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Bob Haney Showcase III/Geek Talk – FIRE & WATER #124

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 124th 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 start the show discussing a host of smaller topics, like the Batman v Superman trailer, Convergence, and the Suicide Squad movie. Next is another Bob Haney Showcase: Shag profiles “Hero is A Dirty Name” by Haney, Dick Dillin, and Tex Blaisdell from World’s Finest Comics #231, and then Rob tackles “The Disco of Death” by Haney and Jim Aparo from Brave and the Bold #151! It’s more Zany Haney! Don’t forget kids, use the hashtag #ZanyHaney online for this episode!

You can find the 123rd 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 (64 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! This episode brought to you in part by!

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Fire and Water Podcast - Bob Haney Showcase - #ZanyHaney

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  1. Wow, from the lows of bleak, depressing modern age muck to the heights of Zany Haney. YOU TWO took us on a roller coaster this time, not just good ol’ Bob.

    I’m with Shag on Batman V Superman. I’m sorry, I’m LESS excited for this movie now. Just too dark. I think we’re going to get exactly what we’re seeing here. We got exactly what we thought we were going to get with the Man of Steel trailers. Pa Kent really did say “Maybe”. And he meant it!

    But enough of that stuff…Zany Haney Time! I remember getting my first World’s Finest with the Super Sons at a Flea Market when I was a wee lad in the late 70s/early 80s. It was WF #221…and I was totally confused! Superman and Batman have kids? They’re married? What the what?!! But ever since then, I had a soft spot for the Super-Sons and picked up a few of the issues here and there over the years. Cindy brought me home a discarded copy of the trade from her library a few years ago, and I gave it a good home. That O’Neil/Buckler wrap-up story reads like a HUGE middle finger to Haney and Boltionoff. It’s kind of hard to believe DC published a comic harshing on their own creators, especially since Bob was still working for DC at the time, although I think he’d been shuffled off B&B and was just on Unknown Solider. The final story in that trade is indeed from the infamous Elseworlds 80-Page Giant, pulped by DC due to worries over the “Superman’s Babysitter” story that was also in that issue. Some copies did escape the shredder, though. It’s a nice send-off to the Super Sons, and a nice farewell from Haney too.

    I had this B&B, and I think I got it from one of those Whitman comic 3-packs. You know where the Whitman “W” symbol replaces the DC bullet? I’m glad you guys couldn’t make sense of this one, because I never could. This was probably one of the first non-JLA comics I had with Flash in it, after meeting him on Challenge of the Super Friends. I can still see Bruce in his Travolta outfit. In fact, I was forced to wear a blue version of that suit for Easter that year, so I didn’t feel so bad, since Batman wore one like it!

    When I first heard the Eagles song, “Disco Strangler”, I couldn’t help but think of this comic. I’d like to re-edit this episode’s closer with that song, but I’ll just do that in my own fan canon. It’s much less time-consuming that way.

    Looking forward to more Zany Haney in the future!


  2. Michael Chiaroscuro says:

    I just read “The Disco of Death” last month for the first time! Perfect timing! I can’t wait to hear your analyses. I’ll check back in with further comments at that time, but for now let me just say that it’s easily one of the goofiest, most ridiculously fun comics I’ve ever read. Bruce getting down in his Saturday Night Fever get-up?? Groovy, maaaaaan.

  3. Michael Chiaroscuro says:

    Interesting short discussion at the end regarding whether or not modern fans would take to these Zany Haney stories. I suppose it depends on how we’re defining modern comics fans. I assumed Rob meant people who started reading comics in the past 5-10 years. I can only go based on some people I know in their 20s who read comics and those I see at the local comics shop. One coworker of mine is in her 20s and is up for reading any older stories I recommend to her – she has a good sense of humor and loves silliness so she’d be an ideal audience for Zany Haney. But when I see younger comics fans in the shops, it doesn’t appear they have as much interest in these wacky bronze age stories. Again, I have no proof, this is just based on anecdotal evidence. The most common complaint I hear from new comics readers (and that I read online from those fans) is that old comics simply have too much exposition. So would they be able to wade through the wordiness of these tales to enjoy the zaniness? Who knows. But I hope so, because this stuff is brilliant!

