Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Secret Origins #10

The Secret Origin of Firestorm

Dan Jurgens Writer
Sean Chen Pencils
Mark Morales Inker
Travis Lanham Letterer
Romulo Fajarod Jr. Colorist
Amedeo Turturro & Brian Cunningham Editors
Firestorm created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom

The cover is by Bryan Hitch, and as you can tell, focuses on the main story in this issue — Batgirl. The cover is just a bit too cluttered for my tastes, trying to show the entire life of Batgirl in one image. And I find the coloring just a bit odd.

Like all the other Secret Origins issues, this has three stories — Batgirl, Firestorm and Poison Ivy. The Flash only appears (briefly) in the Firestorm story, so that's all we'll focus on. The story is told by Tonya Lu, friend of Firestorm, who decided to start recording their amazing adventures on her computer, not worried in the slightest of an enemy finding her writings and using it against her heroic friends.

Ronnie Raymond was the high school's starting quarterback and a lock to receive a scholarship to play ball at a major university. Jason Rusch was the school's top science student, set to receive an academic scholarship. Being complete opposites, both kids naturally hated each other, until they were both caught up in one of Jason's experiments. They were both transformed into a separate Firestorm hero, but later, they were fused into one, and now can only turn into Firestorm when they touch. Ronnie controls the body, and Jason's in his head, helping him with the science part of their job as a superhero. Tonya briefly goes over Firestorm's big adventures, including him being recruited by the Justice League.

Tonya finishes her story, and both Ronnie and Jason are quite pleased with it. They then argue over who will direct the Firestorm movie, and fly off into the sunset.

The Good:

The art. I've never heard of Sean Chen before, but he really impressed me. Usually, the art is pretty substandard for backup stories inside nontraditional comics such as this series. So it's refreshing to see some solid art here. Chen is by no means perfect, but he handled Firestorm and his crazy villains quite well, as well as the Justice League.

The Bad:

Little to no Flash. I can't say I was expecting much since the Flash has had very little to do with Firestorm in the New 52. But since I am scoring these comics based on how the Flash is portrayed, I have to dock a point when he only shows up in one flashback panel.

Firestorm isn't on the Justice League. I've just reviewed a couple of issues of Justice League, and Firestorm wasn't even mentioned in them. I guess he did help them out during Throne of Atlantis, and he was present during Trinity War and Forever Evil, but he has had no contact with the League since. So it bugs me that this issue implies he's with the team. I would have rather had this issue talk about Firestorm's horrific role during Forever Evil — how he had most of the Justice League trapped in his head — and what he's done since.

Final score: 4 out of 10

Next time, we'll return to the main series with The Flash #32.

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