This relaunched title is a true origin story, with the secret identities of Firestorm being nothing more than human teenagers when the first page takes place.

General Information

Title: The Fury of Firestorm #1

Author: Ethan van Sciver (coplotter) and Gail Simone (coplotter and writer)

Illustrator(s): Yildiray Cinar (art) and Steve Buccellato (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.

Premise

Jason Rauch and Ronnie Raymond go to the same high school, but they are from completely different worlds. Just as they are about to find a way to tolerate each other, a group of individuals looking for a very valuable object arrive at their school, and their lives change forever.

High Point

The relationship between these two would be interesting even without superpowers anywhere in the title.

Low Point

There are three options here. From the perspective of a first issue in a new Universe, which is the most important perspective, it’s the lack of background into the history of Professor Stein. He’s an important character in the book, but you have no threads with which to connect the two characters connected to Stein. From the perspective of a reader since before the relaunch, the continuity of the bi-weekly “Brightest Day” miniseries just got really complicated. Finally, from the perspective of the New 52 marketing games, the hooded woman in this issue shows up so late in the game, there’s the problem Hitchcock found with his cameos: the later you put in the cameo, the longer it takes the reader to find her, stop looking for her, and just get on with the story.

The Scores

This is an original take on Firestorm as far as I can tell. Granted, I know him mostly from cartoons I grew up with, McDuffie’s JLA and Brightest Day, but none of those incarnations are anything like this one. I give it 6 out of 6.

The artwork has those irritatingly light inks that appear to be just darkened pencils. It’s a style some love, but I find it gives the art a washed out and unfinished look that just drives me bonkers. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is off to a good start, even if they do exaggerate the importance of the Higgs boson to physics theory right in the centre of their story. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is extremely well done. You know you’ve got great characters happening when the supervillain attack kicking off the action and sparking the hero’s origin feels like it’s interrupting. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response to the lead characters was excellent. Sadly, the villains don’t deliver the way they should. Maybe it’s because I have a hard time understanding the threat level of an organization when I have no inkling of its ultimate goal. I know the severity of their methods, and they clearly shouldn’t have any more power than they have, but I doubt this one object is a whole lot of power from their perspective. I just need to know the severity of the endgame. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is weak. It feels a lot like the two completely different stories it is, but instead of feeling like the two stories merge, they are then replaced by a third and completely different story. Smoother transitions between scenes and locations would have gone a long way. I give it 3

Overall, it’s a decent start, but it’s one that almost feels like the creators aren’t necessarily heading in the same direction. There’s a lot of potential here, but I don’t really know how much will be realized or how soon. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, The Fury of Firestorm receives 32 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman