When We Were Nerds

In this issue: British Sci-Fi kicks us off, but discussing the moment we realized we belonged in the nerd/geek crowd closes the show.


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  1. Justin Gerlach on

    All hail Matthew, nice reference to Danger Mouse, that is 100% genuine original Nerd right there.

  2. I remember watching the old Super Friends cartoon as a kid. It sticks in my mind because it with the death of superman episode. Superman and Firestorm were investigating a alien planet and kryptonite some made up the planets core or something. Firestorm got attacked by a giant maneating plant at one point in the episode and as a kid I remember thinking, ‘His head is made of fire why doesn’t he just headbutt the damn thing?’

  3. I remember reading the first issue of Firestorm back in the 80s and exclaiming “There’s the girl I’m going to marry!” when his “love interest” was first introduced. Unfortunately, I was seating next to my newly-wed wife and the whole episode devolved into a long drawn out “discussion” over the future of comic books in our household. The story has a happy ending, as I managed to keep my comic book collection and ongoing hobby while she managed to find a better life after our divorce :-) many years later …

  4. great episode. my favorite firestorm moment is back in 19xx when firestorm was eaten by cuthulu and inside the beast he met Dr.who and atomic robo and then they all used the tardis to go back in time and find firestorm’s father who in fact had become cuthulu and then he himself traveled thru time to eat his son so then Dr.who atomic robo and firestorm found a cure for aids in cuthulu’s boogers….BEST COMIC EVER!

    as you can see i know nothing of firestorm and a have no real intention of winning i just saw the chance to have some fun with it and seeing it as i have had lung surgery recently i needed the fun
    sorry if i offended any true fan/fans of firestorm and thanks for putting up with my shenanigans
    Sam from mexico

  5. My favorite Firestorm memory occurred during episode 229?…231..?321? 328! 328? 329?!?! I will always remember it.

  6. I haven’t read much with Firestorm but I like the Batman Brave and the Bold episode with him. Also in Blackest night aftermath when Jason punched Ronnie to form a new Firestorm.

  7. My favorite Firestorm moment was the Superfriends cartoon where Mr. Mxyzptlk hit him, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman with a ray that made Bizzaro versions and his sleeves even MORE comically poofy

  8. I loved the episode of “I’m Just Sayin'” where little Petey Matthews started a Firestorm by farting on a candle and Stan-Ly ended up chasing him around the house while Petey kept yelling, “I’m just sayin’ it was an accident.”

    Yeah, those were good times.

  9. My favorite Firestorm memory is the first appearance of the Fire Elemental version Firestorm. It basically turned Firestorm into a completely different character, but I loved the direction that Ostrander took the character.

  10. My favorite Firestorm moment is from Crisis on Infinite Earths where Killer Frost is mind controlled into loving him. He’s so uncomfortable with it during the story it still makes me laugh!

  11. As for being a nerd, I no longer worry about what people might think about me. When I met my girlfriend I made sure to let her know early on that I was into a lot of geeky things. I’m too old to hide who I am any more.

  12. My mum used to collect Firestorm in the 80s during what I now realize must have been the first run of the character/ characters. In the early 00’s I found some issues in my grandparents’ house and I thought he was the coolest (along with the Power Pack). The issue that first comes to my mind is one where they are facing a villain who literally got his powers by having a sunstroke in the desert.

  13. Lawrence Cabrera on

    WOW!! My first firestorm memory was Fury of Firestorm 2 or 3. Not sure which. Those comics are stored at my bro’s house. It was him vs Killer Frost and all I remember was that the characters loked kewl. I was a comic fan long before Firestorm, (Spider-man being my fave) but this guys head was on fire, his sout looked cool and I found out in the book that he was two guys at teh same time. I was hooked. Unfortunately, I got that comic at a local 7-11 and I could never get there to get comics regularly and I had only small amounts of change that I also had to buy candy with.
    Much later I managed to find alot of Firestorm books in the comic shops I would frequent. I still think the character is cool.

  14. My favorite Firestorm memory was when me and Firestorm saved the world from a crazed Superman with using our special rings to combine our powers and turn into a giant Firestrom.

