Fire & Water #163 – JLMay Crossover Part 1! JLA: Year One #1 & #2

It's the kick-off to JLMay! The JLA: YEAR ONE Podcast Crossover Event! In this episode, Shag and Rob discuss the first two issues of Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Barry Kitson's JLA: YEAR ONE maxi-series!

From here follow JLMay to these fantastic podcasts! Each will cover different issues of JLA: YEAR ONE and each will come out in May! And don't forget to use the hashtag #JLMay when discussing on social media!

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Opening theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler.Closing music by Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge of The Bad Mamma Jammas!

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17 responses to “Fire & Water #163 – JLMay Crossover Part 1! JLA: Year One #1 & #2

  1. Issues #62 through #65 of the post-Crisis FLASH series when Mark Waid first came aboard was called “Year One: Born to Run.” That was in 1992. However, when the stories were collected, it was just called BORN TO RUN; they downplayed the Year One title.

  2. Laughed at the Hostess ad in the promo rundown!

    Did you mean Xotar the Weapons Master?

    Cover #2: Barry’s hand is in the middle of her back, pulling up Hal’s to keep it off her … fishnets.

    Love love love the classic Kitson art.

    Like that JSA fanboy Barry knew more about Grundy than JSA brat Canary did.

    This whole series is really nothing more than a giant continuity patch, moving the origin of the JLA from the late 50s to the early 90s. Ir’s not badly done, and it tells a story that can stand on its own, unlike if Roy Thomas was doing it.

  3. Great start to the event. So glad Shag & Rob describe the history and context of this series. It allows Mike & I to ignore that and focus on the crazy (a fairly disturbing) stuff coming up in issues 5 & 6.

    Although Shag took the blame for the date error in the promo, I was the one who wrote ‘19984’ in the script, then missed it in vetting on the way to the promo being released. Having explained this, I’m quite comfortable with it being entirely his fault.

  4. Great start to a podcast crossover I am really looking forward to.

    First off, love love love Batgirl Year One. That is a great series on all fronts. Story and art complement each other wonderfully!

    Second, Rob, I love the ‘and the rest’ comment. Poor Maryanne and the Professor that first season. They deserved better.

    I really love this series. I didn’t get it when it was on the racks but bought the trade shortly after it was solicited. Such a fun series. As you state here, with all the cameos, history drops, and Easter Eggs, this reads almost like a History of the DCU book. Everyone is seen. The past is referenced. And it all works seamlessly. So much fun!

    I also love that it keeps the Appelax aliens as the basis of the team origin. I love that story probably because I was so blown away by JLA 200 (a book I did read when it came out). For me the most interesting creative decision was to start the series after the first fight with the Appelexians. Sure we see flashbacks, and yes that was covered in Secret Origins (from a decade before), but I kept waiting for a JLA Year Zero Special to be solicited, covering that first brawl.

    I am guest hosting later in the JLMay event so I won’t go into too much. I will say that Canary tugging Flash’s cowl is one of my favorite moments of the book.

  5. Robin: Year One is EXCELLENT. As much as I love Batgirl: Year One, I prefer the Robin mini. Go read it!

    So excited to see JLMay kick off. Don’t want to comment too much on the series, since we’re doing issue #9 over on Super Mates (PLUG!), but I agree with both of you: I prefer the original 7 JLAers to be on the team, but this is fine, tasty lemonade from those post-Crisis lemons.

    It’s nice to know my wife is feared by all. We should start a support group!

    My name is Chris, and my wife hits me every episode. It’s our “Bazinga”.


  6. Rob sounded so cheerful throughout this episode.

    Oh wait, that’s because Snapper Carr doesn’t show up until issue #3.

  7. I can’t say for sure what the second comic to use “Year One” branding was, but I know that Guy Gardner had a “Year One” four issue arc in his self titled series back when he was using Sinestro’s ring. And that was back in 1993.

  8. Typical comics crossover – I’m listening to the Fire and Water family of podcasts and the Idol Head, but now you are forcing me to subscribe to podcasts that I’m not currently listening too! Grrr and other fanboy rampage noises! Ah well, I do like Green Lantern and Doom Patrol, and the Comics Reflections sounds interesting so will try them out for the JLMay crossover.

