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Van Sciver, Simone, and their Editor discuss FIRESTORM

Over the past couple weeks, Fury of Firestorm creators have been sharing lots of great behind-the-scenes info on the news series.  I gathered and highlighted below some of the information that pertains to the current Fury of Firestorm series.

Art from Fury of Firestorm #3 by Yildiray Cinar

Gail Simone on Newsarama

Fury of Firestorm co-plotter and scripter Gail Simone recently spoke with Newsarama about the new series. Below are a few of her responses during the interview.

  • I’ve gone back and read some of the original Firestorm stories, and they are quite remarkable, they are full of fun ideas, and some genuine optimism, and some really likeable characters. They were also created by some of my favorite writers, guys like Gerry Conway and John Ostrander.  I think the problem we had was that the world’s view of nuclear energy got some serious rethinking recently, with events in Japan and elsewhere. Whether that’s fair or not, it’s something that is very powerful. To me, Fury represents terror, the kind of panic that started with the cold war, that we are dealing with forces just barely under control, and when they are set loose, the results are devastating.
  • Our heroes are basically good guys, they’re decent young men. Fury isn’t decent, and he’s someone even the Justice League have to keep a close eye on. He adds that measure of unpredictability that both Ethan and I cherish.
  • Our lives are connected to strings pulled by people we didn’t vote for, and don’t even know exist. People who control technology control seismic shifts in the way we live, they control whether or not we have a career. Zither is that face behind the curtain, for good or ill.
  • I love that guy [Yildiray Cinar] — he’s perfect for this, his dynamism, his monsters, I just love his storytelling and designs. And he loves drawing Firestorm. Also, he’s an idea man. He adds tremendously to the stories.

Fury of Firestorm #3 cover by Ethan Van Sciver

Ethan Van Sciver on the DC Comics Message Boards

As reported previously, Fury of Firestorm co-plotter and cover artist Ethan Van Sciver has been spending some time lately over on the DC Comics Message Board in the Firestorm forum. He created a thread allowing fans to directly ask him questions about the new Firestorm series. The thread is entitled, “FIRESTORM QUESTIONS FOR ETHAN VAN SCIVER! Ask here!”  You should really visit the message board and check out this thread.  Lots of great discussion on Firestorm, Ethan’s art, and much more.  Here are a few of Ethan’s responses relating to the current Firestorm series:

  • Martin Stein did much, much more than develop a Nuclear Power Plant in our post-Flashpoint DCU FIRESTORM book. A Nobel Prize wouldn’t cover it. But wait and see. He’s a complicated man.
  • I never meant to imply that kids wouldn’t want to read about Martin Stein. In fact, he’s the entire crux of this series. You’re going to be reading a lot about him. He’s a much bigger force, and a much more mysterious fellow in our series than he ever was before, and you’re going to be hearing some very strange things about him soon.
  • As co-plotter, I worked with Gail to establish what the FIRESTORM PROTOCOL is, what our boys can do, what the overall conspiracy is, and where we should be headed. Issue to issue, I turn in a rough outline of key bullet points, and Gail does all the rest. I plotted issue #4 by myself, however, just for fun.
  • I want to use ALL classic Firestorm friends and villains in fresh new ways.
  • Yildiray and I designed the FIRESTORM suits together with input from Gail and editorial, and I created and designed FURY. Yildiray really is a fantastic designer, and we’re letting him do all of the design work now, which is fairly extensive. I like his ideas.
  • Yildiray is awesome, but yeah, I’d like to take a crack at interiors as soon as possible. Just for fun, like a fill in. We’ll let you know when. I haven’t done interiors in ages, and kinda feel like it’s time to get back into it again.
  • Ronnie and Jason’s parents are vital to the series, and play a big role in their lives and the decisions they make. You’ll see what I mean very soon!
  • Ronnie and Jason are both just shy of their 18th birthdays, and are juniors in high school. They live in Walton Mills, which is a nice suburb of Pittsburgh.
  • Firestorm will interact with the Justice League soon.
  • As for FURY, yes, he’s a big fiery Hulk. But he’s something much, much more important than that. Nothing is what it seems on the surface right now.
  • Ronnie and Jason are still young and inexperienced. They have no idea how powerful they are, nor do they have a clue of the power they are capable of wielding. Right now, if Ronnie or Jadon went toe to toe with Superman, I think they’d have problems. As Fury, they are a match for Superman. Or they will be once they figure out how to control the Fury entity. If Ronnie and Jason fully understood the vast power available to them, they could take down the Green Lantern Corps.
  • Fury, He’s a vessel that exists because of the conflict between Ronnie and Jason. But obviously, there’s much, much more to it that can’t be discussed until more stuff is revealed. His “tough talk” is something Gail contrived. I thought Fury would be silent and uncontrollable, and cause mass destruction. He’s ghostly, representing nuclear annihilation. A grim reaper. But that’s only what’s on the outside. Ronnie and Jason see through his eyes. They ought to turn around.

