Fire & Water #188 – Aquaman #s 14-17/Fury of Firestorm Annual (Classic) #2

Shag and Rob catch up with the Sea King and the Nuclear Man! First we dive into AQUAMAN #s 14-17 by Dan Abnett, Brad Walker, Philippe Briones, Scot Eaton and Wayne Faucher! Then we soar into the illustrated novella (!) THE FURY OF FIRESTORM ANNUAL (Classic) #2 by Gerry Conway, Arthur Byron Cover, Rafael Kayanan, and Ernie Colon! Finally, we wrap up with some of your Listener Feedback!

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12 responses to “Fire & Water #188 – Aquaman #s 14-17/Fury of Firestorm Annual (Classic) #2

  1. Aquaman #16 was also my favourite of these, I love ‘catch up with the cast’ issues – while the fortnightly frequency means we don’t get the same artist every issue, it does provide plenty of room for characters to breathe, with or without the use of gills.

    I like Brad Walker, and I really like Philippe Briones. I also think Scot Eaton is underrated. So I’m fine with them sharing the art chores, and besides, from what we’ve seen the talented Mr Walker wouldn’t actually manage a monthly schedule

    I wasn’t a big fan of the Firestorm Annual short story format, I like stories to be stories and comics to be comics. Spot illustrations and text remind me of the British ‘story papers’ such as Rover and Wizard that were just about hanging on in there when I was a sprog. Such a chore.

    Chaps, chaps ‘fortnightly’ is not slang – it’s British, and therefore correct.

    ‘A fortnight is a unit of time equal to 14 days (2 weeks). The word derives from the Old English: fēowertyne niht, meaning “fourteen nights”.’

    The term is very useful given that most young readers these days don’t know the difference between biweekly and bimonthly. Thickos.

  2. Great episode.

    I’ll join in the praise of Brad Walker. His stuff is great. He did a lot of work on the Morrison run of Action Comics and really shined. And (I may have done this already) let me praise Joshua Middleton as well. He did a run of Supergirl covers during the early Gates/Igle run which were incredible.

    I am also glad to see the ‘Atlantis Attacks!’ storyline end. That just seems to be a fallback plot that is overused. Heck, we’ve even seen it overdone with Namor over at the Marvelous competition. Let’s try to go a couple of years of just Aquaman adventures!

    As for the Firestorm annual, I can remember getting it when it first came out and was a bit bored with the prose format. Like Rob said, I never saw the ‘why’ when it came to this story. The prose doesn’t add much. But mostly I think it just paled to the first Firestorm Annual which felt like something huge, ending the Firehawk/Tokamak mega-arc. Now that was an annual!

    Always love the review shows!

    1. One more thing, I concur with Rob. There is no way Ronnie watched Apocalypse Now 5-6 times. Way too heady for him. He seems more like a Predator kind of guy.

  3. Thank you for another excellent episode, gentlemen.

    While I had my reservations about the latest invasion storyline, I really liked the conclusion in #15, where Arthur meets with the president. This scene crystallized for me what I love about Abnett’s Aquaman, but couldn’t name before, and that’s his wisdom. There are many highly intelligent characters in the DCU. It seems like you can’t swing a stick without hitting a super genius with a spiffy new gadget, but wisdom appears (IMHO) to be in much shorter supply, and that gives a unique quality to Aquaman’s character that can help set him apart from other heroes. I hope to see this developed in future issues.

    The Firestorm annual was an interesting one. Say what you will about mental powers, but I thought this was a clever way to feature so many members of Firestorm’s rogues gallery in a plausible (at least by comic book standards) way. I’m not sure how I feel about the format, because I haven’t been able to read the whole annual, but I have to give the creators credit for trying something a little different.

  4. Loving that Shag and Rob are back together again! Aquaman has really been something else since Rebirth. I’m an Aqua-fan.

    Also, had Rob tapped a replacement for Shag? I’m not sure he needs to. I’m pretty sure we can create a virtual version using all the older shows to paste something together.