    All joking aside, this is a fun series to look at. I bought these as they came out, but they are stored away now. Luckily, over in this side of the water, Eagle Moss have released a relatively inexpensive hardback reprint of some of DC’s best graphic novels, and JLA Year One came out in this series just a few weeks ago. Re-reading it, I was struck at how well Waid and Augustyn developed the teamwork of the fledgling JLA while also giving nods to the rest of the broader DC universe. Am looking forward to how this podcast series develops going forward. Of course, with Shagg and Rob opening the batting, it has gone off to a very solid start!

  9. I’m totally surprised; the first issue is familiar to me, but the 2nd issue… I don’t know it. Guess I didn’t pick it up?
    Must rectify that.

    I really loved the attention on Aquaman, and the discussion on language (German is more logical) with Martian Manhunter. Team comics do really well when they highlight similarities and differences of the team members in unusual and refreshing ways.

    And Shag, I’m coming down with something too. Hope it’s not pneumonia; if it is, clearly I caught it from you.

    I kid — must’ve been from the heat of Sierra Madre…

  10. We had a terrific time listening to this episode. We actually picked up the series at Comixology a year or two ago and reread it, so it is very fresh in my mind and your coverage was great!

    Like Rob, it’s difficult for me to imagine the JLA without Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman … but as a separate continuity, I agree with you both that it’s a wonderful mini-series!

    I’m looking forward to following along with the other podcasts in the series.

    And Rob, a BIG THANK YOU for letting me and Ruth cameo as Aquaman and Mera. A dream come true for us both!

    Great job guys!


  11. Great show. Why, though, are you boys doing two issues and everyone else does one? We’re you one podcast short of a set?

    Reading these books again is such fun, the scripts are full of heft and zing, while the art is a soufflé of classic images.

    OK! Random thoughts.

    Issue one!

    The recap pages with the overlapping word balloons went on far too long, I hate news report dialogue at the best of times

    I remember when I bought this originally I thought the mystery observer was Roy Raymond TV’s detective… he certainly watches a lot of telly!

    I like that the splash page uses the Just Imagjne bit from the Brave and Bold house ads

    Actually Shagg, I think Barry did run to the bullet to check out the markings, look at the flash from Barry to the bullet, it’s exactly the same as when he’s running around the office. I agree it could be clearer

    The page with Dinah knackering the plant pots is really nicely done, I especially heart the silhouette panel

    I note that The Mechanic Formerly Known as Pieface just got ‘Pie’ here… good move.

    I found the Coast City scene rather charming, I really miss those simple early days of Hal, Carol and Tom. And Star Sapphire.

    Great as Barry Kitson is, Dinah’s wig is terrible, far too big – like, Alan Davis big.

    I loved the insertion of General Eiling, and his bestowing a battlefield demotion was a hoot.

    Barry’s comment to post-Crisis Dinah ‘you’re not that old!’ was ironic meta fun

    Dinah’s body on the cover is awful, she looks like a woman made of plastic pincers – not hot at all.

    It’s wonderful to see the classic Eclipso look, sinister yet noble.

    Thorn and Grundy were nice links to the previous heroic age.

    That question snippet at the news conference, ‘Operation in other nations besides’ is nice foreshadowing.

    I love J’onn as monster. Why do we so rarely see that sort of thing?

    The scene of the house being brought down by Grundy was undersold artistically.

    It’s smart how Waif ties this into the Blackhawks’ shortlived superhero phase.

    Again, lovely broadcasts! Bring on #3.

  12. I am ashamed to say, I gave this a miss, at first. I almost caved a couple of times; but, I was all but out of mainstream superhero comics. Then, I kept hearing things about it and (not long after) Avengers Forever. I looked at one of the later issues, with the concentration camp and was really intrigued. So, I pounced on the trade, when it came out (same with Avengers Forever). You guys aren’t kidding about Kitson’s art; it was modern, but, it captured that classic look (I love how he interpreted the original Black Canary’s costume, vs her daughter’s) and it was good storytelling. Waid was in his element and the cameos were fun. It does start out lighthearted, which matches the tone of the Silver Age; but, there is a sense of something dangerous in the shadows, which thrusts it into the modern era. Luckily, there is a nice balance between the two, so it never gets too violent or dark, and only when it’s ramping up the tension. That is part of why I gravitated to Waid and Busiek, when I was mostly abandoning superheroes; they understood about the heroic part and wrote inspiring and heroic characters, while still giving them some depth. That was pretty rare in the 90s.

