Fury Of Firestorm Vol. 2 #16
DC Comics (September, 1983)“Blackout!” WRITER/EDITOR: Gerry Conway ARTISTS: Pat Broderick & Rodin Rodriguez COLORIST: Gene D’Angelo LETTERER: Adam Kubert
Trapped in a black void, Firestorm is forcibly split but Martin is still intangible. Martin tries to help Ronald remember the events leading to this point. Said events include Multiplex escaping and later kidnapping Senator Reilly (and presumably Lorraine), being late for class but having a strange conversation with Principal Hapgood before hearing about Lorraine and rushing off as Firestorm. When Ronnie and Martin look into the company who Reilly uncharacteristically voted to have a near monopoly of nuclear plants he learned his father ran off scared after getting a phone call. (Ronnie went to his dad, a news reporter.) As Firestorm they rush home just in time to see the Raymond house explode, presumably with Ronnie’s dad at the front door! The void had been Ronnie’s mind snapping as all of the pressure he’s been feeling lately plus his dad being blown up locking his mind and Martin having to force Ronnie to remember so they could escape.
What they got right: I like how they used the mystery of the void to show how much pressure Ronnie’s been under lately, something that’s been boiling over for a while now if you’ve been following along. All the main and supporting characters get introduced (although Ronnie’s girlfriend and classmates don’t get any panel time they are acknowledged) and we have two regular mysteries, Multiplex and the Reillys and the fate of Ed Raymond. There’s also a nice use of the smoke from the editor’s coffee used to transition to his flashback of Ed receiving the phone call that led to his fate.
What they got wrong: I’m not sure why they blew up Ed Raymond. Did they have no use for him or something? I’m not in favor of killing a character just to have it affect the hero. Did Ed get fridged?
Other notes: When I saw Firestorm on Superfriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show I was immediately drawn to the concept of two people sharing one body with one in control (Ronnie) and the other serving as mentor (Martin). I saw this comic in a local grocery store and picked it up as soon as I could. I really wanted to know more but sadly it wasn’t until years later that I could collect the back issues and my collection is still incomplete. Firestorm is my second favorite DC hero (Superman being number one) which is why I rejected the Jason Rusch version at first and why the early New 52 version pissed me off so much, until Dan Jurgens and whomever wrote issue #0 came along and repaired the concept.
Recommendation: This is a great jumping on point for new readers to figure out the characters and their world at the time, plus set up some new stories to come. This was my introduction to this series and it’s a good one for you as well.