A History of Firestorm: Where Could the CW Go?

Date Written: January 22nd, 2018


The Flash’s second season ambitiously began by killing off fan-favorite character, Ronnie Raymond (played by Robbie Amell), a move seemingly made in the wake of Amell’s budding film career. Three seasons later, on the CW’s other hit show, Legends of Tomorrow, boldly killed off the only half of Raymond’s Firestorm left, Victor Garber’s Martin Stein, and left Franz Drameh’s Jax Jefferson without a cause in the show’s third mid-season finale. Drameh’s Jackson promptly left the show as well in search of his own, new, story.

While both of Firestorm’s younger halves have been killed and written out of shows respectivley, it’s important to note that death hasn’t stopped Firestorm, or more particularlly Ronnie Raymond, in the past.

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Throughout DC comics history the members of the Firestorm Matrix have died, they’ve “died”, they’ve been separated, they’ve taken on the power of the Matrix on their own, etc., etc. , etc. and yet – for some reason – Firestorm is still looked at a B/C-list DC hero, it’s baffling that a character so immensely powerful and with such an interesting backstory – as you’ll soon see – could be glossed over as a glorified Human Torch in DC’s television universe.

Firestorm’s history is not only complex, but interesting, and downright baffling at some points. The character as a whole is – by far – one of DC’s most interesting and unexplored properties…so let’s hope the DCTV universe sees this and capitalizes on it…(#FirestormTheShow anyone?).


Comic Book Firestorms: The Ronnie Raymond Era


As stated beforehand, Firestorm’s comic book history is immense, confusing, and complex, if that isn’t something that interests you, and you’re merely concerned with the potential surrounding the TV-version of the character, then you can skip to page 7...

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The Original, Ronnie Raymond + Martin Stein:

Much like The Flash’s first version of Firestorm was composed of Professor Martin Stein and Ronald “Ronnie” Raymond, the first Firestorm of the comics was as well. In the comics high school jock (not STAR Labs employee) Ronald Raymond and Nobel Prize winning physicist Martin Stein were caught in a nuclear blast causing the two to merge into the hero that Ronnie soon dubbed “Firestorm”; funnily enough – while it’s taken TV version of the character nearly two years to learn how to transmute matter, Ronnie did it in his first appearanceInterestingly, it was soon revealed that Stein was completely unaware of the merging process and becoming Firestorm, when Ronnie and Stein would merge, Stein’s mind would be conscious and able to help Ronnie, but when they were not merged, Stein forgot all memory of “Firestorm” based events. Despite initially having reservations, Ronnie loved being Firestorm because it made him feel “cool” and gave him a “purpose” and he believed if Stein knew what was happening he’d stop allowing the two to become Firestorm, Ronnie told Stein of what was happening, and too his surprised, Stein was overjoyed and more than happy to “stay in the game” and continue helping Ronnie as Firestorm. Unlike The Flash’s version of Firestorm, not only were Stein and Raymond able to sense when the other was in need, but they could also merge despite being in different places, if the Professor was in danger and Ronnie was elsewhere, he could someone Ronnie directly to him in order to merge and vice versa.

Soon, the Professor was offered a job in Pittsburgh – a place that should be familiar to those who watch the CW’s Flash as this is where both versions of Firestorm went to “train” – and this initially made Ronnie nervous as he was convinced that the professor would give up his role as the second half of Firestorm to go teach in Pittsburgh, but Ronnie’s fears were son quelled as he realized he too could go to Pittsburgh as a student.

Unfortunately, while in Pittsburgh, Stein fell terminally ill and while he still controlled the Firestorm Matrix along with Ronnie, his mind had changed due to the illness…it had become demented. Realizing they only had so much time left as Firestorm, Ronnie and a twisted Stein decided to attempt to leave a legacy for themselves and so, Firestorm demanded that the larger powers of the world (the US and Soviet Union) lay down all of their nuclear weapons. This demand caused a slight scruff between a Soviet Nuclear hero known as Pozhar (Mikhail Arcadian) and Firestorm, a scruff that led to the eventual creation of a new Firestorm in Firestorm: The Nuclear Man Annual #05 (the character was formally introduced in his next appearance, Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #065).

