The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #12

Unlike so many of DC Comics' titles this month, "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Men" #12 ends on a note that seems well suited to the upcoming zero issue month. While "Firestorm" #0 is slated to reveal some of the past for the Nuclear Men, their present gets a tidy bow put on it as Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond manage to reconnect and stave off an attack from Pozhar.

Sure, some threads are left untucked and dangly, but from where else should continuity and character growth stem? Pozhar plays his hand, the international Firestorms get played and Ronnie and Jason let their bromance blossom. Around all of that, fight sequences pound in loud and spectacular, not giving the reader too much distraction beyond the nuclear powered slugfests that erupt across the pages, soaking up Hi-Fi's raucous coloring and offering readers plenty of opportunities to pick sides, cheer for characters and study all the different ways things could go wrong for someone bearing the Firestorm Protocols. This issue doesn't do much else to establish new storylines, choosing instead to focus on the characters, their struggles and the outcomes of those struggles.

Some of Joe Harris's dialog gets weird and overly flowery, such as "Pozhar's clinging to me like a dying star." I have no idea what that even means. It's pretty and poetic and fitting in a metaphoric way as Harris and Yildiray Cinar wind down their run, but how many readers can even imagine being clung to like a dying star, never mind the fact that this nugget is shared by Ronnie, the "big dumb jock" of this series.

With Yildiray Cinar receiving an assist from Daniel Hdr, the art is up and down, in and out and generally speaking, all over the place. "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Men" #12 opens with a flourish, but stumbles as it nears the conclusion, just like Candace Zither does in the waning pages of this chapter. The best art in the issue is appropriately placed at the grandest moments of the fights, celebrating the frightening absurdity of nuclear-powered beings being the life out of one another.

As issues of "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Men" go, this one is far from my favorite and far from the most memorable. It is, however, the one issue that does the most to advance the long-range story of Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond. With Harris and Cinar wrapping up their run, I find myself wondering where this series could have gone had they continued. In some ways, this feels like the end of the series, but knowing there is a zero issue coming up and Dan Jurgens comes on board a month after gives me hope there's still a lot of energy left in this nuclear solution.

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