Fire & Water #251 – Firestorm on TV

Shag and Firestorm super-fan Corey Moosa discuss Firestorm's various incarnations on television! Super Friends, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, CW's The Flash & Legends of Tomorrow, and Justice League Action! The Heat is On!

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12 responses to “Fire & Water #251 – Firestorm on TV

  1. Thank you for this trip through Firestorm’s small screen appearances. As one who doesn’t have his pulse on the entertainment industry, the insights you provided into what was going on behind the scenes with Firestorm on Flash and Legends of Tomorrow was particularly interesting. It’s a shame that budget limitations constrained what they could do with the character, or how often he could even appear in all of his nuclear glory. I join you in hoping that DC will someday be able to do Firestorm justice in live action. Given the current state of the DC Extended Universe, his best bet might be to appear in a Killer Frost movie.

    Note to self: I must introduce my daughter to Justice League Action.

  2. The heat is on!

    Loved this episode! But I must confess, that’s mainly due to it featuring one of my favorite actors of all time, The Great Stephen Tobolowsky! I’d never in a million years thought he’d be perfect for Professor Stein, yet here we are!

    So this question is to both of you – was it always in your heads that the Firestorm personal looked/sounded like Ronnie? Or did you think he was mash-up of the two people that fused? Or a different looking person altogether? Discuss!

  3. What a fun discussion! I really need to give Justice League Action another shot. I know, I know, you can’t believe the JLU guy hasn’t watched the entire series over and over. Well, for one, Cartoon Network is horrible at promoting shows and keeping them on air, and I never could find the show when it aired. The few episodes I sampled online were fun…but maybe TOO fun? I thought some of the voice work was just a bit…cartoony (obvious folks like my beloved Kevin Conroy aside). I missed my Andrea Romano-style of non-cartoony voice casting. Having said that, I’m definitely going to seek out the Firestorm episodes and give them a shot.

    Sorry to hear Robbie Amell was so dismissive of Firestorm. That kind of paints a bad picture of the guy in my mind, honestly. Dude wouldn’t bleach his hair blonde to play Fred on those Scooby-Doo movies, ether. Sheesh! If Freddie Prinze, Jr. was willing to do it…


  4. Shag’s enthusiasm for talking to NOT ME this week was palpable. It made for a fun, if awkward, listen.

    Fun Fact: I know two people named Cory/Corey, and they are both awesome.

  5. I gotta say, I lost respect for Robbie Amell after hearing his comments about playing Firestorm. The guy was given what, for many of us, was a dream role, and he has to insult it (and, by extension, those of us who love Firestorm). That’s kind of hard to forgive.

  6. My first introduction to Firestorm was in Justice League of American #197, the final chapter of the JLA/JSA crossover fighting the Ultra-Humanite’s SSV. I was too young to truly read it, so I didn’t learn much about Firestorm (not even his name), but I was struck by how he looked (assuming he had fire powers akin to the Human Torch) and that he could sit cross-legged in mid-air.

    My next encounter with him was on the Super Friends show when a friend of mine started raving about this cool new character named Firestorm who could change objects into anything he wanted. When I finally saw an episode, I instantly remembered him from that JLA comic.

    From there, the Super Powers collection solidified my appreciation for the character. I, too, had the mail-away Clark Kent figure and used him as Professor Stein. Why on earth would you want to play with Clark Kent when you could make a cool character even cooler by giving him his disembodied counterpart? Plus, by that time, I had already read the issue of JLA where Professor Stein kicks Hector Hammond’s ass, and I like the idea of Stein being a secret weapon when battling Darkseid and his minions.

    Yes, at years eight or nine years old, I did think about it that deeply.

    As for Firestorm’s future in other media, I have to disagree with you guys about the using the Jason Rusch version being the best route to go. Diversity is good and important, but I think a greater opportunity can be found in the classic Ronnie/Stein combination. Keep Ronnie a teenager, but give him all the modern teenage baggage, including the angry white male angst so prevalent today. Ronnie could be a hot-headed jokester slightly leaning in the direction of a much darker path (something I see all the time as a high school teacher), and Professor Stein could be the older male authority figure trying to guide him in another direction while also dealing with his own stuff. I find that the more compelling story.

    Anyway, thanks for a great overview of Firestorm’s media appearances! I certainly hope to see the character adapted again sometime soon.

  7. I think they went with Jefferson Jackson instead of Jason Rusch on Legends of Tomorrow because Jefferson was created by Gerry Conway, and clearly the Arrowverse has bought the Gerry Conway Party Pak of characters. They’d only have to pay one creator fee for Firestorm by using Conway characters only.

    I agree that Legends took off in the second season. They really embraced the whole bonkers aspect of the premise, and that paid off well. (My favourite season is the second because it balances the bonkers with great villains.)

  8. Well done, gentlemen! It was great to hear you two gush over Firestorm in media. Corey was a delight to listen to and I could really tell the joy you two have the for the character, even when that character is portrayed exactly how you want him to be portrayed. I really have to try and track down Justice League Action as I’ve only ever heard good things about that show.

    I figure that if Rob got an Aquaman movie, and I got a Shazam movie, then you two definitely deserve a Firestorm movie! I suggest Gaten Matarazzo for Ronnie and Daniel Craig for Stein. Who is your dream casting for a Firestorm movie?

    Well done again and keep up the great work!

