Demythify: BIG Fury Of Firestorm Changes Have Already Begun! DC New 52 Zero Issue The Capper?

With the reveal of DC Comics Zero Month, their first anniversary celebration of the New 52, I identified the big shockers from the solicitations. One of those was Fury of Firestorm #0 and a seemingly new Firestorm debut.

Would African-American Jason Rusch be the primary Firestorm with good old boy Ronnie Raymond as the voice of counsel that typically was the Professor Stein role when two became one Firestorm in the old days? Or would be it be the reverse or even something different?

With the recent issue of Fury of Firestorm #10 it would appear DC Comics is setting the stage for the subtitle of the series changing back to The Nuclear Man from Men.

In the issue Jason Rusch and Firehawk, the Parisienne Firestorm protocol agent, have attempted to merge into Fury, the villainous beast that Jason and Ronnie turn into when they are close to one another and let anger at each other get the best of the them. However, the new beast isn’t Fury, but something worse, unstable, with a mind of its own.

Through this, we learn there is something different between and about Ronnie and Jason. This is key when added to what Ronnie learns of their origins on the issue. First, check out what we learn from the Jason side of the equation (pun intended) in the issue.

During the issue we also learn that the Russian Firestorm protocol agent Pozhar knows a lot more about the nature of Jason and Ronnie’s unique union – as the Firestorm protocol “formula” that gives all of the Earth’s legit and rogue Firestorms their powers – is meant for one not two. Ronnie is baffled by this, but is still more preoccupied with his missing hand – yes he lost his human hand in a previous issue – but buoyed by Pozhar’s words that Firestorms can manifest new powers when needed. Here are the puzzle pieces we learn from the Ronnie side of the… equation 😉 … from this issue. Plus check of DC’s newest Firestorm in the last panel.

I have enjoyed the nuclear arms race vibe to DC Comics New 52 Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men series. Legit Firestorms hunting down Ashra Khan terrorist rogue Firestorms has been intriguing. Plus meeting the various legit international Firestorms has been pretty cool. However, I can understand why long time fans have felt that this makes the Jason and Ronnie Firestorm(s) less unique in the DC universe. That said, I see it differently. The fact that Jason and Ronnie are who they are, is an interesting contrast to other Firestorms like the terrorists, Pozhar, Firehawk and the many others we’ve met so far in the series. Plus, we don’t say Superman is redundant because the DC Universe is populated by various heroes. So, why would Firestorm be treated any differently?

While the Firestorm clues from issue #10 clearly lead to a new status quo for Firestorm in September’s zero issue, I hope that the Firestorm protocols backdrop remains, but perhaps is a simmering plotpoint / backdrop. This would allow for some more traditional super-hero fare in the series with the international elements of the series popping up occassionally – a formula 🙂 mastered so well in John Ostrander’s 1980s Firestorm series.

Also, it is very cool that Ronnie has manifested new powers to become a blue’ish purple Firestorm. That makes the cover to next issue more compelling. We are marching to a conclusion of sorts in Fury of Firestorm #11. Part of that will be Pozhar’s reveal of his role in the Firestorm protocol program, rogue and legit, and I hope we’ll glean more about just where Professor Stein is. Check out the cover to #11 on your right and the full art for the cover to #10 on the left (the top half was cropped out by the logo to the issue, but the full cover is amazing).

While I’m sad that Ethan VanSciver is joining Gail Simone and leaving this series, I am intrigued by Joe Harris staying on as writer and pleased that Yildiray Cinar staying on as penciller.

I am sticking with this book into year two of the DC New 52. I hope more of you join me on this journey. And, if you haven’t been reading, but want a more classic take on Firestorm, it seems September’s zero issue just may give you want you want. It all seems to come to a head in next issue’s Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #11.

Fun times ahead!

(P.S. Special props to FirestormFan.Com for the cool Fury icon below. There are no bigger fans of Firestorm than those at that site.)

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