With the series premiere of [DC's Legends of Tomorrow](tag:2937021) just around the corner on The CW, I thought I'd take some time and break down the characters who will be making up this new team of heroes and villains alike. 7 days, 7 articles, with a new character in the spotlight each day.
Yesterday's character, and the first of our series, was Rip Hunter, the man responsible for bringing all the Legends together.
Today we're taking a look at Firestorm, the 2-for-1 deal of a superhero with pyromaniac powers.
The Origin Story
Firestorm first appeared in March 1978 in Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #1, created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom. The original version was comprised of two characters, Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein, who joined forces to form the superhero known as Firestorm. Two later incarnations of Firestorm appeared in the comics: First Ronnie Raymond on his on as Firestorm in 1990, and Jason Rusch taking up the mantle in 2004. One more Firestorm title launched in 2011 with Ronnie Raymond teaming up with Jason Rusch.
The first Firestorm was a dual identity in one superhero. After high school student Ronnie Raymond and brilliant physicist Martin Stein get caught in a nuclear accident, their resulting powers gave them ability to fuse into one superhero, Firestorm. The body of Firestorm was always the younger, more athletic Ronnie, but Dr. Stein's consciousness shared a symbiotic relationship with Ronnie whenever they fused and he would speak up in Ronnie's mind, acting as, quite literally, a voice of reason and wisdom as they fought together.
Ronnie controls the body of Firestorm with Stein commanding and advising him on how how best to use their powers. Because Firestorm was created in a nuclear fusion accident, his powers are related to exactly that: He has the ability to rearrange the atomic structure of both organic and inorganic matter, even able to manipulate them at the subatomic level.
With his ability to affect substances on such a minute level, it gives him a host of other powers, as well: He can regenerate himself from devastating injuries, shapeshift, keep himself from getting sick, and can even restructure his body so that it can go lengthy periods of time without the human necessities of food, water, and air, as well as making himself intangible, allowing him to pass through solid objects. He also has superhuman strength and the ability to fire devastating blasts of nuclear fusion energy from his hands.
The Live Action Version
The live action version of Firestorm is being played by two actors who were previously introduced on The Flash. The great character actor, Victor Garber, is plays the role of Dr. Martin Stein, while relative newcomer Franz Drameh is playing Jefferson "Jax" Jackson, the other half of Firestorm. The previous partner to Stein was the original Ronnie Raymond, played by Robbie Amell, but he was killed early in the second season, leaving Stein in need of a new partner.
While Jefferson Jackson was never part of Firestorm in the comics, he was a close friend and support to Ronnie Raymond during their high school days. The Flash, and now Legends of Tomorrow, have tweaked his story a bit so that he is the one to pair up with Stein to form Firestorm (partly because, as we know, Robbie Amell will be turning back up on The Flash as alternate universe doppleganger villain, Deathstorm). But the dual identity and dynamic between the pair is pulled directly from the first comic incarnation of Firestorm.
The Brain and the Brawn
Firestorm will bring an interesting dynamic to the Legends team, with the two polar opposites in Dr. Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson having to learn to work together. Along with Rip Hunter, Dr. Stein will clearly be the brains of the team, assisting in (if not running) Rip Hunter's lab, and we can probably expect him to be the one to figure out the solution to many of their problems. He'll also very likely take up the same role he did on The Flash, as a mentor and voice of wisdom to the younger and more inexperienced team around him.
Jefferson Jackson, on the other hand, is a normal kid thrust into an extraordinary circumstance. He's poised to bring a lot of comic relief to the team as the one mostly "normal" newcomer who is constantly observing on the batshit crazy of the things they face, and the completely implausible now being the new normal of their lives. But his natural athleticism and control of the Firestorm matrix means he'll also bring a huge amount of power and damage-dealing to the team that the others, who are mostly human, simply can't match. We can guess that when the big guns need to be brought in, Firestorm will be the one on the front lines.
So that was Firestorm! Check back tomorrow when I take a look at White Canary.