Fire & Water #177 – Why We Love Aquaman and Firestorm

Not a dream, not a hoax, not an imaginary tale–Shag and Rob are finally back together on the same podcast! We take a look back at why we love Aquaman and Firestorm–we Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

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Opening theme, “That Time is Now,” by Michael Kohler. Closing music by Peaches & Herb.

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21 responses to “Fire & Water #177 – Why We Love Aquaman and Firestorm

  1. So happy to hear the plan to meet at Heroes Con next year is moving forward! Ruth and I will definitely be there all three days. Heroes is a fantastic convention. The perfect size. Always tons of great guests. Family friendly activities for kids. Everything about it is fabulous!

    Plus, Ron Randall is tentatively scheduled to attend next year which will be great for Trekker Talk :-)

    We look forward to seeing lots of the Nuclear Subs there!


    1. As I mentioned when we got together w/Shaggg a little while ago, Heroes Con sounds like a great idea. It’s the weekend of my birthday and Father’s Day, so I can think of no better present to give myself. However, I’ve never been to a Con before, so I’m really going to need a Primer, I think. I looked to see if they were selling tickets yet, but I don’t think they are (nor can I find when they go on sale). Anyway, that’s just 1 of my many questions. If you two (or anyone else) has some tips for first-timers, it’d be much appreciated (whether I make it to this one or not).

      1. Hi Keith,

        We would be happy to help you with any questions along the way. Ruth and I have been to Heroes Con several times and it’s definitely worth attending, so I hope you decide to go.

        We are keeping an eye out for when tickets go on sale as well as when the hotels are open for reservations so we can get the convention rate. There are a couple of great hotels nearby so that it is an easy walk to the convention, which can be very important if you’re carrying around items to get signed. We will let you know as soon as we see either the tickets or the hotels are available.

        Heroes Con is fantastic and the location is perfect. The Charlotte Convention has a huge basement where the vendors and artists setup and then panel rooms are spread throughout the large facility. Because of that, even though there are tons of people around, it never feels overly crowded.

        On top of that, there are fast food restaurants inside the convention center and several nicer restaurants within walking distance. There’s even a combination movie theatre/restaurant nearby.

        If you would like a convention primer, I highly recommend the much smaller NC Comic Con coming up in November in Durham. Ruth and I will be there and would be happy to meetup with you during the weekend and we can chat some more. Just let us know if you decide to go.


  2. This episode felt like an event. You both have good cause to celebrate the success of the network you’ve built and the way you’ve inspired many others to pick a comic they love and podcast about it. Bravo!

  3. God, it’s weird imagining that Secret Origins wasn’t part of the Fire & Water Podcasts to begin with, but also that it almost wasn’t part of the Network. I don’t think I wavered on that decision more than a day, Shag and Rob were so insistent that they’d make it work. Still, weird to think about that elseworld where Secret Origins Podcast remained independent. Couldn’t have done it without this community. Glad it found its true home here.

  4. I also agree that there was an event feel to this episode. Glad to have you guys together again … for the first time!!!

    There was a lot for me to mull over in listening to this, thinking about my own character Supergirl, and how she has grown in popularity over the last couple of years. So odd to think how Firestorm, Aquaman, and her are all in the public consciousness these days. And the idea that suddenly websites and podcasts sprouted out of thin air with experts was an interesting one for me to deal. I was thrilled there were people who discovered how great Supergirl is. But I also was thinking ‘where have you been’ and sometimes thinking ‘what you are saying is wrong.’

    And so, it also saddens me to think about the ‘end’ of Firestorm Fan. I guess this is another sign of the end of ‘print media’. My site is 8yrs old. That seems to be the time these things get retired …

    Anyways, congrats to both for longevity, expertise, and pulling together this feed.

    1. No Anj, you can’t quit your site unless you have a Supergirl podcast. You can give it a catchy name like your site has if you like, something like “Supergirl Voice Box Commentary”.

  5. This episode felt like one of those great “refresh” issues of a comic, where after a few fill-ins (good ones, mind you), the regular creative team is recharged, and sets off on another great run.

    It’s interesting how you guys brought up the “ownership” of the once-neglected characters you publicly championed when no one else would. I can totally understand where you are coming from, and even empathize with the slight resentment you have for new “experts” still wet behind the ears. That seems to be a fairly common feeling for us older fans, who remember when it wasn’t cool to fly our geek flags, and to wear comic-based shirts, and you couldn’t just walk into Wal-Mart and Target and find them in adult sizes. I think some folks take that to the extreme and seem to really hate anyone who just likes the TV shows or movies, but I know that’s not the case here.

    Both Firestorm and Aquaman have come a long way, and I know you guys would never admit it, but I can’t help but think you two flying your flags gave them at least a slight boost in that direction.

    I am very proud and honored to be part of this network. I was a fan of this show long before I ever even considered putting my ramblings out there in the void, and of course it was on one of Shag’s brief sabbaticals that Rob pulled me into the world of podcasting. The content produced by you two, Ryan, and Siskoid and his Canadian pals would be at the top of my list to listen to every week anyway, but the fact that I get to hang with you guys and contribute just brings a big old stupid grin to my face. Thank you for giving me the best playground an overgrown kid could ask for.


  6. Hi guys,

    We had a chance to finish the episode this morning and just wanted to chime on all of the positive comments that Rob shared about Shag’s dedication to getting the network up and Ryan’s excellently produced Secret Origins podcast.

    Ruth and I definitely want to add our voices to the chorus of compliments that both of those individuals deserve for the very reasons Rob shared.

