Saturday, February 03, 2007


Firestorm didn’t start out as an African-American superhero. He was at first Ronnie Raymond a teenager who was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a nuclear accident happened and he was able to merge with Professor Stein and together they became Firestorm. Ronnie was in charge of the body because Stein had been knocked out before the accident. However, Stein was able to mentally talk to Ronnie to advise him on what actions to take. Ronnie was able to remember what they did as Firestorm but the Professor was not. When Ronnie saw the toll that it was taking on the Professor’s life Ronnie told him of their shared identity.
As Ronnie Firestorm in some ways resembled Richard Rider who became Nova over at Marvel Comics. In some ways their comic book careers mirrored each other. Both of their series were hits but popularity quickly died. They stayed in the comic book buyer’s eye by being members of superhero teams. Nova was in the New Warriors and Firestorm hit it big with membership in the JLA. Their popularity came back and both were given new series but the Fury of Firestorm lasted the longest. Eventually it too was canceled. It was during Infinite Crisis that we found out that only Ronnie died on their last assignment, investigating the murder of Sue Dibney, but the Professor was still alive in space. He merged with an African-American youth named Jason Rusch. Jason told Stein that Ronnie was dead. After helping him through his grief Jason and Stein became the new Firestorm. His adventures continue to this day and many of them dwarf the adventures that Ronnie had as Firestorm. Mr. Raymond will always be my Firestorm but it is great to know that Jason and Martin will continue in the role.

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