Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #24
DC Comics (June, 2006)
WRITER: Stuart Moore
PENCILER: Jamal Igle
INKER: Keith Champagne
COLORIST: David Baron
COVER ARTIST: Brian Stelfreeze
LETTERER: Travis Lanham
EDITOR: Michael Siglain
Jason exploded or something at the end of the previous issue after ending up further than a mile from Firehawk, his current comrade as Firestorm, and their enemy, a threat calling themselves the Dollies, teleported out. Firestorm has to hurry back to Washington so Lorraine can push for a rider to a defense bill that will not fund a rather silly nuclear weapon and make sure they know where the money is going. Then Lorraine and Jason head to Martin’s apartment hoping to find some clue as to his whereabouts and something called “the Neocaust files” but find no trace of either. They head to Jason’s apartment so Jason can meet up with Gehenna and convince her that despite his current situation he does want to be with her. Their reunion is cut short when Killer Frost attacks and Jason’s dad shows up, causing Lorraine to use her Firehawk powers to fight her. When the battle doesn’t go well, Jason cuts the family reunion short so Firestorm can go into action, only for him to accidentally boost her powers (this new Frost also feeds on heat) and then he’s attacked by Frost’s new partner…Mr. Freeze!
What they got right: I’m dropping in during the story and it does a good job getting me up to speed on the important details of the story and Jason and Lorraine’s current life situation, that for some reason they can’t be more than a mile apart or the Firestorm matrix explodes for some reason. And even though part of the story involves Lorraine’s position in the Senate (taking over from daddy I see), the political situation is basically neutral, which you would never see today.
What they got wrong: Unless Frost and Freeze, which is admittedly an interesting pairing, has some tie to the Dollies and Martin’s fate it seems like an unnecessary distraction in the story for them to pop up now.
Other notes: Until I saw Firestorm with Jason and Gehenna together during the Justice League Of America 80 page giant I didn’t want to give the comic a chance because it wasn’t the Firestorm team (Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein) I knew, and by that point I was tired of the replacement characters. And it wasn’t even as bad as Marvel’s been trying recently. In that comic they made an interesting couple so I ended up picking up a few back issues during the Jason Rusch years when I came across them. Of course, like Kyle and Alex, the couple that convinced me to give the new one a try met a tragic end for the superhero’s girlfriend, when a Black Lantern Firestorm Ronnie killed Gehenna. I’m not sure why I even bother?
Recommendation: A good story that makes me want to go back and see the events that led up to this issue. THAT is how you draw new readers while keeping continuity for the older fans. Worth giving a look.