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- That was a mere warning, whelp. Move and I promise I will not miss you again.
Synopsis "Deleted" (20-pages)
Previously in The Fury of Firestorm #1-8. The Firestorm Protocols were created in an international collaboration between Professors Martin Stein (an America) and Mikhal Arkadin (a Russian). The Protocols used gauge-bosons as a quantum catalyst to transform a compatible human subject into a Firestorm, a nuclear powered superhuman with the ability to fly, generate/absorb heat, and transmute matter. Arkadin used the Protocols on himself to become a Firestorm called Pozhar. Stein disappeared and his work was taken over by a company called Zithertech. They used Stein’s technique to create Firehawk (French) and Hurricane (UK) Firestorms in the belief that Firestorms could replace conventional nuclear weapons.
Stein’s own intentions are unknown, but it seems that he did not want all his work passing into Zithertech’s hands. He sent one of the Firestorm triggers to a student called Jason Rusch for safe keeping. However, Zithertech forced Rusch to use the trigger transforming himself and another student called Ronnie Raymond into Firestorm variants with only half the normal abilities each. Ronnie and Jason went through hell as Zithertech goons took over their lives and they found themselves fighting rogue Firestorms created by a Quraci terrorist group called Ashra Khan. The two young men violently disagreed on what they should do next and went their separate ways. Jason agreed to work with Zithertech and found himself working with Firehawk and Hurricane to stop an Ashra Khan attack on Paris while Ronnie found himself in Qurac being mentored by Pozhar.
Ashra Khan’s rogue Firestorms outwitted the two European Firestorms and Jason Rusch. They managed to destroy the first rogue Firestorm, but the second blew herself up under the Eiffel Tower and it looked like the Tower was about to collapse. Hurricane and Jason tried desperately to transmute the metal into something less harmful, but were nearly overwhelmed. Firehawk had to drag Jason out from underneath it before the Tower came down on him as well. They have just spotted another rogue Firestorm when the appearance of the UN’s Justice League International complicates matters. The press launch of the JLI in New York had been targeted by a separate group of terrorists (anti-authority anarchists as opposed to Quraci fanatics), but news of a terrorist attack in Paris drew their attention as they suspected that it might have been the same group.
The JLI hit the ground running with Booster dispatching Batwing and Green Lantern Guy Gardner to reinforce and save the Tower. The Chinese August General In Iron attacks Jason Rusch, but he defends himself by creating a carpet under the General and then pulling it out from under him. The return of the rogue Firestorm shows the JLI who the real badguys are. Firehawk disputes the JLI’s presence, but Booster counters that they are representatives of the United Nations (only partially true as there are in dispute with the UN). They nevertheless agreed to pool their resources against the common enemy attacking Paris.
The rogue Firestorm is on a suicide dive, Jason slows it down with ice and OMAC wrestles it to a halt. The blue giant then rips its head off and it is left to Guy Gardner to try to contain the blast from the dying Firestorm. OMAC was caught inside Guy’s ring construct , but appears no worse for the experience. Jason doesn’t trust the newcomers, but he tells Firehawk that he and Ronnie use to fuse together to form a more powerful Firestorm called Fury. He tries the same with Firehawk, but their fusing instead creates a new entity called Wrath which starts punching OMAC. Jason feels Ronnie’s mind even while fused with Firehawk, but something is wrong and the merging with her does not seem stable. Wrath violently explodes leaving no sign of either Jason Rusch or Firehawk.
The perplexed JLI receive word that they are needed back in America and gather to leave. Having saw the new nuclear club Batman suggests that they could do worse than make sure they have their own Firestorm on the team. Jason didn’t seem to trust them so Batman suggests that Booster recruit Firehawk instead. Skeets says that he’ll prepare the necessary diplomatic overtures, but at the moment neither the JLI or Hurricane knows where Firehawk and Jason have gone.
Elsewhere, Pozhar had taken the Ronnie Raymond with him and has started hitch hiking away from Qurac. However, Ronnie is weak and is crackling with power. Their ride turns out to be more of Ashra Khan’s terrorists so Pozhar tells Ronnie that “we walk from here.”
