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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 58

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 58 - Fire and Water and Wind!

This time around Rob and Shag welcome a special guest, author and comics reviewer Doug Zawisza! Doug has written for TwoMorrows Publishing, has been a Staff Reviewer for Comic Book Resources for the past five years, and has created numerous superhero blogs. Doug is also something of a Red Tornado expert, and together we discuss a classic Satellite Era JLA story, "The Origin of Red Tornado" from Justice League of America #192 & 193 (1981). We're gonna huff, and we're gonna puff, and we'll blow your iTunes in! 

Also, you can leave a comment on our sites:
THE AQUAMAN SHRINE - http://www.aquamanshrine.com
FIRESTORM FAN - http://firestormfan.com
FIRE AND WATER PODCAST TUMBLR - http://fireandwaterpodcast.tumblr.com

Have a question or comment? Drop us a line at firewaterpodcast@comcast.net

Be sure to check out Doug's work:
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!


Earth 2 Chris said...

That was fun. I recall buying issue #192 off the stands, and I think it was my first exposure to George Perez. I had missed his previous JLA issues, and had yet to find a NTT comic (although I remember the ads for issue #1). It made quite an impression on me. Unfortunately, I didn't get #193 until years and years later. That Aquaman cliffhanger really had me going! Imagine my surprise when he's taken out, like a chump, as Shag says, so quickly.

I'm not really getting why Shag was so down on the continuity in this one. The past had to be addressed to move Reddy forward. Morrow's past got severely muddled over the years due to sloppy editing, so that had to be addressed too. Like Doug, this kind of stuff fascinated me, and gave me an understanding of the width and breadth of the DCU. I didn't mind it at all then, or now!

It was a pleasure to hear Doug's thoughts on these issues. Big fan of your Hawkman Companion. You actually made that mess make sense. Well done.

One thing I always remember from issue #192...Perez (or maybe Beatty) spotted blacks on WW's shorts throughout. Instead of the standard blue, they were in shadow almost entirely throughout the issue. As a burgeoning artist it made me aware of how artists can interpret things differently. Perez's time on JLA was way too short. This is about as classic as you can get.


Russell said...

I'm also a huge fan of #192, and it's not because my letter was printed! ;-) #192 did everything right, I think; Shag may say there was too much talk but I'm with Rob and Doug: I loved the sense that these characters really were friends and co-workers. Art was great, story was great, cliff-hanger was great....

#193 was a huge disappointment. The opening scene was AWFUL. Morrow is standing right there, Aquaman; couldn't you move a little to your right and land ON him? Story over! Sigh....

WAY too many flashbacks! I'm with Shag here. Also, the whole Tornado Tyrant and Tornado Champion references were totally unclear! I'm with Shag here, too! (Of course, when I read the actual story a few years later it didn't make a whole lot of sense there, either!)

And I'm sorry to say this, Shag, but #193 was the issue where I *really* started hating Firestorm. Not only was his comment about Aquaman insensitive and stupid, it really showed that he didn't GET the whole point of supporting his team-mate through thick and thin. And then at the end, what? He's learned his lesson and he's gonna let Red Tornado stumble along not realizing that he is actually a sentient being. HUH?! How does that help Red, exactly? The moral of the story is not "keep your mouth shut." Stupid kid.

Also, something nobody has ever addressed: what did Firestorm tell the other JLAers when they woke up? When they asked him how he stopped the Tornado Tyrant, WTH did he say? "Uh....I...uh...killed him?"

I had bought all Firestorm comics and all his appearances in FLASH up until this point, but after this I gave up on him. He was a jerk. I didn't buy another new FIRESTORM until Jason Roush.

Anonymous said...

It was certainly nice having Doug join y'all, and his reactions to these comics were very nice to hear. It was sort of cool seeing them through the eyes of someone who first experienced it with the joy of youth. I really enjoyed hearing y'all talk about a classic JLA issue. I don't know if this is a common bit, but I hope so. I love this era of the comics, and I enjoy hearing y'all's thoughts.

These are both really cool issues, though I sort of agree with Shag about the continuity, but for different reasons. Shag is a bit too hard on these stories, I think, especially on the Flash, but I'll come back to that.

No, my problem with the continuity isn't something that can really be helped. I think they do a good job with it in these stories, but the trouble is that those earlier tales were just not that good. They were weird, awkward, and way too silly. Russell is right, the original Tornado Tyrant stories themselves are not particularly understandable or good. In fact, while stories in the later run of JLA are really awesome, I've often wondered how the book survived those early years, especially when stacked up against the stories the Avengers were in at the same time. The fact that I love the JLA way more than the Avengers (though I love them as well) makes this question all the more painful.

Anyway, yeah, Aquaman's awesome entrance is just squandered, and it is sadly indicative of the lack of respect and attention he got in these stories. What a disappointment.

Now, as for Shag's defense of Firestorm at the expense of the Flash, I've got to say, Russell is entirely right here. Note that Flash is "showing off," or perhaps being a tad cavalier with the rubix cube and all BEFORE anyone is severely injured. They're looking for Reddy, but Barry's not telling his friend's daughter that her father is dead or anything equally insensitive or terrible.

Yet, match-head does much, much, MUCH worse! Firestorm is basically standing in a room with a family and telling them, 'why are we wasting your time trying to save your brother? He's obviously dead!' I mean, that is UNBELIEVABLY insensitive and in downright appallingly bad taste. Flash should have given him a super-speed backhand, not just a talking-to! Is Barry also taking out his frustrations on Ronnie? Probably, but the kid deserved a a tongue-lashing, as what he said was remarkably stupid. He comes off as a jerk to his teammates.

I also agree with Russell about the ending of the story. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I really wish the writers during this era would follow through with things, just a little bit more. We didn't need ten issues for this story, but maybe just a few panels/pages more would have helped provide a better resolution.

Hmm, this Red Tornado (something of an under-represented character for whom I have a soft spot) mini-series Doug mentioned sounds really cool. Kurt Busiek writing DC books in the Bronze Age? Yes please! I'm going to have to track that down. Upon looking it up, it's Reddy vs. the Construct. That's very interesting!