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DC Comics

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From DC Database

Character Template Character Template
Real Name
Jason Thomas Rusch
Current Alias

Aliases
The Nuclear Man

Identity

Alignment

Affiliation

Relatives
Alvin Rusch (father); Sylvie (mother)

Universe

Base Of Operations

Characteristics
Gender

Eyes

Hair

Unusual Features
As Firestorm, Jason Rusch has a larger physique than normal. He has yellow pupil-less eyes and a corona of flaming hair (in reality, the flaming hair is a hologram)

Status
Citizenship

Marital Status

Occupation
University student; former food server at Bryson's Family Treat; former mascot at Ho-Ho Charlie's Chicken Shack; former intern at S.T.A.R. Labs

Education
College Student

Origin
Origin
When Ronnie Raymond, the previous Firestorm, was killed, the Firestorm Matrix collided with teenager Jason Rusch, granting him his predecessor's powers.

Place of Birth
Detroit, Michigan

Creators

First appearance

Contents

History

Jason Rusch was a seventeen year old teenager living in Detroit, who wanted nothing more than to escape his home city. He lived with his father, who had turned abusive after he lost his hand in an industrial accident. His mother left his father sometime after the accident, leaving the young Jason with his father. Jason later recalled that his father had hit him on four occasions. With the loss of a job he needed to fund college, Jason turned to a local tough for money, accepting a job as a courier. It was on that job that he encountered the Firestorm Matrix, searching for a new host after Ronnie Raymond's death.

Ronnie had been fighting a supervillain called the Shadow Thief. Taking the Shining Knight's sword, the Shadow Thief drove it through Ronnie's chest. The magical sword ruptured the Nuclear Man's containment field, resulting in Firestorm's body exploding, and his residual essence funneling into Jason's body. In the aftermath, Jason struggled to cope with his new identity and powers - a struggle that led to the death of the man who'd hired him.

Eventually, Jason managed to develop a degree of control over his powers. Unfortunately, being Firestorm drew a lot of attention, some of it unpleasant, and Jason found himself up against a number of supervillains - some interested in Firestorm's power, others seeking revenge for the actions of Ronnie's Firestorm. However, when Jason initiated a merge with Lorraine Reilly, the superheroine Firehawk, something in the combination brought out Ronnie Raymond, or at least that part of him which remained in the Firestorm Matrix. Ronnie remained with Jason as part of Firestorm until he appeared to dissipate during battle with Cliff Carmichael, the Thinker.

Shortly after Jason's eighteenth birthday, a few weeks after Ronnie's dissipation, Jason was kidnapped by the new Secret Society of Super-Villains for use as a power source in a hidden complex. Freed when the new Secret Six launched a raid on the complex, Jason discovered two important things: he had a fellow prisoner (a mysterious girl named Gehenna), and his imprisonment by the Society had significantly depowered him.

Together, Jason and Gehenna escaped the complex, destroying it in the process. Gehenna disappeared in the aftermath but telepathically promised Firestorm that she'd see him again. Donna Troy recruited Firestorm - this time comprised of Jason and his best friend Mick Wong - for her outer space team to fight the oncoming disruption from the Infinite Crisis.

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Infinite Crisis

Firestorm was fatally wounded in the line of duty during the Crisis, but Jason was rescued by Martin Stein, still alive in space as the "Elemental Firestorm" (unfortunately, Martin had been unable to save Mick). Martin linked with Jason in a variation of the merge, promising him a new Firestorm body to let him return to battle, and asking him about the fate of Ronnie Raymond. While Martin had retained his link to the Firestorm Matrix, he had been unaware of Ronnie's death, and the Matrix's transfer to Jason.

Accepting Martin's offer, Jason asked him to become the permanent second member of the Firestorm Matrix. Sensing his "errors", including Mick's death, were the result of his youth and lack of experience, he sought the experience and maturity of the elder Professor Stein. Martin refused at first, but Jason managed to find a spark of humanity in the distanced and apparently cold Martin - his sorrow for both Ronnie's death, and the deaths of a planet of aliens he had watched over. Martin finally accepted Jason's request, thus ensuring both a new Firestorm body and the reconstruction of human bodies for both Jason and Martin.

