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The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Man #16

Review by Paul Bowler

Firestorm #16 (Cover)

After being possessed by Dr Megala and being blasted to the depths of the ocean when Captain Atom exploded, Firestorm manages to regain consciousness and return to the surface where Ronnie and Jason realizes that Captain Atom must’ve forced Megala’s mind out of their body before sacrificing himself to save them. Leaving the scene so Ronnie can take part in the Homecoming match, Firestorm is unaware that The Continuum are still determined to lean the secrets of his powers, and have dispatched the robot Daxaxen to capture him again.

Later as Jason and Tonya are watching Ronnie play in the football game, Jason is still upset by a news report that says the government are blaming Firestorm for the destruction at S.T.A.R Labs and the explosion on the U.S.S. Independence, when Daxaxen suddenly flies overhead. With Ronnie’s mom and Jason’s dad sitting a few rows behind them, Jason decides to switch off the field lighting to let  everyone can get clear so he and Ronnie can turn into Firestorm unnoticed.

Firestorm #16 (Preview1)

With everyone thinking they’ve just seen a firework going off to celebrate their teams victory, Firestorm engages Daxaxen, where Jason suggests they allow themselves to be captured so they can take out whoever is controlling the robot. Once they have been pulled inside Daxaxen the robot returns to The Continuum’s underground base, where Firestorm melts his way free of his bonds and fights  Relay, Skull Crusher, and Black Star as Dr Megala wakes from his coma with amnesia. Firestorm destroys The Continuum’s computers to erase all the data they have collected about him, before helping everyone escape after the facilities power core begins to overload. Afterwards Firestorm is confronted by General Eiling, who is far from impressed with Firestorm’s actions. Firestorm assures Eiling that he isn’t a threat as he takes to the sky, but the General doesn’t believe him, and as Firestorm leaves it would seem that another team of superheroes also share General Eiling’s concerns…

Writer and artist Dan Jurgens delivers another flaming hot issue of Firestorm, with issue #16 providing an action packed showdown with The Continuum. His art is inked superbly by Ray McCarthy and Karl Kesel, with everything gloriously coloured by Hi-Fi, and lettering provided by Travis Lanham. This issue sees Ronnie and Jason really beginning to explore the full potential of their unified powers: its fun to see them wondering about how they can breathe underwater, or contemplating if they could survive in space, or even if they need to breathe at all as Firestorm. We also get to see Firestorm race off at incredible speed, so fast that The Continuum cannot even track him, and then later when he cuts loose in their base, his powers set of a chain reaction that destroys the facility.

Firestorm #16 (Preview 2)

Firestorm #16 sees Dan Jurgens strike the perfect balance between Ronnie and Jason’s personal lives and their life as a superhero. It was also nice to see how Ronnie reassured Jason when they were in the ocean and Jason was afraid of drowning because he can’t swim. They then have to face up to the fact that they may have inadvertently killed Captain Atom, as well as not letting anger cloud their judgment when fighting Relay, Skull Crusher, and Black Star – opting instead to help everyone escape before the power core explodes.

After Firestorm’s surprise appearance in The Throne of Atlantis crossover in Justice League #16, and now Aquaman #16, it would seem that the Nuclear Man has also caught the attention of the Teen Titans, who we see in Firestorm #16, with Red Robin now determined to track down Firestorm! Its great to see Firestorm meeting other characters in The New 52 continuity, and with Firestorm featuring in The New 52 Justice League, it looks like Firestorm is well and truly on the way to becoming a integral part of the DCU once more!