Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Amazing Adventures of Superman!: Bubble Trouble!

There's a new series of chapter books starring The Man of Steel called The Amazing Adventures of Superman!, produced by Picture Window Books, a division of Capstone Publishing. As many of you know, Capstone has been responsible for a great many books featuring DC heroes, including Aquaman!

As you can see above, this installment of the series features the Sea King in team-up action with Superman. The story starts in Metropolis, when mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent spots giant bubbles floating over the city! Changing into Superman to investigate, he learns this yet another nefarious plot by the villainous Black Manta.

Manta's bubbles are even picking up various creatures of the sea, so when Superman gets involved, he sees that his old pal Aquaman is already on the case! Together, they team-up to defeat Manta, with everything returned to normal.

"Bubble Trouble!" is written by Benjamin Bird, with art by Tim Levins, whose clean style is perfect for this book, reminiscent of the classic JLU "Timm-verse."

There are a number of books in this series, many of them featuring guest appearances by other members of the DCU. Capstone more than most licensors seem to be devoted to giving Aquaman a spotlight, making them very popular here on the Shrine! If you have kids (or heck, even if you don't), make sure you pick this book up!

Post Script: Yes, the Shrine is still officially on vacation. But since Capstone was nice enough to send me a copy of this (and a few other books), I thought the least I could do was read and review it in a timely manner. Thanks Capstone!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Who's Who: Update '87 Volume 3

sgThe Fire and Water Podcast Presents: WHO'S WHO UPDATE '87: VOLUME 3

It's the third titanic issue of WHO'S WHO UPDATE '87! Shag and I take a look at new and updated characters such as the Green Lantern Corps, Infinity Inc., John Constantine, Justice League, Kite-Man, Lady Blackhawk, Lex Luthor, and more! We wrap up with your Listener Feedback!

Be sure to check out our Tumblr site for a few pages from this Who's Who issue:!

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Our fantastic opening and closing themes by Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Aquaman Shrine Announcement

Starting today, the Shrine is going to take a bit of a vacation--our first in almost nine years of continuous posting on all things orange and green. Not exactly sure for how long, but in the meantime the Twitter feed will continue as will The Fire and Water Podcast, so if you haven't checked either of those ventures out, please do. 

Semper Aqua!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 141

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 141 - Aquaman #43/Fury of Firestorm (Classic) #23

Shag and me, back on the same podcast! This week we take a look at "Gospel of Destruction" from AQUAMAN #43 by Cullen Bunn, Trevor McCarthy, Jesus Marino, and Guy Major, followed by "Byte" from THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #23 (May 1984) by Gerry and Carla Conway, Rafael Kayanan, Rodin Rodriguez, Carl Gafford, and Andy Kubert. Including the very first comic appearance of Felicity Smoak! Plus your Listener Feedback!

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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!

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Aquaman Balloon Animal

The King of the Seven Seas can take on many foes, but must be careful of his own pointy trident!

Spotted at the 2015 Denver Comicon by Kevin Elman!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Aquaman Art Gallery: Becky Cloonan

Another great Aqua-Sketch from the collection of Kevin Elman, this time from superb artist Becky Cloonan! I really love Ms. Cloonan's work--it was pretty much the only thing I liked when it came to Convergence--and I think this piece is another winner. I hope it's not the last time we get to see her draw the Sea King!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dragon*Con 2015

DragonCon 2015 Report by Shrine Convention Correspondents Darrin and Ruth Sutherland

Event: DragonCon (
Location: Atlanta, GA
Dates: September 4-7, 2015
Venue: Downtown Atlanta hotels including the Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, and Weston, plus the AmericasMart
Price: Tiered. Starts @ $75 if purchased months in advance. Increases overtime to $150 at the door
Years: Began in 1987
Attendance: 65,000+
Type: Multimedia Convention
Guests: 300+ guests including film and TV actors, comic writers and artists, musicians, and novelists.

Overview: Labor Day weekend each year means it's time for DragonCon in Atlanta, GA. While the convention officially runs four days from Friday - Monday, thousands of attendees arrive on Thursday to get registration out of the way and get the convention off to an early start.

DragonCon is divided into various programming tracks including Comics, Sci-Fi Classics, Star TrekStar WarsMiddle Earth, Fantasy Literature, Anime, Horror, Steampunk, Podcasting, and Video Gaming. Attendees can choose to focus on a single track such as Comics or they can choose to attend events from a variety of tracks. Either way, there are always too many events going on around the clock at DragonCon to take in everything.