- The JLI started the diplomatic process to recruit France’s Firehawk.
- Firehawk’s name given name is Therese (mentioned by Hurricane).
Fury of Firestorm #9 is the first time that we see the Justice League International in operation in force in a title that was not their own. Ethan Van Sciver and Joe Harris do a good job with the script. The characters are matched excellently to their JLI appearances. The artwork by Yildiray Cinar is excellent, as it has been more most of the Firestorm series. With this many characters Cinar and co. quite wisely concentrate on the people and leave the background as featureless.
A special mention should also be made for Ethan Van Sciver’s cover. Now this is a classic style JLI cover – humour, characters, and slightly silly. Just brilliant – imagine how the JLI title itself could have done if he’d been doing its covers. David Finch is a great artist, but he never felt right for a lighter book like JLI.
Maybe a moment that we wouldn’t have seen in JLI is OMAC ripping the head off of the Quraci terrorist Firestorm. A shocking event, but one that underlines just how out of control OMAC is despite Kevin Kho’s best protestations that he’s actually in the guiding seat. Firehawk sounds like she’s willing to join the JLI, but that never happens. It’s a pity as I really liked the character, her and Hurricane. Either of them or even the Indian Rakshasi would have been excellent candidates for the JLI. Again, it’s a real pity that none of this was ever followed up.
Surveying the Internets
This isn’t REALLY a crossover. The previous JLI explains why they’re here in the last two pages. This issue is simply Fury of Firestorm, guest-starring the JLI. The ongoing storylines of both series make no connection to the other whatsoever, unless Firehawk ends up joining the JLI down the line, and even then the connection is tenuous and missable if you can’t stand Firestorm.
Folk blast things and repair stuff and shout at one another and there’s nothing approaching a recap or introductions for non-regular readers. [...] 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?
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Page 1. The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 by Gustav Eiffel as the grand entrance to Paris 1889 World’s Fair. It was meant to be a temporary structure, but was found to have its uses so was kept around. As shown here the Firestorms are doing their best to bring it down heavy and fast. Hurricane transmuting the metal solid again won’t make a difference, that suckers coming down too fast. Which makes the rest of the issue kinda of pointless. As drawn, the Tower is toast so the most they can hope to do is save the civilians. Nobody seems to remembered that there are going to be tourists at the top. Haven’t Firestorms watched Superman II.
The yellow Firestorm is Jason Rusch, the Firestorm what was introduced in 2004 after the original was killed off. In the New 52 timeline he and Ronnie Raymond are each one-half of a fully functioning Firestorm. Thus Jason can transmute elements, but cannot contain or manipulate energy. The British Firestorm is called Hurricane — presumably named for the WWII era British fighter plane.
Page 2. The female Firestorm is the New 52′s version of Firehawk. Completely different incarnation to the Lorraine Reilly old version. This one is an officially sanctioned French superhero. I would point out that Jason Rusch is still technically a High School student, a science geek, and that he’s suddenly found himself with an older, confident French angel hoving over him.
Hurricane uses the phrase “another bogey at your six” which makes me wonder if he is tied to the RAF by more than just his codename.
Page 4. The Justice League International. Last seen at the end of Justice League International (vol. 3) #9 (July 2012) heading towards Paris after receiving word of the terrorist attack.
Page 5. Booster sends Godvia to look after the crowds and that is the last we see of her until the end of the issue. Batwing is also sent to help stabilise the Tower. I can only assume that he’s sent to keep an eye on Guy Gardner.
Page 8. The JLI is “light in the tank department” after the death of Rocket Red and the hospitalization of Fire and Vixen. Guy Gardner makes an allusion to “fatboys and little men” by mixing up his atomic bomb code names. They were the American atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki (“Fatman”) and Hiroshima (“Little Boy”) in 1945.
Page 12. Any where north of Persian Gulf at this distance would put them in Iran. The man in the turban is Pozhar, the Russian Firestorm. As he mentions, the kid in the blanket is Ronnie Raymond.
Page 19. Skeets says that the JLI have been recalled to New York to deal with another incident. However, Justice League International (vol. 3) #10 (Aug 2012) just has them going home and going their separate ways.