  15. Very enjoyable podcast, My geekness came out in three phases. First as a kid despite having a few comics was really when the X-Men The Animated Series of the 90s came out I was in elementary school and a bunch of us got really into the x-men and marvel universe. I kind of stalled on comics after that until Middle School when the Grant Morrison JLA #1 came out and I was now into DC comics. I stayed collecting comics till college (alas money issues) and while I didn’t go out and proclaim my geekness from the mountains I didn’t hide it from my friends and actually got into Anime from some girls I met on the track team.

    The final stake in my geekdom came in college when I was introduced into the world of table top gaming from once again a girl. Even though things eventually didn’t work out between myself and the girl I did gain many long lasting friends I still have today and we are having our yearly mini reunion/get together this weekend going to a renaissance faire.

    As far as Firestorm, he was a favorite of mine and was saddened when during one series they turned him into an irresponsible drunk and then I found out later that they killed Ronnie Raymond (although I hear he is back and it looks like will be in the new 52). When I was young I was able to go to my grandparents and read my uncle’s comics that he left there after moving overseas and eventually became the caretaker for the comics to get them out of my grandparents house. He had a good majority of the first run of Firestorm the Nuclear Man from the 70’s-80’s and I read those over and over again.

    A few of my fond memories from the series were Ronnie Raymond as the “jock” ends up getting his butt kicked by the geek of the school who he used to pick on after the geek decided to work out. Of course the beaten up Ronnie is carried away by his friends leaving the geek wondering if it was really worth it to sink to that level.

    I enjoyed the romantic back and forth between Firestorm and the slightly older Firehawk, but I think one of the short gags that I still remember is when he is trying to stop a run-away horse drawn carriage and to stop the horse he creates a pile of hay which then horse then stops to eat. Now Firestorm couldn’t create organic items so it then pans to the horse with the “hay” in his mouth and a thought balloon saying “plastic?” for some reason that always made me chuckle, maybe it was the artist or the sense of humor of a younger kid but I enjoyed it.

    Thanks for the podcast and the chance to win the contest, I try to let my geeky friends know about your site and podcast to share in the Major Spoilers Experience, so keep up the good work.

  16. hectorbustnuts on

    My first and most FAVOURITE ever memory of Firestorm was that time I won a Firestorm bust from Major Spoilers, waaaaaaayyyy back in 2011.

    I’m an old man now, and it still sits on the shelf of my future (future for you, now for me) retirement home. It’s still kicking arse.

    So, yeah….that’s my favourite Firestorm moment. I guess I’d better get back to my time now. I hope I don’t get there to find my Firestorm bust disappearing because you gave it to someone else.

    *turns on the flux capacitor on my zimmer frame and starts to work myself up to 88 steps an hour*

  17. My favorite Firestorm moment was when he met a dimension-traveling Hellboy. They had to put aside their differences and stop an insane marine biologist from sending a sonar-emitting probe into an oceanic trench that would have awoken Cthulhu. It was really touching how Hellboy helped Firestorm get over his fear of the ocean.

  18. Et Tu Cliche on

    Really interesting podcast on when you first realized you were a nerd. It was funny for me because I went to a middle/high school that was very geek friendly. A lot of people there played PnP and video games, read sci fi and fantasy, and just generally acted nerdy. In fact, there was a higher chance that you would have nerd tendencies than you would not so it didn’t hit me for a while. So I think it actually didn’t really hit me until around my senior year of high school when I realized that I had gone beyond the normal range of nerdom. Between playing video games, reading comics, taking a science fiction and fantasy English class, and spending my spare time listening to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series, it all piled up and it hit me that I truly had entered the nerd territory. But like I said, my school was pretty nerd friendly so it all worked out without any existential crises.

    I haven’t read too many Firestorm comics so my favorite one actually probably came from Blackest Night. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet but there’s a moment where a character close to Jason Rusch is killed which always stands out to me as one of the only moments where I legitimately felt sorry for a character. Just the way that it happened with the fact that it was extended out for so long made me truly feel bad for both characters involved. And now the tension between Jason and Ronnie acting as Firestorm together feels so real as a result.

  19. The Great NateO on

    Well I do remember reading a few Firestorm comics to date. There was one were Firestorm used fire, I liked that one a lot. I do remember the Firestorm movie in the 80’s with Drew Barrymore. Making that big fire ball to kill the FBI or CIA guys was AWESOME!!!

