Saturday, May 10, 2003

Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #25 Review



Stuart Moore continues, with this issue of Firestorm, to show all dem other rubes just how writing a good, old fashioned superhero comic is done. Jamal Igle's very straightforward style of art (punctuated by Keith Champagne's inks, as Champagne, who used to ink Leonard Kirk, certainly is familair with the concept of clean art) is the perfect embellishment for a comic done in a straightforward, yet entertaining, manner.

The nifty Brian Stelfreeze cover kicks off an amusing match-up of FIREstorm against two cold-themed villains, Mr. Freeze and Killer Frost. Moore gives Freeze and Frost a nice rapport, but most of all, he uses the two to come up with a diabolical plan that actually makes some sense - even if it is idiotic (it is idiotic because Frost has very little to actually GAIN from her plan, but it makes sense because she's obviously nutso).

Firestorm is an extremely powerful hero, so the key to any good story will be to come up with threats which are actually threatening to him, and Moore comes through in spades. I especially liked the bit where they attach a device to Firestorm that hooks into his own genetic code, so if he tries to transmute it, he might find himself turning himSELF into salt or whatever!! Very clever.

Meanwhile, the book continues to make good use of the high concept idea of a United States senator (and former superhero) Lorraine Reilly forced to merge with a young college student (Jason Rusch) to form Firestorm. Their banter within the thoughts of Firestorm is fun to see, especially as the two try to figure out a scientific way of solving the problem they are in - only neither of them is a science whiz!!

While the outer space shenanigans is going on, Moore gives us a fun interlude with Jason's girlfriend and his dad. Last issue had an excellent line when, in response to his father asking if she was having sex with his son, she responded, "No sir, but I would very much like to." VERY funny. This issue was just as funny, but Moore also manages to use the scene to dump a ton of exposition as to what's been going on with her during the missing year (as I doubt she'll feature prominently in 52...hehe).

Moore also manages to throw in some more clues regarding the over-arching mystery of Jason and Lorraine trying to find Professor Stein, who has been missing, and we learn is being held by a bad guy.

There is also a nifty cameo by another superhero, whose interaction with Jason does not go the way the superhero probably intended it, but it makes for a great scene.

So yeah, nice, clean art and a fun story with a bunch of subplots balanced perfectly?

I say recommended without reservation!

Read the Review

10 Comments:

Blogger T. said...

Dude. They flew to the sun in about 15 minutes (to imagine what a ridiculous speed that is, realize that it takes 8.31 minutes to travel to the sun at the speed of light) and she took a BATH in it. That's the dumbest thing I've read, like, ever!

First, the sun is 110 times bigger than the earth, yet it's shown about the size of a baseball stadium if not smaller.

Second, the sun has 28 times the gravity of earth, how on earth can Firestorm be that close to it and manage to ever escape that pull using his own power. He'd have to be at pre-Crisis Superman levels to do that. It's enough gravity to keep 9 planets in orbit around it, including ours which is 23 MILLION MILES AWAY. Firestorm is a few FEET from the sun and can fly away like it's nothing?

Third, let's not even get started on the heat issue. A blast from Mr. Freeze's ice gun hurts Firestorm but he can stand being that close to the sun?

Fourth, they have a conversation in space? I thought no sound traveled out there!

Fifth, the sun's surface is normally 10,340 degrees fahrenheit or 6000 Kelvin, which Moore got right when he had Firestorm mention that the temperature was 5,822 Kelvin. Even if you buy the premise that Firestorm can survive the sun's 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit surface temperature, keep in mind that the Sun's outer atmosphere he'd have to pass through beforehand is 1,799,540 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

Maybe I don't know enough about Firestorm but that just seems like a really absurd power level.

Sixth, how on earth can he form a block of ice on the surface of the sun and keep it frozen?

5/10/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

Third, let's not even get started on the heat issue. A blast from Mr. Freeze's ice gun hurts Firestorm but he can stand being that close to the sun?

