High Five! Comics

Posts Tagged ‘Firestorm

For dubbing our San Diego condo “Hive Five Headquarters,” we sure were quiet during the actual convention. Surely, the other blogs were covering all of the actual news stuff (OMG EYE-STABS) while we were out, you know, having fun and stuff. But we wouldn’t be much of a comic blog if we didn’t talk about San Diego Comic-Con itself, so here’s the day-by-day goings on through the eyes of us High Fivers.

Wednesday, July 21

Not much really goes on at Preview Night, but it’s always nice to get the lay of the land. Early access to the floor and first pick of whatever is for sale is cool and all, but that’s more or less all that happens. The highlight of Preview Night (for me) was definitely getting Bill Willingham to sign my copies of Ironwood #7-10 (pfft, don’t judge me). He was shocked when I pulled them out of their bags, and for a minute I thought the whole exchange was going to be super-awkward, but then he jovially asked for our I.D. cards and starting sharing some insider information with us, like how his former studio mates’ mugs are hidden in the cover art of issue #10.

Maggie’s Preview Night highlight? Shaking Michael Dorn’s hand and mumbling “Thank you,” like a big dumb fangirl.

Aside from that, I managed to pick up Power Man and Iron Fist #50, Flash Volume 1 #289 (first Firestorm back-up, the first thing George Pérez ever did professionally) and DC Comics Presents #17 (Superman and Firestorm team-up, a huge hole in my Ronnie Raymond collection). Hell yes.

Thursday, July 22

All the other blogs are putting in their two cents about this, so we might as well follow suit. Yes, Westboro Baptist Church protested Comic-Con and it’s “worship of false idols.” While High Five! unilaterally agreed with Warren Ellis’ plan of “ignore, ignore, ignore,” some attendees opted to counter-protest. Whatever, go for it. My biggest problem was that while most of the signs mocked religious intolerance (I did laugh at “the Cylons destroyed the 12 Colonies for your sins” and Maggie loved the “Kill All Humans!” sign wielded by a Bender),  some of the signs in the counter-protest (namely “Fuck God”) were just as offensive as Westboro’s signs, more or less giving Phelps and crew exactly what they wanted. Oops.

Inside the convention center, we got Hava all badged up and headed straight for the “BOOM! Irredeemable/Incorruptible” panel. Highlights included the potential for character-specific one-shot tie-ins and listening to Waid and Peter Krause discuss their writing process. Oh, and the Irreedemable perfumes by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (friends of Hava’s, plug plug plug).

Later we hit up the “Mondo Marvel” and “DC Comics 75th Anniversary” panels. Holy shit, I could listen to Dennis O’Neil (Green Lantern/Green Arrow!) and Jerry Robinson (creator of Alfred, Robin, and the freakin’ Joker!) talk all day. Fun Fact: According to Jerry Robinson, Batman’s sidekick was NOT named after the bird, but after Robinson’s own childhood nickname.

Maggie and Hava tried to hit up the “Geek Girls Exist” panel but the place was well over capacity and half-full of dudes. Bummer! Still, rather than pout, the girls gave up getting in and held their own Geek Girls panel at a bar on Fifth Street, because this is San Diego Comic-Con, and you can always find something awesome to do when your original plan falls apart. Big congratulations to the Geek Girls’ Network for hosting a massively successful panel!

Later on, Maggie went over to w00tstock and met Wil Wheaton and Aaron Douglas and Matt Fraction while Hava, Jon, and I went to the BOOM! Studios’ Fifth Anniversary Drink-Up and spent upwards of an hour and a half chatting up Peter Krause. Hell of a way to end a night.

Friday, July 23

Friday was Room 6DCE day. After sitting through the “Marvel Video Games” panel (and, I’ll admit, “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” looks pretty rad), the barrage of DC panels began.

First up was “Spotlight on Grant Morrison” and, my god, that was entertaining. Between his bajillion impressions, he announced the release of an Absolute We3 and revealed that Seaguy: Eternal will be coming sooner rather than later.