Events this year included 50th anniversary celebrations for both The Wild Wild West and Lost in Space. Kier Dullea and Gary Lockwood were on hand to talk about the making of2001: A Space Odyssey. Carroll Spinney, Steve Whitmire, and other puppeteers held panels throughout the weekend about the Muppets. Following up on Terry Gilliam's two previous appearances, this year fans were treated to fellow Monty Python alum Terry Jones who answered questions and performed classic skits with audience volunteers.

Television shows based on comics were well represented with Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Matt Nabel, and John Barrowman from Arrow along with Robbie Amell and Danielle Panabaker from The Flash. Comic fans could also attend panels featuring George Perez and Andy Runton's Owly while Peter David and Jim Steranko were on hand in Artist Alley for autographs.

Many other films and television shows were represented by guests including Dean O'Gorman, Peter Hambleton, and Stephen Hunter from The Hobbit, Karen Gillan from Doctor Who, Richard Hatch and Terry Carter from Battlestar Galactica, virtually the entire cast of Lost Girl, and Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, and John Noble from Sleepy Hollow, which had been filmed in our home state of North Carolina during its first two seasons, but is now filmed in Atlanta.

While the panels generally end about 11:00 PM each day, the con doesn’t stop that early. In the evenings cosplayers pack the lobbies of each of the main hotels for fun conversations and lots of photo opportunities well into the night. As the con gets larger each year, finding space to snap a good photo becomes ever more challenging. However, it's worth the effort with great and varied costumes including the traditional BatmanSupermanWonder WomanSpiderman, and Captain America, which this year were joined by many iterations of Agent Carter and Constantine.

Aquaman and Mera were both on hand, though in smaller numbers than last year. Sadly a problem with our camera left the section of photos that included our beloved hero and heroine unusable.

Cosplay doesn't end with comics however. Sci-Fi in film and television was well represented with many Star Wars and Star Trek costumes and a great group cosplaying as the entire crew on Farscape. There were Anime costumes based on the works of Hayao Miyazaki and dozens of video game costumes. Even British comedies such as The Hitchhikers Guide to the GalaxyThe IT Crowd, and even Absolutely Fabulous were on hand.

A unique feature of DragonCon is the Saturday morning parade when the city closes the streets of downtown Atlanta for one of the largest parades on the east coast. News outlets report more than 75,000 spectators turn out to watch the nearly two-hour event featuring more than 3,000 participants in cosplay. This year the city had closed down two additional city blocks to accommodate the increasing number of spectators.

A highlight of our weekend was the opportunity to meet Laurie Sutton, a fellow Aquaman fan and long time follower of the Aquaman Shrine. She is a writer and former editor at DC, who has worked with Mike Grell, Ron Randall, and many others. We enjoyed learning about how she got her first job in the comics industry, what it was like to work at the Comics Code Authority, and how exacting proof reading comics can be. She currently writes the "You Choose" series of children's books featuring several DC characters as well as Scooby-Doo. The books are perfect for young readers, so keep them in mind for presents as Christmas approaches.

Another highlight was meeting George Perez, who was very enthusiastic and happy to meet his fans. We took two books for him to autograph, and he drew an original sketch in each. In the Wonder Woman Omnibus he drew an elaborate profile of Diana racing into action. We asked for something unique in our copy of The Art of George Perez and he drew a sketch of Mercy St. Clair from our favorite sci-fi series Trekker by Ron Randall. Both pieces were stunning and it was great to meet someone who appreciates his fans so much.

We had hoped to once again meet up with the Irredeemable Shagg during the weekend, as we did last year, but sadly our schedules never matched up. Hopefully we can rectify that next year.

And so DragonCon comes to an end for another year, but that's a good thing as our wallets need time to recover!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 140

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 140 - Deadman in "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot"

Rob welcomes guest Anj to discuss the classic "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot", by Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano, starring Deadman and a special guest star from CHRISTMAS WITH THE SUPERHEROES #2!

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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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Friday, September 11, 2015

Batman/Superman #24

Comics Wednesday "Truth Hurts" by Grek Pak, Ardian Syaf, Yildiray Cinar, and Howard Porter.

