Firestorm

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CHARACTER

Firestorm

The result of a physics experiment fusing two different people into one super-powered "Nuclear Man", Firestorm is a living testament to the power of cooperation.

Introduction

Aliases: Ronald "Ronnie" Raymond, Professor Martin Stein, Mikhail Arkadin, Jason Thomas Rusch, Mick Wong, Lorraine Reilly, Gehenna, the Nuclear Man, Fury
First Appearance: FIRESTORM #1, 1978

 

 

 

They say "two heads are better than one," and that old adage was never more true than in the case of Firestorm, one of Earth's most powerful Super-Heroes, as he is literally two beings fused into one body. When teenager Ronnie Raymond was caught in a nuclear accident with the brilliant Professor Martin Stein, their atoms fused together, creating a powerful metahuman who could emit deadly nuclear fire, and alter inorganic matter into whatever form he could imagine. The brash teenager Ronnie had control of Firestorm's conscious mind, while the Stein portion existed in his mind, guiding his actions. 

 

Becoming the youngest member ever admitted into the ranks of the Justice League up until that time, the flame-haired Nuclear Man served alongside the likes of Superman and Batman for many years, earning the respect of the old guard of heroes, while forging his own path for a new generation of heroic icons. Although he'd undergo many different permutations as time went on, adding the Russian hero Pozhar to the Firestorm matrix, and later, teenager Jason Rusch, Firestorm always remained one of the Earth's most staunch defenders, not to mention one of the most powerful beings on the planet.

 

Origin

Bronze Age

firestorm-origin-FRSTM-1.14.600clr-v1.jpg Ronnie Raymond was a carefree and popular high school student, who cared more about sports and cars than fixing the world's problems. But he joined an anti-nuclear activist group, all in order to impress a far more socially conscious girl who he had a crush on. When Ronnie and the group showed up to protest an experimental nuclear power facility, the protesters became violent and sought to destroy the plant, and Ronnie attempted to stop them. At the plant was its designer, Dr. Martin Stein, whom the anti-nuclear activist group knocked Stein unconscious, they also tied up Ronnie Raymond after he attempted to stop their plans, leaving them both to die in the ensuing explosion. The explosion then breached the nuclear reactor, and caused an atomic blast. But instead of killing them, the incident fused Raymond and Stein into one immensely powerful metahuman being.

 

Ronnie became the one who physically controlled the new, fused body as he was the only one conscious during the accident, but Prof. Stein was also active inside of his mind, "talking" to Ronnie and guiding his actions mentally. Ronnie quickly realized the accident had given them incredible super powers. He now had flaming hair and pale white eyes, could emit so-called fusion blasts from his hands, phase through solid objects, and re-arrange atomic matter, with the exception of anything organic. They decided to use this newfound power as Firestorm, and became a prominent Super-Hero. Firestorm quickly gathered a roster of enemies, like the sociopathic Killer Frost. 

 

At first, Martin Stein did not recall any of his time as Firestorm, with only Ronnie retaining a conscious memory of it. This would lead Stein confused as to his "missing time," but Ronnie eventually explained to him what was happening, and soon, Stein would remember their merging. Still, at first only Ronnie could initiate the Firestorm matrix to form, as he was the one who conscious during the creation. When Ronnie graduated high school, he transferred to the University of Pittsburgh, where Martin Stein taught, so they could be in close proximity to each other when Firestorm was needed. Quickly making a name for himself as a Super-Hero, Firestorm became the youngest member of the Justice League of America. 

 

 

Post Crisis

After the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Firestorm would undergo a series of massive changes. Professor Stein was diagnosed with a form of terminal cancer. Believing that his death would mark the end of Firestorm, Stein wanted to do one last, important heroic act, and he thought he could use his power to force the world's biggest military countries to give up their stockpiles of nuclear arms.

 

This caused both the nuclear super-powers of the United States and the Soviet Union to try and stop him. As part of this retaliation, the Soviets sent their own Nuclear Man, an experimental soldier code-named Phozar, to defeat Firestorm. The battle between the two nuclear powered metahumans resulted in a massive nuclear explosion, and the creation of a new Firestorm, now made up of three different people. This Firestorm was made from the physical forms of Ronnie and Phozar whose true identity was Mikhail Arkadin. But his mind was controlled by an amnesiac Martin Stein, who didn't know who he was or how to really control the Firestorm matrix.

 

This new Firestorm would discover that he was actually Earth's Fire Elemental, and became a far more environmentally conscious Super-Hero. Stein would then take complete control of the Firestorm persona, and let Ronnie and Arkadin return to their former lives, now independent of the Firestorm matrix. Stein then took to the stars, leaving Earth behind. When Ronnie Raymond developed leukemia, he returned to Earth, and not only cured Ronnie of his illness, but allowed him to keep his Firestorm powers independently. After this, Ronnie joined the Justice League offshoot, Extreme Justice, and briefly, the Power Company. He later became a reserve member of the JLA.

 

Firestorm's luck would run out though, as during the event known as the Identity Crisis, he was impaled by villainous Shadow Thief. Realizing that he would soon die, Ronnie took to the sky, getting far away from civilians, and he exploded. But the Firestorm energy needed a new host, and it found one in down on his luck Detroit teenager Jason Rusch. It took him some time for Jason to control his powers as Firestorm, and he fused with various other people, sometimes unintentionally, like his best friend Mick Wong. When he was asked to go out to space on a crucial mission during the Infinite Crisis event, Jason encountered the Fire Elemental that was Martin Stein. Feeling he needed Stein's guidance, especially after what happened to Ronnie, he convinced the Fire Elemental to join with him as Firestorm once more. 

 

Eventually the Martin Stein aspect of Firestorm departed once again, and Jason began to fuse with Lorraine Reilly, Ronnie Raymond's old friend and fellow nuclear hero Firehawk. Jason also began dating a young woman named Gehenna, who is a teleporter. Sometime after starting his heroic career, this version of Firestorm is evenasked by Batman to be a member of the Justice League. But this new Firestorm's life would be radically altered once again when the Blackest Night began, and Ronnie Raymond was resurrected by the Black Lantern Corps as one of their members. The Black Lantern Firestorm, who later called itself Deathstorm, forced Jason into fusing with him, and then murdered Gehenna, making Jason an unwilling participant in the killing of his own girlfriend.

 

 

Post Infinite Crisis

In the final battle of the Blackest Night against Nekron, the Entity of Death, Ronnie is restored to life properly alongside Jason, with the two separating from Firestorm. Ronnie is confused, seemingly not remembering anything that happened since his death years before. But Jason is furious with Ronnie over killing Gehenna, an act Ronnie has no memory of. Although there is at first great animosity between both halves of the Firestorm matrix, they eventually learn to live with each other, and fuse into Firestorm when the need arises. 

 

 

New 52

After the events of FLASHPOINT, reality was altered once again, and all previous version of Firestorm are erased from history. Ronnie Raymond is once again a high school student and football player in this timeline. During a terrorist attack on his school, Ronnie's classmate Jason Rusch produces a vial given to him by Professor Stein, which contains the "God Particle", one of Stein's creations. This God Particle transforms both teenagers Jason and Ronnie into new versions of Firestorm. 

 

Unlike before, Jason and Ronnie now have powers individually, and do not have to combine to become Firestorm. When they do combine however, it is as the being they called Fury, which is very aggressive and powerful, which forces Ronnie and Jason to join together only in extreme emergencies. When the two Firestorms form into Fury, Jason is the "brains," to Ronnie's "Brawn," much as Martin Stein was to Ronnie in the pre-FLASHPOINT timeline.

 

Powers and Abilities

Firestorm's greatest power is his ability to break down and rearrange subatomic particles as well as break up the molecular structure of elements and rearrange them in any when he likes. He can us this power to regenerate damaged or destroyed parts of most objects. Most versions of Firestorm can't affect living, organic tissue, but it is possible for him to do so at times. He can also phase through solid objects. The mind in control of Firestorm's body has a psychic link with the other half of the matrix, so the two halves can "talk" to each other. Firestorm also has superhuman durability and strength, although not quite on the level of Superman.

 

He has an ability called "Matrix Memory Recall", in which he can access the memories of every person who has ever been fused into the Firestorm Matrix. He can also absorb many different types of energy, particularly solar energy, which acts as a battery for Firestorm. He has energy projection powers as well, which result in so-called "nuclear blasts" coming from his hands. Much like Superman, he has enhanced vision powers, which he calls his "Quark Vision," and include X-Ray Vision, Microscopic Vision, and Thermal Vision. He can also fly at immense velocities, both in Earth's atmosphere, as well as in space.

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Essential Storylines and History

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"Make Way for Firestorm!" (FIRESTORM #1, 1978)

In his first ever appearance, we see how Bradley High School student and football star Ronnie Raymond got fused with Dr. Martin Stein into becoming Firestorm in a nuclear accident. Although his original comic was short-lived, Firestorm was arguably the most popular and enduring new DC solo hero to emerge out of the Bronze Age of comics.

 

 

 

"The Siren Song of the Satin Satan" (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #179, 1980)

firestorm-essential2-joiningthebigleague-JLA_179_C1-v1.jpg Only a couple of years after his debut, Firestorm is admitted into the Justice League of America, becoming the team's first new recruit in the 1980s, not to mention their youngest member ever. Firestorm gains a whole new group of fans thanks to being a JLA member, leading to his getting his own ongoing comic book series once again a few years later. 

 

 

 

"Soul of Fire" (FIRESTORM #85, 1989 )

firestorm-essential3-threescompany-FRSTMNM_85_C1-v1.jpg After many adventures together, Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond fuse with a third being, the Russian nuclear hero Mikhail Arkadin. This new Firestorm is a unique entity, and appears far differently than the original one did. He soon discovers that he is Earth's "Fire Elemental", and seeks to defend the planet from environmental destruction. This begins a whole new and very different incarnation for the long-running hero. 

 

 

 

"Father's Day" (IDENTITY CRISIS #5, 2004)

firestorm-essential4-deathofahero-IDCR1_RPCVR-v1.jpg Ronnie Raymond, after being a single being version of Firestorm for some time, dies during a battle with Shadow Thief, as the villain impales him using the Shining Knight's mystical sword, which Shadow Thief had stolen. The magical weapon ruptured Firestorm's containment field, and his body explodes, but not before Firestorm gets far enough away from the ground to protect thousands of civilians from his own nuclear fallout.

 

 

 

"Eye Contact" (FIRESTORM #1, 2004)

firestorm-essential5-newcentury-CV-DR-FIST001-1-v1.jpg In this issue, we are introduced to struggling Detroit teenager Jason Rusch, who becomes the new Firestorm when Ronnie Raymond's energy finds its way to him after Raymond's death. Although he is briefly fused with a random man named Gordon, later he would fuse with Firehawk Lorraine Reilly, his best friend Mick Wong, and even Ronnie Raymond's personality would emerge from within the Matrix again. Martin Stein, who was out in space as the Fire Elemental, rejoined with Jason as well. 

 

 

 

Enter: Deathstorm (BLACKEST NIGHT #1, 2009)

While Jason and his girlfriend Gehenna visit Ronnie's grave with Professor Stein, they find themselves ambushed by the reanimated corpse of by Ronnie himself, whose body has been brought back as a Black Lantern. Ronnie, who later calls himself Deathstorm, forcibly absorbs Jason into his body, and murders Gehenna by turning her into salt. Ronnie used their mental link to absorb all of Jason's emotional energies in his state of anger and sorrow, which provides the central Black Lantern battery with power.

 

 

 

"God Particle" (THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #1, 2011 )

firestorm-essential6-new52-FRSTM_Cv1-1-v1.jpg Following the events of 2011's FLASHPOINT event, the history of Firestorm was reimagined. The new Firestorm is a combination of Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch, who in the new reality are both the same age, and students at Walton Mills High School. Due to an incident involving a substance called "The God Particle," both teens become Firestorm separately, but discover they can fuse into the ultra-powerful entity called Fury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Affiliations

• Justice League of America

• Extreme Justice

• Power Company

• Black Lantern Corps

• White Lantern Corps

• Legends of Tomorrow (Television)

Appearances in Other Media

Film

Main Character Appearances

 

Animation:

• Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

• LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash

 

 

Television

Main Character Appearances

 

Live Action:

• The Flash

• Legends of Tomorrow

 

Animation:

• Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show

• Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians

• Batman: The Brave and the Bold

• Vixen

• Justice League Action

 

 

Video Games

• LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

• LEGO DC Super-Villains

• Injustice 2