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Classic Fury of Firestorm Annual #1 & #19, & Aquaman #39 – FIRE & WATER #119

Continuing THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST coverage of the classic Fury of Firestorm series from the 1980s!

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 119th 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 week Shag and Rob review Aquaman #39 by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, and more, part five of the “Maelstrom” saga. Next up, a double-sized dose of The Nuclear Man with The Fury of Firestorm Annual #1 by Gerry Conway, Rodin Rodriguez, Carl Gafford, and new artist Rafael Kayanan! Then, The Fury of Firestorm #19 (Nov. 1983) by Gerry & Carla Conway, Gene Colan, Rick Magyar, and Carl Gafford!

You can find the 119th 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 play the podcast using the player below or by right-clicking “download”, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (53 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?

The Fury of Firestorm Annual #1 cover by Rafael Kayanan and Dick Giordano! Interior story and art by Gerry Conway, Rafael Kayanan, and Rodin Rodriguez! Click to enlarge!

Fury of Firestorm Annual #1 cover by Rafael Kayanan and Dick Giordano

The Fury of Firestorm vol II #19 cover by Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano! Interior story and art by Gerry & Carla Conway, Gene Colan, and Rick Magyar! Click to enlarge!

The Fury of Firestorm vol II #19 cover by Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano

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  1. Anj says:

    I have been looking forward to this episode because, like Shag, this storyline in Firestorm which reaches its finale in the Annual is my favorite arc in the book. And, like Shag, I am much more a fan of Lorraine than Doreen, so seeing her shake off the brainwashing and become a hero on her own was a great part of this issue as well. I especially like the half-splash of her transforming and her in the pin-up as well. The fiery eyes behind her are a nice touch in that pic.
    Such a good arc and definitely worthy of a trade. I would buy it.

    The Goldenrod issue has to have been a warehouse story, sitting in a drawer to be used in case of emergency. I wonder if Kanayan, being new, was struggling with deadline pressure. Hence the rest issue and the break. It is anaphylactic shock Shag! Firestorm should have made benadryl and epinephrine for himself (assuming he knew the molecular composition).

    As for the Aquaman story, this is whole arc has been a hoot for me. This big action issue with brawls and monsters was just a beautiful bunch of fun for me.

  2. Arthur’s mom has got it going on. That’s all I’m sayin’.

    I love the dichotomy of Shag. He points out Loraine’s submissive, mysoginistic pose, and then calls her hot. He’s not wrong, it’s just funny.

    I have a greater appreciation of Gene Colan now, but I have to admit I found his work…sloppy when I was a kid. Everything was so loose, ethereal, and ill-defined, it bothered me. Even then, I thought it worked on Batman, but almost anywhere else in the DCU seemed like an ill-fit for him. This is no exception.

    Don’t forget Gerry Conway launched Tomb of Dracula with Gene Colan. Most people forget Marv Wolfman wasn’t there at the beginning.

    Goldenrod totally looks like Floronic Man. I thought that was him too!

    Nice stinger from the deservedly-maligned Batman & Robin flick!


  3. Michael Chiaroscuro says:

    That cover to Aquqman 39 is stunning! One of the best I’ve seen on the stands lately. Just gorgeous. That would be a great poster. Really going to miss this team on the Aqua-book. Let’s hope they go out with a bang.

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I have a handful of issues of the Fury of Firestorm run, but decided a while back I’d wait for a trade collection to round out the rest. Well, that clearly ain’t happening anytime soon (thanks, DC!). Between my own impatience to read the best part of this run (as per Shag), and Shaq’s amazing enthusiasm for that story arc, I decided to spring for the missing issues (#16-18 and Annual #1), so once those arrive in the mail I’ll be digging into this six-issue arc. Can’t wait! These issues came out right when I was a budding comics reader and to this day I have no idea why I never read them as they were hitting the stands. I’ve loved Firestorm’s costume since I was kid (it’s so unusual, so striking, so GOOFY, that what kid wouldn’t love it?!?), but for some reason lost to time I never bought any issues of his series back then. Was it because I only had so much allowance money to spend on comics and I was too obsessed with Batman, Daredevil, and the X-Men back then to make room for Firestorm? Could be. But in reading some of those classic issues in recent years, I can see why it was so damn popular back in the day. These are extremely fun comics. They also really take me back to that time – a time when writers were starting to institute serialized storytelling in a much more organic way, and Gerry Conway was one of the bestat it then. His Batman run (combined with the follow up run by Doug Moench, weaved subplots between both Batman and Detective Comics for years) is an underrated classic. Back then, in the pre-decompression era, the serialized comic resembled more of a soap opera, with subplots popping up here and there, sometimes to disappear for issues at a time, but threading through years of a book before ultimately paying off at some point down the line. Clearly, Chris Claremont was the master at this with his 17 year X-Men run, but guys like Conway were doing it on a bit of a smaller scale in books like Fury of Firestom and the Bat books. Great stuff. I miss that style of comics writing, for sure.

    Oh, Gene Colan. Like Shag and Rob, I love him. He was one of the first artists I loved as a kid (right alongside Don Newton, Neal Adams, Michael Golden, and Alan Davis), but Colan + Firestorm is a combo made in hell. Ah well. It doesn’t diminish his awesomeness one bit.

  4. Frank says:

    Is Maelstrom over yet? I’m going to do a podcast episode for the Martian Manhunter appearance, which is late enough now that I figured I’d give the whole arc a quick overview. Doesn’t seem to be worth it, though. I occasionally felt pangs for reading the Parker/Pelletier run, but its being so truncated and ending over this labored note dispels those feelings. I can see where a writer might use the relative lack of a presence for Aquaman’s mom as a springboard to make her a major figure to revive. However, guess which other aquatic hero has a mother that played a major role in his origins/ongoing motivations while his father was just a bearded land lover?

    I’ve had a variety of obstacles that have kept me from keeping up with my listening here, but the subject of this episode didn’t help to motivate me. I’m not the biggest Firestorm fan, but these two issues are like the nexus point for all that I dislike about The Nuclear Man. This annual revealed that Peter Parker’s parents were really spies who were murdered by Red Skull. I already have a great dislike for the Everyman Peter Parker type, but when they betray the basic conceit of being heroes by chance through a convoluted, implausible back story reveal that is unrelated to their already incredulous super-origins, my suspension of disbelief is shredded. Then there’s the dopey just cuz’ megalomaniacal villain with unlimited resources and mind control and multi-villain team-ups and the derivative proto-heroine love interest slave girl and So Many Subplots and I got a headache just listening to it all. Chasing that with the Flornotic Man and visions of Gene Colan Firestorm is just the diarrhea and undigested roughage atop this pound cake of poop.

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