  20. JambaTheHutt on

    I remember farting as I watched Firestorm on HBO. The scene where Howie Long pops up and hurls the ax at the camera from the trailer was in the movie. It still didn’t make the movie any good, but that part looked nice. Oh, wrong Firestorm. Is this the guy that was really two guys on the cartoon but then he’d meld together and have flaming hair and argumentative inner monologue? Nope, I got nothing. Congatulations winner!

  21. My favorite memory of Firestorm was when I googled it 30 seconds ago. :)

    Looks pretty cool though. I’ve recently taken an interest in late 70’s/early 80’s comics, and have been picking up random things like Suicide Squad (V1), Dead Man and Shade: The Changing Man (V1).

  22. My favorite Firestorm memory was when I was playing a pick-up game of basketball with some friends of mine. I ripped one that was so bad, that we had to stay on one side of the gym, so that we couldn’t accidentally cause a spark that would set off a firestorm and destroy the entire building. Oh, and that time he made out with Killer Frost…that was pretty cool, too.

  23. My favorite memory of Firestorm is when he blew up with basically no warning and for basically no reason in Identity Crisis. For some reason I found this hysterical. I am a terrible person.

  24. Honestly, most of my favorite Firestorm memories exist as a series of moments. What little I’ve read of the Jason Rusch Firestorm was good, but the Ronnie Raymond/Professor Stein version is what I imprinted on. I get the idea that being in your teens and reading Firestorm in the 80’s is akin to beeing a teenager in the 60’s and reading Spider-Man.

    What’s interesting is that Gerry Conway has said that Firestorm was written to not have single significant issues, but be a good story played out over a year or so.

    That said, I loved the story of Firehawk and her transformation from villain (ish) to heroine. That original costume was…um…not good, but it was funny that the costume that replaced it (which she somehow created herself using a power she never had before and I don’t believe ever used again) also gave her different flaming hair. Loved the interplay between Ronnie and Lorraine.

  25. I’m a nerd and not proud of it, I will man up to it if asked/found out but there is no way it’s gonna be my opening line. For me high school was odd, I was in a private school and in the advanced class and I hanged out in the biggest group of the class which meant I was part of the “in” crowd and invited to all the parties, heck I was considered one of the “cool kids” by those not part of the gang. It was an odd realization to figure out I was “cool” simply because the group I was part of was the vast majority. It was like been the handsomest guy in a room, simply become there are no not other men in said room.

    I hate Firestorm, why you ask? I loved the last reboot then it was canceled and to add insult to injury they kill his girlfriend for no reason in Blackest Night, they ended the run and destroyed all that happened in the books for a cheap drama moment in their huge event… now I can’t stand the guy. Also he gets killed for no reason in Identity Crisis, he can RE-ARRANGE THE ATOMIC STRUCTURE OF EVERYTHING! He shouldn’t be kill-able, heck he should be a freaking God amongst men, much more then Superman…

  26. The first comic book I bought when I was seven was New Mutants #3, the second was Captain Carrot #14, and the third was Firestorm #12. Cap’n Carrot and New Mutants I continued to follow until their series ended (one much too soon, and the other much too late, I’ll let you figure out which was which) , but Firestorm was the the first series I ever bought the back issues for. The two people in one head was amazing, and you coupled that with the fact that one of them was a werewolf in that issue, and I just had to know what the f was going on…

    • Incidentally, the second book I went after the back issues for was Rom, the Space Knight. When I completed that run was when I had the epiphany that I might indeed be a nerd… and proud of it.

  27. Firestorm #1 (the 1978 series) was one of the first comic books I ever had, along with Marvel Team Up issues 69 & 70. My dad bought these for me from the corner market to be looked at/read whenever I visited his mother’s house. Now, this mean old bat would never let me take the books home with me and after noticing that they were the only things I looked forward to when I did visit her, locked them away in a desk drawer, only allowing me to read them on special occasions. Once I was older and moved to a city with a comic shop, I bought the issues from the back bin and never visited her again.