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The Confused, Ronnie Raymond + Mikhail Arkadin (+ Martin Stein):

The new Firestorm – who was composed of the physical bodies of Ronnie Raymond and the Russian Mikhail Arcadian – was actually controlled by the [now] disembodied and ill mind of Martin Stein. While many websites refer to this phase of Firestorm as “transitional”, the character lasted roughly 15 issues of Firestorm Volume 2 and would serve as an interesting time for the character. While neither Ronnie nor Mikhail had control of what this version of the character could do, the character still attempted to do good despite being controlled by the ill-minded Professor Stein.

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Firestorm Clone, Svaroxhich:

It was eventually revealed that the Soviet’s had taken a sample of Firestorm’s DNA (left behind when Firestorm and Pozhar first fought) and attempted to clone him, creating Svaroxhich – who was introduced in Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #083. Svaroxhich was a mindless being whose creation also revealed that Firestorm was actually much more than he appeared, he wasn’t just “The Nuclear Man”, but he was the Fire Elemental as well, this change began a fundamental shift in the character from everyday superhero to environmental crusader.

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Fire Elemental Controlled, Fire Elemental + Svaroxhich (Firestorm Clone) + Ronnie Ramond + Mikhail Arkadin:

In order to get the clone – Svaroxhich – under control, both Ronnie and Mikhail realized the cost and sacrificed their normal lives to become Firestorm, the true Fire Elemental – this occurred in Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #085. This version of the character not only received a new look, but being Firestorm’s “true form”, it was also revealed that the character was controlled by the sentiment mind of the Fire Elemental himself, an amalgam of the minds of Mikhail, Ronnie and the Elemental’s truest form.

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True Fire Elemental, Fire Elemental + Svaroxhich (Firestorm Clone) + Martin Stein:

In Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #100 Martin Stein – who had since been cured of his terminal illness, but was no longer part of the Firestorm Matrix – realized that, had Ronnie Raymond not been present at the initial accident that had created Firestorm it would have been Stein and Stein alone who was the Fire Elemental, it was his destiny. Stein, seemingly driven by the realization that he could leave everything behind – forced Mikhail and Ronnie to return to their old lives and became the true Fire Elemental himself but was accidentally exiled to deep space in the process of saving the Earth on his first mission. While he spent countless years in self imposed space-exile after being sent into deep space, he traveled the universe doing good and speaking only to himself as he was alone in the Matrix.

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Firestorm, Ronnie Raymond:

After Stein became the “Fire Elemental” and was sent off world during the early 90’s, Ronnie Raymond and other recurring Firestorm characters disappeared from comics for some time. Eventually Raymond remerged when he was diagnosed and undergoing treatment for leukemia in Extreme Justice Issue #03. In both that issue and the next, Ronnie is seen undergoing a new form of chemotherapy which, surprisingly, ends up unlocking his own latent metagene and he could once again – now solo – become Firestorm and access the Firestorm Matrix, all the while still being sick – these events took place in Issue #04. Following Ronnie’s re-emergance as Firestorm, Stein (who was still the Fire Elemental) feels a link between he and Ronnie reform, and in Issue #05 of Extreme Justice Stein returned to Earth and made Ronnie an offer. Stein’s offer essentially consisted of making Ronnie an extension of the Fire Elemental, an extension with little-to-no humanity, but a hero none-the-less. For obvious reasons Ronnie refused this offer and Stein, regaining some of his own humanity, chose to simply manipulate Ronnie’s cellular structure, and cure Ronnie of leukemia, allowing him to become Firestorm full time once again (still solo, without Stein). Unfortunately Raymond seemingly met his demise in Identity Crisis #5, in which he was stabbed by the Shadow Thief using the sword of the Shining Knight, this seemingly marked the end of an era…and the end of Ronnie Raymond.


Comic Book Firestorms: The Jason Rusch Era


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Firestorm, Jason Rusch + Random:

In 2004, the Firestorm comic was revived and a new character – by the name of Jason Rusch – took up the mantle. It was revealed early on in the series – through Jason’s own nightmares – that after having exploded (when Ronnie “died”), the Firestorm Matrix fell to the Earth and bonded with Rusch, who was passing by. The first eight issues of the series dealt with the fact that Jason – unlike Ronnie – had no mentor in this process (Ronnie had Stein, but Stein – at this point – was still in space as the Fire Elemental). Rather than being able to solely bond with one person, Jason could bond with anyone he chose to, but whomever was in the Matrix with him merely served as a battery for Firestorm, the longer the other person stayed the closer to death they got. Furthermore the series presented Jason as coming from a very different home-life than Ronnie had, and this simply made the character’s more solo-outings even more interesting. While Ronnie wasn’t “close” to his father, Ronnie’s father was always there for him, on the other hand Jason’s father had lost his hand in an industrial accident, and the rage from this turned his father abusive. The aforementioned abuse eventually lead to Jason’s mother leaving, and Jason being raised by an abusive – but also very sadness stricken – father. Interestingly Jason’s version of Firestorm could transmute organic matter and – briefly – could become invisible, two things Ronnie/Stein could never do.

