In the last article we looked at ads from an issue of The Flash published in 1977. For today’s article we’re jumping ahead a few years to 1984, looking at another DC title, The Fury of Firestorm. This comic was first published as Firestorm in 1978, but was canceled after 5 issues due to cutbacks at DC.
Firestorm re-appeared in September 1980 as a mini-comic in the back of The Flash. The mini-comic would run for over a year until The Flash #304 in December 1981.
In June 1982 Firestorm was given new life when The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man (vol 2) #1 was published. When issue #50 rolled out in August 1986 DC dropped ‘The Fury of’ from the cover title. With Issue #65 they officially renamed the comic, leaving out ‘The Fury of’ on all print material. The final issue, #100 was published in August 1990.
The ads we’re looking at are from The Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #22 published in April 1984. Issue 22 is the origin story of Firestorm. Like a lot of super heroes, there are many incarnations, this issue features the original Firestorm Ronnie Raymond and physicist Martin Stein. In the origin story it’s explained how Ronnie gets mixed up with the wrong crowd (to impress a girl no less) and is at a nuclear power plant when a bomb goes off. The resulting explosion and “a million ergs of radiation” doesn’t kill Ronnie, instead it fuses him, along with Dr. Martin Stein into Firestorm.
It’s a good origin story for a nuclear man. The dueling personalities of the young, brash Ronnie and the older, wiser Dr. Stein make for some great inner turmoil. Issue 22 was published during the video game boom of the 1980’s and the ads in this issue are right in line.
Let’s take a look at the ads for The Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #22.
Right out of the gate we get a glossy, full page ad for Joust by Atari! It doesn’t show actual game play but it’s close. I loved playing Joust as a kid. I never owned Joust on the Atari 2600, it was always a game I played at the arcade. The goal was simple, fly around on an ostrich as a futuristic knight, knock enemy knights off their buzzards and collect the eggs. As simple as the concept is, I was never any good at the game. But it was (and still is) a fun game to play.
Following Joust we get a great Masters of the Universe ad. He-Man fighting Skeletor and his minions with castle Grayskull in the background. I didn’t have many He-Man toys growing up; not sure why I didn’t have more toys, I loved the He-Man universe. Even without the toys, I was (and still am) a huge fan of the cartoon and even the 1987 movie featuring Dolph Lundgren. Kevin Smith is creating a direct sequel to the 1983 cartoon for Netflix called Masters of the Universe: Revelation. It’s set to debut in 2021.
I remember seeing the Grit newspapers around growing up, at the doctor’s office, grandparents house, places like that. I wanted to deliver the paper to get the cool prizes. Due to a media frenzy around a missing paperboy in my home state I wouldn’t get the chance to deliver the paper. The money, prizes and fame from delivering the Grit newspaper was nothing more than a dream.
Arak, the Sorcerer! The Dead! Son of Thunder! This looks amazing! Arak was published from 1981-1985. He first appearance was in The Warlord #48 as somewhat of a Conan clone. By the time Arak had his own title he was what we know him as, a Native American hero fighting creatures from myths and legend. I didn’t read much of Arak, but with only 50 issues in the original run I’d like to read through them all. I’ll have to see if they are available on comixology or somewhere.
*I finally got a paper route when I was 15, hands down one of the worst jobs I ever had!
Another ad with Arak! It also features The Warlord comic. This ad is for the Remco Action figures based on the comics. I’ve always been intrigued with warriors and barbarians and these figures look amazing! The figures stand tall at 5 1/2” and come with accessories! While Hercules looks good, I’ll take the Arak figure! Remco created an entire line of figures for The Warlord and Arak comics. You can still pick them up on eBay, but they aren’t cheap…
More video game goodness. Atari Force was a comic based on products for Atari, Inc. The first Atari Force comics were mini-comics, small postcard sized inserts packaged with Atari 2600 games. If you bought Defender, Star Raiders, Galaxian, Phoenix or Berzerk for the Atari you received the mini-comic. I didn’t own any of those games, but a good friend got an Atari Force mini-comic when he bought Berzerk. I wish he still had it!
In January 1984 DC Comics published the first official issue of Atari Force. The comic ran for 20 issues and featured a team or force of humans looking for a new planet for humanity. The Force was hand picked by a group called Advanced Technology And Research Institute (ATARI).
The inside back cover features more models, this time some great car options. I’ve already discussed how cars aren’t my favorite model kit but it’s hard to pass up a nice Trans-Am or Dodge Challenger! Comics were a great place for model ads, it really hit the target audience.
Monogram was a household name when it came to models in the 1980’s. I bought more Monogram models than I can count. Monogram merged with Revell in the 1990’s, then were bought by Hallmark Cards…that seems strange. In 2007 Hobbico purchased Monogram-Revell and dropped Monogram from the name. Hobbico declared bankruptcy in 2018 and is now defunct. However Revell made it through the transition and is still making model kits.
We started out with a glossy color ad for a video game and we end with one as well. The back cover features an ad for the Mattel Electronics video game Masters of the Universe! My cousin owned this game for the Intellivision. The graphics in the ad are for the Intellivision, which are better than the graphics on the Atari 2600. Grab your joystick and control He-Man to defeat Skeletor and save all of Eternia from the forces of evil!
Until next time, keep your comics bagged and boarded…unless you want to thumb through them to check out the great ads!