  5. That other show that mentioned Space Clusters recently? That would be Batman: Knightcast. I’d give Shag crap for not remembering a show on his own network, but he’s clearly over his Batman Phase.

    Aquaman having a fleshed-out, almost normal past is a nice touch. I prefer that to Dolphin-Tarzan from the 90s.

    This Firestorm Annual reminds me of the Batman prose stories in The 1978 Batman Spectacular (story by Denny O’Neil and Marshall Rogers) and Detective Comics #500 (by Walter “The Shadow” Gibson and Tom Yeates). I look at all of those as another example of comics TRYING to shed their “just for kids’ stigma by being a slightly more “legit” presentation. No word balloons, etc.

    This whole things sounds like a Mysterio plot from Spider-Man. Hey, that’s what Gerry was after!

    Nice to hear you guys back together. It’s nice that Mommy and Daddy can still get along…for the kids’ sake.


  6. Great show, Rob and Shagg. I am enjoying the Aquaman series at the moment and as was mentioned, when you have a big storyline like the Deluge, it is great that it only lasts for 2-3 months as opposed to the 6 months it would have taken in the old monthly regime. Producing 2 issues a month also allows for more room for a one and done issue like Aquaman 16 as a palate cleanser before the next big storyline.

    The Firestorm annual sounds very interesting – I love the occasional illustrated novella, as it was called above, while I am a sucker for a “All my enemies against me” story. I was wondering Rob had Aquaman ever had a storyline where he faced multiple members of his Rogues Gallery at once?

  7. Shag, thanks for the appropriate accreditation for the use of DCLoT. That will always be my greatest contribution to CW fandom.

  8. It’s been a while since I’ve commented, in part because as I mentioned to Shag just now in my cellar dungeon, I seem to have run out of things to say about Aquaman and Firestorm about 125 or so episodes in. However, I have had sympathy for Rob over the constant “Guy Who Talks To Fish” digs, which evaporated forever when he called Shag’s Hologram Aquaman a piece of crap. I’ve waited nearly twenty years to dupe somebody into going in on that JLA box set to finally get my awesome Hologram Martian Manhunter, and it makes my heart weep that Rob can’t let Shag have this accomplishment/sucker’s bet. Sure, the Peter David run was underwhelming and the whole hook hand thing was moronic, but setting that aside, this rare action figure acquisition is a lovely translucent pale green with purple and lavender highlights to die for. Hologram Aquaman is the great lost Crystar figure, and the best deal I could find for this figure alone online was $16.95 + $4.95 S&H, which is more than Shag paid while also picking up the variant Superboy from the Dan Didio run. Respect the Art of the Deal, Rob!

    Even when the villains are lame, whenever you toss 10+ members of a character’s rogues gallery on a cover, it’s going to feel like a big deal. It helps that it’s a good looking piece, too. As for prose comics, my belief is the problem lies in the comics, not the prose. I don’t care to read a comic book script converted into prose form, because the return on my investment of time and effort as a reader is always less than the reward for reading a plain comic. Give me editorial content all day long, and I get all sorts of behind the scenes details and theory related to the comics. Tell me in text that Ronnie Raymond is dribbling a ball, and I get nothing a picture couldn’t communicate more quickly and with greater quality. If a comic writer is going to go prose, they have to dive deeper into their characters’ internal lives or express something in words that cannot be properly conveyed through image alone. For instance, I’ve never been a big Tarzan fan, but I sprang for a prose mini-series by Joe R. Lansdale years ago that opened my eyes to the character, because he could describe Tarzan with a level of detail that made me appreciate his strength, ferocity, and intellect in a way swinging from vines and brooding never could.

    The Abnett Aquaman series sounds good, but I gave up on DC during the New 52, and I hear they’re no longer holding the line at $2.99. I’m lost and will not be found. Also still bummed that I almost got a Brad Walker Martian Manhunter book, but it probably would have been as a big a waste of his talents as the Rob Williams series was of Eddy Barrows’ (who never did do Aquaman, so even stevens on regret.)

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