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Firestorm, Jason Rusch + Ronnie Raymond (+ Lorraine Reilly) :

At the end of Firestorm Volume 3  Issue #09 and throughout Firestorm Volume 3 Issue #10 it is revealed Ronnie did not perish in the battle with the Shadow Thief during Identity Crisis but rather he was merely trapped within the Firestorm Matrix. While Ronnie’s physical form did die in Issue #10 Ronnie remained a mental guide to Jason for the following three issues until his mental form finally did die during Issue #13. While bonded, the Ronnie/Jason version of Firestorm exhibited the ability to what other versions of Firestorm had not, they could “switch drivers” , at one moment Ronnie could be the physical form and Jason the mental, and in the next, Jason could be the physical form and Ronnie the mental – this concept was later revisited upon Ronnie’s return in Brightest Day. [If you’re at all confused up until this point, Ronnie gave Jason a brief two-page explanation of Firestorm’s history].

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Firestorm, Jason Rusch (and sometimes others):

Following Ronnie’s true death and prior to Infinite Crisis Jason returned to being Firestorm. Interestingly, after his time with Ronnie, Jason was able to become Firestorm on his own – as detailed in Firestorm Volume 3 Issue #17 but this put tremendous stains on his body, and so he opted to merge with others when possible. A mere few weeks prior to his appearance in Infinite Crisis Jason was kidnapped by the Secret Society [of Super Villains] and met his eventual girlfriend – Gehenna, daughter of Firestorm villain Tokamak. A mere four issues later Jason had not only been recruited by Donna Troy to help stop the Infinite Crisis, but had also been killed and revived by none other than the Fire Elemental himself…Professor Martin Stein – this occurrence takes place in Firestorm Volume 3 Issue #21.

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Firestorm, Jason Rusch + Martin Stein:

In what has to be the coolest set of Firestorm panels to date – I suggest checking them out in Firestorm Volume 3 Issue #22 which you can download by clicking the link – Jason not only convinces Stein to return to the Firestorm Matrix, but the two actually rebuild Firestorm from the ground up; they go through what powers the two should and shouldn’t have, who the two should and shouldn’t be able to merge with, etc., it’s truly fascinating. Stein and Jason worked together as Firestorm in a very similar, yet different manor that Ronnie and Stein had once worked together – much like Ronnie/Stein and Ronnie/Jax on The Flash/Legends of Tomorrow – the greatest differences were – surprisingly – not in how different Jason and Ronnie were from one another, but how changed Stein had become during his time as the Fire Elemental. Regardless, the two worked together until DC’s One Year Later event occurred.

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Firestorm, Jason Rusch and Lorraine Reilly:

When DC’s One Year Later event began, Jason was no longer merging with Professor Stein to become Firestorm, but rather Lorraine Reilly aka Firehawk in Stein’s absence. While Reilly could still turn into Firehawk on her own, the combined form of Jason and Lorraine created a much stronger hero, Firestorm imbued with the power’s of Firehawk as well. This pairing lasted only a few issues as Stein was found in Firestorm Volume 3 Issue #26.

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Firestorm, Jason Rusch + Martin Stein (Again):

Following Stein’s return, Jason and Stein worked together until the pair met Shilo Norman (the new Mister Miracle) who informed the pair that 1/4 of the Life Equation was hidden within the Firestorm Matrix, and that when paired with the other 3/4 of the equation, the Life Equation could stop Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation. The revelation soon led to Stein being kidnapped once again Darkseid and Jason choosing to merge with then girlfriend Gehenna in order to become Firestorm and find Stein. After finding Stein, he and Jason merged on and off until the Blackest Night event in which a reanimated Ronnie Raymond forcibly merged with Jason Rusch and forced Jason to kill his girlfriend Gehenna.