  9. F & W has been landing some bigshots as guests recently! Corey was terrific!
    I’m nowhere near the Firestorm fan you guys are, but I was there at the beginning so I do have an affection for the character. I realize that there have been many changes along the way, and that reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld’s line about loyalty to sports teams rather than players, “Now you’re just rooting for laundry!” If it’s not Ronnie and Prof. Stein, it’s not Firestorm. IMHO. However, if there are to be more re-boots, and extra-media appearances, I think that Ronnie ought to be a black man. I wish Gerry, Al, and DC could have done that in the 70s. It would be a good twist on casting a live Firestorm. There would be three persons needed: a middle aged Jewish man, and a young, preferably teen, Black man, and a solidly built man of any indeterminate ethnicity. There wouldn’t need to be ongoing overt conflict between Ronnie and Martin, but the constant realization of two different backgrounds and how each would seek a solution to the problem at hand.
    Thanks for this look at Firestorm live!

  10. Very late to the party, but it was worth listening to.

    I will throw my vote for a Firestorm movie, but it must be made by MCU alumni to mirror the way he first entered the DCU.

  11. Also very late to this party.

    Yeah, even Professor Stein harshed on Ronnie when he tried to flirt with Wonder Woman. Very much emphasizing that this is a kid among adults.

    Corey Moosa is right— in that particular Superfriends episode Prof. Stein was turned into a dinosoid. That’s why they couldn’t form Firestorm in that episode. It was a little confusing because Stein was hanging out with Batman, and so you had Olan Soule and Adam West voicing the characters together. Olan Soule *used* to voice Batman, and now he was voicing Martin Stein hanging out with Batman.

    On the Superfriends, it was pretty clear that Firestorm was wearing a headpiece that looked like flames. The network clearly didn’t want kids setting their heads on fire. This is unlike the long-advanced rumor that Marvel left the Human Torch out of the classic Fantastic Four series for similar reasons (it was really due to rights to the Human Torch predating Marvel).

    Bizarro Firestorm isn’t hysterical and am very unfunny.

    Mitzelplick forever. The only acceptable pronouncification.

    Corey’s observation about the Batman: Brave and the Bold version is spot on. Ronnie as the floating head was completely superfluous.

    The outfit is an inherent part of the Firestorm matrix, in my opinion. It’s not made out of anything, it comes with the matrix. That’s why every single version (except Elemental) gets some version of this costume.

    The thing about Batman: Brave and the Bold is that it’s all completely tongue-in-cheek. That in my view allows them to take liberties with the characters.

    Flash/Legends of Tomorrow could not possibly meet expectations. And I was skeptical anyway because I realized that the Firestorm FX would be cost prohibitive for a CW television series. And I think I was right— that’s why you barely saw Firestorm once he *was* Firestorm, and when he was there, you barely saw him use his powers.
    Ah. Corey and Shag are confirming this even as I type.

    Robbie Amell dissing everything about Firestorm… the less said the better, I think. Robbie Amell was a pillar of two of my favorite childhood remakes— Firestorm and the Tomorrow People— but both disappointed. I don’t think Robbie is the common denominator, but it’s a hell of a coincidence.

    Don’t forget Victor Garber played John Wilkes Booth in Assassins. I love Victor Garber.

    Stein was also my favorite part of Firestorm too— I guess because I was nerd (though eventually a music nerd rather than a science nerd). Gerry Conway was pretty smart to put a nerd character together with the main character if the main character was going to be a jock. Gerry understood who actually read comics.

    I didn’t know about Martin Stein’s current status in the comics. That’s why I don’t read comics anymore. That right there. (And making one of the few undisputedly Jewish characters a big universe-level villain? That doesn’t play off any “Jews run the world” tropes or anything, no…. /sarcasm.)

    Yeah, Legends of Tomorrow pretty much sucked in the first season, agreed. I’m just a barista!

    A third actor as the merged Firestorm? How about the guy who played Tuvix?

    Professor Stein drugging Jax sucked. Straight up. I like my Firestorm merger to be consensual, thank you.

    Five years of live-action Firestorm on TV… that’s a guy who needs his own comic book.

    I’m not at all familiar with Justice League Action. That’s probably a function of my own kiddo getting older….

    My first impression, despite what Shag and Corey say, is that Ronnie sounds a little too young. Keep in mind, in the comics Ronnie was old enough to realize the implications of getting mixed up with left-wing anti-nuclear terrorists (in order to impress a girl). But maybe that’s not kid friendly, really. That said, I’m going to have to check it out.

    Martin Stein being churlish about Michael Holt’s success? That’s almost as if to suggest that there are petty rivalries abound in academia or something. (Ask me how I know.)

    Alfred Molina being used just to mock Firestorm seems like a waste to me, but that’s apparently just me. I don’t share the enthusiasm.

    I tend to agree with Corey’s assessment of a big-screen incarnation. “Never gonna happen”…. but then, I thought we’d never see ANY live-action Firestorm, but we did. So who knows!

    14 is too young for Firestorm, in my opinion. Classic Firestorm was a teen, but *on the cusp of adulthood*. I’d say 17.

    I completely agree with Corey’s idea of the old Jewish guy and a young Black kid negotiating their cultural differences is a potent storyline for the character.

    How can you forget Slipknot? Shame on you Shag. It’s organic rope. Firestorm’s kryptonite.

    The heat is on! [musical sting]

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