We’re continuing Pozhar Week! With the character of Pozhar scheduled to appear soon in The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men, we’re covering the character’s pre-New 52 continuity. All this week we’ll be looking at different facets of Pozhar! Today we’re examining the various looks of Mikhail Arkadin…
When we first met Mikhail Arkadin (the man who would become Pozhar), it was after the Chernobyl accident. The majority of his skin had been burned off and he continued to burn uncontrollably; miraculously he survived. Below is the first shot we ever saw of Mikhail taken from Fury of Firestorm vol. II #62 (Aug. 1987), drawn by Joe Brozowski and Dick Giordano.
After being recruited by Major Zastrow, Mikhail was fitted with a Rocket Red suit of armor. Around this time he was assigned the codename “Pozhar”, meaning “destructive fire”. Below you see Mikhail testing his powers taken from Fury of Firestorm vol. II #63 (Sept. 1987), drawn by Joe Brozowski and Sam de la Rosa.
After surviving the blast of a nuclear missile, Pozhar and Firestorm were fused into one single entity. This merged being became the new Firestorm; an incarnation I refer to as the “blank slate” Firestorm. Below is the first image we ever saw of this new Firestorm taken from Firestorm the Nuclear Man Annual vol. II #5 (1987), drawn by Joe Brozowski and Alfredo Alcala.
When not Firestorm, Mikhail was returned to his Russian home. His body had returned to normal and his Pozhar powers were only present when he was part of Firestorm. Below is a shot of Mikhail Arkadin looking quite normal taken from Firestorm the Nuclear Man vol. II #80 (Dec. 1988), drawn by Tom Grindberg and Sam de la Rosa.
In Firestorm vol. II #85 (May 1989), Ronnie Raymond and Mikhail Arkadin were permanently absorbed (or so we thought) into the Firestorm entity. The resulting merger created the Firestorm Elemental incarnation. Below is the cover to Firestorm vol. II #92 (Dec. 1989) featuring the Elemental Firestorm drawn by Tom Mandrake.
In Firestorm vol. II #100 (Aug. 1990), the Elemental Firestorm released Mikhail and Ronnie. Mikhail was joyously reunited with his wife and children. This was the last time we’d see Mikhail for a long while.
More than fifteen years later, Mikhail returned in Firestorm the Nuclear Man vol. III #27 (Sept. 2006). Mikhail had regained his Pozhar powers after being exposed to plutonium released by a dirty bomb. Mikhail resumed being a superhero, and even teamed up with Firestorm again during the Jason Rusch/Professor Stein era. Below you’ll find an image of Mikhail’s new Pozhar costume taken from Firestorm the Nuclear Man vol. III #27 (Sept. 2006) drawn by Jamal Igle and Keith Champagne.
Finally, below is the cover from The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men vol. IV #4 drawn by Ethan Van Sciver. It features a character we believe to be the New 52 incarnation of Pozhar. We don’t know much about this new Pozhar other than he’s Russian. Hopefully some semblance of the fantastic character of Mikhail Arkadin will remain within the reimagined Pozhar.
That’s it for today! Come back tomorrow as we continue our look at Pozhar!
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