Ronald Raymond AKA Firestorm I

Ronnie Raymond

Ronald Raymond was the first and, to date, greatest bearer of the name Firestorm.

I will describe him briefly, but he has been in dozens upon dozens of books and his history is recounted much more thoroughly on The Nuclear Fan, The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe and this JLA Watchtower article. To review his origin, there's no better source than The Fury of Firestorm #22. The first half of Firestorm #100 is also an excellent review of the entire series to that point.

Ronnie Raymond was a less popular high school jock who unwittingly fell in with a group of radicals wanting to blow up a newly opened nuclear power plant. When he discovered their plans, he was knocked out and left unconscious in the plant along with Martin Stein, chief scientist of the facility. After he awoke, he tried to drag to Stein to safety, but the bomb detonated and the two were bathed in radiation, causing the creation of a single entity named Firestorm.

Firestorm could fly, turn intangible, absorb enourmous amounts of energy, shoot "fusion blasts" (ugh) from his hands. His trademark power, however, was the ability to change inorganic matter from one substance to another.

Despite having these powers, Ron's life was plagued with problems ranging from strife with his father, Ed, an on-again-off-again with Lorraine Reilly (who became Firehawk) and struggles with his career. Ron generally kept a good sense of humor, which may for some creative uses of his powers. As he matured, he also became politically active.

Many changes in Firestorm took place over the years, which again are better detailed in the links above. In the end, Ronnie Raymond was the sole individual in control of Firestorm and was becoming a mature hero in his own right. He fought alongside veteran groups of heroes such as the JLA and JSA and was known as one of more powerful beings of the DC universe.

During the events of Identity Crisis, Firestorm was one of the heroes dispatched to question potential suspects within the villain community. He, along with a small group of heroes, were attempting to capture Shadow Thief when the villain eluded them and grabbed Shining Knight's magical sword. Ronnie tried to grab Shadow Thief, but Shadow Thief managed to stab Ronnie, puncturing his containment field. After a brief but anguishing farewell, Ronnie flew far into the sky and exploded.

Ronnie's essence descended from the sky in search of a new host, finding a lost Jason Rusch. It entered Jason, bestowing on him the powers of Firestorm. Since that time, Jason has experienced what seem to be scattered thoughts from Ronnie while dreaming.

During a confrontation with Killer Frost, Jason decided to merge with Lorraine to make use of her experience. The merger resulted in the resurfacing of Ronnie's version of Firestorm. In the mindscape, Ronnie was also seen in his civilian identity. During the ongoing fight with Killer Frost, Ronnie began being absorbed into the matrix. Jason ended the merge to save him, but he dissappeared. Later, as Jason recovered in the hospital, he heard Ronnie speaking to his mind, Ronnie became a voice within Jason and Firestorm similar to the role Martin Stein had in the previous series.

The Thinker, learning of Ronnie's reappearance, set a trap for Firestorm by creating an enormous storm over Detroit. When Jason/Ronnie Firestorm arrived to deal with the storm, they were assaulted by Multiplex, Typhoon and The Thinker. Firestorm managed to defeat all three of the villains, but not before exhausting Ronnie's energy. In fact, it was Ronnie who heroically insisted that they stay in the fight rather than go somewhere where he might have been saved. As a result of the energy that they expended, he said goodbye and faded away. Later, while Jason and Martin Stein were rebuilding Firestorm during Infinite Crisis, Martin confirmed that there was no longer any trace of Ronnie in the matrix.

Character Milestones
First appearance: FS1 #1
Merged with Martin Stein to become Firestorm: FS1 #1
Became part of a new Firestorm with Russian Mikhail Arkadin: FS2: Annual #5
Became permanently bonded to Firestorm: FS2 #85
Was removed from Firestorm: FS2 #100
Spontaneous regained his powers after chemotherapy: Extreme Justice #3
Apparent Death: Identity Crisis #5
Entered Jason Rusch: FS3 #6 (flashback)
Resurfaced after Merger between Jason and Lorraine Reilly: FS3 #9
Faded into the matrix after a confrontation with The Thinker: FS3 #13

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