Next up was the “Batman: The Return” panel. The stage was packed, with Grant Morrison, Bryan Q. Miller, Gail Simone, Paul Dini, Paul Cornell, Judd Winick, Scott Snyder, Frazer Irving, David Finch, Dustin Nguyen, and Mike Marts (I probably forgot somebody). Biggest news was that Morrison will be replaced by Peter Tomasi on Batman and Robin while Morrison starts a new Batman team-up book called Batman Inc. Paul Cornell will also write Knight and Squire (which we’re all pretty psyched for) and a Batman Beyond ongoing was hinted at. Also, the whole panel kept joking about how Dick Grayson is about to get “a bullet in the brain” meaning that I’m pretty sure Jon and I were right (at least about something).

Next was the “Superman: Man of Tomorrow” panel with J. Michael Straczynski, Jeff Lemire, Sterling Gates, Shane Davis, and Paul Cornell. Straczynski discussed his upcoming run on the “Grounded” storyline in Superman (nothing we didn’t already know) and the Superman: Earth One graphic novel he’s writing, with art by Shane Davis. Cornell revealed that Neil Gaiman’s Death will be a major character in Action Comics #894. The biggest news (to us, at least) was that the Phantom Stranger would be a major character in an upcoming Superboy book by Jeff Lemire. YES.

The last panel of the day was “DC Nation.” Dan DiDio, Straczynski, Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, and Jim Lee (flanked by fans in costumes, including a Darkseid who stayed frighteningly in-character) revealed a few future projects, but nothing too crazy. Mostly that Geoff Johns will write a book starring Bart Allen and the other speedsters called Flash: Speed Force, that he’s writing a Dex-Starr Valentine’s Day special, and that he has an upcoming secret project with Grant Morrison.

On the way out, after nearly six hours parked in 6DCE, we ran into fellow blogger Kelson from Speed Force. Who’d have thought people from the internet have, like, faces and stuff!

Maggie and Hava headed over to the Geek Girls Tweet-Up while Jon and I went to Tweet House Party on the U.S.S. Midway and watched William Shatner, Brent Spiner, and LeVar Burton promote a website they knew nothing about and then run away to a VIP area. At least we got to be serenaded by Alice Cooper’s son’s band (Oh God. No).

Saturday, July 24

By this point, we were exhausted, and we still needed to get a ton of shopping done. The only panel we attended on Saturday was “Avatar Press and Max Brooks” where they talked endlessly about Crossed and Lady Death before casually mentioning that Warren Ellis is working on a second volume to Ignition City and that Supergod #4 is fiiiiinally ready to ship next Wednesday. While there wasn’t much news on the Ellis at Avatar front, listening to Max Brooks riff for 45 minutes was a hoot. He even touched on inter-fandom animosity, saying, “Everyone gets to have something, even teenage girls who are afraid of penises. Suck my blood, but don’t touch my tits!”

The rest of the day was dedicated to buying books and gathering sketches (we’ll share those in a separate post) and autographs. Jon managed to track down a sweet copy of October 1976’s Captain Britain #1 (complete with mask) and Maggie got June 1967’s Strange Adventures #201 (featuring an old Animal Man story that’s screaming for the Silver Age Recap treatment).

The most awesome thing of all, however, was talking extensively with Frazer Irving (who drew a three-second Batman for Maggie even though he wasn’t supposed to) and getting a bunch of books signed by Grant Morrison. Oh, and this.

We win at everything.

Sunday, July 25

I guess Hall H had nothing going on because the Exhibit Hall was fucking packed. Everybody walking past the immense line to get signatures and sketches from Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Francis Manapul asked what the deal was and then walked away, unimpressed by some of the best artists in the business.

Maggie gathered 3 out of 4 signatures for her copy of 52 #1 last weekend, with a bit of Con luck on Sunday. We were talking with Greg Rucka at the Oni Booth about some of his upcoming books, including the next issue of Stumptown and a new Queen & Country novel.  As Rucka signed some comics for Maggie, up walked Geoff Johns. Rucka signed 52, then turned around and handed it to Johns for her. The two writers shared an “Aw! Remember the good old days!?” moment, and Maggie did a fist pump because in case you didn’t know, now that Johns is running half the DCU, his signing lines are enormous.

