Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Fury of Firestorm #9 review

Adding guest stars is a great way to put an ailing comic before a wider audience. Making no concessions to visiting readers isn't the way to flip them into becoming regulars. I came to this comic having found the first two issues of The Fury of Firestorm a mess. I tried again last month to see how new writer Joe Harris was gelling with continuing co-writer Ethan Van Sciver and it took four attempts to get through the comic. But I love the Firestorm concept, like the new JLI and so decided that #9 would be the make or break.

Well, it's break. As broken as the Eiffel Tower in this issue-long slugfest between good and bad Firestorms and the Justice League Interrnational. Folk blast things and repair stuff and shout at one another and there's nothing approaching a recap or introductions for non-regular readers. Van Sciver and Harris know what their story is, Yildiray Cinar draws it big and bombastic, the inks and colours are impressive ... but how the heck are newbies meant to know what's going on? I thought one of the tenets of DC's New 52 was that individual issues would be accessible? Instead, it seems to be that editors get to sleep on the job.

An example of the boneheadedness of this comic is Booster Gold and Batman grabbing the French Firehawk, mid-battle, for a chat about one of the Firestorms signing with their international team. Then there's JLI leader Booster ordering two of his colleagues to stop the massive tower toppling - Guy Gardner and ...Batwing?

Van Sciver draws the enticing cover which, of course, misrepresents the comic's events.

I don't know how much longer this series is going to survive, as sales aren't brilliant - JLI, which has more paying readers, is already losing its place in the New 52. Issues like this aren't a great argument for keeping it on the stands.

13 comments:

  1. I have to agree with you. I grabbed this because it continues from JLI (which I read regularly) but I was constantly confused as to what the heck was going on.

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    1. Phew, not just me then! Thanks Reno.

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  2. This review is spot on. I LOVE Firestorm (Have every issue of every run) but this firestorms everywhere garbage has destroyed the character to the point where it might not be salvageable unless they go in a completely new direction, starting with ONE Firestorm.

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    1. I'm the shame, I've been with the character since his debut before the DC Explosion. I so want the concept to succeed. I enjoyed Jason's solo run - loved the use of plausible science - even though Ronnie is MY Firestorm ... the first couple of years of Fury of Firestorm we amazing.

      (I'm 'the shame'? ... silly sticker Blogger on iPad!)

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  3. Too many characters spoil the comic. And did the DCU really need a Firestorm Corps to go along with the GLC and Batman, Inc.?

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  4. Looks like I'm in the minority here as I'm finding Firestorm okay on the whole. Not brilliant, not as good as JLI, but okay. Trying to recruit Firehawk for a JLI that may be cancelled seemed a little out of place, though.

    For me, having lots of Firestorms isn't a problem - sure, how it plays out in this series may still need work but the concept's pretty much the same as the Green Lantern Corps. Instead of 2 Lanterns per sector we get one Firestorm per nuclear-capable country. What's not to like as a concept?

    Just my two pennies worth.

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  5. Yep, the concept's the same as with the GL Corps ... so why foist them on Firestorm? I find the modern GL Corps annoying enough ;). Oh well,miring on pink, mauve and puce Firestorm!

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  6. I see that I was not the only person to have accessibility problems with this issue. I wrote about my thoughts on Firestorm #9, as well as the general problem of most DC and Marvel books not being "new reader friendly," over at my own blog.

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    1. Great post, Ben. And here's the link so others can get to it quickly (though not as quickly as would be the case were Blogger to make links active in replies):

      http://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/fury-of-firestorm-9-and-the-problem-of-making-comic-books-friendly-to-new-readers/

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    2. All you need's a little knowledge of html - click here to save the hassle of copying and pasting, people!

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  7. I can understand where fans of the classic Firestorm are struggling with this book. If you are looking for some classic Firestorm love, swing by FIRESTORM FAN. It's a site dedicated to all incarnations of our favorite Nuclear Man.

    Hope to see you there. Always nice meeting another Match-head (a.k.a. a fan of Firestorm).

    The Irredeemable Shag
    http://firestormfan.com

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    1. Thank you, Shag, fantastic resource!

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