Fury by Yildiray Cinar

Rachel Gluckstern on Comic Book Resources

Fury of Firestorm editor Rachel Gluckstern sat down with Comic Book Resources recently to talk about the series.  My thanks to match-head Keith G. Baker for the heads-up about this interview.  Below are a few of her responses during the interview.

  • …we don’t want people to physically look for Professor Stein in these pages, but rather, pay attention to what Jason is experiencing as he interacts with the Firestorm Protocols and what happens when Jason and Ronnie are combined into Fury. That’s really where I want to guide readers attention.
  • Pohzar is going to be a very interesting addition to the book, particularly his connection to Professor Stein. We’re not going to physically see Professor Stein in the present day, at least not anytime soon that I’m aware of, but his presence kind of overshadows things, particularly with the revelation we will have in issue three. Going forward from there, Pohzar is going to shed a whole new light on him, too. It’s going to be pretty intense!
  • I want people to really pay attention to Fury as well, when Ronnie and Jason combine into Fury, to see if there is any sort of hints there that they might find interesting regarding Professor Stein and the boys in general.
  • I think my job is to make sure they can tell the best story possible through their talents. I kind of just hope that I can help them focus on what they need to tell and let them tell it. Now, there’s no end of big ideas coming from them, and we have these weekly meetings and we’re always in contact — it’s a very thorough collaboration going on at every moment. My role is to stay informed and to make sure everybody’s not contradicting each other and that’s about it! [Laughs] But it’s really great, and Ethan, particularly, just loves to bring in everybody at any given moment. He wants Yildiray [Cinar] on these calls, which is a little difficult because Yildiray lives in Turkey, and he’s always throwing off these big ideas and Gail really comes through with the voice. It’s a fascinating collaboration. I’m really glad to be a part of it. They’re really doing the hard work! And Ethan has to do the covers, too, and Gail does the scripts. It’s very equal and solid collaboration, it’s very exciting.

Maybe it’s just me, but Gluckstern’s comments lead me to wonder if the Fury entity is secretly being controlled by Professor Martin Stein.  Fury doesn’t display the Professor’s typical behavior, but perhaps it’s his subconscious (like it was during the “Blank Slate” era).  Just some speculation on my part.

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  1. liquidcross says:

    Professor Stein is definitely still alive, and these comments practically prove it.

  2. Robert Gross says:

    “I never meant to imply that kids wouldn’t want to read about Martin Stein.”

    Backpedal, backpedal, backpedal….

    To be fair, though, given my political leanings I like their more symbolic explanation of Fury— the living embodiment of unpredictable nuclear problems gone amok— than the less esoteric explanation of him as “Hulk on Fire.” If they really play up this theme it could win me over to the Fury concept, which, up until now, I have not been loving.

    I also like that they have people from different political perspectives taking on topical issues in this book. Even though I lean very much to one side, I don’t like one-sided political fiction. I like room for different perspectives, which usually makes for better, multi-layered storytelling. I think this team promises to deliver that.

  3. Robert Gross says:

    If Martin Stein is alive I’m going to have to change my DC Comics Message Board nom-de-plume a-bloody-gain.

  4. Dave M says:

    In that interview Didn’t Gail hint that the Brightest Day stuff might still be relevant?
    I hope so, it makes no sense to me to dump Firestorms arc in there as DC not only rebuilt the character for a new audience but left it all on a cliffhanger. We deserce resolution!

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