This week brings about the end of a few eras from the New 52 and beyond as Dan Jurgens wraps up the series and his time with the character in "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" #20. With four volumes of comics now in the history books, Firestorm might finally be ready for star treatment. After all, how many volumes of "Aquaman" were there before that character found the comic book sales success he currently enjoys?
Dan Jurgens is a very solid comic book creator. A double-threat writer and artist capable of producing all-ages appropriate, entertaining and exciting stories, Jurgens was given the unenviable task of salvaging "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" into a story that readers could relate to or find relevant to the character’s history. For the most part, Jurgens succeeds in doing that. To do so, the creator goes back to what works: Firestorm is a composite of two people with two points of view and two ways of reacting. The duplicity houses the story just as much as the action the hero faces. In Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch, Jurgens has a pair of friends willing to work together.
In "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" #20, Jurgens has a whole lot of plots and subplots to wrap up. Jurgens wraps them all up nicely, if not quickly or oddly conveniently, but keeps the story moving forward. Not only that, but he also introduces Major Force and brings in a strong guest appearance from Superman. Mix in a surprise or two and this issue feels like it should have been part two or three of a multi-part storyline: simply too much going on to be wrapped up too neatly. Jurgens proves as much by titling this final chapter of this volume of the Nuclear Man’s adventures, "The Beginning."
Jurgens' artwork with Norm Rapmund inking and Hi-Fi providing colors, is straightforward superhero comics at its best and brightest. Camera angles never get too crazy and the panels are mostly simple, allowing the artwork within the panels to carry the burden of storytelling. Some of the panels get a bit rushed or seem to have details sacrificed for completion sake, but the general gist of the story remains intact and the artwork is strong throughout "The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" #20. Travis Lanham’s lettering is right where it needs to be to propel the duality of Firestorm’s persona while defining other characters around ol’ Flamebrain.
"The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Man" #20 struggles to be a final issue of a series. It really wants to be just another issue, with more to the story to be delivered in a month. Unfortunately, Jurgens and company are given the high sign to hurry and wrap this up now, even though it is quite evident there is plenty more where this came from. Firestorm goes over to "Justice League" now, where he will hopefully find a larger audience. Maybe, some day, we’ll be able to look forward to another volume of the Nuclear Man’s adventures. I just hope those future creators don’t forget about the valiant effort put forth by Dan Jurgens.