Dan Jurgens' run on "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" #18 has returned the book to high-energy, all-ages "traditional" comic book adventures. Additionally, the writer/artist has flipped and augmented the relationship between Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch by having the two teens cooperate and do more than bicker. Projected out another year or two under Jurgens' influence, "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" could be a go-to title for readers looking for some fun in their superhero comics.
Making his influence known over Jurgens' pencils in the latter portions of this issue, Karl Kesel's inks blend nicely with Jurgens' regular artistic collaborator, Ray McCarthy. Jurgens' style shines through nicely, and the artist provides ample action-packed depictions of the Nuclear Man. Jurgens draws the flame-brained hero flying, punching and blasting -- everything Firestorm should be doing against his burgeoning collection of foes. Additionally, Jurgens' uses the Kirby crackle effect that is present in Firestorm's hair and gauntlets to serve as panel borders throughout the flashback sequences, adding depth to the reflections. Travis Lanham's distinctive lettering works wonderfully with Hi-Fi's color work to complete the bold visuals present in "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" #18.
The story from Jurgens is successful in many regards: it functions as part of a longer tale, bringing in characters that have vexed Firestorm before; it also performs marvelously as a done-in-one issue, summing up who everyone is, what their relationships are and clearly delineates the good guys and the bad guys; it allows for the continuing evolution of the brothers-in-arms relationship between Ronnie and Jason; finally, it sets up what is to come, with a quartet of shadowy figures declaring the end is nigh for Firestorm. Jurgens has put a lot of thought, energy and enthusiasm into his work on this series and it shows in a buoyant, uplifting comic book.
Unfortunately, Jurgens doesn't have much more time with this title. There's only a pair of issues left beyond this one, but if Jurgens' work to this point is any indication, those next two issues are going to be solid, entertaining heroic stories. "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" #18 has a lot of moving parts and exciting characters, almost certainly the result of this series winding down, but Jurgens really finding his stride and having to compact his plans for Firestorm. I hope he's able to complete the contributions he was designing for this series in the next two months, as I'm certain there were plenty of notions to continue revitalizing the world of one of DC's most unique characters. Whatever the case, I'm looking forward to two more issues of greatly entertaining comics.