by Andrew Pellerito
Revamping. The essence of revamping is creating enough new and exciting stuff without losing what makes the character recognizable in the first place. I could have easily started totally new, with only the name the same but then why even have the same name? For Firestorm to be Firestorm, I came up with the following criteria:
Basically, I wanted something different, specifically in plot and feel, but for people to still see Firestorm in the character. The writing style for the series would be a little more light-hearted and fun, with an emphasis on the joy of having a new power and learning how to use it. It's about youth and exploring new possibilities. Here's what I came up with. Enjoy!
Ronald Raymond's life has changed several times. Three years ago, when Ron was eleven, he was in a terrible car accident. Three people were killed and Ron, who was a passenger, was very hurt and rushed to the hospital. The doctors told his parents, Ed and Crystal Raymond, that Ron suffered a massive blow to the head and had given him brain damage. Even worse, Ronnie would never walk again and his upper body also lacked some motor function.
It was a hard transition on the whole family and it caused a great strain on his parent's marriage. Things would never be the same. They hired a live-in therapist for him and Ronnie showed some signs of improving. The young therapist's name was Amber Stein and over the next three years she grew to really enjoy her job and young Ron.
Ron was an interesting kid, despite his handicaps, and loved comic books, super-heroes and science. Also, like most boys, he wanted to be popular, a jock, and longed just to be normal. Amber would always talk to him and treat him as an equal, which Ron appreciated but never could express. When his parents fought, Amber would distract Ron or take him on a field trip to keep him from hearing it go down.
On one such field trip, Amber went to where her father worked, the new Fusion Reactor he had designed and was scheduled to open within the month. Physicist Martin Stein spent many years with his designs on this new reactor and hoped this first one would be just the beginning of a new era in power. Having married at a young age to his college sweetheart Clarissa, Martin has had a life he has always wanted. He is very proud of his daughter and only wishes he could be there for her more than he is.
Amber and Ronnie surprised Martin with the visit and he was a bit distracted by it. The reactor needed to run through a prep cycle to make sure there were no bugs in the software controlling it. Martin started the scheduled cycle. As Martin met the young Ronald, he was very uncomfortable, having never dealt with such a special boy before.
A group of armed men, seemingly terrorists, stormed the main chamber of the reactor and threatened to kill them if they didn't cooperate. They all were stunned. One of the terrorists threatens his daughter and Ronnie and Martin steps in and tries to stop him. He is bashed on the head and knocked unconscious. Amber freaks out at her Dad being hurt like that. They grab her and put her down the hall, locking her in a separate room. Feeling that Ronnie is not a threat, they leave him next to Martin.
The men work fast and set several large explosives near the reactor and one man even suits up and enters the reactor room and sets one on the central core. Ronnie looks down at Martin and feels bad that he is unable to do anything. He struggles to move his hand out to try and wake the professor.
As the men talk, they give subtle hints that what they are doing is only the beginning for them and that they have a duty to perform. They perform the last of the bombs, they start to head out, killing a security guard on his rounds. There are moments where it is just focused on being helpless, Ronnie sitting in his chair, still reaching out to Martin. Martin still on the floor, and Amber trapped inside the room away from them.
The explosions in the fusion reactor do something strange. Whether it was something unusual about the explosives, the fusion reactor, or something else, the energy released has a different effect on those caught in its path.
Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond are somehow joined into one being,. This fiery haired man has an inferno surrounding him. They stand there, one being, seemingly immune to the heat and the flames around them. In fact, the new being seemed to be absorbing most of this, well, firestorm.
In the rubble of the main reactor, whipping energy flames swirled and circled around Firestorm. Most of the reactor was still intact though the room they were in was now open to the sky. Ron was in shock, seeing the universe in a different light. He could see what things were made of, could see individual atoms and elements in their natural form. And there was someone in this body with him!
After determining the changes that had happened, thoughts turned toward Amber and those that had done the terrible act. After phasing through the wall Firestorm found Amber, protected somehow from the explosion, and grabbed her, flying off to the paramedics and fire trucks that were racing to the scene. Though he searched for those that did this terrible deed, no trace was found.
And as the radiation levels were too high to immediately enter the area, no one saw the strange human form drop from nowhere into shadow, at last released from his secret prison . . .
THE MAIN CHARACTERS
RONALD RAYMOND: Now a freshman in high school, Ronnie goes part-time to the local high school and then takes classes in a special school a few times a week. Skinny and innocent, Ronnie wanted to be the jock, an athlete, and a super-hero growing up but the serious traffic accident crushed his dreams. Ronnie now spends a lot of time in rehabilitation and overcoming his mental challenges with his live-in therapist Amber Stein.
Despite appearances and the prejudice of some, Ron is not stupid. The accident left him with some diminished response time and Ron sometimes freezes when confronted with something suddenly but by no means did he lose any intelligence. He simply does not have the means to communicate the way people would like.
MARTIN STEIN: Martin is in a long distance relationship with his wife most of the time. Because of this, he spends a lot of time alone and is sometimes uncomfortable in meeting new people and situations. He is a driven physicist who strives himself on new science, trying to pave mankind a new road. He is fascinated by alien technology and would love to have a chat with any he could meet with.
