The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men: Ethan Van Sciver, Joe Harris, Hi-Fi, Travis Lanham
So I mentioned how, with two characters, it’s bound to happen that one’s story would be good and fun, and the other boring and bland? Well, last ish, Ronnie’s was great and Jason’s was meh. It’s flipped now. Ronnie’s story in this issue was good, and had a good ending, but there was barely anything to it that was clearly understandable and so I was just plain disappointed. Nothing much happened. Jason, on the other hand (no pun intended, Ronnie), is still being whiney. I’m not real appreciative of it. I’m waiting for him to take charge, like he’s been wanting to do since issue 1. In this ish, he’s practically pushed aside by Hurricane and Firehawk (I’m also done with characters with “hawk” in their name). He barely puts up a fight…and it creates this emergency situation that almost kills hundreds of people. This doesn’t really seem like the Jason we met at the beginning. Yes, he’s just a kid, and he still hasn’t learned everything he needs to in order to become the hero we know from the preboot. And he’s just realizing how “out of the league” he is here…but even the pros Hurricane and Firehawk were almost useless in stopping the rogue Firestorms. But then we see Pozhar and Ronnie ripping them apart like they’re paper. So I’m seeing some inconsistencies in terms of strength and ability between the main characters. I kind of just want this book to be about Pozhar and Ronnie…I think that’ll make for a great story. Jason fretting about fitting in and being able to save people, while doing barely anything to ACTUALLY save people, is getting really annoying. At the start of the series, he was eager to jump into the action, now he hesitates at every moment. I would think he’d be overcompensating and making huge mistakes. That might be more interesting. But as it sits, the kid that DIDN’T want any of this, Ronnie, is now more engaged and willing to learn and grow. Funny. Van Sciver’s art here is actually pretty excellent. All the work with smoke and steam is impressive, and the fire is always beautiful. I love the “plasma” limbs that the Firestorms have…a very cool look that we didn’t really see like this in the preboot. The one panel of Jason saying he’s in over his head, with his flame bursting out his head, is EXCELLENT. More like that, please. Also, let’s kick things up here. I have a feeling this book is in danger of the chopping block if it can’t engage more readers.
The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #8, the verdict: What I’m picking up as inconsistencies may be intentional to show just how much Jason is holding back, but it’s just too noticeable to me, and I’m not buying it. If there were some narrative going on about how he was afraid to really cut loose because he doesn’t want to lose control and cause another stadium massacre, then it’d make more sense. But that’s not present. Also, the old woman “decoy” in the story? She’s so obviously out of place that it’s just naive of Jason to overlook her. He’s smarter than that. Surely his abilities can pick up on her, if not that scanner he’s wearing. That was the biggest stretch in the whole issue. I guess MOST exciting about this one is that we get the briefest tease of Professor Stein. I have a feeling what’s going to happen here…but I won’t say anything just in case I inadvertently spoil it.
(Photo Source: DC Collectors)