Firestorm (Ronald Raymond): Wikis

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Firestorm
Firestorm raymond.jpg
Ronnie Raymond from Firestorm, The Nuclear Man vol. 3, #9, art by Jamal Igle
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Firestorm #1
(March 1978)
Created by Gerry Conway (writer)
Al Milgrom (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Ronald "Ronnie" Raymond
Team affiliations Justice League
Power Company
Black Lantern Corps
Abilities
  • Ability to rearrange the atomic and molecular structure of matter
  • Can alter the density of objects, including his own body, and render them intangible
  • Can project bolts of nuclear energy
  • Flight
  • Absorb explosive force and radiation in to his body harmlessly.

Firestorm (Ronald "Ronnie" Raymond) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #1 (March 1978), and was created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Al Milgrom.[1]

Contents

Publication history

The first Firestorm series was short-lived, canceled abruptly in a company-wide cutback (the "DC Implosion")[2] with #5 (the first part of a multiple-issue story) the last to be distributed, and #6 included in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade. Writer Conway added Firestorm to the roster of Justice League of America. This led to a series of 8-page stories in the back of The Flash (with art by George Pérez), and a revival of a monthly Firestorm comic in 1982. The Fury of Firestorm (later called Firestorm: the Nuclear Man) lasted from 1982 until 1990.

In Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #1 (March 1978) Ronnie Raymond is named for the very first time when Martin Stein calls him "Ronald", later Raymond introduces himself to Doreen Day and Clifford Carmichael as Ronnie, afterwards while Martin Stein refers to him only as Ronald everyone else calls him Ronnie. In Who's Who in the DC Universe #8 his name is listed as Ronald (Ronnie) Raymond, originally Ronald Rockwell.[3] The same pattern continues in Firestorm (vol. 2) until John Ostrander takes over with Fury of Firestorm #58 and continuing through to the series finale in issue #100, he has everyone refer to him as Ronald or Ron except for family and friends.[4] In Who's Who Update '88 #1 he is also listed as Ronald (Ronnie) Raymond.[5] In Who's Who in the DC Universe #10 Martin Stein is listed as Firestorm, and the entry refers to Ronald as "Ron Raymond".[6] In Extreme Justice #4 and for several issues after that he is the supermodel known as "Ron Ray".[7] In Firestorm vol. 3 #6 and in later issues he is referred to as Ronnie Raymond.[8] Most recently in the DC Comics Encyclopedia (ISBN 0756641195, 2004) he was listed only as Ronnie Raymond.[9]

Fictional character biography

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Ronnie Raymond / Martin Stein

The original Firestorm was distinguished by his integrated dual identity. High school student Ronnie Raymond and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Martin Stein were caught in a nuclear accident that allowed them to fuse into the "nuclear man" Firestorm. Due to Stein's being unconscious during the accident, Raymond was prominently in command of the Firestorm form with Stein a voice of reason inside his mind. Banter between the two was a hallmark of their adventures.[1]

After the accident that created him, Firestorm took to defending New York from such threats as Multiplex (created in the same nuclear accident that produced Firestorm) and Killer Frost. The 1982 series began with the teenaged Raymond adjusting to his newfound role and later delved into the issue of the nuclear arms race and Firestorm’s role as an "elemental." Written initially by Conway and drawn mainly by Pat Broderick and Rafael Kayanan, The Fury of Firestorm slowly developed the lives of Raymond and Stein, as the teenager struggled with high school and moved towards graduation and the scientist found a life outside the lab. A second nuclear hero, Firehawk, was added as a love interest for Firestorm in 1984. The series also tried to create a sense of fun, something that Conway felt was missing during his years writing Spider-Man;[2] the banter between Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein contributed to this. Upon graduation from high school, Raymond entered college in Pittsburgh, where Stein had been hired as a professor.

Firestorm's list of enemies included such generally forgotten foes as the Hyena, Zuggernaut, Typhoon, and Black Bison. One Firestorm enemy, Plastique, would later play a major role in DC's Captain Atom; she later reformed and married Atom. He also fought Killer Frost, who was forced by the Psycho-Pirate to fall in love with him during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Ronnie Raymond / Martin Stein / Mikhail Arkadin

In 1986, Conway abruptly left the series, and John Ostrander (with artist Joe Brozowski) took over the reins. Ostrander, a more politically aware writer, sought to make Firestorm more relevant to the world and a good deal grittier. His first major story arc pitted Firestorm against the world, as the hero (acting on a suggestion from a terminally ill Prof. Stein) demanded the U.S. and the Soviet Union destroy all of their nuclear weapons. After tussles with the Justice League and most of his enemies, Firestorm faced off against a Russian nuclear man named Pozhar in the Nevada desert, where they had an atomic bomb dropped on them.

