield Comics in March of 1985, expected it in June, but had to wait an extra two or three months for it. And yes, he didn’t receive it until after Crisis #8 was out. This made me wonder if DC arranged for the Mayfair game release to be delayed until mid- to late-August so as not to reveal Allen’s death before Crisis #8.

    When you stated in the podcast that you had purchased the game over the summer and was startled by the notice of Barry Allen’s death in the game, I had initially thought that you may have proven my theory wrong, but then you said you purchased Crisis #8 in what seemed to be immediately afterwards, so my theory may still be right.

    I am curious if you or anyone can confirm purchasing the game before August 1985, which meant that the game would have spoiled the Allen death for anyone who read that part of the Guidebook before Crisis #8 came out.


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