    Looking forward to the whole story and sampling some new podcasts as a side benefit.

  13. Howdy gents! This was an enjoyable episode and a nice idea for a crossover. I’ve read this series, and it seems like I should absolutely love it. It is written by Mark Waid, one of my all time favorite comic authors, it features Aquaman, my favorite character, in a prominent role that gives him some respect, and it has, as you and others here have noted well, a wonderful mix of the heroic and the modern. Yet, despite all of the reasons I should like it “on paper,” the book itself just didn’t quite grab me. I recognize that it is well written and fun. On its own merits, outside of all contexts, it’s’ a fine story, and yet…

    I think a big part of my coolness towards this series comes from a similar place as Rob’s own trepidations at the beginning of the episode. I don’t like the concept behind it. I think starting the League without Batman and Superman is like starting the Round Table without Arthur and Kay (I’ll let y’all figure out who is who in that analogy). They’re integral to the mythic weight of the group itself. The same is true for Wonder Woman, I suppose. I think that approaching this story from that perspective means that it will never quite have the narrative potential or archetypal balance that it might.

    I also probably first read this story after I saw the origin reworked in the JL animated series. I like their take on the whole thing a great deal more, even with its flaws. In fact, that is the story I adapted for my own JLA origin story in my mod. I substituted the Big Seven for the animated line-up, though, and I made one more important change. Instead of Martian Manhunter telepathically contacting Superman, a character with no telepathic powers, through the White Martian’s psychic jamming, I had them contact Aquaman, the man with arguably the strongest mind on the planet. That made much more sense to me, plus gave the Sea King an important role. That mission sees him smash his way onto an “army” base, bashing disguised aliens and trashing tanks, an intro to the character that I really love. But I digress.

    Back to the topic at hand and still speaking of the Marine Marvel, I really didn’t care for this book’s take on him. That’s probably my second biggest issue. Clearly Waid can write a great Aquaman, but I don’t think this is him. I like a lot of the clever moves Waid makes with the character, but I don’t like them, again, in context. His somewhat mopey, uncertain portrayal works for the underwater Tarzan origin that I despise, but the classic ‘man of two worlds,’ the young man who grew up on the shore, only to later discover his royal heritage…that is Aquaman, and that doesn’t work well with this portrayal.

    In the end, it’s a good story, but I think there is a much better one to be told from these elements. I took my stab at it in my little project, but I’d kill to see DC put all of the pieces in proper order and give it another try. Heaven knows the New 52 version was a disappointment, despite being close in many ways.

  14. Great opening ep for the JLMay Crossover guys. So I have never read any of these issues or stories before and I’m keen to see how it all plays out. I can’t wait to see how the other podcast carry the story on. As a DC outsider I had no idea of who or what Crisis on Infinite Earths was. I had a general understanding it was an event and there was something referred to as a “continuity punch” but that was about it. Until I met a guy by the name of Paul Hix who has been very kindly and patiently opening my eyes. But I can tell ya, the last few eps of Secret Origins plus the introduction of the JLI Bwahahaha podcast, has had me at times writing notes to make sense of it all.

    Now to weigh-in on the whole JLA post-crisis line-up as a new comer to the issue, when I hear JLA I do immediately think of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman like so many other people have already said. But oddly enough I also include Aquaman, the Flash and Hal Jordan Green Lantern as equally prominent figures which almost gives me the original 7 roster. I can’t explain how or why this happened. I haven’t read any pre-crisis stuff either. So beyond I guess some call back to the old super friends mixed with some JL animated series I think that roster is the mostly widely spread or known to even the most casual of comic observers.

    Keep up the great works guys and I looked forward to following the rest of the crossover. I do recommend people check out Waiting For Doom ep54 to hear the reason Shag is now banned from entering Australia. Forget Amanda Herd trying to smuggling her dogs into the country, this is now the big international controversy.

    1. Oh and a quick but HUGE thank you to Dr Anj and Mike and Paul at Waiting For Doom for putting this crossover together. And a big thank you to everyone who has signed on to be a part of it. Again Great Work!!

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