Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Fury of Firestorm #32 - Feb. 1985

The Phantom Stranger and Firestorm in "Ghosts!" by guest writer R.J.M. Lofficier and guest artist Alan Kupperberg!

Can't picture The Phantom Stranger teaming-up with (literal) hothead Firestorm the Nuclear Man? Well, feast your eyes on this tale, which opens up like a classic Phantom Stranger story of old:
Ronnie Raymond is having a bizarre dream, where he's in some outer space-like landscape, and he's attacked by some crazed old man! The old man can't beat Ronnie up, but his friend can--Firestorm, the Nuclear Man!

This causes Ronnie to yell out in terror, and that wakes him up from his dream. Eventually he gets out of bed and hits the New York streets, on his way to a job interview.

While on the way, a huge lightning strike hits New York Harbor, and springing out of the water is a giant typhoon!

The typhoon hits a nearby ship, and when Ronnie hears about it over the radio, he turns into Firestorm and heads out toward the harbor. But on the way...
I like that Firestorm recognizes the Stranger from reviewing the JLA computer files. Finally, the kid does some homework!

While saving the ship, Firestorm's other alter ago, Professor Martin Stein, informs Ronnie he had a bizarre dream the previous night, as well. As Ronnie considers this, we see a human-shaped being rise from the big black lightning bolt that caused the typhoon.

Rising from it is a ghostly image...and its the man from Ronnie's dream!

The man reaches into Firestorm, pulling Martin Stein out of the Nuclear Man, then hurtling him into the black abyss!

He then changes form, looking like Professor Stein, leaving Ronnie a bit perplexed...why is Professor Stein sounding a little different than he did before?

On the ground, Firestorm separates back into his two identities, and Ronnie is shocked to hear Professor Stein tell him to "buzz off."

Meanwhile, in the parallel dimension the real Professor Stein is trapped in, we see a white-gloved hand reach down to rescue him!

The old man--a crook nicknamed "Shoe-Shine"--tries to pick up his old life, but can't understand why people don't treat him the same--his old mob buddies, his girlfriend, etc.

Later, as Ronnie heads back to his job interview:
As Ronnie tries to reform into Firestorm, the evil Professor Stein fights him off. But he can't fight it for long, and then The Nuclear Man is back!

Problem is, Ronnie feels Shoe-Shine trying to take over Firestorm's body, until the crook is now totally in charge!

The Phantom Stranger steps in to stop this, and he transports himself and Firestorm into an alternate dimension, where they find their powers of magic vs. science equally matched!

The real, ghostly Martin Stein is watching all this, and as it looks like the Stranger can't defeat "Firestorm" on his own, he uses the topsy-turvy rules of this dimension to drag Firestorm's powers into him, leaving Shoe-Shine vulnerable:
The Phantom Stranger plays a large role in this story, larger than in his usual guest-appearances. He and the Firestorm make an interesting combo, considering how different their powers and personalities are.

It might have been interesting if the Stranger had made more appearances in Justice League while Firestorm was a member, but by then Zatanna was a member, too, and she filled the magical character void that writer Gerry Conway felt needed to be filled. Oh well.


Anonymous said...

I remember this issue fondly from my youth. I still have it packed away somewhere.

viagra online said...

The Fury of Fire Storm should be considerate between the 10 top list of comics of all times. I've enjoyed reading it, the sequence of the actions is simply perfect.

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