“The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men” #0 delivers a simple and concise origin story for this binary superhero. The tone and easy structure make this feel like a Saturday morning cartoon version of the character — everything is relatively clear but it comes at the cost of any complexity or higher level of storytelling. There’s a single battle, but otherwise this issue is only concerned with solidifying the origin of Jason and Ronnie and tying together their partnership to some degree.
Joe Harris does a decent job presenting everything you need to know about the two young men who make up Firestorm. He uses captions and thoughts to drop knowledge about the social level of these two, what exactly Firestorm and its protocols are and what power sets they each hold. Everything is placed in front of the reader and nothing is obscured. To fit this much in, the story retains a simplicity that helps it establish conflict and quickly resolve it all in the one issue.
The two leads differ from each other and are mildly cliche, but Harris works to make them open enough for us to care. There is struggle present even though they must eventually overcome this and work together. The villain of the piece, Helix, is just the right amount of super-strong and dumb enough to make him feel like a threat while not eventually being one of any magnitude.
The main problem with this issue is that it relies on far too much that occurred in the past. This #0 issue should be the start, or kind of feel like it, and yet so much relies on narration drawing from the past. I read this issue and understand where Firestorm is now and how they got here but not where they really came from. It’s a structural failure of intent but this niggle aside, the issue is enjoyable enough.
Yildiray Cinar and Marlo Alquiza have their work cut out for them with loads of flames and Kirby dots. The action sequences feel energetic but this is usually trickery because the poses feel engaging when they actually aren’t engaging with much. A little too much of this book feels like pin up material and not sequential storytelling. The pin ups are well orchestrated and delivered but should be used in moderation.
“The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men” #0 is the sort of book first time readers can easily cut their teeth on. Readers that are more discerning will see through the holes but those looking for entrainment will find it. The characters fill their roles and show enough room to be able to grow further in the future. The action is fun if not overly intricate. Buy this one for the kids and watch a smile grow.