Fire & Water #194 – Aquaman #s 18-22/Fury of Firestorm (Classic) #s 30-32

The issue reviews return! Shag and Rob discuss Aquaman #s 18-22, followed by Fury of Firestorm (Classic) #s 30-32. We also announce our plans for Fire & Water #200, and finish up with your Listener Feedback!

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22 responses to “Fire & Water #194 – Aquaman #s 18-22/Fury of Firestorm (Classic) #s 30-32

  1. Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve commented. My new studies have kept me crazy busy.

    I’m glad to hear Shag has given Legends of Tomorrow another chance. I’ve enjoyed it too. If only they’d occasionally feature Firestorm, I’d be even happier.

    I remember hating the George Tuska art in Firestorm #31 as a kid. (I remember thinking that he got Firestorm’s fire hair all wrong, for one thing. He looked like an orange dandelion.) And I was *not* a kid who paid any attention to specific artists at all. So I hear you on this, Shag and Rob. Wasn’t there a panel where Firestorm is missing his fire hair altogether as I recall?

    “Lilac Tinted Whore” would make a good name for a band.

    Senator Reilly has to resign because he allowed himself to be blackmailed. Boy, those were the days. If only some of today’s senators would resign over their own various and sundry conflicts of interest. #editorial

    Regarding Firestorm #32, I remember thinking as a kid that Shoe Shine in this issue looked nothing like Al Milgrom’s Shoe Shine from the original run (Firestorm #4, I believe?). That bugged me a little. However, Prof. Stein talking like a gangster was a lot of fun. The pairing of science vs. magic that Shag and Rob observe raises some interesting issues that are not really explored much in the DCU. Such as, what is the proper role of science and skepticism in a world where magic is real? I remember distinctly in Firestorm #37 where Ronnie says of Martin that Martin has no use for psychics. But he lives in a universe with a Phantom Stranger and a Spectre in it. And a Zatanna. And so forth. So how do science and reason work in a universe where magic is real? One almost never sees this issue explored in directly in genre fiction; rather, it is usually sidestepped or lampshaded.

  2. Shag, you are correct that the Gil Kane cover to FOF v1 issue #30 was indeed originally a pin-up… which was previously printed in v1 issue #27…

    “Tints of Lilac” could be the title of a potential spinoff podcast…

  3. How come you guys never review classic Aquaman tales from the 60’s when yo review classic Firestorm tales? Lots of gems from the 60’s and 70’s to be mined.

    1. We’ve covered lots of classic Aquaman stories on the show, from the Golden Age stuff to comics from the 1970s and 1980s. Since we spend so much time talking about older stuff we figure we should spend at least the occasional episode on the current Aquaman comic book.

      We do want to get to the classic late 60s run, but we just haven’t yet found the right way to do it. Stay tuned.

  4. Always glad to hear these review episodes.

    I think that Stjepan Sejic coming onto Aquaman might be the tipping point to have me add the title to the pull list. I love his art and have seen some of his warmups of the characters on-line and they look great.

    As for Firestorm, I was reading the book back then and thought the whole 2000 Committee wrap-up felt completely rushed. They were the behind the scenes big bad forever and their ultimate defeat is done off-panel? And Breathtaker got taken out too easily. Kind of a bummer.

    Mind-Bogglers sudden curviness on the cover? Well, she had just gone into an augmentation machine. Maybe it effected more than her powers?

    Can’t wait for the upcoming review of the Killer Frost arc, one that has special significance for me as a collector!

    1. The new artist looks good, but I think Briones has earned the gig. I’ll miss Eaton too, they’re both just above the excellent Walker in my Aqua-art pantheon.

  5. Fab show, as ever. I’m with Rob, the Warhead story in Aquaman didn’t work, I’m far more down with Dead Water, those were a fun few issues. Mera is indeed a right old hypocrite for berating Aquaman, and even if she weren’t, she’d be plain wrong – a hero’s first duty is to save lives, not try to understand the proven murderer waving a knife at them. This other-dimensional world is too dangerous to be explored, it needs to be sealed away.

    I am amazed that a Dead Water with boobs doesn’t qualify as Shagg-HOTTTT!

    I have to defend George Tuska again – the fire hair (#85-87) is indeed wrong, but I like the face, it’s very Kirby, which is what Milgrom was originally going for, and the figurework is dynamic. And Alex Nino inking a superhero comic, where else has that happened?

    I so miss Alan Kupperberg – just look at that lovely panel of PS watching Firestorm from a tower; Alan never got the level of praise he deserved.

    Repeat after me, Shagg, it’s not a pound, it’s a hashtag – this is a pound…£.

  6. Shag, you and I are going to split a pineapple pizza at Heroes Con. I got your back. A ham and pineapple pizza is my all-time favorite.

    Those Middleton covers are just breathtaking. DC is really putting out some spectacular, poster-worthy covers nowadays, on both their regular titles and their trades/collections. Those Michael Cho omnibus covers are just gorgeous.

