Fury Of Firestorm Annual #2
DC Comics (1984)WRITER: Arthur Byron Cover & Gerry Conway ARTISTS: Rafael Kayanan & Ernie Colon COLORIST: Gene D’Angelo
Ronnie’s been feeling weird lately, and seeing illusions of the Hyena at his Basketball game isn’t helping. It’s also bad timing since an alien whose name is best translated as “The Mage” has crashed on Earth, his space prison formed by the Guardians. He is also a magic user who collects mundane things because they surprisingly go for a lot on the alien black market. Firestorm must battle The Mage, who wants to use him to power his trip home (instead, he turns The Mage into a power source for his own prison) and play the championship game against delusions of his greatest enemies, and those of the Justice League. The source of the hallucinations turns out to be the team’s manager, a superhero enthusiast with growing mental powers. Superman arrives to talk to his parents and take him to STAR Labs in Metropolis to help him control his new powers.
What they got right: This was a great story, with plenty of action, insights not only into Ronnie and the Professor but how their connection as Firestorm actually works, and some fun ideas as Ronnie plays Basketball against his Firestorm enemies. I wish I could have seen that.
What they got wrong: But I couldn’t because it was in novella form. When I buy a comic I expect a comic book, not a prose story with some images. And while Conway and Cover (I checked, that’s actually his last name–if I have the right one he’s a science fiction author but I couldn’t otherwise connect that Arthur Cover to this story) do a good job putting the images into the mind’s eye, I really wanted to see that game from Ronnie’s perspective. Also, Cliff is back to not only being a jerk but becoming a physical as well as mental bully. Can we write him out somehow? Please?
Recommendation: If you don’t mind reading a Firestorm prose story (and I really don’t, although I bought what I thought was a comic) this is a really good one. I recommend it. If you want only Firestorm comics, though, you’re missing a good story but otherwise pass on it.