Martin's relationship with Ronnie will become more important as the series progresses and how he handles it is a big part of the story and makes it unique from the previous version and other series. Martin at first will be extremely uncomfortable with his partner and will rarely want to meet face-to-face. Obviously as the series moves, Martin will have to deal with this and grow as a person.
Firestorm can control his own mass, is able to phase through objects and he can also harden his skin. He can shoot flame blasts from his body, can fly, and change and create things at the atomic state. He is stronger than average and with concentration; he can increase his strength even more. His vision has improved, and he can see the density of matter. At times it seems he has a form of X-ray vision as his eyes break down atoms to see beyond solid objects.
FIRESTORM YEAR ONE (TEASERS AND SOME SPOILERS):
Issue 1: It's the new revamped origin of Firestorm! When a young paraplegic Ronnie Raymond visits the new experimental fusion reactor, he gets more than he ever dreamed. The reactor is sabotaged and goes critical and physicist Martin Stein and Ronnie are strangely merged into a single being with incredible power. Now as the flameheaded Firestorm, it is up to them to discover just who was behind it and more importantly why! But can the impetuous young kid be taught to handle the responsibility and power by his older half before time runs out for both of them!
Issue 2: Firestorm thinks he's tracked down the group inadvertently responsible for his creation but it turns out he is in the fight for his life when he comes across a squad of top mercenaries waiting for him. To make things worse, there are familiar yet different powered strangers waiting for him as well. And what's the deal with the strangers Silver Sorceress, Wandjina, and Bluejay?
Issue 3: The Parasite comes to town and our hero gets more than he bargained for! What happens when the Parasite absorbs Firestorms powers and ends up absorbing Martin Stein as well! Plus Amber Stein makes a startling discovery about her mother and the local police visit the Raymond's.
Issue 4: There is a new drug on the streets and it has the police baffled. When the police ask Firestorm for help, it's up to Ronnie and Martin to deal with the wave of strange animal sightings and missing persons. It's a wild time in the city and when Amber becomes one of the missing, it's up to Firestorm to stop her from becoming the next savage victim. Also there seems to be trouble at the Raymond house and tempers flare! Guest starring Arsenal of the New Titans! Part One of Two.
Issue 5: It's part Two as Firestorm is trapped an office building filled with people who are just animals. Dr. Lovecraft is back and he's up to his old tricks, mutating humans. And who's the new player in this game? Is that a Hyena? Guest starring Arsenal of the New Titans!
Issue 6: When Crystal Raymond hates her husband so much that she tries to commit suicide in her lab at the university, she becomes more than she was before, she becomes Killer Frost, and vows that no man shall be allowed to live. Her first target is her husband and half the city. Can Firestorm stop her?
Issue 7: Part two of Killer Frost and the elimination of Edward Raymond. No details allowed! Don't miss it!
Issue 8: introducing the new Firehawk! What happens when the new Firehawk finally meets Firestorm and things heat up! And how uncomfortable can things get when it is discovered that Firehawk is really Martin's daughter, Amber? Is it legal to be the ghostly head of a being your daughter is in love with?
Issue 9: Things may end before they are started as a team of super assassins comes to town to take out the one thing standing in their way of a thirty million dollar bonus. Is it finally time to change the title back to the Fury of Firestorm as we see the destructive might Firestorm unleashes? Will the city survive it?
Issue 10: It's clean-up time as Firestorm tries to get a city to forgive him for just living there.
Stand alone issue where Ronnie starts to be more mobile and visits a hospital to help those kids within. Great starting spot for new readers.
Issue 11: Reality starts to distort and strange things are happening to those around Firestorm. People are talking like Monarch is the ruler of the world. It's officially part one of the story that has been secretly building all year. Before Monarch's plans can be realized, one being must be eliminated. Guess who?
Issue 12: It's a fight Time will never forget as Firestorm and the JSA defend against the destructive temporal nature of Monarch. In the balance is only the DC universe as we know it. Learn how this new Monarch came to being and how he might have influenced the creation of our hero. Don't miss the last page that will change our favorite flamehead forever.
THE NEXT YEAR . . .
In the second 12, Ronnie's body continues to heal. The new Firehawk comes to a decision about her duty and tries for a spot in the New Titans. Firestorm is attacked by a new and improved Chemo. What is this about Detective Chimp and the Human Bomb? Plus Martin Stein and his wife finally get a night to themselves, or do they?
And Monarch isn't out of this yet . . .
Andrew Pellerito is cursed with a little known mental disorder that has no cure nor any symptoms. Andrew is newly married and happily living in Michigan. Andrew was President of a writing club for two years, has interviewed a number of the top writers in the comic book industry, has done small press work and hopes for that big professional break.
Fanzing's Art Coordinator is a professional Illustrator and a Legion of Superheroes fan. He's a native of Mobile, Alabama, but is currently in Madison, Wisconsin. Phil's art is showcased in our first comic book, "Fanzing Presents: Job Wanted", which can be purchased at Too Many Longboxes.com!
All characters are DC Comics
This piece is © 2002 by Andrew Pellerito.
Artwork is © 2002 by Phil Meadows and Shannon Smith
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