 


Comic Book Firestorms: The Rusch/Raymond Era


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Deathstorm, Dead Ronnie Raymond (+ Jason Rusch):

In Blackest Night’s first issue Jason, Gehenna, and Professor Stein are seen visiting Ronnie Raymond’s grave and while Gehenna is pretty inconsiderate (she’s got to be one of my least favorite comic book characters ever), Jason is able to convey the message that she should just be quiet as Stein viewed Ronnie like a son and that her actions were extremely rude. Following this appearance both Jason and Gehenna are seen discussing their relationship, while Jason believed it best to finish college, Gehenna wanted to get married, something Jason saw as a distraction from his aforementioned goal. Following this meeting, in Blackest Night Issue #03, the two – as Firestorm – go to the Hall of Justice where the code of a deceased League member (Aquaman) had been used to enter, at the Hall of Justice, the encounter Deathstorm (dead Ronnie Raymond) and he is not only able to forcibly split Firestorm into Jason and Gehenna, but is able to absorb Jason into himself. As Jason watches Deathstorm turns his potential wife into nothing more than table salt.

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Brightest Day Firestorm; Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond:

Following Blackest Night, Ronnie Raymond was truly resurrected and given a second chance at life and, yet another chance to become Firestorm. That said, his partner Jason wasn’t too keen on merging with Ronnie for two – fairly obvious – reasons; the first, that Ronnie’s “Black Lantern Form” – had killed Jason’s then girlfriend, and the second that the pairing of both Jason and Ronnie made Firestorm very powerful and the madder they got at each other, the more the Firestorm Matrix was anger. Much like their first time merging together, Jason and Ronnie could once again”switch passengers” and they could take turns at the control. In Brightest Day it was also revealed that the Firestorm Matrix had also made Professor Stein into the Fire Elemental not because that was it’s final form, but because it wanted to distance Stein from Ronald, as Ronald was one of very few “perfect matches” for the Firestorm Matrix. Furthermore, it is revealed that Jason is another “perfect match” for the Matrix and that the Matrix itself is the spark that began the Big Bang and created the Universe; if Jason and Ronnie (two perfect matches) had lost control of their powers, they could potentially create another Big Bang.

Brightest Day progressed, and Ronnie admitted that he remembered killing Jason’s girlfriend, and that he was sorry – and Jason, realizing Ronnie’s pain – promptly forgave him. Unfortunately what they failed to realize is that the two weren’t alone in the Matrix, there was someone else within the Matrix with them, Deathstorm. Revealing that he was no longer a Black Lantern but more-so “death personified” for those connected to the Firestorm Matrix, Deathstorm emerged from within Ronnie/Jason and promptly gained his own form and abducted Professor Stein, telling Ronnie/Jason that “a mind’s a terrible thing to waste”. From there, Deathstorm went to the Rusch home and absorbed Jason’s father into his “Deathstorm Matrix” as well, prompting Jason to become even more infuriated with the situation at hand.  Fast forward and Ronnie/Jason believe they’d accidentally destroyed the universe – when in reality they’d been rocketed into deep space much as Stein had when he first became the Fire Elemental – the pair quickly realized that they’d actually been sent to where Deathstrom (and the Anti-Monitor) had been attempting to steal the energy from the newly formed White Lantern. During their final confrontation with Deathstorm, Stein was released from within the “Deathstorm Matrix” and Deathstorm split Jason and Ronnie apart, turning on Jason. In an attempt to defeat his enemy once and for all Deathstorm attempted to transmute Jason into salt, but not before Ronnie jumped in the way proving that he cared for Jason as well. As the beam approached Ronnie, Stein too jumped in the way and took the blast, slowly turning into table salt and telling Ronnie that he “wasn’t like a son to him, he was a son to him…”.

As Stein fades to nothingness (well, table salt actually) the White Lantern activates, kills Deathstorm, and sends Ronnie/Jason back to Earth. Whilst on Earth the two briefly gain a new form as the true Fire Elemental as they fight to stop the darkness from taking over once and for all.


