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Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #1 Alternate Cover

That’s right, the header for this posting isn’t a mis-print.  Today we’re talking about an unused alternate cover by Pat Broderick for THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MAN #1 (1982).

I didn’t even know this piece of artwork existed! Thankfully fellow match-head Philip Rutledge directed me to Heritage Auctions where it was being sold.  The auction ended on September 11 with a final sale price of $537.75.  Congrats to whoever picked up this beautiful piece!  Such a great piece of art with amazing line work! Click the image below for a much larger version (1.78 MB).

Fury of Firestorm #1 alternate cover by Pat Broderick

Below you’ll find the description from the Heritage Auctions website of the artwork above.

Pat Broderick The Fury of Firestorm #1 Alternative Unused Cover Original Art (DC, 1982). Firestorm busts a nuclear move on what we believe to be a preliminary cover design for The Fury of Firestorm #1, as it’s similar to that issue’s cover. The art has an image area of 10″ x 15″. Aside from some light paper tanning and light edge wear (well outside the image area), the condition is Very Good.

For comparison purposes, below you’ll find the published cover to THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #1 (1982).  I’m a little torn which would have made the better cover to issue #1.  My gut tells me the published artwork was the better choice, but I keep looking at the unpublished piece and finding more things I like about it.

Fury of Firestorm #1 cover by Pat Broderick

For more Firestorm original artwork by Pat Broderick on Heritage Auctions, please click here.  If you like Firestorm original artwork, click here for a cool collection of scans assembled by Philip Rutledge.  In case you’re wondering, he doesn’t own all this original artwork, he just assembled the scans into one cool package.  Thanks, Phil!

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  1. Frank says:

    Outstanding cover! Were I the editor, I’d be at a loss for which to choose!

  2. Martin Stein RIP says:

    Okay, the one problem I’ve always had with the cover they actually went with— who *is* everybody? I can barely tell that Ronnie is Ronnie— he looks ten years older there. Who is that behind Ronnie? Is that supposed to be Bert Day? Harry Carew? The basketball team coach? Someone else entirely? If it’s either Bert Day or Harry Carew or the basketball team coach, how does he rate such prominent placement? Or is it Ronnie’s dad? I honestly cannot tell who that man is supposed to be. Who is the black woman behind Martin Stein? Is that Stella, Jefferson’s girlfriend? How does she rate inclusion on the cover? She’s the most minor of characters. Who is the evil looking dude behind Martin’s left ear? Who is the man behind Killer Frost’s right ear? I can tell Cliff, Doreen (mostly by default), Multiplex, Hyena, Typhoon, Killer Frost, Black Bison, etc. But the civilian headshots are very non-descript. If anyone can clear up for me who these people definitively are supposed to be, that would help.

    And believe me, I am *not* a snooty no-comic-art-is-ever-good-enough critic. I think most comic art criticism goes way over the top, and most of it just to even be published at all has to achieve some level of competence, so most of it looks pretty good to me. It’s just for the life of me I cannot identify some of the people on this cover.

  3. Shag says:

    @Martin Stein RIP (Robert) – Thanks for the comments! I’ve often wondered who some of those folks were. Part of me thinks they might just be non-specific people. Keep in mind Pat Broderick probably drew this cover long before he was drawing even the first issue. So he probably based these characters on either people from earlier Firestorm stories, or ideas shared from Gerry (prior to scripts being delivered). However, here are some guesses on my part…

    The person behind Ronnie – Probably supposed to be Ronnie’s dad. He’s at the top, so he’s amongst the “allies” part of the drawing, yet he looks disapproving. So being Ronnie’s dad seems logical. He doesn’t look a lot like Ed Raymond, but Broderick may not have drawn Ed yet at this point. Alternatively, I’d go with the basketball coach or Prof Stein’s boss.

    The black woman behind Martin Stein – Gotta be Jefferson’s girlfriend.

    Evil looking dude behind Martin’s left ear – I’ve always wondered this too. He’s up with the “allies”, so he’s probably not a villain. I’ve always guessed that was Prof Stein’s co-worker who stole the origin of Firestorm recording. In the early days, he seemed like he was going to be important. So I can see why he merited the cover at that point. Also, since he stole the recording, he was on his way to being somewhat of an antagonist (that would explain the expression). Alternatively, he could be someone like the Pied Piper.

    Man behind Killer Frost’s right ear – No idea. He looks a lot like Ronnie’s dad, but why would he be down with the villains?

    Doreen – I really like that she’s down with the villains. :)

    It’s possible my theory about allies at the top and villains at the bottom is completely wrong. If so, that could change the hard-to-identify characters.

    Thanks again! Great questions!

  4. Shag says:

    Hmmm… on second thought, that might not be Doreen on the cover. That might be Lorraine or even Plastique. Just food for thought.

  5. lisa owen says:


  6. That is VERY COOL! Back then it was a throwaway. Nowadays, it’d be variant cover gold for DC.

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