Coming out of brightest day the character Firestorm seemed to be one of the break out characters. So I was happy to see that he would be getting his own book as part of the DC relaunch. However once the various promos came out for the book I was unsure how to take what they were going to be doing to the character. I think its pretty safe to say that no other character so far has been more changed then Firestorm appears to be here.
By Gail Simone, Yildiray Cinar, and Ethan Van Sciver
Firestorm has always been one of those character where I really like the original Ronnie Raymond bu sort of lost interest in the character after Ronnie died.
When Blackest Night wrapped up and we found out in Brightest Day the two characters were now reluctantly working together as part of the Firestorm matrix I have to admit I was intrigued because of the characters instant dislike for each other for various reasons.
The new book establishes them as being reluctant partners again with totally different reasons for disliking them. To be honest many of those issues really seemed force here and actually left me not really liking either one of the characters. The book tries to introduce racial tension and underling teen angst here. Putting the characters back in high school was OK with me, but I really don’t like the really forced racial tension between the two characters that really seems forced. To be honest it really just comes out of nowhere in the story. Jason is the super nerdy newspaper writer with incredibly high intelligence and Ronnie Raymond is the jock star quarterback of the school.
Here in this reality Professor Stein is apparently dead and some secret organization is trying to hunt down all the vials for the firestorm matrix. The dislike I have for both characters I am not sure if this was something that the writers had intentionally done to make the eventual progression of the characters working together seem like more of a big deal or not. While this is an interesting take on the character that really established it as a totally different character then what we have previously seen established in the past. I really like idea behind the character and while the fact that there are now two Firestorms that can merge to a more powerful version called Fury seems cool. I just hope they can tone down some of the forced hatred the characters have for each other here.
The artwork done here by Cinar is actually pretty good. I liked the colors that were used and it makes the characters look realistic. While its nothing that will make your jaw drop its pretty decent and consistent artwork throughout.
To be honest I think this new approach on the characters will grow on me and I am interested to see how things progress down the line. I have always like Ronnie Raymond and I hope that the character goes back some to the previous incarnation of the character just a little. As for Jason I really hope that they can change him some so he doesn’t come across so much of a prick to put it bluntly.
GRADE OF NEW TITLE: The racial forced undertones of the book really brought down my enjoyment of the book a lot. That aside though I thought the artwork was decent and that the plot seemed intriguing. I can safely give this book a B, the only downside was that I felt they could have found a better way to make the characters not like each other with out making them both out to be unlikeable.
WILL IT SUCCEED: I think initially this book should do fairly decent. I don’t’ expect to see big numbers out of it, but I think it will be towards the middle of the pack and hold its on. How long the book sticks around is another thing, but I think its got good odds to still be around this time next year.
SHOULD IT SUCCEED: I like the idea between the two reluctant people being forced to work together and I think despite the character changes this book can go far. I hope to see it succeed.