Thursday, March 05, 2015

TBT: Superman 50th Anniversary

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The Superman 50th Anniversary Special aired on CBS in 1988 and was produced by, of all people, Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live.

As you might guess from that, the special takes a humorous approach to the life of the Man of Steel, using a mockumentary format and featuring a bizarre cross-section of people in different segments: Dana Carvey, Peter Boyle, John Byrne(!), Jimmy Breslin, Brian Doyle-Murray, Hal Holbrook, Kirk Alyn, future senator Al Franken, Jan Hooks, Noel Neill, Carol Leifer, Robert Smigel, and Lou Reed!

I remember watching this when it aired and enjoying it thoroughly, thinking it was pretty funny. The only problem I had with it was it was the only celebration of Superman's half-century mark outside of the world of comics, which seemed woefully inappropriate, and kind of only underscored the belief that comic books--and the characters that spring from them--aren't worthy of any sort of serious evaluation or reflection.

Having only seen it once, I didn't remember the Aqua-connection, but F.O.A.M.er Marc Tyler Nobleman did. There's a live-action scene featuring a big party for Superman, and several of his superhero pals show up:

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...its Aquaman, making his live-action debut! Wow!

Unfortunately, this is all we see of the Sea King, and there is no credit listed on the show's IMDB page, so we have no idea who played him. Considering the fact he has no lines and is basically just background, I think its safe to assume it was not an actor but a model who would fill out the suit. My inquiries regarding this to Michaels' company, Broadway Video (who produced it), were unsurprisingly not returned.

And as silly as this segment was (that's The Amazing Kreskin holding the bullhorn, so you can guess at the level of silliness this thing was operating at), I still think its kinda cool they made the effort, trident and all.

Thanks for the flashback and screencaps Marc!


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This post originally appeared on February 28, 2011.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Aquaman Figuras De Metal

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After running the Shrine for over eight years, I really did think that I had seen every piece of Aquaman merchandise there was. But here comes newest F.O.A.M. member John Shirley to prove me wrong, with these photos of an Aquaman "metal figurine" hailing from Argentina!

No matter how you slice it (not that you could, because it's metal), this is one weird item. The drawing of Aquaman looks, uh, a little less than professional grade, and what's with the stock art on the card? A Jim Aparo drawing from the cover to World's Finest #250, featuring The Creeper, no less? Was there a Creeper figurine for this line? If so, this has got to be the only time the character has appeared on a piece of licensed merch, pre-DC Direct. Someone needs to start a Creeper Shrine blog and figure this out.

John also sent another piece of heretofore unknown piece of Aqua-Merch, but we'll get to that another day. In the meantime, let's all welcome him to F.O.A.M., he sure as Neptune earned it!


Monday, March 02, 2015

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 118

sgTHE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST: Episode 118
The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 118 - Unite The Seven/Firestorm Debut

A HUGE week for both Aquaman and Firestorm! Shag and I discuss the first official photo of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, as well as the debut of Martin Stein and Ronny Raymond as Firestorm on THE FLASH!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?
THE AQUAMAN SHRINE - http://www.aquamanshrine.net
FIRESTORM FAN - http://firestormfan.com
THE FIRE & WATER TUMBLR - http://fireandwaterpodcast.tumblr.com
E-MAIL: firewaterpodcast@comcast.net

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades - http://instocktrades.com

Opening theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler. Closing music by Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge of The Bad Mamma Jammas! http://www.facebook.com/BadMammaJammas


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



Sunday, March 01, 2015

Aquaman Episode 20 - The Torp, The Magneto and The Claw

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Aquaman Episode 20 - "The Torp, The Magneto and The Claw" by Bob Haney

Aqualad and Mera are out on patrol, away from Atlantis, when they spot the dreaded Torpedo! Living up to his name, he attacks!


Aqualad tells Mera to take off and find Aquaman while he follows Torpedo. He is shocked to see that the pointy-headed bad guy is using an underwater junkyard as his home base. Even more surprising is that the Torpedo is not working alone--he has teamed up with two other metallic baddies, Magneto and The Claw!
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Mera gets a message out to Aquaman, but she is then captured (along with Aqualad) by The Claw, who stuffs them inside the jaws of an old bulldozer scoop, trapping them. Aquaman soon arrives, rescuing them, then turning his attention towards his old foes.

