THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #1 is exactly what a good superhero comic should be — fun and fast-paced with a solid story! Whether you’re new to Firestorm or a devoted match-head like me, you’ll enjoy the intriguing plot, relatable characters and gorgeous visuals!
Co-plotter and cover artist Ethan Van Sciver was kind enough to mail me an advance copy of THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #1. This complete re-imagining of Firestorm goes on sale Wednesday, September 28. Even though I’ve been caught up in the hype, I was still apprehensive about reading this particular comic. I’ve been a Firestorm fan for nearly 30 years. I was worried the simple act of flipping open the cover would result in the end of “MY” Firestorm. That everything I knew about Firestorm wouldn’t matter anymore. It’s ridiculous to feel that way, but there I was. So I dug deep, mustered up my courage and started reading…
Right out of the gate the comic grabs you with a shocking opener. It’s not exactly what you’d expect in a superhero comic, but it informs the reader that FIRESTORM is full of danger and world-spanning intrigue. As you progress further, a very solid story emerges with well-developed characters. Looking over the comic again, I’m astounded at how much co-plotters Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone accomplished in just 20 pages!
The introduction of Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch was handled expertly. Our protagonists were developed quickly and felt like realistic teenagers. They act on instinct and shoot off their mouths like real teenagers, later regretting what they’ve done. In their own ways they each have a chip on their shoulder, but that doesn’t prevent the reader from liking the characters and relating to them.
From a scripting perspective, I thought it was well put together by Gail Simone. Structurally, it had a well-defined beginning, middle and end. Some modern comics feel like one big scene, while this issue had something like five or six different scenes. You really get your money’s worth in this book! Additionally, the dialogue in the comic felt very natural. I think my favorite scenes in the book are the quiet non-superhuman ones that really make you think.
Yildiray Cinar’s art in this book is gorgeous! His use of markers and water colors makes this book look really interesting and somewhat unique. Also, Cinar’s panel layout is really impressive, with some pages featuring as many as 10 panels! You don’t often find artists this versatile and creative. I can’t wait to see more out of him.
If forced to pick something that didn’t sit well, it would be the catalyst for Ronnie and Jason’s transformation into Firestorm. If you’ve read the five-page preview on MTV Geek, then you know the pages I’m talking about. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong, it just seemed a tad rushed and unexplained. I imagine subsequent issues will delve into this subject further. With that said, the transformation scene still served the story well by keeping up the fast pace. Additionally, that two-page spread of Ronnie and Jason as Firestorm is rendered beautifully and will most likely be remembered for years to come!
Some Firestorm fans are unhappy with the re-imagining taking place during The New 52. To those folks I say that Firestorm has been about change for decades. How many different incarnations have there been? The original, the “Blank Slate”, the Elemental, Jason’s Firestorm and many more. Change is at the very core of the Firestorm concept and long time fans should be used to it by now. One of the aspects about this change that excites me is watching all the new readers who are discovering Firestorm for the first time. I clearly remember when I first encountered Firestorm and was transfixed. Now we can join those nascent match-heads and explore this new Firestorm together!
So, does this comic close the book on “MY” Firestorm? Not at all. It’s not the end, it’s just the beginning of a new and exciting chapter! I can’t wait for the next issue!
Be sure to pick up your copy of THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #1 on Wednesday by Ethan Van Sciver, Gail Simone, and Yildiray Cinar! In the meantime, check out the FIRESTORM FAN interviews with Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver! For the latest on Firestorm, be sure to follow FIRESTORM FAN on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
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