A word from today’s guest strip’s authoron August 2, 2010 at 12:01 am
Hi there, everyone! I’m Matt, sometimes known as Monzo. I don’t have a comic strip or anything to link to, but I thought I’d take the time to write to everyone reading this.
Who is Firestorm, the Nuclear Man? He hit the American comic book scene in 1978, co-created by industry stalwarts Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom. They introduced him as a super-powered being born out of a nuclear accident that fused a high school jock (Ronnie Raymond) and an atomic physicist (Martin Stein) at the molecular level; the accident furthermore granted them matter transmuting powers and the ability to split into their original forms. Being negative four at the time, it didn’t really catch my interest, but as it happens the series only lasted five issues anyway.
But that was not the end of Firestorm! He scored himself a gig on the Justice League of America (Conway was writing that too), which, over the course of a few years, both landed him a new ongoing series and raised his profile enough to get him a boot-clad foot into the door of Hanna-Barbera’s Super Friends/Super Powers program. This is where I came in.
I can’t pin down what made me like Firestorm on Super Powers – heck, I’m not even sure how much of the show I originally saw. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see the first season that featured him at all, which cuts out half of his appearances! But he somehow wedged himself in my preschool-age brain, aided I’m sure by my owning his Kenner Super Powers Collection figure.
Years later, when my fondness for the character caused me to pick up back issues of Firestorm from comic store quarter bins… I dunno. I just couldn’t make a connection; what I read didn’t grab me, and so I never tried collecting the rest of his series when I got more “seriously” into comics. I don’t want to say “the comics didn’t live up to my memories of Super Friends”, because that feels, uh, much harsher than I intend… but it basically sizes up what happened for me. I still dig Firestorm in general, but the love only holds up in plastic (DC Universe Classics Firestorm, hurray!) or animation (Batman: Brave and the Bold Firestorm, double hurray!). Such is the way of life and media tie-ins.
Oh, and just to get this out of the way – I’m aware that the Canada-tastic MightyGodKing blog did an article on Firestorm’s incredibly overmatched villains a few years back). Nobody’s going to believe this, but I didn’t find out about the article – or, to be honest, the blog itself – until after I wrote up this strip and was looking for artistic reference for Dave. Logically, this parallel development can only mean one thing: the mediocrity of Firestorm’s villains simply transcends all rational human thought.
Of course, that still puts them one up on ‘60s Daredevil villains…