The only panel we attended on Sunday was the “DC Town Hall Meeting.” Dan DiDio and Jim Lee really, really wanted to know what we thought of digital comics. (Answer: We like them, but don’t you dare fuck with our weekly books.) Also, Maggie may have terrfied poor Mr. DiDio. He brought it on himself though, when he asked (albeit jokingly) if she didn’t mean to be at a Harry Potter panel instead.  Sorry, DiDio. You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

We’ve got more San Diego news in store, including some reviews and the High Five! Sketchbook, San Diego edition. Stay tuned!

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Day two of LBCC! Lots of important news was broken, lots of crazy moments were had, lots of drinks were downed. Let’s just effin’ get to it!

HIGHLIGHTS, Y’ALL:

  • Jon and Maggie both met Stan Lee and got autographs (on the Amazing Spider-Man #41 and #71!  Spidey vs. Quicksilver #71 went off to CGC to get slabbed and graded, 1st Appearance of Rhino #41 was a little beat up and is now proudly on display in their living room)!
  • Rob figured out what his holy grail of comics is and bought Firestorm the Nuclear Man #1-4, went to the Boom! Studios Party, and traded Mark Waid his copy of #2 (with weird reader survey in it) for Waid’s personal copy of both #2 and #5! That’s a whole run! (UPDATE: Ten days later, Rob’s got the full Firestorm run, and Mr. Waid posts scans of the weird survey to his blog.)
  • High Five! contributor Hava got her convention cherry popped and saw her comic bro-crush, Geoff Johns!
  • At DC Nation, they announced that Johns’ new Flash run will have a Wally West co-feature, that Dan DiDio and Phillip Tan are taking over the Outsiders, and that the new Speedster is a girl (something Maggie has desperately wanted to happen)!
  • Aforementioned Boom! Studios Party was tame, but fun! So much Sam Adams October Fest is in Rob’s belly!

HIGH FIVES FIVED HIGHLY:

  • Geoff Johns (again)

Yeah, so we only high fived one dude who we also happened to high five yesterday. To be fair, we were busy being all awesome and hobnobbing with people whose books we love. Plus, Jon and Maggie had non-con business to attend to and Rob had to show Hava the ropes! Rob is tired of typing in the third person! Picture time!

Maggie and the Littlest Deadpool.

Maggie and the Littlest Deadpool.

Maggie & The Man signing Spider-Man #41, 1st appearance of Rhino!

Maggie & The Man signing Spider-Man #41, 1st appearance of Rhino!

Lookit the pretty!

Lookit the pretty!

Day one of Long Beach Comic Con was short and sweet (to say the least). For only technically being open for four hours today, there was a crazy amount of shit that we managed to accomplish.

HIGHLIGHTS, Y’ALL:

  • Both Los Angeles and Long Beach declaring October 2, 2009 to be Stan Lee Day (and he thought he “was just here to cut a goddamn ribbon”)!
  • Having Geoff Johns sign the Firestorm variant for Blackest Night #3 which, apparently, he never saw before!
  • Maggie holding her holy grail of comics, the Flash #123!
  • Having a ridiculously long conversation with J.J. Kirby about Kilowog and the X-Babies (complete with a sketch of Baby Beast)!
  • Scoring a gigantic free sketch of Lieam from Mouse Guard by David Petersen!
  • Picking up a copy of Wonder Woman #214 (Flash & Wonder Woman team up!) and getting it signed by artist Drew Johnson (who also agreed to an interview)!
  • Not drowning in a sea of poor hygiene and actually being able to walk from here to there (take that, SDCC)!

HIGH FIVES FIVED HIGHLY:

  • Geoff Johns
  • Mark Waid
  • J.J. Kirby

As I said, cut us some slack for not doing that much. It was the short day! But here’s hoping tonight’s Atomic Comics karaoke party (even a hot Wonder Woman couldn’t talk too many nerds into getting on stage with a live band, bless them) doesn’t hold a candle to tomorrow’s Boom! Studios shindig. Oh, tomorrow’s going to be one full fucking day. At least it’s close enough to home that I can actually spend tonight in my own bed (instead of the backseat of a Yaris, which is what I did at SDCC this year).