Aquaman's first guest appearance in his post-Convergence garb kicks off in Gotham Harbor, with the Sea King beating the snot out whatever passes for Superman these days:

We then flash back (of course we do) to ten minutes earlier, with Batman and Lucius Fox attempting to stop an oil refinery from exploding. Meanwhile, Superman is trying to stop the subterranean army from approaching. Aquaman gets involved, which leads to the Man of Steel's disguise as an Atlantean being revealed. Another Atlantean, the short-tempered Ukur, plans to kill the newly-depowered Superman quickly. Aquaman stops him, commands Ukur to deal with the refinery, taking the matter with Superman in his own hands:

Superman takes a few punches, but still stands. He then takes off, leaping onto the refinery. The big McGuffin powering it is called The Sun, and Superman fights Ukur off it, and along with Batman rides it into the sky, hopefully where it will explode away from people.

Suddenly a massive ship flies back, grabs The Sun with some mechanical tentacles, shaking the formerly World's Finest Team off it. Turns out the whole thing was a plot from a group called The Dark Commands to grab the thing in the first place:

As Aquaman and Ukur shake hands, Batman and Superman squabble, ending with the Dark Knight Detective warning Superman to "Stay out of Gotham." Some things never change.

Not having read this series before, I had not a clue what was going on, nor am I up to date with Superman and Batman's new look(s). So I did my best to follow along, enjoying the site of Aquaman head butting the Man of Steel and surviving. He's still a giant hothead, so when he lectures Ukur about listening, I feel like the next panel really should have been Ukur giving his king a Liz Lemon-size eye roll.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

DC Super Heroes Origami

Now you can practice the ancient, delicate art of origami while dispensing justice at the same time! The artist credited is named Min Sung Ku, and it looks like they did a great job, I love that clean, crisp, happy Aquaman! Head over to Amazon and pick yourself up a copy!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Desmond Toussaint, Aquaman Fan!

This handsome, dapper fellow is Desmond Toussaint, son of die-hard Aqua-Fan Alexis Toussaint, who made this costume herself! Hey Alexis, can you make one in XL?

Thanks so much for the pics, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!

Monday, September 07, 2015

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 139

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 139 - Thrillkiller: Batgirl and Robin

With me taking the week off, Shag welcomes back Stella to discuss the classic Elseworlds story, THRILLKILLER by Howard Chaykin and Dan Brereton! It's Barbara Gordon's story, but Bruce Wayne seems to be taking over! We discuss!

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Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

Friday, September 04, 2015

Aquaman Art Gallery: Tony Harris

This amazing Aqua-Sketch by Tony Harris is just one of (literally) dozens of sketches from the collection of Kevin Elman, who has been filling books of Aquaman art for years. Seriously, I could open a branch Shrine of just Kevin's collection! Beautiful piece!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Ballad of the Yellow Glove: All-Star Squadron #15

Aquaman's gloves mysteriously turn yellow while teaming up with the JSA and the, er, ASS in All-Star Squadron #15!

Maybe because he was dealing with his Earth-2 heroes, Arthur thought he'd make them feel more comfortable by donning the gloves of his parallel Earth counterpart? Yeah, that's it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Solicit: Aquaman #46

As if Aquaman isn't having enough trouble, Ocean Master returns and as you can see it's not a happy family reunion.

This cover to Aquaman #46 is by Neil Edwards, and the issue goes on sale Nov. 25, 2015!

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 138

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 138 - Blackhawk

With Shag still on his world tour, I welcome frequent guest Michael Bailey to talk about one of our favorite runs, BLACKHAWK by Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle! Part 1 of a Hawkaaa-rific podcast crossover!

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This episode brought to you by InStockTrades -

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

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave! Hawkaaaaaaa!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Aquaman (Vol.8) #43

Comics Wednesday "Gospel of Destruction" by Cullen Bunn, Trevor McCarthy, Jesus Marino, and Guy Major.

This opens with Aquaman talking to Mera, who doesn't take too well to being left in charge of Atlantis. In fact, she blasts her beau with her hard water powers, calling him a traitor!

When then flash forward to the present, with Aquaman, Garth, and the rest of the Atlantean wrecking crew temporarily ceasing their fighting to band together and take on the giant creature which just moments before popped out of the ground!

In another flashback, Aquaman goes to visit a temple housing Poseidon himself, who explains who these other "invaders" are, and deigns to prepare the King of the Sea for the fight by bestowing him some new powers, which we have seen on display in the previous issues.

