Regarding Ronnie Raymond…
Posted August 13, 2009on:
Hey, Around Comics. I’m calling you out. It’s on now, guys.
“Who cares about Ronnie Raymond?”
I’ll tell you who fucking cares about Ronnie Raymond.
I fucking care about Ronnie Raymond.
Sure his origin story isn’t that great. Ronnie wants to impress that hot chick at school who is, like, sooooo into politics so he joins the Coalition to Resist Atomic Power (hahaha, CRAP), led by Eddie Earhart (who is very Earth Liberation Front-y). Meanwhile, Professor Martin Stein builds a nuclear testing facility. Turns out CRAP isn’t happy about this and raids the joint. When Eddie knocks out Stein, Ronnie freaks out and Eddie decks Ronnie. CRAP leaves to torch a Hummer dealership and Ronnie wakes up to a big ass explosion that combines he and Stein into Firestorm.
Later on, they turned him into a character who was all about being buddies with the Ruskies (to the point where he, Stein, and some dude named Mikhail all shared the same body). After that they turned him into a “fire elemental,” kinda like how Alan Moore made Swamp Thing an earth elemental. They also made him look like somebody set 1990s Wolverine on fire. He then lost the power to Stein, got leukemia (the 1980s LOVED giving fictional characters terminal illnesses), got rid of leukemia, and became Firestorm again.
Why do I love this character? In Crisis on Infinite Earths there was a consistently hilarious sequence where Psycho Pirate forces longtime Firestorm adversary Killer Frost into falling deeply in love with him. She won’t stop hanging off him and he is CLEARLY not happy with it. Even though it was a small part of an amazing story, it became one of my favorite plot threads. [Maybe that’s because you dated a girl who tried to kill you! – M]
And then he died. Oh, how he died. Do you have the trade of Identity Crisis? You have no excuse. You should. Go get it and flip to chapter five. A few pages in, you’ll see Vixen (another character I think I need to eventually write a post about), the Justin Arthur Shining Knight (in what I believe is his final appearance), Captain Marvel, and Ronnie fighting the Shadow Thief. Shadow Thief jumps through Vixen, grabs Shadow Knight’s sword, and impales Ronnie with it. A couple pages later, there is a close-up of Ronnie’s face, his eyes welling with tears, saying “I’m gonna blow up.” Meltzer’s caption says it best: “No one there is a physicist. But they still know what happens when you puncture a nuclear reactor.” He flies away from the group, choking out his last words: “The professor, my family, somebody say goodbye to my dad for me.”
That was the first time I genuinely teared up while reading a book. I got way into this character in Crisis on Infinite Earths. I’m currently searching around for the Fury of Firestorm books as well as the original five books from Firestorm volume one. I got the Legendary Super Powers Show tie-in action figure and am waiting on the DC Universe figure to show up (fucking UPS, hurry up).
And now, with the news that Ronnie Raymond will be back in Blackest Night, it’s as if somebody is twisting Shadow Knight’s sword again. I couldn’t help but smile a little at Barry Allen’s sadness towards Ronnie’s death in Blackest Night #1 and I eagerly await his return, even if he only comes back as a Black Lantern.
So, tell me Around Comics. Who cares about Ronnie Raymond?