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Bob Haney Showcase: Wonder Woman & Supergirl/Johnny Thunder – FIRE & WATER #110

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water PodcastThe 110th 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.

By popular demand, another #ZanyHaney episode! Once again, we present a look back at the work of legendary comics writer Bob Haney! First up is “The Revolt of the Super-Chicks” starring Wonder Woman and Supergirl from Brave and the Bold #63 (Jan. 1966), followed by “Trap of the Sheriff’s Hat” starring Johnny Thunder from All-Star Western #99 (March 1958)!

You can find the 110th 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 (41 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! 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!

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Here are the splash pages to the stories discussed in this episode! Click to enlarge!

Brave and the Bold #63 featuring Supergirl and Wonder Woman by Bob Haney

All-Star Western #99 featuring Johnny Thunder by Bob Haney and Gil Kane

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  1. After a 109 episodes, you finally cover a topic I care about! Great episode, fellas; the Haney zaniness is always appreciated.

    I try to imagine the fiery condemnation that this issue of Brave and Bold would face were it published today. This is a brand of sexism that’s so much more enjoyable to watch from a distance than Donna Troy debuting naked in the New 52 or the Milo Manara’s variant cover for Spider-Woman’s Butt #1.

    Shag brought up an interesting point: Though the plot of the story is classic Bob Haney absurdity, imagine if it was scripted by someone who could crack the lingo of 1966, someone like Stan Lee or Denny O’Neil.

  2. Great episode. I learned that Bob Haney is more than just zany, and I think we all learned a lot more about Shag. I applaud you in your ability to admit your desires, free of the burden of judgement.;-)

    I’m sure Cindy would have a field day with this one. I’ll have to track down a copy and get her reaction. Without reading it, I’m not really sure if this was Haney just taking “silly super hero girls” to an extreme, or going “anti-feminism” to prove a point FOR feminism, as Rob suggested. I have a reprint of a later Supergirl/Wonder Woman team-up, but unfortunately, I’ve never read this one.

    Supergirl was the back-up feature in Action Comics at this time, and sometimes she even usurped the cover. I’d bet real money Action outsold Wonder Woman by several thousand each month, hence the Super-brand knocking Diana out of the cover spot, even though she had her own title.

    Now you guys have me wanting to read more Johnny Thunder too. Gil Kane seemed to really revel in doing westerns, and his artwork I’ve seen from this title is a cut above even his great Green Lantern and Atom work from around this same time. It seemed like he was able to cut loose more in the western titles.

    I’m kind of surprised you guys didn’t tackle the obvious Haney subject for this month…Teen Titans #13, “The TT’s Swingin’ Christmas Carol”. Not that I’m complaining, but now you have your subject for next December. You’re welcome.


  3. Anj says:

    As you can imagine, as a Supergirl fan, I find this issue to be ludicrous and wonderful at the same time. Yes, looking back at this through the lens of time, the clunky sexual politics are more easily tolerated and looked on as bad humor.

    The cover does encapsulate almost everything right and wrong about the book. Booby prize? Super-chicks on a new kick? A villain who looks like a living prune? Unbelievable.

    As for Supergirl getting top billing, I felt it was more like in the movies where the biggest name gets the ‘And ….’ at the end of the credits. “And … Marlon Brando” for example. At this time, Supergirl was 70 issues into her back-up run in Action Comics, holding down fort there. (She would stay there for 5 more years!)

    Like Shag, when I first read this I wondered if there was some weird spell on the high fashion items which enchanted Kara and Diana. I mean, once they put on a gown, they both become these brainless and breathless debutantes. But no … they just like being eye candy, pampered and wooed.

    Can’t wait for super-sons reviews. And thanks for the shout-out!

  4. “Frumpy Amazon outfit”?

    To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I’m not sure the word “frumpy” means what she thinks it means….

  5. Kyle Benning says:

    Man I love this Metamorpho song, what a great character, he always gave me a Doom Patrol vibe, I would have loved to see him join the original team.

    Good ol Bob Haney, I would totally be on board for a monthly Zaney Haney episode! Make it happen guys!

    On to the topic of Romance Superhero Comics, there is an 80 Page Giant Supergirl “Romance Issue” of Adventure Comics, that reprinted only Supergirl Romance themed stories, so it looks like they took that idea a step further. That is Adventure Comics #390 from January 1970. It reprints Supergirl stories from Action Comics #256, 289, 301 307, and 311. I’ll probably cover that issue on my podcast King-Size Comics Giant-Size Fun (blatant plug) in February for Valentine’s Day.

    I’ve been trying to track down this issue of Super Giants, I’m going to have to move it up the priority list.

    Great episode as always, fan the flame and ride the wave!

    I hope you both have a happy and safe Christmas and Holiday season! Thank you both again for all of the hours of entertainment you’ve given all us of listeners this past year, I look forward to more audio comic goodness in 2014.

  6. Martin Stein Returns says:

    You mean 2015?

  7. Oliver says:

    Incredible sense of depth in that Gil Kane splash page.

  8. Loved the episode as always. Bob Haney is writer I enjoy because of his out there plots and characterization. To me he’s the opposite of Robert Khaniger, who always seemed to be writing from beginning to end with no road map how to get there. Haney had a road map, he’s just going to show you all of the reptile farms and roadside attractions on the way.

    At one point Shag was struggling to remember who made a certain comment about DC’s western and horror books. He wondered if it was me or Rob. In this case the answer is we both were. Rob made his comment in the past and I have been on record as saying that DC had much more memorable Western characters than Marvel.

  9. Frank says:

    Stan Lee was a lot more “with it” than Bob Haney, and having recently read a bunch of his unapologeticly but amusingly sexist Patsy Walker scripts, I’m confident Haney wasn’t attempting “anti-comedy.” However, this story seems to take most of its melodramatic cues from Robert Kanigher’s Wonder Woman work, which started at sexist and often veered into outright misogyny. Maybe Haney was just reflecting his research into the character? And by “research” I of course mean the drunken direction of Kanigher to Haney over a three martini lunch hour. Them “super chicks” certainly were revolting.

    I bought a paperback of Hey Kids… Around the time I started doing the majority of my reading digitally. I stalled out after a few stories, but I’ll get back to it inevitably, probably after I download another copy…

  10. Darrin and Ruth says:

    The Bob Haney episodes are always favorites and this one didn’t disappoint. Is the portrayal of Wonder Woman and Supergirl in this issue offensive? Definitely. In spite of this, is the story still fun? Absolutely. Do I think the absurd way that Wonder Woman and Supergirl were acting was intended as social commentary? Nope. It was just typical Zaney Haney in my opinion.

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