    This is one of the rare Aparo Flash stories I’ve ever read. Did he get to draw the character much during his career? I really like his representation of the Flash. And I’m with Rob – any time I’ve come across an Aparo-drawn story in my life I notice my excitement increase instantly. The man just knew how to draw comics. When I first got into comics, he was drawing Batman and the Outsiders and those are still some of my favorite comics ever, in no small party because of his art. Great stuff.

    Seriously, do Alfred’s comments about the popular dance crazes at the disco mean we can infer that he’s spending his off nights (does he even have off nights?!?) getting down on the dance floor? Visions of Alfred doing coke off nubile young dancing queens’ stomachs are now filling my head. *shudder!*

    Also, I think we now all have our favorite expression for a happenin’ night out now, huh? “Let’s go back and make the FREAK SCENE at the Stardust again!”

    I have never read any Super Sons issues. That must be rectified forthwith! You guys sounded like you had a blast reading and talking about it!

  4. Anj says:

    Love this episode.

    The BvS trailer is absolutely bleak. I just can’t imagine any way that this is going to be a good movie.

    On the other hand, I love Zany Haney!

    I haven’t read the super-sons before, a glaring hole in my comic knowledge. After hearing this review, I have to find these. Hello In-stock trades! The whole thing is insane. From being put on trial for grandstanding, to being found guilty, to the ultimate superdickery, this is just a surreal treat!

    And I owned the Disco issue and remember the ‘Yowz yowza’ vividly. As a kid I didn’t understand it at all. But there was a ton to love. It sounds like I wouldn’t understand it now either! I remember a part where the Flash’s ‘after image hologram’ somehow taps the demon woman on the shoulder. How is that possible!

    Anyways, I love the Haney episodes. I have my faves and hope they’ll be covered.

  5. I was one of those fans that Rob mentioned, who only picked up World’s Finest every once in a while. In fact the first issue I ever saw was WF #233….you guessed it, a Super Sons story. I only knew the characters from TV and from JLA. To read this and think they were married and had sons….I believed it!! Then I picked up some Detective Comics and Action Comics issues, and was *thoroughly* confused. Never warmed to the Super Sons again.

    Of their stories I read, my favorite was the one guest-starring Robin, though. Batman was the ultimate Super Dick in that story, but it was still a good one, for what it was.

    Likewise, I got so fed up with stories like The Disco of Death that I ended up having the opposite reaction to Rob’s with Jim Aparo: I’d open the issue of B&B and if I saw Bob Haney’s name, I’d skip it unless it was absolutely a guest-star I wanted to read. I missed out on several Wildcat, Green Arrow, and Metal Men stories that way, hahaha~!

  6. Frank says:

    Okay, one of these days an actual Metamorpho story should be paired with the theme song.

    One way BvS DoJ BBD could maybe possibly not suck is if it’s a loose adaptation of Legends where Dick Grayson is killed by an angry mob whipped up by the super-powered demagoguery of G. Gordon Godfrey while establishing a beachhead for Darkseid. Instead of being a damned love interest, Wonder Woman could debut toward the end smashing a Hound of War. Mix in elements of Miller’s Year One and Byrne’s Man of Steel to heighten the newness and perceived threat of ultimately heroic metahumans who are also influenced by Godfrey. That could work.

    Too bad for Common that he got too old to play John Stewart. As I watched Fury Road, I couldn’t help but notice that Megan Gale still has looks and physique of a Wonder Woman that make Gal Gadot seem that much more pale.

    The Silver Age is my least favorite period of comics, and DC produced the most off-putting comics from that period. A Bob Haney script credit is a relief in that area, because his work was comparatively fun and breezy. That said, sometimes I think he flew past zany into outright stupid and awful. He’s insufferable when trying to write “hip,” which is why I have a very low tolerance for his Teen Titans. I also have zero interest in reading stories of a blandly patronizing Superman and Batman outwitting their uptight mouthy straw-teen sons, so I just wanted the back portion of this podcast to end. At least the painfully dumb disco story had Jim Aparo to sell it, but a particularly bloodless Dick Dillin playing the Super Sons straight is about as appealing as A Duggar Family Christmas Special. Even if Haney was less Ed Wood than Lloyd Kaufman, life’s too short… mine anyway.

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