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Brightest Day #0 – Ronnie & Jason BFF

Brightest Day #0 came out yesterday and there were four pages of Firestorm story.  Those four pages are presented below.  I’m publishing these pages here as this is such an important point for our favorite Nuclear Man.  Going forward, I don’t believe I’ll be posting every Firestorm appearance page-by-page.  In addition to the burden of getting everything scanned, I doubt DC Comics would be very pleased with me if I did post all their Firestorm material.

Brightest Day #0 - Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch as Firestorm

Brightest Day #0 - Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch as Firestorm

Brightest Day #0 - Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch as Firestorm

Brightest Day #0 - Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch as Firestorm

It appears that Ronnie’s rebirth has placed him at college age.  He definitely looks the college frat boy/slacker part, however, he seems to have lost some of his jock muscle tone.  Interesting as that puts Ronnie and Jason at almost the same age.  We all knew Jason’s resentment towards Ronnie was coming, so that was no surprise.  I think it was handled well and will be a compelling subplot for some time.  It seems to me that Geoff Johns wants to establish a similar dynamic to the original Firestorm, Jason being the more mature responsible character (like the Professor was), while Ronnie will be the brash action-oriented character controlling the Firestorm body.

Based upon a lot of the internet chatter I’ve seen, DC needs to eventually address the issue of Firestorm’s skin tone.  Being made up of Ronnie and Jason, the character is half-white and half-black, yet Firestorm appears as a white guy.  While I personally don’t care if Firestorm is white or black, I can see why some people feel it’s unfair for Firestorm to solely appear as a white character.  Some people have suggested that perhaps Firestorm’s race will change depending upon who is controlling the body at the time.  While that’s an interesting option, I’m afraid it will make the series about race rather than simply about a fascinating character.  I think altering his skin tone to be somewhere in-between white and black is sufficient to address this issue.

I especially liked seeing Professor Martin Stein in this issue as a supporting character.  I think he’s important to the mythos of the Firestorm character, but serves better in a supporting role nowadays.  Also, seeing Professor Stein and Ray Palmer hang out seemed perfect.  I can totally see those guys connecting as science geeks.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Geoff Johns retcons that Ray Palmer and Martin Stein hung out a lot back in the Satellite -era of the JLA.

The foreshadowing tease at the end was interesting.  It featured Black Lantern Firestorm transforming the Atom into table salt (among other images of the various reborn characters).  We’ve seen Black Lantern Firestorm on the cover to Brightest Day #4, so we already knew the Black Lantern character would return.  Some people speculate that the Black Lantern Firestorm will actually be Gehenna.  Neat possibility.

Using the pages above as a guide, do you suppose Ronnie and Jason will need to touch in order to form Firestorm going forward?  I kind of hope it’s like the old days where they could trigger the transformation while being across town from each other.  Either way, I’m looking forward to finding out!

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  1. Ryan says:

    I just read this issue this afternoon and I really liked this scene. Ronnie seemed appropriately distant and uncomfortable without being too much of an @$$. I think his avoiding the funeral showed his immaturity and subconscious guilt and that will be a neat exploration.

    And I agree that having Stein as the supporting mentor character is great, especially as he can play the voice of reason for both kids.

  2. Luke says:

    I got a chance to read Brightest Day #0 this weekend, and I was glad I skipped this post until I had done so (for obvious reasons).

    I was surprised by how young Ronnie is. One of the few times I have read about him was in Power Company, and he was older in that series. I guess thats part of the White Light deal but I was genuinely surprised at that turn. (Same as how Aquaman has both of his hands… and not a squidface.) The confrontation between Ronnie and Jason was great. Definitely looking forward to seeing more insight into Ronnie’s mind and how he feels about the things that Black Lantern Firestorm did.

    Jason is going to be angry for a long, long time. I don’t think anything can change that and I don’t think anyone can blame him. Will his anger cloud his judgement and intelligence? It’s something to keep an eye on.

    Seeing these two together along with Hawk and Dove should mean plenty of contentious relationships for the heroes in the coming months!

    Ray Palmer being there was a nice touch as well.

  3. James says:

    Time to go into obsessive compulsive fanboy mode:

    1) For someone who went into rehab (Extreme Justice), Ronnie is sure surrounded by lots of beer.

    2) I wonder if they are ignoring the story arc in Jason’s series when Ronnie and Jason DID meet? Or is there some reason behind him not remembering it? Seems, sometimes, that Firestorm writers remember what they want to remember and erase the rest. (See also: not deciding how old/competent Ronnie is. Though you can use the “the former BL’s return in their primes” excuse…)

    3) FS will be intangible again? I guess banning that from his powers only applied to Jason? And I need to reread the latest FS series, as I still dunno how Martin was taken out of the matrix. And did he give up his elemental powers when him and Jason “rebuilt” Firestorm?

    4) Is it just a show, and should I really just relax? 😉

    At any rate, welcome back Firestorm! Can’t wait to see how things work out!

  4. Shag says:

    James – Thanks for the comments! Here are some quick thoughts…

    1) I agree about this one. However, forgetting this seems to go back as far as Ronnie’s appearances in the JLA in 2002. He had some drunken college moments in that one also.

    2) I always thought that wasn’t really Ronnie in that story. I felt it was a combination of Firehawk’s memories and the echo of Ronnie on the Matrix. That’s just my two cents.

    3) Intangible? Hadn’t thought about that. That would be cool to have again. Yes, that’s about how Stein lost the Elemental powers (to join Jason).

    4) What do I know, I work at Gizmonic Institute.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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