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The Flash S01E13 Post-Game Report – The Nuclear Man

Wow! An entire episode of a live action TV show focused on Firestorm! As a fan for the past 30 years, I hoped for this but never imagined it would actually happen! I’m not going to spend a lot of time recapping the story from last night. You either saw it, or can find a zillion recaps on the web. We’re going to look at this Firestorm-centric episode from the big picture, and focus on a few details.

I believe it goes without saying, but just in case it doesn’t, this article will feature SPOILERS for episode 13 of The Flash!

Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow) and Robbie Amell (Ronnie Raymond and Firestorm) on The Flash

Overall, I loved this episode! I’m predisposed to being charitable to Firestorm appearances, but my non-geek wife (an impartial judge) also enjoyed this one. I found myself punching the air and gasping throughout the episode! In addition to the inclusion of the character, I think Robbie Amell and Danielle Panabaker did a phenomenal job selling the strained romance between Ronnie & Caitlin. Really got me “in the feels”. Victor Garber was simply perfect as Professor Martin Stein. We only saw him briefly, but such inspired casting!

From the Comics to the Screen

In the opening scene Firestorm confronts Martin’s old college friend. In the TV episode, the character was named Quentin Quayle and he worked for Concordance Research. In the comics, Martin Stein worked for Quentin Quayle at Concordance Research, and Quentin was a royal jerk. In fact, Quentin fired Professor Stein so I wasn’t too upset when he got injured in the show.

In the show we met Martin’s wife, Clarissa. A similar character exists in the comics, but she’s Martin’s manipulative ex-wife. Clarissa Clemens (returning to her maiden name) was working for a secret organization conspiring to take over the U.S. government. Her hair was colored purple in the comics and she wasn’t above using her “feminine wiles” to further their conspiracy agenda.

Firestorm on TV was different in several ways from the iconic Nuclear Man in the comics. In my opinion, the changes didn’t harm the character. It was a significant departure in many ways, but right now I’m okay with that in order to get the character the exposure needed  to raise his profile. Once he’s established, they can start bringing in more iconic traits. Also, you may be surprised if you re-read Firestorm’s very first appearance from 1977 in Firestorm The Nuclear Man #1. In that first issue, Firestorm is different in some ways than the hero that appeared starting in issue #2. Firestorm in issue #1 was much more of a gestalt being, a merger of Ronnie and Professor Stein, rather than two individual consciousnesses. Check it out.

Firestorm’s Costume

Many people were concerned a few weeks ago when still photos were seen of Firestorm’s “costume”. We saw photos of the sweater Ronnie wore in this episode, with the inclusion of the “splicer”. Robbie Amell was asked about the costume earlier this week. You can find the article over on ComicBook.Com.

I was actually a little upset when they posted the pictures that they did of the costumes. It really just happens to be the jacket that Robbie’s wearing when the splicer’s put on. The splicer is removable in our version of the character. Whatever he’s wearing at the time can be turned into the costume. I’m sure down the road, there will be a legit costume but for the time being, it’s just whatever he’s wearing at the time when the splicer’s put on and then it’s time to go to work, that happens to be the costume. That’s just the clothes that he’s wearing when the splicer goes on. I’m sure down the road, Cisco will make him some sort of fireproof this and – he’ll do something Cisco-y and he’ll have a badass costume.

Hopes for Next Week (and future episodes)

We know we’ll see more of Ronnie Raymond & Professor Stein next week as General Eiling searches for them. Some of my hopes for the episode are:

  • I hope for more scenes with Professor Martin Stein. Victor Garber was so much fun, he deserves more screen time.
  • I hope we’ll see more interaction between Ronnie & Professor Stein while they are merged as Firestorm. So far one personality has been dominate. Perhaps with the “splicer”, they’ll be able to banter back and forth. One of the hallmark’s of the character is their constant bickering.
  • I hope we see the use of Firestorm’s transmutation power. They’ve mentioned transmutation on the show, but so far it’s only been applied to the fusion of Ronnie & Martin. Hopefully they’ll start transmuting elements from one form to another. And then hopefully we’ll get giant rubber ducks to catch people people falling from great heights.
  • I hope for some fun and humor in the Firestorm scenes. Another hallmark of the character is that Ronnie usually revels in being Firestorm. He loves the powers, the flight, and especially the transmutation ability. I’d like to see Ronnie enjoying himself some.
  • I hope we see more of Ronnie & Professor Stein beyond episode 14. Robbie Amell mentioned on The Flash After Show that he’s scheduled to be in the next episode, but then he’s not sure. He’s hoping he’ll be in an episode at the end of the season. Perhaps we need to let the CW know we want more Firestorm in season 2!

So what did you think of the episode?

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  1. Great episode! I hope I don’t offend anyone here, especially Shagg, but I think they gave the idea of two people merging more depth than most of the comics have explored. Seems like they did that a bit when Ronnie merged with the Russian guy, but I don’t recall them going down that road with the classic version.

    Amell and Garber were both very strong. Of course Garber was! He’s a a class act! But I thought Amell pulled off “Stein in Ronnie” well.

    My only MINOR gripe was Barry being worried about another date with Linda when the whole city may go BOOM at any moment.


  2. Anthony Durso/The Toyroom says:

    This is THE super-hero show to watch every week. Unlike Agents of SHIELD or Gotham, which both had my interest for about the same number of episodes but lost it. Even though it’s only a week between Flash episodes (normally) it’s the equivalent of waiting 30 days for the next issue to hit the stands.

  3. Wally West says:

    Great review! I also cannot believe we are seeing Firestorm in a TV show. The splicer is interesting, I can’t wait to see how they use it to split them apart – and how they fuse back together. In the comics it is a mental command issued by Ronnie. That may not work on TV – maybe they have to be in the same place and use the splicer?

  4. GADEL says:

    I love the firestorm character in the Flash. Hoping to see more of ‘them’. Great storyline too.

  5. Dave Walker says:

    I kind of wonder if the whole Professor Stein being conscious when they merged is why he has control of the body. Guessing they’re just doing something different though

  6. Phil says:

    They are really pulling out all the stops for the special effects. It’s really impressive for a TV show. Also, I am so stoked for The DUFF!

  7. Martin Stein Returns says:

    I was so geeked to hear Quentin Quayle get a mention. Talk about scraping the barrel for Firestorm-centric characters.

  8. Spinks says:

    Great show–Firestorm-wise. I was thrilled and not thrilled at the same time.
    Thrilled to see Firestorm come alive and have 1/2 the story really center on him. Not thrilled that he burnt Quentin (or appeared to have). Thrilled to see him “mentor” Barry a little bit. Not thrilled his powers right now are just flight and fireballs. SO, much more is possible on this level. Conflicted on the Stein in control matter. Overall, I was impressed by the acting of both Amell and Garber. I’m hoping for a lot next time, but the bottom line CW–make Firestorm the hero he is intended to be, don’t just leave him as a dangerous meta-human who is misunderstood. Turn him into a hero.

  9. […] can check out Shag’s reviews of these two episodes at part 1 and part […]

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