Back to the present, and Aquaman and the gang fight off the giant. They call a momentary truce, and unbeknownst to Arthur, two people of great interest are watching the proceedings: Mera...and her twin sister Siren!

...To be continued!

As anyone who reads this site knows, I am bored to death of Atlantean jibber-jabber, and this issue has too much (read: any) of it. The place is just nothing but headaches for poor Aquaman, so, royal duty or no, if I was Arthur I would just hole up in Amnesty Bay with my super-hot redhead girlfriend and dog Salty and refuse to answer Vulko's calls. But I guess that would make me a lousy superhero.

I still really enjoy Trevor McCarthy's work, and like last month I'm disappointed he's not doing the whole book. If he has such difficulty doing a monthly book, I vote for doing a "Classic Aquaman" fill-in month (someone call Ramona Fradon, or Ivan Reis, or Paul Pelletier, or...) giving McCarthy time to catch up so he can deliver all twenty pages when the story resumes.

Speaking of the story, the addition of Siren is a welcome twist, and solves a lot of story problems if Cullen Bunn chooses to go that route. I'm still dubious about this whole post-New 52 revamp, but I feel like this installment was a lap in the right direction.

For Further Reading:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Does Hallmark Hate Aquaman? extraordinaire Russell Burbage had this series of experiences and came to a few conclusions about Aquaman and merchandising. Take it away, Russell!

I went by a Hallmark store today to buy a card for a buddy's wedding. While I was there I noticed that their Itty Bitty stuffed toys were well represented by DC: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and...the Flash. Hmph. Their Christmas ornaments were likewise Wonder Woman and Batman (again?). If they ever make a Keepsake ornament of Aquaman I would be all over that like white on rice. Oh, well.

Then they had some illustrated story-books that featured...Batman. Although I have found a Super Friends book there before and actually bought it for my friend's son, it's no longer available. Hmmph. Birthday cards feature Batman, Superman, the Flash, and Green Lantern for the boys, and Wonder Woman was there for the ladies. Hmmph.

As I was walking out, my eagle-eyes spotted the great orange & green uniform...! I grabbed up the attached sticker pad, and then thumbed through it. Although Aquaman is clearly on the cover...he is not one of the stickers. Instead, his place is taken by--Shazam!?! Green Arrow!?! (okay, he's on TV, so I'll give him a pass). Firestorm!?! Martian Manhunter!!??!!

The second page features some bad guys, including...Black Manta!?! What the what...?!? Aquaman isn't featured, but his arch enemy is!?! Did Disney make this?!? Aquaman is featured on the Connect-the-dots page, in the exact same pose as on the cover. Lord have mercy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

1977 Super DC Calendar

Here's something I didn't even know existed, an alternate version of Jim Aparo's striking Aquaman illustration for the 1977 Super DC Calendar! It's currently on hold as part of an online auction, which Ilke Hincer was kind enough to send the Shrine's way.

Judging by the final version seen below, I assume that it was redone because in the above piece, the figures are so small and less impactful. If that was the case, you can see DC ultimately made the right choice. Still, any "new" Jim Aparo Aquaman art is worth seeing, thanks Ilke!

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 137

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 137 - Aquaman/Firestorm Short Subjects

This week Shag and I take a look at some classic Aquaman and Firestorm adventures! First up, "The Pirate Who Plundered Atlantis" by Paul Levitz, David Michelinie, and Jim Aparo, from ADVENTURE COMICS #441 (Oct. 1975). That's followed by "The Hyena Laughs Last" by Gerry Conway, George Perez, Bob Smith, John Costanza, and Lynn Gelfer, from THE FLASH #291 (Nov. 1980) and "The Hostages of Precinct 13", by Conway, Perez, Smith, Gelfer, and Ben Oda, from THE FLASH #292 (Dec. 1980)!

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This episode brought to you by InStockTrades -

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

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Aquaman Underoos

By popular demand, Underoos are back baby, in "adult" sizes! Festooned with glorious JLGL (PBHN) art on the package, you now can go to sleep dressed just like Aquaman is in the comics--everyone recognizes that big black A he's had over his heart lo the past seven decades! I'm kidding of course, but given Aquaman's current costume, there is a certain amount of resemblance seen here. *Ahem*

Head over to to see all the new sizes and characters available!

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