    Cheers all around for this great show and network! We discovered the show just a few months after the two of you launched it and we’ve loved spending all this time listening over these many years.

    Thank you both!


  7. My first comic with Aquaman and Firestorm was Justice League of America #203. such a great first page. i thought they were like best friends when i read that.

  8. OK, why would I send you a nasty letter for comparing Aquaman to King Arthur, Shag? I would have chosen that comparison as well. Especially when you consider the “doomed kingship” that is frequently portrayed in the comics for Aquaman.

    I do like how I’m now the go-to for King Arthur stuff, though, even if it is an off-handed mention. 😉

  9. Well hello!

    It’s great to have the (two-man) band back together!

    Since you both did this “reunited” episode with a review and update on why you love these characters so much, I’d like to propose something else (perhaps an end of the year, or next year’s anniversary of the podcast): something to aid the next generation of creators for Firestorm & Aquaman!

    What I mean is, an exploration of the character elements and storylines (from the beginning of each character to present) that resonate, that are part of what makes each character work. Also, perhaps some roads not traveled that might shed new light on the character, and some roads best left untrodden.

    Just a suggestion of course; you two are the experts. :)

  10. So, origin story time. I’ve never been an Aquaman fan at all, to be honest. I got the Adventure comics issues for Starman, tolerated Plastic Man, and often didn’t even read the Aquaman stories. Later on, really liked The Atlantis Chronicles, and followed Peter David’s run as a Peter David fan rather than an Aquaman fan, same with Kurt Busiek later on. And I think that this is because Aquaman was just plain broken as a character during my formative comic-reading years. Not just becaue of the superfriends-enforced lameness thing, but more because of the Black Manta stuff: this is a superhero who had his archvillain literally kill his infant son, a character whose wife was literally driven insane with grief, and he’s running around capturing whale poachers and smugglers. At that point in his career, he was a complete failure as a father, husband, and monarch. And don’t get me wrong, that’s a very powerful place to put a character, a place that could be the basis for some great storytelling, but nobody writing the character was very interested in doing anything other than ordinary superheroics that just can’t work wit hthe character in that state. And even as we got more distance from these events, I still had the problem that as far as I was concerned the Aquaman/Mera relationship was completely toxic and authors who want to push that as a one true pairing kind of thing seemed completely off. Really, Aquaman should have gotten a complete reboot in the Crisis to undo the dead baby problem entirely, and it was only until New 52 that we could have a workable version of the character. (Which I’m following in trades and enjoying). Before that, I’d say that the only story where I genuinely liked Aquaman as a character would be that Justice League Annual where he disbanded the league.

    On the other hand, I’ve just about always been a Firestorm fan. I just barely missed the DC Explosion, so my introduction to the character was in DC Comics Presents, the two appearances there and then the Justice League days. (While I was willing to buy Adventure Comics for 2/3 of the stories, I bounced hard off the Flash those days and couldn’t justify paying out 60 cents a month for just the 8 firestorm pages for long.) (The Fury of) Firestorm was the first comic book that I collected starting with issue #1 and I never considered dropping it once. Apart from That One Time Alan Moore Wrote Firestorm (which you guys should totally do an episode on sometime), my favorite story has to be that early Ostrander one that set up the Blank Slate Firestorm, with the Firehawk/Tokamak story running a close third.

  11. I just realized that we could shamelessly promote Warlord Worlds Episode 8 here. That is the episode we recorded live at Heroes Con this year featuring chats with Michael Lane of Comics in the Golden Age and Jeff Messer from the Geek Brain Popcast as well as a meetup with Ed and Teri Moore of The Mighty Thorcast. The episode also features an amazing interview with comic legend Mike Grell telling lots of stories from his career. The interview is unlike any you’ve ever heard before … because he sings for us! Doesn’t that make everyone want to listen to that episode right now?!?

    I hope so! :-)

  12. It’s hard to type a comment when I need to listen to Warlord Worlds RIGHT NOW…

    (… a little later)

    Top show, lads. It was fascinating and fun to hear you zero in on why you like Aquaman and Firestorm so much. I discovered Aquaman along with most of the classic JLA, reading passed-on copies of Silver Age DCs. The first issue I read was JLA #10 – he was one of the Fantastic FIngers of Felix Faust – swim out of that one, Fishman! As for Firestorm, it was his debut issue, bought at the newsagents near school one lunchtime. I loved him instantly and while I enjoy Jason, I’m like Shagg, it’s Ronnie and the Professor, and the original costume, for me. The blank slate and Russki years were OK, but the charm and fun disappeared along with the original pairing and the transmutation powers.

    My favourite Aquaman runs are the Michelinie, DeMatteis, McLaughlin, Pfeifer, Arcudi, Arcudi, Jurgens, Larsen, Parker and Abnett eras. I’m a big fan of Peter David, but not on Aquaman.

    Wish I could get to Heroescon, it’s also my birthday, on the 18th. Hmm, cheap flights?

    Well done on maintaining the Firestorm Fan blog for so many years, Shagg. Congratulations on a decade of Aquaman Shrine, Rob. Well done on the fifth anniversary of the Fire and Water Podcast, boys. Great work on Secret Origins, Ryan.

    May I stop now?

  13. Charlotte might be extremely doable for me & Vance, and probably Roy. Might not make the whole weekend but just drive up for Saturday. I think it’s a great idea to meet the people behind my favorite podcasts. It will be nice to meet Shag too! Face-to-face that is.

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