I've not read the issue (only been picking up this series on occassion) but I think I can answer this one. The Martin Stein fire-elemental version of the character ended the prior series with a battle that took place inside the sun! So if the current guy has somewhere around the same levels of power as Stein on his own did, even without being specifically fused with Stein, then yeah that's not a problem for him.

I suspect his reaction to ice is probably a similar hold over of his fire elemental connection.

5/10/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Nimbus said...

T, dude. You're thinking too much about this. It's a comic book! For starters, the guy can fly - so obviously gravity has no hold on him. And he can transform trillions of atoms from one form to another just by pointing his hand at them. And he can make that costume work.

Me thinks the usual laws of physics don't apply in this book. Or any other superhero comic.

5/11/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Okay JR, I am not that acquainted with Firestorm except for an odd issue here and there and the old Superfriends show.

Another point? What's killer frost's power level? Taking into account how fast they had to be traveling to reach the sun that fast, how can Killer Frost take the friction and the toll it would take on her body?

5/11/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Steve,

It wouldn't bother me so much if Moore was just going for all out fantasy. But based on the little things he's researched so far (and gotten right), it seems like he's trying to go for more plausible science fiction (as evidenced by the science he HAS researched). Believability is different than plausibility, I don't care how unbelievable a premise is, just sell it to me and make it seem plausible. When the implausible starts outweighing the plausible in a story (unless the story is meant to be out there and surreal), I get sucked out of it.

5/11/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Oh and Steve, totally valid point about the laws of physics not applying in comics. I guess the reason why I give DC grief about it rather than Marvel is that DC is always trying to sell ridiculous scenarios with real science (particularly the Flash and Firestorm) and getting it wrong. If they just went the Marvel route and blamed everything on unstable molecules, vibranium, nega-rays and unspecified radiation, I'd be a lot less critical.

5/11/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Derek B. Haas said...

So, uh, why did the villains need Firestorm at all? Why not just strap the jetpack onto Killer Frost and send her to the sun on her own?

I'm comfortable saying that this is the first genuine misfire of an issue I've read in Moore's run.

5/11/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Good point, Derek.

Something else...aren't there tons of heroes in NY? How did she know Firestorm, someone who could withstand the sun, was going to be the one to come first, as opposed to a nonpowered hero like Batman?

Also, did she have any plan as to how to get back to Earth after reaching the sun? How did she know Firestorm would hang around and wait to take her back? Wouldn't she effectively wipe out both the earth and herself by doing so? Why would Mr. Freeze agree to a plan that would effectively mean his own death? Is he suicidal?

Add to that the callous joking of Firestorm after all those people died ("even worse [than all those deaths]...they're gonna make out!")and you have an awful issue.

5/11/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

Another point? What's killer frost's power level?

I'm not quite sure what it is presently, she was upgraded in the "Underworld Unleashed" event (in Superboy 22 specifically). She was once able to create snowfalls on a citywide scale, I think that increased to somewhere around an island level, but I could be wrong about that.



Why not just strap the jetpack onto Killer Frost and send her to the sun on her own?

She's not like Mr. Freeze who can (and has to) live within certain cold temperatures to survive. Frost produces ice/snow/cold via her body's massive consumption of the heat around her. A sort of heat vampire I guess. Without Firestorm to effectively "feed" off of, she'd die. I would assume (or guess rather) that she absorbed any friction heat that happened as a result of their needed speed of travel as well (To bring this back around to T's question).


On a tanget note,...remember when DC used to have an "Answer Man" column for questions that came up about a character or issue? They should really find a new one, I bet he'd have tons of things to answer from Infinite Crisis alone!

5/11/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

I just think its great that there are others who are reading Firestorm. Overall, it has been a great read, and well written. Glad to see it finally gets the "shiny paper", although I did enjoy the newsprint type paper, as it added a touch of "old-fashionedness".

5/12/2006 02:14:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home