  28. Mike Fieweger on

    My favorite Firestorm memory was how he obtained his powers. If memory serves me, Ronnie, a High School student, was insatiably hungry. Instead of waiting until he arrived home and eating his mom’s Tuna Noodle Casserole, Ronnie stopped at a local taco joint which will remain unnamed. As a result of eating the “rented food” Ronnie’s colon turned into a belching engine of death, able to unleash gouts of flame in excess of one million centigrade. From that day forward, he was known as Firestorm. His only weakness is the dreaded MYLANTA ®.

  29. I’m not too familiar with Firestorm, I am very familiar with farts though.

    As far as the episode goes – I started approaching life with the same point of view Matthew talks about and haven’t been happier. I used to try to hide my hobbies, especially while dating. Once I just started to embrace them I met truer friends and even a wonderful girlfriend that share and support me.

  30. I recently started buying comics again after taking about a 20 year hiatus. For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to Firestorm. I’ve been collecting the series that came out in the ’90s and I think it’s frickin’ great! I’ve come close to ordering that bust a few times but loot is pretty tight since we just had baby boy, Rex, on July 2nd. I’d love to win this thing and display it in his room (which is space/comic themed). Fart!!

  31. My favorite Firestorm memory was when he died in Fantastic Four #587 possibly as the result of an explosive fart.

  32. This podcast reminds me of the battle on Alpha nine. The smoke from the Firestorms was so thick you had to use windshield wipers on your optics. Then came the Petrorabbits…..

  33. My favorite memories of Firestorm is in the 80’s when she would team up with Spider-man and Ice-man and fight all sorts of crazy villains. It was wild, but what I could ever figure out is how Ice-man and Firestorm’s powers didn’t cancel each other out…. What’s that? That’s Firestar?? Firestorm is guy with like 15 different people in him at different times in Brightest Day and never resolved his impending annihilation of the world due to his instability? Oh…My favorite memory of him has something to do with Necron or something.

  34. My favorite Firestorm moment was getting the Firestorm “Super Powers” action figure for my birthday. I had a lot of fun making up adventures for him – mainly because I had no idea what his actual powers were!

    The adventures of Firestorm in the Super Powers cartoon of the 1980’s were pretty cool too.

  35. I was mainly a Marvel guy, but used to pick up the DC Digests in the early 80’s to see what the “other” heros were up to. In one of these, Firestorm was fighting a villainess called Plastique. Her MO was that she wore a costume covered in explosives. Anyway, she was holding this room full of hostages and threatening to blow them up when Firestorm flies in. Does he transmute the bombs? Nope! He evaporates her costume, sweeps up the bombs, and flies out the window!

  36. I have no real memory of the character firestorm. I think he might have been in the infinite crisis book. and I hear he is also in blackest night. I recieved the blackest night trades yesterday in the mail. so I’m gonna start reading them today.

    when I think of firestorm I think of this song.

    Street by street. Block by block. Taking it all back.
    The youth immersed in poison – turn the tide counterattack.
    Violence against violence, let the roundups begin.
    A firestorm to purify the bane that society drowns in. No mercy, no
    exceptions, a declaration of total war.
    The innocent’s defense is the reason it’s waged for.
    Born addicted, beaten and
    neglected. Families torn apart, detroyed and abandoned.
    Children sell their bodies, from their high they fall to drown.
    Demons crazed by greed cut bystanders down.
    A chemically tainted welfare generation.
    Absolute complete moral degeneration.
    Born addicted, beaten and neglected. Families torn apart,
    detroyed and abandoned. Children sell their bodies, from their high
    they fall to drown. Demons crazed by greed. Cut bystanders down.
    Corrupt politicans, corrupt enforcement, drug lords and
    dealers, all must fall. The helpless are crying out.
    We have risen to their call. A firestorm to purify.

  37. My favorite Firestorm moment is winning this statue (sorry for you guys…I should have posted earlier and advised you it wasn’t worth your time as I am going to win it…).

    Technically, my Firestorm memories are mostly of the Justice League of America type. I bought a bunch of late 70’s and early 80’s JL of A comics, and that’s where I learned of the guy. I think he’s one of the more poorly used characters of DC…he should be jkust about the most powerful, and he’s usually played like a useless kid.

    …ah well…

    Mokin’s 2 cents…

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