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52 and the DC Comics Encyclopedia – 2007 & 2008

Welcome back for the final installment of WHO’S WHO WEEK here at FIRESTORM FAN!

Today we’ll be looking at the current Firestorm, Jason Rusch.  Sadly, the current Firestorm hasn’t had many opportunities for encyclopedic entries.  There is no Who’s Who series being published nowadays, and only a handful of Secret Files have been produced in recent years.  With that said, Jason has been fortunate enough to be highlighted in a few high-profile publications.

DC published a weekly comic book entitled 52 from May 2006 through May 2007.  Issues #12 through #51 featured two-page Secret Origin back-up stories starring a different hero each week.  This was a really great, yet concise way to highlight lesser known characters in the DC universe!  The Secret Origin back-up in issue #37 (March 2007) is presented below and starred the Jason Rusch incarnation of Firestorm.  The text was written by Mark Waid with art by Jamal Igle and Keith Champagne.  Like all the origins shown in 52, this can be found on the DC comics’ website (and is where I took these images from).  This particular issue of 52 was published around the same time as Firestorm the Nuclear Man (volume III) #33, so information presented was current to that point.

This next item is taken from DK’s DC Comics Encyclopedia (October 2004).  This was an impressive oversized book with loads of great information!  Nearly everything presented in the Firestorm entry is about the Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein incarnations of Firestorm.  However, the very last line on the page, in the “Burning Up” section, does mention Jason Rusch.  This book was published around the same time as Firestorm (volume III) #2.  Given the lead-time necessary for a book of this nature, the Jason Rusch Firestorm was probably still in development when the text for this entry was being compiled.  The text was written by Daniel Wallace with art taken from various Firestorm comic appearances (JLA/JSA Secret Files & Origins, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Who’s Who in the DC Universe 1991, Power Company, and JLA).  If you are interested in reading the text, click the image for a larger version.

Anyone besides me notice the error above stating that Ronnie Raymond was a college student when Firestorm was first created?  He was actually in high school at the time.  Sorry, the fact-checking geek in me couldn’t resist pointing this out.

The final entry was published just a few months ago in DK’s DC Comics Encyclopedia, Updated and Expanded Edition (September 2008).  I recommend all DC fans pick up either edition of the DC Comics Encyclopedia.  These are outstanding resource books and make for fun reading.  Maybe I’m just a junkie for organized and categorized data, but I love these books!  The Jason Rusch Firestorm does get more attention in this updated entry, but still the majority of information presented is about the Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein incarnations of Firestorm.  The text was written by Daniel Wallace with art taken from various Firestorm comic appearances (Firestorm volume III, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Who’s Who in the DC Universe 1991, and JLA).   If you are interested in reading the text, click the image for a larger version.

That wraps it up for Firestorm encyclopedic entries.  I’m happy to say that nearly every incarnation of Firestorm has been covered.  He’s had a long varied career and every version is deserving of attention.  If I happen to have forgotten any encyclopedic entries, please feel free to let know.

Thanks for sticking with me all week long.  If you enjoyed this week and would like to see further Who’s Who entries of characters like Firehawk, Killer Frost, Multiplex, Hyena, etc, just drop me a line or post a comment!

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  1. Slipknot says:

    Super week of Who’s Who action. I notice the “college student” error you pointed out carried over to the “updated” version.

    Does Old Man Rusch only have one hand, or is that a weird angle? Is that a plot point?

    Looking forward to the Black Bison entry and to the far future when you discuss how the Suicide Squad became a graveyard of Firestorm villains.

  2. Martin Stein says:

    Killer Frost! Killer Frost! Killer Frost!

  3. Dan Wallace says:

    Hi Shag — thanks for highlighting the two pages from both versions of the DC Comics Encyclopedia. You’re correct that I wrote both, and also correct about the college error. Where were you when I needed you? :)

    For some of my general thoughts on the 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia, read here:

  4. Shag says:

    Dan – Thanks for stopping by the FIRESTORM FAN site! Amazing books you helped put together! I was a Who’s Who junkie growing up, so these books are truly appreciated.

    Given the amount of information you all had to pull together, small errors are to be expected. But, feel free to give me a call when you go to the third edition. 😉

    Thanks again for stopping by. You are certainly welcome here anytime!


  5. Dan Wallace says:

    Shag, thanks for the well-wishes, and my only wish was that I could have had a final-pass crack at the 2nd edition to catch some of the most obvious typos. But I’m glad you liked it and the degree of Firestorm coverage! As far as new characters go, I like Jason Rusch quite a bit.

  6. Ted K says:

    You’re doing amazing job on the blog,Shag. I hope you do more on the ”WHO’S WHO” entries.

  7. […] headshot of the latest Firestorm, Jason Rusch, in the weekly DC series 52.  They ran a regular 2-page backup origin story on an assortment of heroes and villains, and this image was originally done by Jamal Igle, one of […]

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