Will the Fury of Firestorm withstand the fury of reviews from 52apolooza? Click and find out!
Welcome to 52apolooza, the Outhouse feature focusing on DC's September Relaunch. All of DC's 52 titles will be reviewed by our pool of reviewers to point out the best and worst that DC's new comic book line has to offer. To see how this book ranks among the other new DC titles, be sure to check out our 52apolooza Rankings!
When faced with the difficult decision to choose between Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch as the DCnU Firestorm, DC went the indecisive route and tapped both characters to star in the new Fury of Firestorm series. Written by Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver and illustrated by Yildray Cinar, the series offers a new take on everyone's favorite transmuting hero. How does it do? Read on and find out!
Grab Bag Reviewer: David Dean (Twitter)
I contemplated withdrawing my review of this book. Because, in all honesty, I hated the Fury of Firestorm. And I would rather not bash a book. I came into this issue knowing nothing more than what the character looked like prior to DC's reboot of its universe and high admiration for Gail Simone. So my opinions of it were from a newbie with high hopes instead of a thirty year fan expecting the worst. From what I could tell from searching for other reviews, long time fans of the characters generally seemed to like the book.
However, I hated the two main characters, Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond. They both hate each other too. They're supposed to because they embody every typical high school cliché (except maybe goth vs. prep).
The major schism between these characters was differences in race. It's either racism on the part of the characters or structural racism on the part of the school (perhaps the worst line in the book was "Mom, how come you don't have any black friends?"). They also embody the "rich kid vs. poor kid" and "geek vs. jock" factions. Each kid
"belongs" to an opposing faction. I get the idea, but by focusing on too many "differences"—it became too much for me. There were no unique twists with the characterization either.
(Is race really a big issue on high school campuses in 2011?)
I am not saying we should not talk about race, wealth disparity or bullying. What I am saying is that Jason and Ronnie aren't characters, they're clichés.
Did we get to know these characters? I don't think so. We know that some completely arbitrary group they "belonged" to should lead them to hate one another.
It's plotting over character development. This is the worst kind of story telling to me. They needed these characters to hate one another to move the plot forward, so they made them angry and stupid because of some social constructs to accomplish the end goal of moving the plot forward.
The second part of the story I hated was the tenuous connection between this high school student and these super-scientists. Our geek character is a 1000x times smarter than we think he is (he basically said this). So a super-scientist trusted this kid and gave him a vial of Firestorm juice, knowing full well the murderous Dog Team would come looking. What does our high school kid do? He kept the vial in his locker. At school. *facepalm*
If this were a film, it would be a B-movie that escaped from the 80s.
The bad guys ("Dog Team") were the most enjoyable part of the read. They're brutal and sadistic. Every panel they appeared in was fun.
The big question: should you skip this? I don't know. I am a new reader to Firestorm and I hated this first issue. Maybe it gets better. Maybe I am not the intended audience.