Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: DCNew52, EthanVanSciver, Firestorm, gailsimone
Gail Simone has done it again: engaging story and a ending with impact. A worthwhile read.
After a mere glance at previews for the DC new 52 I’d already planned for those I’d follow regardless (Supergirl & the Legion), those that I’d give a go (Green Lantern & I, Vampire) and those I’d only read to complete all 52 (Frankenstein & Firestorm). I had Firestorm in the same category as Static Shock and Mister Terrific. All equally vibrant on the cover and all equally unknown to me. After the disappointment of both Mr T and Static, I didn’t hold out much hope for Firestorm. Turned out I was wrong to judge by the cover, what a great read! Sure, Simone’s name on the cover should have been a hint, but I couldn’t have predicted I’d be calling myself a fan after just one issue. The issue of race was handled far better in this title than in Mister Terrific, which was vulgar at best, as I previously pointed out.
Three story lines are expertly interwoven and lead to an explosive conclusion. The credits for this one are unusual – Simone plots and writes. Ethan Van Sciver plots. (Is he dabbling with writing or is Simone just too busy to take on this title alone? A quick Google reveals Van Sciver is the cover artist on many goodies, including The Flash: Rebirth). As you’d expect with two pros on the plotting/writing team, the storytelling is considered, well-paced, and at times simply brilliant. I particularly loved the side-by-side conversation between the two main characters and their respective parents as well as the clear transition from angry bickering kids to angry scrapping Firestorms to Fury, a big angry badass.
I didn’t fully take in the cover art before I started to read (like I said, I was reading for completeness, not really out of interest) so the twist at the end, and the concept of ‘Fury’ and the ‘Nuclear Men’ was all very clever and unexpected. I found the premise delightfully reminiscent of Alex Mack. The reference to the Hadron Supercollider is suitably geeky and the bad guys are real, scary bad guys. The artwork reflects the mood of the story appropriately. There is consistency in expressions and the emotions on faces. For the most part, it’s fairly standard stuff, but with plenty of angry red around the bad guys, then a surprising burst of colour and energy for the action nearer the end.
In terms of continuity relative to the pre-Flashpoint DCU, I can’t comment. I read what other bloggers had to say about this issue #1 and it seems the title has changed radically. I’m simply content to discover this character at whatever pace and direction Sciver and Simone set.
This was, for me, the most pleasant surprise of the 2011 relaunch.
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