Comic Book Firestorms: The Others


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Lorraine Reily aka Firehawk:

While you can read the character’s full backstory here, it’s important note that Lorraine’s backstory runs deep with Firestorm both before and after she became Firehawk. Not only had she met and been saved by Firestorm prior to her forced transformation into Firehawk, but she also had begun to develop feelings for him as well. After being kidnapped by Henry Hewitt (Tokamak) and turned into Firehawk in Fury of Firestorm Volume 2 Issue #17, Lorraine regained her wits and decided to use her newfound gifts as good, rather than evil; by Fury of Firestorm Volume 2 Issue #22 the two (Firestorm and Firehawk) had begun to work together.

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Mikhail Arcadian (Returns) as Pozhar/Firestorm:

After having returned to normal life for some time, Mikhail Arcadian returned to the pages of Firestorm in Volume 3 Issue 28 in which he revealed that – much like Ronnie Raymond – his powers had been reawakened after Ronnie and he had split from the Firestorm Elemental. Prior to their meeting in Issue 28 Mikhail had gone by “Firestorm”, not knowing that Jason and Stein had brought the name back into use already; he promptly returned to using the codename Pozhar (or as Jason called him “Poster”).


Comic Book Firestorms: The New 52 Lineup


While the New 52 tweaked and cut down a lot of the origins of DC comics characters I – personally – believe it may have ruined a lot of what made Firestorm interesting. As of the New 52 (when it began) Jason and Ronnie were both come into contact with “The God Particle”, something of Professor Martin Stein’s creation. After coming into contact with said particle, the two are able to independently become their own respective “Firestorms” and merge – if need-be – into the “Fury”. Furthermore, the aforementioned “God Particle” was revealed to be one of many “Firestorm Protocols” created by the – then missing – Professor Stein, furthermore it was revealed that various countries also had their own “Firestorms” as well.

Effectively I think this streamlined origin and creation of Firestorm actually cuts out a lot of what made the character interesting; gone was the banter between Stein and Ronnie (and Jason and Stein), gone was the entire arc about Ronnie dealing with being sick, gone was the entire Fire Elemental arc, etc. Point being, while the New 52 did introduce some interesting concepts and character’s to the “Firestorm story”, it also took away a lot of what made it special. Hopefully, DC’s Rebirth – which as been spectacular as of writing this – will be able to restore some of the legacy lost in the story of Firestorm.

Also whomever crafted this “new vision” of Firestorm decided it would be “cool” to have Ronnie/Jason/anyone with the Firestorm Protocol powers to say “Firestorm” in order to activate their powers…like the Human Torch says “Flame on”…

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New 52 Firestorm [Protocol] Red, Ronnie Raymond:

This version of Ronnie – much like his PreNew 52 self – was a jock at heart but unlike his PreNew 52 self (and again, another big part of the character they drastically changed), Ronnie isn’t excited to be Firestorm for quite some time; it’s Jason, and not Ronnie, whose excited to be a part of Professor Stein’s “program”. Ronnie was granted half of the powers of PreNew 52 Firestorm when Jason Rusch exposed him to the “God Particle” created by Doctor Martin Stein in order to save both of their respective lives. While Jason was given the ability to transmute matter, Ronnie was given the ability to create and expel nuclear fire.

Ronnie – after having seen how dangerous the Firestorm Protocols were – decided to go off on his own and try to stop Qurac terrorists who had been granted the Firestorm Protocol power; rather than having Z-Tech (the company he’d been working for with Jason) help, Ronnie got himself captured and lost his arm to the Qurac people.

While the New 52 certainly didn’t do justice to the character in the first twelve issues of The Fury of Firestorm, the character soon became a much more faithful adaptation following the end of the the first arc (beginning in Issue 13).

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Yellow, Jason Rusch:

This version of Jason – much like his PreNew 52 self – was a science geek above all – although this version of the character was significantly ruder about his status as a “geek”, often making fun of Ronnie for not being as smart as him and – at first – referring to him as “jock” rather than by “Ronnie”. Jason was granted half of the powers of PreNew 52 Firestorm when he exposed both he and Ronnie Raymond to the “God Particle” created by Doctor Martin Stein in order to save both of their respective lives. While Ronnie was given the ability to create and expel nuclear fire, Jason was granted the ability to transmute matter.

While the New 52 certainly didn’t do justice to the character in the first twelve issues of The Fury of Firestorm, the character soon became a much more faithful adaptation following the end of the the first arc (beginning in Issue 13).

