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The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Man #17

Review by Paul Bowler

Firestorm #17

With the Continuum Facility destroyed Ronnie and Jason are determined to clear Firestorm’s name. They make a start by repairing the damage done to Mt Rushmore by Dr Megala, but they come under attack by a helicopter sent by General Eiling, who is still convinced that Firestorm is a threat to national security.

Firestorm #17 (preview 4)

Firestorm tries his best to avoid a direct confrontation, even phasing himself into the helicopter cockpit to talk to the pilot, but they refuse to listen so Firestorm decides to leave, unaware that the Teen Titans are monitoring him from Lex Towers in New York. Firestorm returns to Ronnie’s house in Walton Mills, changing back into their civilian identities just as Ronnie’s mother is about to leave for another date with Jason’s dad. Ronnie and Jason meet up with Tonya, who wrote a history paper for Ronnie while he was busy being Firestorm, and she tells him how that same paper has now won first prize in a young scholars competition.

Jason isn’t impressed that Tonya’s work won’t get the recognition it deserves. Ronnie feels bad about it as well and promises to make it up to her, but first Ronnie and Jason have to use their Firestorm powers to try and rebuild the S.T.A.R Quantum Physics Lab they destroyed. Firestorm arrives at the demolished building and is attack by Kid Flash, Solstice, and Red Robin from the Teen Titans who believe he is working for N.O.W.H.E.R.E.

Tired of being pushed around, Firestorm deflects the Teen Titans attacks with a devastating energy blast that knocks them senseless, before focusing his transmutation powers at the lab. But try as he might he cannot rebuild the entire building, it collapses again, leaving Firestorm exhausted by the effort. The Teen Titans realize that they were wrong about Firestorm and rush over to help. Red Robin says he believes he didn’t cause all the damage, he warns Firestorm about N.O.W.H.E.R.E, and even offers the Nuclear Man a place on the Teen Titans.

Firestorm #17 (preview 3)

Firestorm politely declines the Titans offer for now, but says he will keep in touch. Later that day Ronnie goes back to High School and tells Mrs Schmidt the truth about his history paper, revealing how he cheated, and got Tonya to write it for him. As he told the truth Mrs Schmidt decides to give Ronnie a second chance to write his own paper and hand it in on Monday. As he rushes home to share the good news, Ronnie is shocked to find the house ransacked and his mother his mother missing…

The Fury of Firestorm #17 is one of Dan Jurgens best issues yet. It features some great banter between Ronnie and Jason as they restore Mt Rushmore to its original state, with Ronnie teasing Jason that he might uses their combined powers as Firestorm to carve The Simpson family onto the monument instead! There are some nice character building moments for Ronnie as well in Firestorm #17, particularly when he tries to reason with the helicopter crew, and even the Teen Titans bit of more than they can chew when they make Ronnie angry.

Ronnie also has to face up to the fact that even Firestorm’s powers have limits, when Firestorm is unable to rebuild S.T.A.R. Labs. There is also a nice moment when the Teen Titans offer Firestorm the chance to join the team, and it certainly leaves things open for the future. After Firestorm’s recent appearance in the Throne of Atlantis issues of Justice League and Aquaman, it was good to see the Teen Titans guest staring in Firestorm #17. Ronnie also finally comes clean about his history paper to Mrs Schmidt, it’s a great scene by Dan Jurgens, and it clearly shows just how well he understands these characters.

Firestorm #17 (preview 2)

Dan Jurgens art for Firestorm #17 is as consistent as ever, with inking duties handled by Ray McCarthy and Karl Kesel; with everything dynamically coloured by Hi-Fi, and lettering provided by Travis Lanham. Sadly, after publishing my review of Firestorm #16 last month, DC revealed that Firestorm, along with a number of other titles, would be cancelled. I am bitterly disappointed that Firestorm has been cancelled after all the hard work put in by the new creative team.

But I don’t want to end this review on a negative note. We still have a few issues left to enjoy, so let’s take this chance to celebrate the fantastic work by this creative team, and make sure that Firestorm ends on a high. The flame may flicker, but it will never die. Its been great to see Firestorm featuring in so many comics over the last few months, and I’m really looking forward to seeing even more of Firestorm as a member of the Justice League!