Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fury of Firestorm #8-15 (1982)

I'm continuing to "burn" through these old Firestorm back issues, and this time they're a bit more of a mixed bag.

The first villain for Ronnie Raymond in this batch was Typhoon. I've seen Typhoon before in other titles, but I liked just how messed up his origin is. This poor guy got lost under the sea in a submersible lab where he was transformed into an elemental. After returning to find he had been replaced as a husband and a father, he seeks revenge on those he blames for destroying his old life, including Dr. Martin Stein. There are some great sequences as the city is almost drowning (handled in a much better fashion than Ultimatum, I might add).

Next up was the Hyena, who happens to be the horribly-named sister of Ronnie's special lady Doreen. Summer Day suffers from the curse of Hyena, essentially a werewolf deal. She's spread the curse to her friend and doctor, and there is some mistaken identity hijinks as Firestorm attempts to halt the curse. He eventually stops the two Hyenas but not before he is infected with the curse himself. Ronnie and Dr. Stein can't split out of their now-furry form, so they head out to the Congo where a, ah, fairly stereotypical witch-doctor frees them from their curse.

The last couple issues in this stack have Dr. Stein's old assistant Multiplex return to torment Firestorm in an attempt to re-create the original accident that created Firestorm. I love the weird mix of origins with Firestorm, he's part Hulk and part Spider-Man. Multiplex is a kind of weakling, but since his genius is the real threat, the dupe-creating power is just kind of a bonus.

There's also a great fist-fight with nerd-rival Cliff Carmichael. Just like Peter Parker, Cliff is tougher than he appears and beats the snot out of Ronnie (although Ronnie was a tad out of it from other factors). I love that a guy so good in his heroic form has so many problems in his civilian ID.

The bulk of the art is by George Broderick, who has a nice classic style. I again find myself digging old 80s DC, an era I had written off. While I liked the first 7 issues more than this last stack, this is certainly good enough to keep me reading (and since I already bought through issue 60, I have to read them!) Any suggestions on other 80s DC books that hold up this well?



Martin Gray said...

Other Eighties books - hmm, have you read Night Force? Amethyst? Thriller 9by Loren Fleming and von Eedon only)? Captain Atom by Cary Bates and (psst) Pat Broderick? Nathanial Dusk? The Phantom Zone? 'Mazing Man?

Timbotron said...

LOL. I've read none of those! This last summer I stacked up on old satellite-era JLAs, so that's probably next up, but I'm intrigued by Night Force adn Captain Atom for sure. I'm a big Nathaniel Adam fan from his days in JLE.