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Fury, Ronnie Raymond + Jason Rusch:

Debuting in The Fury of Firestorm: Issue #01, the “Fury” of Firestorm is created when Jason and Ronnie (both in their Firestorm forms) merge into one – sentient – being. The being, although containing both Jason and Ronnie has it’s own unique personality. Whilst in Fury form both Jason and Ronnie are trapped within the Quantum field and are forced to watch the Fury’s heroic, but harsh actions. Upon latter merges into the Fury, Jason and Ronnie realize that while they don’t have full control, they can control the Fury to some degree. 

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Helix, Roger Zither:

Zither, the wife of Director Candice Zither of Z-Tech, was the first human selected to attempt Professor Martin Stein’s Firestorm Protocols. Zither was more than happy when he was selected to be the defender of the United States, calling himself the “first inner-space astronaut”. Unfortunately his excitement wasn’t enough, the experiment went wrong horribly wrong as it was revealed that Zither had not only (accidentally) burn his wife’s face, but he’d also killed his own kids. For three years Zither had been locked in Z-Tech, unable to understand what he’d done wrong, until his wife – director of Z-Tech – sent him to capture Ronnie and Jason. Even more unfortunate is the fact that – in his three years of captivity – Zither’s mind had become further twisted, proven by the fact that upon his first meeting of Jason and Ronnie he saw himself as “America’s only defender” and saw both Ronnie and Jason as demonic Nazi Firestorms.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Pozhar, Professor Mikhail Arkadin:

Mikhail – often referred to as “A Red Shadow – made his debut in The Fury of Firestorm: Issue #04 and, unlike previous versions of Mikhail, this character had no “family man” side, he was simply trying to control the Firestorm Protocols he claimed to have helped create. In The Fury of Firestorm Issue #06 he comes after Ronnie and Jason, simply telling them, “I hunt Firestorms”, before realizing that their powers are derived from the “true source” and that they’re simply attempting to help.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Unknown, Haji Al-Farishtaa:

Also making his debut in The Fury of Firestorm: Issue #04the codename-less Firestorm known only as “Haji Al-Farishtaa” was a rogue Firestorm Protocol and an illegal arms dealer, “shockingly” he sold illegal Firestorm Protocols to Qurac terrorists. The character was promptly killed by Pozhar.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Unknown, Qurac Terrorists:

Multiple Quac terrorists were given the Firestorm Protocol when it was sold to them by  Haji Al-Farishtaa and they used it – to the dismay of Ronnie Raymond – to kill as many people as they possibly could.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Hurricane, Unknown:

While not much is known of Hurricane, he’s seemingly another International Agent of Z-Tech, and came to Jason’s aid in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #08He is later killed by Z-Tech and Scorn in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #12.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Firehawk, Therese:

In what seems to be yet another case of stolen legacy, the new Firehawk is no longer Lorraine Reily, but rather another Z-Tech Interaction Agent whom comes to Jason’s aid in  The Fury of Firestorm Issue #08She – along with Jason – seemingly discover that Professor Stein is within the Quantum Field (the “new’ version of the Firestorm Matrix). She is seemingly killed by Z-Tech and Scorn in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #12 but it is revealed at the end of the issue that she teleported to Z-Tech headquarters in order to kill the head of Z-Tech by causing herself to explode.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Wrath, Jason Rusch + Therese (Firehawk):

Formed from a similar manner as Fury – the contact between Jason and Firehawk – Wrath – again like Fury – possessed it’s own unique persona. Unlike Fury, the merge between Firehawk and Jason proved too unstable, and the two were soon thrown from the Quantum Field; the character made it’s only appearance in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #09.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Rakshasi, Unknown:

Debuting in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #10, Rakshasi initially faces off against Pozhar who is about to killer her, before Ronnie Raymond intervenes. She is later killed by Z-Tech and Scorn in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #12.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Red 2.0, Ronnie Raymond:

After having lost his hand in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #07Pozhar revealed that both he and Stein had postulated that a rare few might develop more powers as Firestorm and that seemingly Ronnie was one of those few. This change is seemingly portrayed in Ronnie’s new power upgrade and new costume which debuted in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #10.