He first takes on Magneto, using his own powers against him. Aquaman summons some octopi, who grab some of the old junk and pile it on top of Magneto, whose magnetic powers trap him under tons of the stuff. The Claw then attacks Aquaman, who avoids the deathly pincers long enough to grab one of his arms, stretching it, and then letting is snap back, knocking The Claw out.

Finally Aquaman and Aqualad turn to Torpedo, leading him into a nearby cave. Torpedo thinks he has our heroes trapped, not realizing his powers don't work well in a closed environment. He dive bombs Aqualad, but Aquaman grabs him at the last second, causing Torpedo to veer off course violently:
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The Torpedo ends up heading further into the deep dark cave, out of control. As the sound of his voice trails off into nothing, we have reached...The End!


Last week's episode featured three Aqua-Villains teaming up, now another set of bad guys get the same idea. If I was Aquaman, I would worry about some sort of conspiracy going on. Of course, Torpedo, Magneto, and The Claw were a team from the original 1960s Aquaman comics, but here on the show it's presented as if they're teaming up for the first time.

There's a funny little bit of snark in this episode--it's Mera's fault that The Claw captures her and Aqualad. So when The Claw clamps down the bulldozer's jaws on them, you can hear Aqualad complain to Mera, "We're trapped--thanks to you!" Mee-ow! Another nice moment is the final scene of The Torpedo disappearing into the cave. The sound editor of the show faded his audio, so you really get the sense he's going further and further away. A simple, if a little chilling, moment.

By the way, what's with calling Torpedo "Torp" in the title of this episode? Are we really on a nickname basis with this guy now?


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Aquaman (Vol.8) #39 - April 2015

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Comics Weekend "Maelstrom Part 5: Pacifica" by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, Wayne Faucher, and Peter Pantazis.

Well, Aquaman and Mera have made it through the last portal and finally found who they were looking for, Atlanna: 

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Mera uses her powers to defend her and Arthur from the attack, giving him enough time to put a smack down on the hulking brute known as Gontu and get up close to Atlanna. He tells her the startling news that he is her son, and she doesn't take it well:

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Atlanna explains (she's going to do a lot of that this issue) that her husband Tom Curry and her first son are dead, at the hands of her second husband, so all this must be lies. She manages to knock Aquaman and Mera out, and has them dragged back to a temple inside a nearby mountain. Inside is a flaming beast known as Karaku, The Volcano God, who is about receive Aquaman and Mera's unconscious bodies as sacrifice! Great Neptune!


Aquaman and Mera wake up just as Gontu is about to throw them in ("Is there some sort of ceremony?" "No, you just jump in.") and paste him again, allowing them to escape alone with Atlanna's right hand man, er, woman, Lanu, who seems to believe that Arthur is who he says he is.

Lanu explains how she of the purple eyes and others like her got there, but before she can go on Atlanna finds them and attacks again. As they run, the maelstrom opens up again and inside it are Tula, Neol, and other members of Atlantean Royal Guard, ready to defend their king and queen. Aquaman tries to settle everyone down, but then Mera points out they've all got bigger problems, literally:

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...to be concluded!

Poor Aquaman, to come this far and then be treated like this by his Mom. Let's hope that these two can get this all settled next month, otherwise this Mother's Day is gonna be pretty damn awkward.

Paul Pelletier does another amazing art job here, really selling the fury of Atlanna's attacks. I've said it before, but in particular his rendering of Mera is wonderful, I hope that next issue is not the last we see of him drawing the character. Mera mini-series, anyone? Everyone?


Friday, February 27, 2015

Aquaman Cosplay

This is cosplayer (and newest member of F.O.A.M.Jason Mckay in one bad-ass Aquaman outfit! He wore this at the Dallas Comic Con a few weeks ago, with plans to try out other Aqua-costumes as the year rolls on. Looking forward to seeing those, Jason!

Check out more of his cosplay on Facebook, and welcome Jason to F.O.A.M.!



