Writer: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Ivan Reis, Scott Clark, Joe Prado
Inker: Oclair Albert, David Beaty
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Professor Martin Stein explains to Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond that they are undergoing an unstable metamorphosis as Firestorm. He has since learned that the matrix which powers them is derived from the Big Bang itself, making them potentially the most dangerous being in the universe…
Aquaman goes off in search of Black Manta’s son on his own, telling Mera that she needs to find help in holding back her people and their attack. Meanwhile, Jackson Hyde’s father reveals that he is not his son and that a mysterious woman from the sea gave him to the Hydes to protect him. My. Hyde shows Jackson a locked chest; when Jackson attempts to open it, Black Manta attacks. Jackson and his father flee, but they drive off the road into the Rio Grande. Jackson lashes out at Black Manta, but isn’t used to using his powers, and is overwhelmed by Manta and Siren. Manta is about to kill Mr. Hyde when Aquaman intervenes, telling his longtime foe that he has been waiting for this…
Stein warns Jason and Ronnie that their arguing and bickering could inadvertently lead to the triggering of another Big Bang, leaving them as the only survivors. On cue, the voice which both Jason and Ronnie have been hearing for days manifests and emerges from Firestorm, splitting the hero into his component parts and incapacitating him. As Stein looks on, Deathstorm emerges…
Page 1: Firestorm and Professor Martin Stein last appeared in Brightest Day #7.
In Brightest Day #7, Ronnie and Jason swapped roles – Jason is now in charge, while Ronnie becomes the disembodied, invisible head – after receiving a vision from the Entity of the White Light.
Page 2: “The Firestorm matrix bonded with Ronald much more than it ever did myself, In a way, it even rejected me, transforming me briefly into a fire elemental.” Way back when Stein become Firestorm on his own, it was revealed that he was originally intended to be the sole recipient of the fire elemental’s power, but Ronnie’s presence fouled things up. Now it seems that the shoe is on the other foot, and that this Firestorm matrix, whatever it truly is, was meant for Ronnie and Ronnie alone.
“And now that the matrix is fully bonded to you both, Firestorm is going through yet another metamorphosis. A final stage, I mentioned.” So, is this going to be the one, true, ultimate Firestorm? No more revamps or reboots five years down the road?
Page 3: Nothing like finding out that your whole body is an unstable sun, is there?
Page 4: “When Ronald and I first met, I was attempting to validate my theories on the existence of the Big Bang.” A bit of a retcon here…when we first met him, Martin Stein was the designer of a new nuclear power plant outside of New York City. Ronnie was part of a group protesting its construction; if I recall correctly, he was only there to impress a girl. Anyway, a terrorist set off a bomb and Stein and Ronnie were caught in the blast, fusing them together as Firestorm.
So Stein goes from being power plant designer to the guy who “captured” the spark that preceded the Big Bang? Man, he’s a hell of a lot smarter than anyone ever gives him credit for…
Question time…how is it that Stein can hear what Ronnie is saying? I thought that only Jason would be able to hear him.
Page 5: “According to countless scientists, including the Atom, this universe’s expiration date is long overdue.” This was an idea that was first hypothesized way back during the “Our Worlds at War” storyline that ran through the Superman titles back in 2001.
Page 6: Aquaman and Mera last appeared in Brightest Day #9.
Page 7: Jackson Hyde and Mr. Hyde (no relation to Dr. Jekyll) last appeared in Brightest Day #9.
“The cottage? I didn’t know we had a cottage.” Dude, it’s a shack in the middle of nowhere, not a palatial mansion overlooking the French Riviera. Deal.
Page 8: “Because I change when I hit water.” So does Jackson get all glowy and stuff whenever he takes a shower? Or washes hands? Or drinks a glass of water? Or does it only happen at dramatic moments, like in the middle of a rainstorm?
That is one creepy looking chest, if you ask me…
Page 9: So…anyone else notice a resemblance between the women that rose up from the sea and Mera? Anyone? Anyone?
“Is Jackson even my real name?” Considering that you’re from another dimension, and that representatives from said dimensions have names like “Mera,” “Hila” and “Quana”…probably not.
Why does Aquaman’s “A” symbol appear on the chest as Jackson touches it? Does Arthur have more of a connection to this kid than he knows about?
Page 10: Black Manta last appeared in Brightest Day #9.
A brief aside for a moment here…Is anyone else reciting Black Manta’s lines in the voice he used to have on the Super Friends series? You know, when he sounded all creepy and cool?
Or am I the only one doing that?
Page 11: “You can drive. Just get in!” Drive, you future teen sidekick you!
Page 12: “I knew something was happening – the ponds drying up around town – the rainfall and lightning ten times what’s normal.” I’m no meteorologist, but how are the ponds drying up if the rainfall is ten times what is normal?
Page 14: Jackson just opened up a can of whoop-ass on his absentee father, now didn’t he?
Page 15: “What did they do to you?” So are Jackson’s power’s an anomaly? I have been assuming that they were the result of his birth, but was he somehow altered, and even Black Manta didn’t know about it?
Page 17: Siren last appeared in Brightest Day #9.
“No. He’s different from us.” True. Mera and Siren can create structures out of water. Jackson, on the other hand, actually manipulates water, and also has funky webbed fingers.
“He is not your father.” Go ahead. Speak this line out loud with your best “Black Manta” voice.
You know you want to…
Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
Page 18: Oh, yeah…I’ve been waiting for this moment. Aquaman gets to let loose and kick some Manta-ass…
Page 19: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest particle accelerator, lying beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva.
Page 20: It’s never a good thing when the voice inside your head takes physical form and tears you apart. Really, I know this from personal experience, it so ruins your day…
Page 22: This fine-looking gentleman, who bears a striking resemblance to Black Lantern Firestorm, is known as Deathstorm.
“Deathstorm.” And who said all the cool super-villain names were taken?