    I had forgotten about Tuska’s Firestorm “hair” from JLA. Yeah, that’s not a good look Ronnie. I know hair metal is on the rise, but let’s leave the teasing to the Sunset Strip, shall we?

    Great show fellas!


        1. I’ve made a list of all your names. If the zombie apocalypse breaks out, none of you are allowed in my prison/fortress.

          Fruit doesn’t belong on pizza. What’s next? Peaches? I say thee nay!

  7. Pineapple on pizzas is natural and right as god intended when he created pizza. This is how it went every time when I was at a party and we bulk ordered pizzas:
    Jerk: So, what pizzas do we want?
    Me: Hawaian
    Other jerk: Hawaian is sooo boring, let’s get Ocelot and Guava flavor.
    Me: Make sure you get a normal hawaian pizza, maybe two.
    Jerk: I really want to try Llama and Butterfly flavour.

    Later when the pizzas arrive, the jerks all eat the hawaian and we are left with boxes of unwanted llama and ocelot pizzas. EVERY TIME.

    1. Another name for the no-entry-into-my-zombie-protection-fortress list… but maybe an exception. I also have no time for people who want to order “classy” pizza.

      “Can we get something with pesto & sprouts, and white chicken?”

      “No. This is America.”*

      *may not apply to Australia

  8. Pineapples on pizza is never acceptable if you have a drop of Italian blood in your veins. It’s the Olive Garden of pizza toppings. It’s the Captain Stingaree of Bat villains.

    Olive Garden used to have a slogan “Hospitaliano!” My uncle used to say it was more “hospital- Tallahassee.”

  9. I forgot to post this previously:

    I’ve been loving all the JLMay episodes produced by you and your pals. I’d be especially interested in your thoughts on Aquaman’s depiction as the epic series concludes. His final confrontation with Manta was powerful and the focus on Arthur Jr as the lynch pin of the plot truly reveals Ross’ affection for classic Arthur Curry. One thing I would be especially interested in is your thoughts on the regenerative powers they ascribe to Aquaman. This was a unique take on the hero that I quite liked. Would you like to see it incorporated into current continuity?

  10. Congratulations Fleet Commanders on the upcoming 200th episode. On that historic day I will see to it that you get a 21 Umbrella Salute. My question for your “Ask me anything” segment is “Who is your favorite Super Villian, other then Slipknot, Savenger and of course, the Dapper Duke of Deviltry ?
    In all seriousness, you guys are the first podcast I ever corrosponded with and you made me feel like part of the show, so thank you very much. You two are the best in my book.

  11. I wince every time I hear “Lilac-Tinted Whore.” I’m not going to harsh on Shag finding his joy with that phrase, but Jesus, dude.

    I suspect Shag would *ahem* enjoy new Aquaman artist Stjepan Sejic’s Image Comics series Sunstone, a lesbian BDSM fantasy he writes with his wife. I can’t speak for the movie-inspired Sea King, but Mera will be stunning.

    1. As a lifelong male chauvinist and all-around anti-progressive, I also am wincing whenever I hear L-TW. It seems like it is misguided and in need of retirement. Her hair color may reflect part of the moniker, but, as far as I know, she never cheated on Martin or sold any services. LTB, maybe? I dunno. Such a minor character doesn’t deserve this much attention.

      Anyway, minor quibbles aside, another great show by you two fellas in the books. By keeping up this string of excellent shows, you seem to be painting yourself into a corner where excellence is a standard. Not a bad spot to be in, though.

  12. Thank you, gentlemen. I always look forward to these review episodes.

    The thing that really jumped out at me from the H2.0 story arc, which you pointed out in your own discussion, was Mera’s out of character behavior in the last issue. It’s interesting to compare the end of this story arc to that of the original Trench arc. Granted that was six years and a couple of creative teams ago, but Mera was much more sympathetic and supportive of Arthur’s decision to “close off” the realm of the Trench. The difference in her behavior is even more striking given that Arthur was, for all they knew, condemning the Trench to death by his actions. In the H2.0 story, he’s just closing the portal to Tethys, and is not necessarily doing any harm to the inhabitants of that world. Then again, he did close the portal with a nuclear device, so I may not be correct in that assumption. In the end, I’m curious to see if this was simply something that was done to fit the needs of this story, or if there’s something more to Mera’s behavior that will play out in future issues.

    I continue to enjoy delving into, what is to me, the unknown world of classic Firestorm. Tuska’s take on Firestorm’s hair was interesting. Seeing Firestorm and Firehawk together, and both with actually hair, led me to look up scans from previous FW episodes to see if Tuska had done a similar treatment on her hair. Interestingly, it appears to me that Firehawk’s hair tends to vary more between flames and actual hair depending on the artist. What troubled me more than the hair was the way in which the 2000 Committee was summarily defeated. After all of the build up around their behind-the-scenes machinations, I was hoping for a more fleshed-out and satisfying ending than what they received.

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