Title: The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Men #1
Author: Gail Simone
Co-plotters: Ethan Van Sciver
Artist: Yildiray Cinar
Publisher: DC Comics
Rating: Some graphic violence
Release date: September 21, 2011
The new Firestorm seems to have been so anxious to do something new, that it got bungled along the way. I love Firestorm. I collected the original series and have Firestorm’s first appearance in Action Comics. That was when Ronnie Raymond was the title character. In this New 52 version of the Nuclear Man, it is instead plural as it combines the three title Firestorms of the past by bringing together Ronnie, Stein and Jason.
The first volume starts off with a vicious questioning of a family ending in blood bath results. A group is out to find the ‘Firestorm Protocols’ and they incinerate anyone that is involved with it. Then the story switches over to Ronnie. He is very much like the teenager he was back in the day. He is a jock, star quarterback for his school and not the brightest kid and he knows it. He lives with his mom, has an absentee father and although he’s not the brightest, he seems to have a good heart. However, Jason, the school reporter and also from a single parent home, has a chip on his shoulder the size of a redwood, antagonizes and patronizes Ronnie and is overall an unlikeable character in the extreme.
Everything converges within the story when the vicious mercenaries come to the school after hours to find Jason and the last Firestorm Protocol. Ronnie is there too as well as the girl Jason likes. Violence occurs, a nuclear explosion may have happened but two (not one) Firestorm men are born. Acting like utter idiots, the two get into a fight with each other and accidentally combine creating a nuclear holocaust of a character called Fury.
Why the comic does not work: First Jason as a main character is unsympathetic. He’s condescending, self-righteous and acts like an overall ass. Second, the antagonistic relationship with Ronnie does not ring true. It is sparked to fast, goes to extremes too quickly and doesn’t come off as believable or realistic in any way. It smacks of a contrivance for the purpose of the story to have two people who do not get along have to work together. Third, the art unfortunately simply was not great. It came across as average and at times during the arguments between the two boys as too excessive in the physical reactions and expressions. Finally, the effort to combine the Firestorms of the past all at once in the present may be more than was necessary and so far is not coming across in an engaging way.