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Shadow Thief’s Trial for the Murder of Firestorm

Firestorm (the Ronnie Raymond solo version) was murdered by the Shadow Thief during the Identity Crisis mini-series in 2004.  Shadow Thief was apprehended by the JLA & Manhunter and then put on trial for the murder of Firestorm.  That trial is featured in the trade paperback Manhunter: Trial by Fire.

Manhunter: Trial by Fire trade paperback

I heard from numerous sources that Manhunter was a fantastic and underrated series.  I’d never gotten around to reading it… at least until now.  My good friend Erika from Girls-Gone-Geek was kind enough to loan me this trade paperback.  I was apprehensive about whether I would like it and put off reading the collection.  After finally cracking the cover, I devoured this 224 page tome in no time!  I simply couldn’t put it down!  Obviously the Firestorm element of the trade captured my interest, but I was also fascinated by the Manhunter legacy plot.  I’m a huge fan of the Ostrander/Yale Manhunter series from the 1980s.

The majority of the book deals with the legacy of the hero name “Manhunter”.  The Shadow Thief’s trial is definitely important to the collection, but it’s not the main plot.  Below you’ll find a few relevant pages to Firestorm:

Superman takes the stand

Superman testifies at the Shadow Thief trial for the murder of Firestorm

A little later Felicity Smoake-Raymond took the stand.

Felicity Smoake-Raymond testifies in the murder trial of Firestorm

Ed Raymond testifies in the murder trial of Firestorm

Ed Raymond testifies in the murder trial of Firestorm

Wow.  Powerful stuff.  It’s interesting to note that Felicity, Ronnie’s step-mother, revealed Firestorm’s secret identity to the world.  Now that Ronnie is back from the grave, should we assume this was either retconned away or fixed with magic?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Even though Firestorm’s trial isn’t the main crux of the trade, it’s still worth reading. It’s a well-written and compelling superhero comic.  The lead character, Kate Spencer, is somewhat like Daredevil except she uses high-tech gadgets instead of super-senses to battle crime.  You should be able to order Manhunter: Trial by Fire from your local comic book shop.  The story is written by Marc Andreyko and drawn by Javier Pina, Jesus Saiz, Brad Walker, and Diego Olmos.  Its 224 pages of superhero action for only $17.99.  That’s a great deal!  If you haven’t read this series already, I highly recommend it.  I can’t wait to read the next trade in the series!

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  1. Luke says:

    Interesting coincidence: I am reading the Justice League of America: When Worlds Collide collection (the one with the JLA fighting the Shadow Cabinet), wherein Shadow-Thief steals the Cabinet’s Shadowspace. After he gets taken out and put in prison (a special cell where every surface emits light), Dr. Light and Firestorm (Jason and Ghenna) go to interrogate him. During the inevitable ensuing scuffle, Shadow-Thief taunts Firestorm by saying that he “killed a Firestorm already” and creates a shadow sword to take the new one out. Needless to say Jason is not tolerating any of that.

    Makes me wonder how Shadow-Thief is going to respond to there being another Firestorm out there…

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Irredeemable Shag, Girls Gone Geek. Girls Gone Geek said: RT @onceuponageek Just read an excellent Manhunter trade! Shadow Thief's trial for the murder of Firestorm – #comics […]

  3. Jon says:

    Manhunter was a really good series. The Firestorm bits were cool, but it wasn’t really much of a “trial” 😉

    Good breakdown of the legal aspects of those issues here:

  4. Nitpick time.

    Felicity’s maiden name (at least in the Conway/Ostrander stories) was spelled “Smoak”.

    (The character designs for both her and Ronnie’s dad are way off, too, but one can’t have everything)

  5. […] times after the cancellation of Firestorm vol II in 1990. The first appearance was in 2005 when Shadow Thief was put on trial for the murder of Firestorm. The second appearance was also in 2005 when Felicity and Ed Raymond met Jason Rusch in Firestorm […]

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