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New 52 Firestorm Protocol Scorn, Mikhail Arcadian + Ronnie Raymond:

Debuting in The Fury of Firestorm Issue #11 Scorn, much like Wrath and Fury before it, was an amalgamated version of two of the Firestorm Protocols. Rather than sharing what little control they had, as Ronnie/Jason did and as Jason/Firehawk did, Pozhar had full control of the newly created creature. In The Fury of Firestorm Issue #12 Scorn is able to kill Firehawk, Hurricane, and Rakshasi thanks to Z-Tech turning their protocols off.

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New 52 Firestorm, Ronnie Raymond + Jason Rusch:

During the events of  Issue #00 (of The Fury of Firestorm) , which takes place after the events Issues 1-12 of the series, it is revealed that – while Jason and Ronnie were seemingly freed of they “Firestorm Protocols” what’s left of the Protocols now allows them to merge into a much more familiar version of Firestorm. This version of the character had the powers of both the “Ronnie Red Firestorm” and the “Jason Yellow Firestorm” previously introduced, and – as stated beforehand – was much more in line with Firestorm’s prior to the New 52.

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New 52 Firestorm, Dr. Megala (+ Ronnie Raymond + Jason Rusch) :

In The Fury of Firestorms’s 14th issue, an evil mastermind by the name of Dr. Megala is able to highjack Firestorm’s body and use it for his own. During this time both Jason and Ronnie (as it’s revealed in the following issue) are trapped within Firestorm, unable to see nor gain control. It is later revealed that Megala had a hand in creating Captain Atom (as he too appears to combat the “new” Firestorm), furthermore it’s revealed that Megala originally wanted Captain Atom’s body as his own, but settled for Firestorm’s when he thought Atom had left the Earth for good (he was really just on the Moon). After taking a hit from Captain Atom, Ronnie and Jason are able to take control of Firestorm once again, but not before colliding with Captain Atom and causing his containment suit to explode.


The CW’s Firestorm


As you can probably tell at this point, Firestorm’s comic book backstory is extremely length and extremely interesting. The previous sections barely broke into the villains he’s faced or the storylines he’s been involved with and yet, the information given could fill a few books…or a few seasons of a TV show.

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While there are minor hurdles that the [potential] show or storyarc would need to leap over before beginning in order to truly adapt some of Firestorm’s most interesting storylines, the hurdles are few and far between. Many people seem to believe that TV character Jax Jackson serves as a replacement to comic character Jason Rusch, the truth of the matter is that TV-Jax is a lot more like comic book Ronnie Raymond, and TV-Ronnie is a lot more like comic book Jason Rusch.

Furthermore, assuming Robbie Amell was willing to return, his commitment to a series as opposed to a few guest appearances here and there would allow for production to not feel as though they were hindering the actor, whose film career never really ended up taking off. The issue with the younger Amell was that production believed that they were tying up the actors valuable time for larger works (such as movies) but making him a guest star/part of an ensemble cast, but if Amell, along with Drameh (Jax) and Garber (Stein) were given the opportunity to spearhead their own series, I’m sure most issues would quickly dissipate.

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Unlike Arrow – which focused (not so much anymore) on the gritty, down to Earth hero, unlike The Flash – which focuses on metahuman villains and heroes, unlike Legends of Tomorrow – which focuses on the worries and woes of time travel, and unlike Supergirl which explores the concept of aliens on Earth, Firestorm could potentially explore a brand new blended space, the concepts of science and how they change the world on a much larger scale.

While metahumans (such as Killer Frost) could also likely be a highlight of the show, the core focus of the show (or at least the show’s first season) could – surprisingly – be drawn from the initial Firestorm arc of the New 52, in which the world somehow gains access to and the ability to create their own Firestorms, allowing Ronnie/Jax to combat those Firestorms.

Also, given the fact that the Speed Force and the Firestorm Matrix are both extremely complex, and unexplored concepts within both the comic books and the television universe, a Firestorm show would almost demand exploration of the Firestorm Matrix whereas a show about The Flash can quite easily dance around what the Speed Force truly is; Stein and Jax are actually within the Matrix each time they merge, whereas Barry is just pulling power from the unseen Speed Force when he runs. Further exploration of the Firestorm Matrix, along with a science-like edge would allow Firestorm to break into molds used by other popular television series such as The X-Files, Fringe, Firefly, etc. and fill voids left on the CW by the now cancelled Star-Crossed and The Tomorrow People; point being, the show would have a ton of potential.


