Firestorm

Firestorm 7 (January 2005)

196997What’s wrong with this art? Liam Sharp pencils, Andy Lanning inks, and the result is a mess. Figures change sizes, faces don’t maintain any continuity. It’s an ugly comic.

The issue’s a mess anyway, since it’s a contrived crossover with Bloodhound. Jason–Firestorm–had a run-in with the employee of one of Clev’s (from Bloudhound) enemies. So the villain’s after Jason and his dad.

Jolley opens the issue with Jason’s dad verbally berating him; when Jason’s later being emotional towards him… it feels like Stockholm Syndrome. There’s also the problematic villain. Jolley gives him a realistic backstory (to match Bloodhound) but it clashes with the Firestorm stuff.

There’s also a lot of geographic confusion and contrivance–Sharp’s art probably just makes it worse. The comic lacks any personality, since Jolley links the two series through a lame villain.

The explicitly inappropriate panels (if taken out of context) are strange.

C- 

CREDITS

Upper Hand; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Liam Sharp; inker, Andy Lanning; colorist, Chris Sotomayor; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editors, Steve Wacker and Peter Tomasi; publisher, DC Comics.

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men 3 (January 2012)

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Why’s the bad lady got Madame Masque’s mask, only in silver? You’d think DC would want more originality.

Cinar’s art suffers this issue. His lines are blocky and there’s a general gracelessness to his figures. The script is pretty boring too–it’s a standoff between Team Firestorm and Team Bad Guy. Team Firestorm eventually wins, but not until Team Bad Guy brings in their ringer… some brain damaged super-jingoist. Sort of a brainwashed Captain America, only as big as the Hulk.

I’d almost say Simone’s making a comment about the “Love It or Leave It” crowd being brain damaged, but co-plotter Van Sciver’s a very public neocon.

There’s no character development here, just passing acknowledgments from Simone she should be doing it. The awful pacing she established in the last issue gets worse in this one.

Firestorm is a pointless series; Simone’s coped out on her protagonists’ development.

CREDITS

Helix; writers, Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone; artist, Yildiray Cinar; colorists, Steve Buccellato and Hi-Fi; letterer, Travis Lanham; editors, Ricky Purdin and Rachel Gluckstern; publisher, DC Comics.

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men 2 (December 2011)

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The great superhero art from Cinar continues and this issue of Firestorm is a little better overall.

Mostly it’s because Van Sciver and Simone have decided what famous plots to rip off. Here, it’s a little WarGames and a lot of Hulk. The giant Firestorm monster and the little Betty stand-in. Maybe they’ll get around to making a romantic triangle, but hopefully not. This issue, though improved, shows the pacing on Firestorm is going to be awful.

There’s a lot of exposition too. With the whole “Professor Stein is the smartest man alive” thing. If I were a new reader, it wouldn’t mean anything to me because Simone’s writing it as a big wink to familiar readers (Stein was the original Firestorm).

Unfortunately, Simone ignores most of the character drama this issue. I wonder if she’s just going forget about it and instead do more bad conspiracy thriller scenes.

CREDITS

Sound and Fury; writers, Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone; artist, Yildiray Cinar; colorist, Steve Buccellato; letterer, Travis Lanham; editors, Ricky Purdin and Rachel Gluckstern; publisher, DC Comics.

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