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Bruce Timm discusses Firestorm & the Justice League Unlimited cartoon

Sadly, our favorite Nuclear Man never appeared in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. However, there were apparently discussions about using the character. In a previous post, we shared some of the rumors and some visuals showing how Firestorm might have looked on the show.

Well, thanks to a comment here at FIRESTORM FAN, I stumbled across a series of forum posts in which Bruce Timm himself discussed the JLU Firestorm plans! I’ve posted Timm’s comments below. These were written in April 2007.

Firestorm in Justice League Unlimited?

[In response to a question about Multiplex and Firestorm]

but as for firestorm hisself…

i think i’ve mentioned this before, we definitely WERE planning on using him in JLU, but it just never worked out….”the greatest story never told” started as a firestorm story, but as we were breaking the story it became more and more comedic, and we soon realised it would work better with booster gold in the lead….

and actually, we had started with a quite different story altogether that we ended up killing at the outline stage…it was going to be firestorm’s origin, with a jl vs. clayface “a-plot” mixed in, but it just wasn’t working, so we threw it out and started over from scratch….after several more false starts we wound up with the “greatest story” plot, and then had to replace firestorm to make it work….

[In response to comment about the design of Firestorm’s costume]

and THAT’S why he never showed up at all, not even as a “seat-filler / red-shirt” hero — james and i both did a few firestorm sketches and quickly decided WE didn’t really care a whole lot for his costume either!

if his story had actually gone through, we would have HAD to find a way to transform the basic design into something we found visually appealing, but still retained some of the original motifs…for sure we would have kept the flaming head (you can never have too many of those) and DEFINITELY would have lost the puffy sleeves…. but when we killed the story, we realised we already had enough “background” heroes, and didn’t need to bother cracking the “firestorm” code…

[In response to a comment about Firestorm talking with Professor Stein]

firestorm’s ongoing “one-sided dialogue” with prof. stein was, of course, one of the things we liked the most about the character, the one signature gimmick that makes him unique (among dc heroes anyway — the gimmick is obviously a blatant lift from mar-vell / rick jones)…

…but it made the story-break process even harder and more complex — setting up ronnie raymond’s back-story, introducing the professor, showing the accident that fused ’em, showing him discovering his new powers and dealing with the prof.’s disembodied voice in his head PLUS having a real JL action “a-plot”, and ending with firestorm officially joining the JLU — that’s a helluva lot of story to cram into 22 minutes…

one of the “false start” story ideas we toyed with for a hot minute: we were thinking of doing a story with firestorm and professor stein narrating the entire episode in “director’s commentary” style…..but soon realised it would be just way too confusing to a non-geek audience, without having already set-up the firestorm gimmick in a previous episode…not to mention having TWO disembodied voices narrating the story would almost completely cancel out the effectiveness of prof. stein’s usual presence…

hmmm…come to think of it, i wonder if we were subconciously remembering firestorm when we came up with the lex / brainiac’s ghost gimmiick in the “legion of doom” arc…..but no, actually, i think we were just stealing from “six feet under”….

[In response to a question if any Firestorm sketches were still lying around somewhere]

nope, they were crap.


There you have it, from the man himself! Now we know they were interested in using Firestorm, but just couldn’t make it work. While I wish he’d appeared, I guess it’s somewhat gratifying to know he was considered.

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  1. rob! says:

    That graphic made me laugh.

  2. roger says:

    “firestorm’s ongoing “one-sided dialogue” with prof. stein was, of course, one of the things we liked the most about the character, the one signature gimmick that makes him unique (among dc heroes anyway — the gimmick is obviously a blatant lift from mar-vell / rick jones)…”



  3. Aaron Moss says:

    Count me as one that’s saddened that ole Flamehead never showed up on JLU.

    I would have loved to have seen him on there. But I guess it’s better no Firestorm, than a crap Firestorm.

    Maybe next time. 8)

  4. Jon says:

    heh, the comment about Bruce and James Tucker not caring for the costume makes me laugh, considering I got James to draw Firestorm at a con in 2010. Sorry about that, James 😉

  5. Benton Grey says:

    Ahh, really interesting! Thanks Shag, that was enlightening. Roger, I suppose it sort of was. After all, Mar-Vell showed up in the 70s, right?

  6. roger says:

    but benton

    the writer was referring to the 90’s peter david run of captain marvel where rick was merged with captian marvel in a firestorm kind of way.

    i’m not sure if that was done in the 70’s or not….

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