The Fate of Ronnie Raymond (of Earth-1)


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As stated way back at the beginning of this write up, The Flash’s second season began by killing off fan-favorite Ronnie Raymond. As Raymond and Professor Stein separated in the eye of the singularity hovering over Central City, the resulting explosion mysteriously only caused one of the two to die…while the other feel from the sku. Given the slightly ambiguous nature of Ronnie’s death, three main trains of through have stemmed from the events of 2×01:

  • Ronnie is actually dead
  • Ronnie is on Earth-2
  • Ronnie has been absorbed into the Firestorm Matrix

While simply killing off Ronnie would – finally – cement that characters can die in the Arrow/Flash universe – both Arrow and The Flash are famous for keeping very few character’s dead – Ronnie’s revival would likely serve a larger purpose then meaninglessly negating the effects of death, and therefore it’s something that should be considered.

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Ronnie is on Earth-2 (or any Earth…or lost in the Multiverse):

Given the fact that 2×13 saw the introduction and “death” of Ronnie’s doppelgänger, Deathstorm, on Earth-2 the rules of the Multiverse seem to have now established that there are indeed multiple Ronnie Raymond’s on the various versions of Earth that exist. While it’s entirely possible that Earth-1 Ronnie was rocketed to Earth-2 in 2×01, and Professor Stein was sent the other way – falling back to Earth-1 – it may seem like more of a retcon if The Flash or Legends of Tomorrow decided to make the claim that Earth-1 Ronnie had been on Earth-2 during the entirety of The Flash’s second season, without any hint or mentioned to his being alive.

That said, the approach I would personally take would be one similar to what was shown in the pages of Injustice. During the events of Injustice Green Arrow was skilled by Superman, and months later Black Canary was almost killed by Superman as well. In a show of good faith, Doctor Fate used his powers to bring Dinah (Black Canary) to an Earth where Oliver had lost his own version of Dinah, thus allowing the two to finally be together. Point being, if the Multiverse approach is used to bring Ronnie back to the CWverse, the writers might be best suited in bringing a version of Ronnie into the fold who has lost his version of Caitlin.

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Ronnie is In the Firestorm Matrix:

While the Multiverse would be an interesting means of bringing a version of Ronnie Raymond back to the CWverse, the best way to actually revive the character may be to reveal he never died in the first place. Firestorm Volume 3 Issue #10 did just that, as it introduced the fact that Ronnie Raymond had not died by the blade of the Shining Knight during Identity Crisis, but rather he’d been absorbed into the Firestorm Matrix itself. This potential storyline would not only allow for the return of the “original” version of Ronnie, but would also allow for a much needed exploration of the Firestorm Matrix as well.


The Fate of Ronnie Raymond (of Earth-2)


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Much like his Earth-1 counterpart, Ronnie Raymond of Earth-2 was seemingly killed by Zoom in the 13th episode of The Flash’s second season. That said, every hero needs a sweet “reverse” counterpart as their villain (i.e. Batman/Hush, Flash/Reverse Flash, Green Arrow/Merlyn, etc), and if Ronnie could potentially return as Firestorm on Earth-1, then who’s to say Earth-2 Deathstorm couldn’t return as well?

Interestingly, much like Ronnie’s death opened up possible avenues to his return through it’s ambiguity, Deathstorm’s death did as well. While both avenues are different, they actually perfectly channel the two distinct versions of Deathstorm who have appeared in DC comics history.

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“Revival” Similar to Blackest Night/Brightest Day Deathstorm:

The Brightest Day version of Deathstorm was merely a manifestation of Ronnie’s mannerisms in the form of “Death” within the Firestorm Matrix. Assuming everything we know about Deathstorm of Earth-2 is taken at face value, it’s entirely possible that – now that both of it’s hosts have died – that the Firestorm Matix could become corrupt and begin life again on it’s own; using the body it had once inhabited.

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“Revival” Similar to Forever Evil Deathstorm:

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 return, 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.


Th CW’s Firestorm


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Overall a Firestorm show could bring a new audience to the CW’s already large set of demographics. In the comics, Firestorm has fought for global peace, he’s had the scientific aspects of his origin and powers explored, he’s been turned into an Elemental hellbent on protecting fire, etc. The character – regardless of which version the CW would chose to adapt – opens up interesting and unexplored avenues within the CWverse and would certainly be a welcomed addition to the CW’s exiting lineup.

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