Thursday, February 26, 2015

TBT: Undersea Heroes: DC vs. Filmation

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This is the theme week that just won't die!

As a postscript to our Undersea Heroes Week, I talked about the Filmation character Manta, who briefly had his own show as part of the Tarzan and the Super 7 series.

DC Comics thought Manta was a little too close to Aquaman for comfort, so they actually filed a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement (the suit also involved Filmation's character Superstretch, who DC claimed was a lot like Plastic Man). I found a website that listed the suit and gave a few details about it. And that, I thought, was that.

But! Just a few days later, my pal and F.O.A.M. member Brian Dixon told me his girlfriend, who is a law student, and being such she has access to all sorts of legal databases. So he had her dig up the entire court decision, and send it to me! Wow!

I won't show the whole thing, since for a few pages it deals with rules of copyright law, but here are the parts directly concerning Aquaman:

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I find the line on the top right of page 1280 of particular interest: "The only reasonable inference is the 1967 [Aquaman] series failed to gain network exposure in 1978 and 1979 not because of any wrongdoing by defendant, but because the show was obsolete and hence undesirable to a network, or because plaintiff, recognizing this, had voluntarily withdrawn the show from the network market, or because ABC's decision to exhibit Aquaman segments nationally as part of Super Friends had saturated that market." As if!

It's also interesting that, as part of the suit, DC alleged that Aquaman's comic book sales fell because of Filmation's Manta and Moray show. You don't have to be Matt Murdock to know that's a real stretch.

Despite this, the court basically agreed with DC, saying that Manta and Superstretch were a little too close to Aquaman and Plastic Man, in turn leading to those characters being pulled from the air, and, as of this writing, never to be seen again in any sort of official way.


You know, occasionally I do worry that at some point I am going to run out of Aquaman ephemera to talk about, and the Shrine will have to stop, or reduce my daily schedule at the very least. I mean, we're not talking about Superman or Batman here.

Then I get stuff like this, an item so weird and unexpected, that it puts a stupid grin on my face and makes me think the Shrine will run forever.

Thanks Brian, and thank your girlfriend too for her intrepid research!



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This post originally appeared on September 7, 2009.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Matt Archibald, Aquaman Fan

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These photos come from newest F.O.A.M. member Matt Archibald--that's Matt in full Aquaman regalia, wearing a wedding band engraved with a trident, and his Aqua-themed Groom's Cake! Outrageous!

Thanks for sending these in Matt, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!


Monday, February 23, 2015

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 117

sgTHE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST: Episode 117
The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 117 - Aquaman #38/Fury of Firestorm (Classic) #18

This week Shag and I review AQUAMAN #38 by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, and Rain Beredo, part four of the "Maelstrom" saga. Next up, Tokamak attacks in THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #18 (October 1983) by Gerry Conway, George Tuska, Rodin Rodriguez, Carl Gafford, and Adam Kubert. Finally, we wrap up with your Listener Feedback!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?
THE AQUAMAN SHRINE - http://www.aquamanshrine.net
FIRESTORM FAN - http://firestormfan.com
THE FIRE & WATER TUMBLR - http://fireandwaterpodcast.tumblr.com
E-MAIL: firewaterpodcast@comcast.net

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades - http://instocktrades.com

Opening theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler. Closing music by Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge of The Bad Mamma Jammas! http://www.facebook.com/BadMammaJammas

ALL back episodes of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST available on The Fire and Water Podcast blog: http://fireandwaterpodcast.blogspot.com

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



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Aquaman Episode 19 - The Trio of Terror

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Aquaman Episode 19 - "The Trio of Terror" by Dennis Marks

Aquaman faces his greatest threat when three of his most(?) dangerous foes team-up--Black Manta, The Brain, and Vassa!


The Brain seems to be the, er, brains of this particular outfit, with the others executing his plan. The first part of it is Vassa, inside her giant mechanical whale, attacking Aquaman and Aqualad. With the help of her Mer-Men, Vassa tries to kidnap Aqualad.
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While Aquaman has to rescue Aqualad, he gets a call from Mera (where's she been?), who tells him that at the same time, Black Manta is attacking Atlantis by lobbing concentrated balls of fire at its dome!