When the smoke cleared, a new Firestorm was created who was made up of Raymond and the Russian, Mikhail Arkadin (the Russian superhero Pozhar), but controlled by the disembodied amnesiac mind of Prof. Stein. The stories featuring this version of the hero were highly political, with a good deal of action taking place in Moscow. Perhaps coincidentally, the first names of the characters comprising Firestorm were the same as the leaders of their nations: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

The elemental Firestorm. Cover to Firestorm (vol. 2) #85. Art by Tom Grindberg.

Fire elemental

The Raymond/Arkadin Firestom proved to be a transitional phase, as in 1989, writer John Ostrander fundamentally changed the character of Firestorm by revealing that Firestorm was a "Fire Elemental". Taking his cue from Alan Moore's Swamp Thing (an earth elemental), Firestorm now became something of an environmental crusader, formed from Raymond, Arkadin, and a Soviet clone of the previous Firestorm, but with a new mind. Prof. Stein, no longer part of the composite at all, continued to play a role, but the focus was on this radically different character.[1] New artist Tom Mandrake would create a new look to match. It was during this phase that Firestorm met and befriended Shango and the Orishas, the elemental gods of Africa. He also met their chief deity and Shango's older brother Obatala, Lord of the White Cloth. This was also the situation in which the Shadowstorm entity first appeared.

By the series' hundredth issue, Stein learned that he was destined to be the true fire elemental and would have been were it not for Ron Raymond also being there by circumstance. Raymond and Arkadin were returned to their old lives, and Stein, now Firestorm, was accidentally exiled to deep space in the process of saving the Earth. He thereafter spent many years traveling through space as a wanderer, returning to earth on only two occasions: the War of the Gods crossover event, and again in Extreme Justice #5, where Stein cured Raymond of his leukemia and allowed Raymond to retain the original Firestorm persona on his own.

After the transition to the elemental Firestorm, all of the main characters from the series vanished from the comics for some time after the cancellation of the Firestorm comic in 1990 (except for a brief cameo in the War of the Gods crossover event). Raymond eventually returned in the pages of the JLA spin-off, Extreme Justice.[10] Raymond, who at the time was undergoing treatment for leukemia, regained his original powers after a chemotherapy session. It took the combined might of the Justice League, led by Captain Atom, and the returned elemental Firestorm to restore Ronnie's health. Firestorm began to appear regularly in a number of DC titles, though lacking the guidance and knowledge necessary to use his skills wisely. He would play a role in several company-wide crossovers and, in 2002, returned to active duty with the Justice League and also appeared briefly in Kurt Busiek's heroes-for-hire comic The Power Company,

JLA

After the Justice League of America had traveled 3,000 years into the past to search for a missing Aquaman. Batman puts together a new Justice League to be earth's protectors while the Justice League of America is gone. Firestorm is among the nine heroes chosen by Batman to be members in this new Justice League. After the Justice League of America returns to the present, the new Justice League disbands. However, several members of the new Justice League, including Firestorm, opt to join the Justice League of America. While a member of the JLA, Raymond acts as a junior member and is constantly cautious of upsetting his teammates and making mistakes in the field; he states vocally a few times that he is afraid of losing his position. While in the League, Ronnie developed a close friendship with Manitou Dawn while he was attempting to teach her the English language.

Death

Subsequently, Raymond was killed during the Identity Crisis mini-series. It was revealed in Identity Crisis #5 and Firestorm (vol. 3) #6 that during a battle with a villain called the Shadow Thief, Raymond was impaled by the Shining Knight's sword, which the Shadow Thief had stolen. The magical sword ruptured the nuclear man's containment field, resulting in Firestorm's body exploding and his residual essence funneling into the body of Jason Rusch, the new host of the Firestorm Matrix.[1] His name was featured posthumously on Rip Hunter's chalkboard in Booster Gold (vol. 2) #1 in the statement "Ronnie Raymond + X = Firestorm".

Blackest Night

Promotional art for Blackest Night Firestorm.

