Could Deathstorm Live On?

The Flash’s thirteenth episode of it’s second season, Welcome to Earth-2, saw the return of fan-favorite actor Robbie Amell as he played the Earth-2 counterpart of his Arrowverse character, Ronnie Raymond.

Unlike on Earth-1, the Ronnie Raymond of Earth-2 was the villainous Deathstorm – as opposed to the heroic Firestorm. Unfortunately, while Amell’s performance was as solid as ever, the character he played was merely Deathstorm in name, and nothing more. And, while he played the role quite well, Zoom’s decision to kill him for not following his orders signified to many fans the death, of Deathstorm.

Before I dive into how the character could possibly return however, I’d like to outline the two major version of the character that have graced the pages of comics since 2011 (the first appearance of the character).



PreNew 52: The “Black Lantern”



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This blue flamed and deadly incarnation of Deathstorm is likely the ones known best by Firestorm fans all around the web which lead to complaints when Ronnie’s flames in Welcome to Earth-2 weren’t blue. While many fans claim that this version of the character could not have been brought to life without the use of a black lantern ring, this is claim is more than a little untrue. Deathstorm (this version) was originally introduced during the Blackest Night storyline as the reincarnated corpse of Ronnie Raymond but, during the events of the following storyline Brightest Day, Deathstorm revealed that he was his own manifest personality, a “personification of Death” who had lived within the Firestorm Matrix and merely was awakened when the Black Lantern ring sought him out. Here is the characters full comic backstory courtesy of DCWikia:

Origin

During the Blackest Night event, the first Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond came “back to life” as a member of the Black Lantern Corps and went on a tirade alongside his fellow Black Lanterns. But then, after discovering the existence of Jason Rusch and Gehenna Hewitt, he turned his full attention to the lovers and severed the connection between Gehenna and Jason. After he grabbed Gehenna by the throat and began to choke her, Jason tried to pull Black Lantern Firestorm away from her only to end up fusing with him.

With Jason now trapped inside the menacing Black Lantern, nothing is able to stop him from acquiring the chemical formula for table salt from Jason’s mind.

Fueled by Nekron‘s desire to destroy all life and his own desire to torture the couple and bring their love to an end, Black Lantern Firestorm used the information unwillingly given to him to turn Gehenna’s entire body into the aforementioned compound while forcing Jason to watch in horror as his beloved dies screaming in absolute pain and subsequently has her heart torn out.

At one point, Jason manages to gain a measure of control over the Black Lantern and warns The Flash of Nekron’s return, but is then forced out of “the drivers seat” by Black Lantern Firestorm and isn’t seen again until The Flash (who was wielding a Blue Lantern Power Ring at the time) and Saint Bro’dee Walker try using the Blue Light of Hope to sever Jason from his girlfriend’s murderer.

Later, after Nekron’s ultimate defeat, The Entity brought twelve heroes and villains, including Ronnie, back to life. However, Jason, who believed that it really was Ronnie who killed Gehenna, attacked him only to be restrained and escorted away from Ronnie.

Brightest Day

With Ronnie Raymond’s life restored, he attempts to go back to living his normal life, but is often plagued with visions and memories of his time as a Black Lantern.

Despite him trying to tell Jason he was not in control of his actions, Jason still blames, and hates Ronnie for the death of his girlfriend.

Ronnie’s visions get more intense as an incarnation of Gehenna enters his room and begins to strangle him. As a friend of Ronnie’s comes in, she explodes leaving a layer of salt through out his room.

Due to reasons out of their control, Ronnie and Jason must fuse to become Firestorm, but often the two hear a voice, who they think is the other mocking them. Both hearing the voice at the same time, Ronnie and Jason realize they’re not alone, there is a third personality in the Firestorm Matrix.

Going to Professor Stein with their concerns, the Professor tells Firestorm of the true nature of their matrix and it’s true power. He tells them that their Matrix is essentially a second big bang, and if they were to cause a disturbance in it, the entire universe would be destroyed. Stein tells them if that were to happen all that would be left would be “only the two of you”.

With that, the third voice chimes in saying “And me. Righteous!” Black hands begin to emerge from Firestorm’s chest, separating Ronnie and Jason, and all that remains is the newly emerged Deathstorm, the first Black Lantern to return. Deathstorm then introduces himself to Professor Stein, who begs Deathstorm not to kill Ronnie and Jason.

A Proper Introduction

Deathstorm tells Stein to relax and explains that his plans were to put them through so much emotional torture that they would come to hate each other and, in doing so, re-create the Big Bang event and destroy the Universe.

After introducing himself properly, he also explained that Jason and Ronnie created him and that, as death personified, he was completely unstoppable.

Deathstorm goes on to explain the “true” secret of the Universe, that the concepts of good and evil do not exist and that there was only dead and alive. Then, as Ronnie was waking up, Deathstorm forced Professor Stein to fuse with him and then remarked to Ronnie about how terrible it is to let a good mind go to waste.



New 52: The Corpse



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Unlike his PreNew 52 counterpart, the Deathstorm of the New 52 did not have blue flames (rather yellow/red/orange flames) and was not at all associated with Black Lanterns or Death in any way. The character not only hailed from another Earth (Earth-3), but had an origin (below) that differed from both his PreNew 52 counterpart and from that of his counterpart, Firestorm. This version of the character was an amalgamation of Professor Martin Stein and the corpse of a homeless boy (drawn suspiciously similar to Ronnie Raymond).

This version of the characters comic book history is below, again via DCWikia:

Martin Stein was considered to be one of the foremost minds in theoretical biology, despite the controversial nature of his experiments. He would lure homeless people into becoming his guinea pigs in his quest to discover the means of creating life from death. His genius, though, brought him attention from the Crime Syndicate‘s enemies, who hired him. Instead of helping them, he used their facilities to further his work, and began to experiment on himself. He fused his body and mind with those of a corpse, and became Deathstorm.



How Deathstorm (of Earth-2) Could Return



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While The Flash could quite easily adapt the PreNew 52 version of Firestorm on Earth-1 and merely claim that, within the Firestorm Matrix, there has always been a version of “Death”, they could also play off of what they’ve already built on Earth-2 and bring back the “same” version of Deathstorm they’ve already introduced…but with a twist.

In Welcome to Earth-2 Cisco, when first confronted by Deathstorm, asked if Professor Stein was still “in there”, to which Ronnie responds that he’s “doesn’t talk much anymore”, a line which can b

  1. “He doesn’t talk much anymore” due to the fact that he can no longer speak, effectively meaning he has died while inside of Ronnie’s mind.
  2. “He doesn’t talk much anymore” because Ronnie’s mind has over-powered his (making Ronnie both mentally and physically dominant) and Stein cannot talk anymore.

Assuming we go with the secondary interpretation of this quote, and that Stein has merely been silence but not killed, it’s more than possible that the Deathstorm of Earth-2 could not only return, but be quite faithful to the New 52’s incarnation of the character. Again, using the secondary interpretation of the quote, that would mean that Ronnie’s body is dead (as the body is in the New 52) and Stein’s mind is living within the dead body. Not only would this allow for Deathstorm’s returner, but it wouldn’t even demand the use of Robbie Amell (who has been busy with other projects) as the character’s fact could be a skull/decayed.



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