Jeph Loeb reads the Proclamation of Stan Lee Day!

Jeph Loeb reads the Proclamation of Stan Lee Day!

"These things are a lethal weapon!"

"These things are a lethal weapon!"

Not gonna lie, I thought she might make a run for it.

Not gonna lie, I thought she might make a run for it.

Please, please don't photoshop Geoff Johns.

Please, please don't photoshop Geoff Johns.

We really, really need to know who drew this.

We really, really need to know who drew this.

That’s all for today High Fivers! We’ll be back tomorrow with reports from DC Nation and 50 Questions with Mark Waid! If you’re in the LA/OC area, admission is only $25 for a one day pass tomorrow, come hang out! And at the end of the weekend, we’ll post all the cool stuff in our sketchbooks!

Hey, Around Comics. I’m calling you out. It’s on now, guys.

“Who cares about Ronnie Raymond?”

I’ll tell you who fucking cares about Ronnie Raymond.

I fucking care about Ronnie Raymond.

Also, this guy.

Also, this guy.

Sure his origin story isn’t that great. Ronnie wants to impress that hot chick at school who is, like, sooooo into politics so he joins the Coalition to Resist Atomic Power (hahaha, CRAP), led by Eddie Earhart (who is very Earth Liberation Front-y). Meanwhile, Professor Martin Stein builds a nuclear testing facility. Turns out CRAP isn’t happy about this and raids the joint. When Eddie knocks out Stein, Ronnie freaks out and Eddie decks Ronnie. CRAP leaves to torch a Hummer dealership and Ronnie wakes up to a big ass explosion that combines he and Stein into Firestorm.

Later on, they turned him into a character who was all about being buddies with the Ruskies (to the point where he, Stein, and some dude named Mikhail all shared the same body). After that they turned him into a “fire elemental,” kinda like how Alan Moore made Swamp Thing an earth elemental. They also made him look like somebody set 1990s Wolverine on fire. He then lost the power to Stein, got leukemia (the 1980s LOVED giving fictional characters terminal illnesses), got rid of leukemia, and became Firestorm again.

Why do I love this character? In Crisis on Infinite Earths there was a consistently hilarious sequence where Psycho Pirate forces longtime Firestorm adversary Killer Frost into falling deeply in love with him. She won’t stop hanging off him and he is CLEARLY not happy with it. Even though it was a small part of an amazing story, it became one of my favorite plot threads. [Maybe that’s because you dated a girl who tried to kill you! – M]

Ronnie & Killer Frost

And then he died. Oh, how he died. Do you have the trade of Identity Crisis? You have no excuse. You should. Go get it and flip to chapter five. A few pages in, you’ll see Vixen (another character I think I need to eventually write a post about), the Justin Arthur Shining Knight (in what I believe is his final appearance), Captain Marvel, and Ronnie fighting the Shadow Thief. Shadow Thief jumps through Vixen, grabs Shadow Knight’s sword, and impales Ronnie with it. A couple pages later, there is a close-up of Ronnie’s face, his eyes welling with tears, saying “I’m gonna blow up.” Meltzer’s caption says it best: “No one there is a physicist. But they still know what happens when you puncture a nuclear reactor.” He flies away from the group, choking out his last words: “The professor, my family, somebody say goodbye to my dad for me.”

Boom.

Death of Ronnie Raymond

That was the first time I genuinely teared up while reading a book. I got way into this character in Crisis on Infinite Earths. I’m currently searching around for the Fury of Firestorm books as well as the original five books from Firestorm volume one. I got the Legendary Super Powers Show tie-in action figure and am waiting on the DC Universe figure to show up (fucking UPS, hurry up).

And now, with the news that Ronnie Raymond will be back in Blackest Night, it’s as if somebody is twisting Shadow Knight’s sword again. I couldn’t help but smile a little at Barry Allen’s sadness towards Ronnie’s death in Blackest Night #1 and I eagerly await his return, even if he only comes back as a Black Lantern.

So, tell me Around Comics. Who cares about Ronnie Raymond?


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