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The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1

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The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1

Credits

  • Words: Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver
  • Art: Yildiray Cinar
  • Colors: Steve Buccellato
  • Story Title: The God Particle
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 28, 2011

The Fury of Firestorm could be, and possibly should be, on the same science fiction tier as Captain Atom.  Firestorm’s stories have always been deeply rooted in science fiction, with Professor Stein being a lauded and respected scientist, and the hero having the ability to transmute atoms on a whim; For better or worse, cowriters Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver choose to focus The Fury of Firestorm on teenage angst and forced race issues.  While this choice in itself is not a detriment to the book, the methods the writers use work against their characters and title.

The Fury of Firestorm suffers from too much content being forced into a twenty page book.  Whether it be action, character exposition, or inner monologue, the events come across as forced and unnatural.  Take main characters Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond for example; the two boys have been placed in the high school setting and live on opposite ends of the stereotypical high school spectrum, with Rusch being a journalist and Raymond a football star.  These simplistic character choices could be forgiven if they resulted in an honest rivalry or disagreement between the two to build upon.  Simone and Van Sciver choose, however, to force in an unnecessary racial rivalry and tensions, resulting in boring and cheesy emotional fights.  

The inclusion of the race issue makes little sense in the greater context of the book, and in fact takes up valuable page time, which could have been used to flesh out more important plot threads.  As the book begins to come to a close, Professor Stein’s involvement and the Firestorm Matrix are finally introduced though never concretely explained, resulting in an all-too-convenient plot change that verges on the lazy.  Just how Rusch received the Firestorm Matrix, how Stein is involved, and how he died are never explained. Readers are just forced to accept it and continue.  

On art details is Yildiray Cinar, whose pencils are serviceable, though not anything out of the ordinary.  In defense, however, little about the plot allowed for anything more than talking head situations.  For the most part, character designs, facial features, and movements remain constant and simple.  

If Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver plan to focus on the growth of Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond as characters and as a team, this is a decent start.  It is clear that the two are meant to dislike each other, leading to their eventual evolution into a team. Van Sciver and Simone’s use of race to facilitate their teenage angst and tension, however, is forced, needless, and boring.  The Fury of Firestorm simply suffers from a lack of focus, which hopefully can be amended in the future.

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