In Blackest Night #1, Ronnie Raymond is called by a black power ring to join the Black Lantern Corps. In the following issue, his reanimated corpse is shown confronting Barry Allen and Hal Jordan alongside Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, and J'onn J'onnz.[11] He then attacks Jason Rusch (the current Firestorm), and absorbs him into his own version of the Firestorm matrix. Then, using Jason's unique abilities, turns Gehenna into table salt, simultaneously ripping her heart out with a smile. He uses the Firestorm Matrix to absorb Jason's anger over Gehenna's death, providing the Black Lanterns with even more emotional energies[12] He goes on to attack Barry Allen and co. at the Justice League satellite. Jason then briefly asserts himself, allowing the heroes to escape. Regaining control, Ronnie proceeds to absorb Jason's willpower. Like other Black Lanterns, the undead Firestorm mimicks the personality of Ronnie Raymond, often wisecracking and exhibiting other stereotypical teenage behavior.[13]

Powers and abilities

Firestorm has the ability to rearrange the atomic and subatomic structure of matter, rearranging subatomic particles to create objects of different atomic characteristics of equal mass. He can not only change the atomic composition of an object (e.g., transmuting lead into gold of equal mass) but he can also change its shape. He cannot, however, affect organic matter. If he does there may be painful, even lethal, feedback. This organic limitation does not extend to his person as he can change himself at will, allowing him to regenerate tissue, to shapeshift, and to survive indefinitely without food, water and air. Much like a Green Lantern's limitations, Firestorm can only create items the "driver" of the Firestorm matrix is able to understand the workings of. Unlike a Green Lantern's creations, Firestorm's alterations are permanent unless he reverses them.[1]

In other media

Television

  • Firestorm appeared in ABC's Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (the last two Super Friends series). Mark L. Taylor provided Ronnie Raymond's voice while Olan Soule provided Martin Stein's voice. The crew responsible for the first series depicted the flames on Firestorm's head as a static, fire-shaped ornament. The second series' authors made another change, transforming the hair into a waved haircut.
  • Firestorm was among the myriad planned guest stars in Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited animated series. JLU writer/producer Dwayne McDuffie said the producers had permission from DC Comics to use Firestorm, but the show's creators could not come up with a story using him that they liked. In Wizard magazine #197, McDuffie revealed that the producers intended to use the Raymond and Stein version of Firestorm for the series. Firestorm has appeared in issues #3 and 16 of the JLU tie-in comic. He was to have been the focus character for the episode "The Greatest Story Never Told", but was replaced by Booster Gold.[14]
  • Firestorm will appear in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Former Firestorm artist Jamal Igle later confirmed this.[15] This version is a combination of Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch. Raymond will be voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, and Rusch will be voiced by Tyler James Williams.

Other versions

  • Ronnie Raymond has appeared as Firestorm in the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book. His appearances are in issues #3, 8, and 16
  • On Earth-37, Ronnie Raymond and Nathaniel Adam were fused to become "Quantum-Storm," a Firestorm/Captain Atom hybrid.
  • The Earth-12 version of Firestorm is a futuristic descendant of the original.
  • On Earth-9, the Secret Society Nightwing uses armed agents called Firestorm Troopers.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e Wallace, Dan (2008), "Firestorm", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 123, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017  
  2. ^ a b Conway, Gerry. "Nuclear Reactions: Just Your Average Hot-Headed Hero," The Fury of Firestorm #1 #1 (June 1982).
  3. ^ As seen in Who's Who in the DC Universe #8 (October 1985)
  4. ^ As seen in Fury of Firestorm #58 (April 1987)
  5. ^ As seen in Who's Who Update '88 #1 (August 1988)
  6. ^ As seen in Who's Who in the DC Universe #10 (June 1991)
  7. ^ As seen in Extreme Justice #4 (May 1995)
  8. ^ As seen in Firestorm vol. 3 #6 (December 2004)
  9. ^ http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/DC_Comics_Encyclopedia
  10. ^ Beatty, Scott (2008), "Extreme Justice", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 117, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017  
  11. ^ Blackest Night #2 (August 2009)
  12. ^ Blackest Night #3
  13. ^ Blackest Night #4
  14. ^ The Justice League Watchtower: The Greatest Story Never Told
  15. ^ "Batman: The Brave and the Bold For May," DC Comics Message Boards (May 1, 2009). Accessed May 7, 2009.

References

External links


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