The Fury of Firestorm Volume 2: The Firestorm Protocols

Writer / Artist
The Fury of Firestorm Volume 2: The Firestorm Protocols
The Fury of Firestorm The Firestorm Protocol review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1-4012-4032-5
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2013
  • UPC: 9781401240325
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Co-writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone went too far in establishing terrorist atrocities, but that apart they produced a page-turning superhero reboot for Firestorm in The God Particle. It set up two new American Firestorms who don’t get along, but who can merge into one hell of a nuclear beast, revealed other Firestorms, and introduced the Zithertech organisation claiming to be acting for the greater good, but generating suspicion as to their true motives.

The contrast between the two American Firestorms sets up an interesting dynamic. Jason Rusch is incredibly smart and less inclined to believe something’s great just because that’s what he’s told. Ronnie Raymond isn’t dim, but is headstrong and likely to take things at face value. That both are inexperienced is well conveyed, but the Firestorm technology has been passed on far further, and several others with very similar powers are introduced here.

Van Sciver is now paired with Joe Harris on the writing, and that’s apparent in some less than sparkling dialogue. Van Sciver draws the first couple of chapters here in his distinctively detailed fashion (sample art) before handing back to the reliable Yildiray Cinar, with Daniel HDR helping out with a few pages.

Whereas The God Particle hit almost all the right beats, The Firestorm Protocols slides well down the quality scale. It’s the result of an artist who’s also a writer prioritising the images over the storytelling, leading to the repetition of concentrating almost exclusively on assorted Firestorms and a succession of battles while ignoring their civilian scenes that could provide balance. It’s still the people and their doubts in the fiery costumes, but too many of them, and there’s not enough time to care for them what with pointless guest appearances from the Justice League and an ever escalating threat that never really resonates.

When the dust clears Firestorm is broadly the character he was when introduced in the 1970s, so why bother with what’s in effect a dozen chapters of prologue if that’s what’s carried forward into Takeover?