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Whatever Happened To…? Dr. Mid-Mite/The Atom – FIRE & WATER #128

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 128th 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 present the next installments of “Whatever Happened To…?” We love these back-up strips from DC Comics Presents! This time we’re covering adventures from DCCP #29 & 30, featuring Dr. Mid-Nite and the Golden Age Atom!

You can find the 128th 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 (37 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!

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DC Comics Presents - Whatever Happened to Dr. Mid-Nite and the Golden Age Atom

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  1. I picked these two issues up a year or so ago at a con, mostly for the “Whatever Happened to…” features. Normally, I’d come to the defense of a stalwart artist like Joe Giella…but Rob’s right (there, I said it!). I respect Giella’s place in comic history, but he may be the most overpowering inker to ever work the page this side of Jack Abel. He changes nearly everyone into Joe Giella, and that’s what has happened here. Alex Sauviak has a pleasing “house style” look, so it’s easily homogenized. “Coloring book” is a good say to describe the look. The story is pretty good, and does a better job of telling us where Charles McNider is nowadays versus the second story.

    Man, this Atom tale is NUTS! I thought the EXACT same thing Shag did about the artist mistaking Al for having Ray’s shrinking powers when I first leafed through this. Mallo looks a bit like fan turned DC staffer Mark Hanerfeld, who was also the basis of Abel (from the House of Secrets), but I can see some Michael Bailey in there too. I never thought I’d say I prefer Vince Colletta’s inks over someone else’s, but here I do. Vince must have put his eraser away that day, because as Shag pointed out, he actually inked some details! It’s not a bad look. Nothing spectacular, but it fits the story, unlike the Giella inks.

    As for the other stories in these issues, your frenemy Ryan Daly covered the Superman/Black Canary tale over on Flowers & Fishnets a few episodes back. More of that creepy “I’m having thoughts about my dead husband who will soon be revealed to be my father” stuff that gives me the heebie-jeebies. BRRRR….!!!


  2. Martin Gray says:

    Great show, thanks so much. The Ray Palmer part of the story was in Action Comcs #515, by the way. That’s the other Mallo appearance (bet he’s Mopee’s brother) Bob Rozakis mentioned. With a Rick Buckler cover!

    I preferred the WHT stories that wrapped up careers, such as the Crimson Avenger tale, to the ones that were pretty much just random adventures.

    PS ‘Dr Mid-Mite’ in the title above, good gag!

  3. Michael Chiaroscuro says:

    Great stuff, guys! I’m curious when it comes to the Atom and his wife not being older – does that have something to do with the JSA members not aging? Or at least not aging at the same rate as they should have over those decades? I am not much of a JSA expert, but I have some vague memory of this being what DC used to explain why they were all older than the JLA and other heroes during the bronze age but not appreciably older, as they would have been had they aged in real time. What exactly aged them slowly I have no idea, but I bet someone here can explain it for us – and of course I could look it up on Wikipedia if I was so inclined. Maybe later!

    You are so right – that Starlin cover was incredible. I’ve always been a huge fan of Starlin’s bronze age art, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized he did so much awesome cover work in that era. I have a bunch of issues of Justice League that he drew phenomenal covers for, but when I was a kid I had no idea he’d drawn them! That’s something I do love about modern comics – cover artist credits inside the book. A step in the right direction.

    I’m curious, and if you guys mentioned this before, forgive me, but when you read these old issues for the podcast where do you typically get the issues? Do they come from your old longboxes or do you tend to make sure you can each find them digitally on Comixology first before you decide upon which issues to review? Back issue bin hunting for some of these could take some time, so I was curious if you were using digital editions for the most part. I’ve recently become addicted to reading comics digitally, although I still buy and read more hard copies than digital, I can see the temptation with digital – no storage issues in the house and the ease of purchase. Plus: Marvel Unlimited rocks!! Shag, I’m with you there. I just signed up for an annual membership and I’m overwhelmed at how many amazing old and new series they have on there. I wish DC would launch their version of Marvel Unlimited.

    Cheers, keep up the good work!

  4. Add me to the group of guys who did NOT appreciate the WTH feel of The Atom story. I didn’t much care for the Dr. Mid-Nite adventure, either, for the same reason Martin Gray gave. My favorites were the Sandman, Sandy, and Crimson Avenger stories. The others were just “adventures.”

  5. Frank says:

    Ellie Kemper is very cute, but I watched a little Kimmie Schmidt, and I’d drop the c, m, and d from the title. It’s also kind of John Hughes racistie a few decades since we as a culture should know better. I dug Jon Hamm though, because Don Draper, doi.

    I wasn’t into the Wagner/Snyder Dr. Mid-Nite mini-series in large part because the white guy that replaced the black lady was indistinguishable from the first white guy. Might as well have just done it as a period piece with McNider. Would have given it more of a chance then.

    The closest thing to a memorable Dr. Mid-Nite story I can think of was the JSA: Classified where the villainess wore the skin of Ice Maiden to acquire her powers. This wasn’t even close to the closest thing, and that thing wasn’t so close to a thing that wasn’t mere infamy. Daredevil might have ripped off Mid-Nite’s shtick, but if you factor in quality, the Doctor becomes a proto-Daredevil instead of an injured party. If I cut off Alex Saviuk’s skin and wore it over my own, my drawing ability wouldn’t improve one bit.

    Off-Topic: I just looked over to see the February/March issue of AARP Magazine sitting in a basket with Bob Dylan on the cover.

    Didn’t Count Drunkula cover this Black Canary appearance on a recent-ish episode of the Flowers & Fishnets podcast?

    If Shag is anything like me, he momentarily confused Rick Buckler and Rich Burchett.


    I will not be acknowledging the existence of this Atom story.

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