After making sure Aqualad is fine, the Sea King heads to Atlantis, where he stops Manta. It is here that The Brain makes his move, knocking Aquaman out and dragging him inside his ship. He then imprisons him in a glass case, built to withstand even Aquaman's might:
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But The Brain didn't count on Aquaman's finny friends. He sends out a telepathic command for some of them to smash The Brain's ship, with Aqualad riding atop a whale and ripping a hole in its hull. With water flooding in, the ship's controls are short-circuited, allowing Aquaman to smash his way free.

The Brain's ship crashes into the ocean floor, and Aquaman and Aqualad laugh as Black Manta and Vassa turn tail and run. The End!


As you might imagine, this is one of my favorite episodes, simply because it's such fun seeing a bunch of Aqua-Villains team-up. Filmation never really bothered establishing any sort of continuity through the episodes, but here they are at least bringing characters back we've seen before. On top of the villains, Aquaman gets some good action stuff, from cold-cocking one of Vassa's Mer-Men to smashing The Brain's case. Yay Aquaman!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Unite The Seven: A Consideration

This image went live yesterday morning, just before I left for work so I really didn't have time to do anything other than post it. A number of people have asked me what I, aka the Shrine, think of it, so now that I've had some time here are a few random thoughts:

• Two hands, thank Neptune!

• All the promotional images that have been pushed out from WB in relation to BvS have been purposely drained of their color. Why I don't know, but people worrying that Aquaman will look like this in the movie should not be quite so concerned--unless Zack Snyder chooses to the shoot the whole movie in near black and white, rest assured Aquaman et al won't look quite this, er, washed out.

• At first glance, "Unite The Seven" seems to suggest the formation of the Justice League as a plot point. But F.O.A.M.er Travis Fowler proposed another idea which I think is just as, if not more, plausible--that the seven refers to the seven seas. After all, as far as we've heard, this film will feature Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg--that's six. Plus, this poster is aimed at the mass moviegoing public, not comic fans--the average moviegoer has no idea that the JLA mainly consists of seven iconic members, so the tagline is meaningless. Yet everyone has heard of the seven seas.

• Finally, about the overall look, since this of course is far from the Aquaman I grew up with and hoped we'd get (i.e., find some actor that looks like a Jim Aparo drawing). To me, what is really important is how they write the character--if the Aquaman seen in Batman v Superman is a powerful, brave hero, protector of all sea life, ruler of 3/4ths of the Earth, then that will be the Sea King I want to see. If they get that right, I won't care that he doesn't look like just like he does in the comics. If they don't get it right, and this live action Aquaman is just some big dumb Conan-type, then it won't matter what the hell he looks like anyway.

So even though us comic nerds are not good at this, we'll just have to wait and see.




Friday, February 20, 2015

Unite The Seven

...aaand here's our first official look at Jason Momoa as Aquaman from Batman v Superman, courtesy Zack Snyder's Twitter feed!



Random Panel of the Day #1172

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

TBT: The Aquaman Shrine in Toyfare

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The Classic Aquaman figure for the JLU line tops the "Marketwatch Top Ten" list in this month's issue of Toyfare (#154, out this week). When I first turned to this page, I was happy to see Arthur on the list at all, not to mention in first place. But when I read the word balloon the Toyfare staff added, I did a double, even a triple, take:
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Great Neptune! The Aquaman Shrine's been mentioned in Toyfare! How cool and how...well, yes, meta! I had no idea anyone at Toyfare knew about the Shrine, and no one told me this was coming until I read it in the magazine. I'm simply stunned!

Anyway, like I said, it's great that the Classic Aquaman figure--long time coming--is getting such attention. Its a beautiful figure, one many of us Aqua-Fans have been waiting for.

Thanks Toyfare!




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This post originally appeared on April 10, 2010.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Solicits: Spring and Summer

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Here are some exquisite Aquaman-centric cover solicits from DC, all coming this Spring and Summer: Convergence: Justice League of America #s 1 and 2, Convergence: Aquaman #2, and Justice League of America #1!


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