Firestorm returned to action, confronting the source of the instability, the cosmological interference of Alexander Luthor, which had torn a rift in space. Firestorm's intervention stopped Alex's interference at a critical moment, closing the rift.

Aftermath

The sealing of the rift unleashed a reality-warping wave across the region. The assembled heroes attempted to use a Zeta Beam to teleport themselves back to Earth, but something went wrong, and the fractured Zeta Beam ended up either drastically transforming the heroes, or sending them to places far removed in space or time. Firestorm ended up back on Earth a month after the Crisis, fused with Cyborg in a twisted parody of the Firestorm merge, their nervous systems joined together. Fortunately, the two were eventually separated.

Over the months that followed, Martin helped Jason in dealing with the trauma of the Crisis, talking him through it, being patient with him. As Jason managed to get his life back in order, he thought of going to Lowrance University, near Detroit, but Martin encouraged him to go to Columbus University in New York. Martin got himself a job teaching physics at Columbus, and assisted Jason in getting financial aid.

Firestorm also joined a shortlived Justice League, which quickly fell apart following a devastating attack by a possessed, upgraded, Skeets.

Gehenna

When Gehenna's father disappeared, she turned to Jason for help, as the only other person she knew. Jason agreed to help Gehenna find her father, once his life settled down. Unfortunately, things only got more complicated when, shortly afterwards, Martin was kidnapped.

Jason turned to Lorraine Reilly, asking her to be his temporary partner until they found Martin, but the two soon discovered that they were now unable to be more than a mile apart, forcing the two to share each other's lives. Eventually, they managed to find Martin, who had been captured by a villain called the Pupil, eager to learn as much as he could about Firestorm. With Martin back, the unstable bond between Lorraine and Jason was broken, and Martin returned to being Jason's partner.

That settled, Jason turned his attention to tracking down Gehenna's missing father, only to find it was Henry Hewitt, the supervillain Tokomak. He had given Gehenna to the Society, knowing that Firestorm would rescue her - and that in time, she would seek Firestorm out. In an attempt to restore his lost powers, Tokomak had arranged to set off nuclear explosions worldwide, intending to collect and absorb the energy into himself. Jason managed to stop him, leaving Tokomak on the verge of death.

Before dying, Tokomak claimed to know who Jason truly was, and why he had become Firestorm - and that once he died, Jason would never find out. Also left unanswered on Tokomak's death was the question of why he had arranged for Gehenna to find Jason.

The New Gods

Some time later, Jason and Martin were attacked in quick succession by Orion of the New Gods, and the Female Furies of Apokolips. During the ensuing conflict, Martin and Jason learned that one quarter of the Life Equation - the counterpart to the Anti-Life Equation - was embedded within the Firestorm Matrix, the Matrix being the source of power for Earth's Fire Elemental. The other pieces were contained within the power sources of Earth's other Elementals.

The forces of Apokolips and New Genesis were seeking Martin for his work in trying to solve the part of the Life Equation represented by the Firestorm Matrix. Ultimately, it was Darkseid who triumphed, taking Martin captive. In need of a new partner to become Firestorm, Jason merged with Gehenna, and together, the two of them set out to find Martin.

Firestorm assisted the new Justice League of America when they were attacked by a new version of the Injustice League. Afterwards, Batman recruited Firestorm to the League, saying he was too powerful to be left unsupervised.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

Atomic Fusion: Jason has the ability to atomically fuse his body with that of another human being in order to form a composite entity known as Firestorm. While in this form, Firestorm has access to a wide variety of superhuman abilities. Jason also possesses an enhanced version of the original "merge"; he could become Firestorm by merging with anyone he made eye contact with. Although the 'preferred' form of Firestorm would now be composed of Jason and Martin, Jason retains the ability to merge temporarily with another person; while the need for a battery has gone, someone can still be used to substitute for the other main member, and can share all his or her knowledge with an improved mind-link through the Firestorm Matrix.

  • Firestorm Matrix: Jason's powers have fluctuated during the course of his career. At the outset, he possessed similar abilities to the original Firestorm. The return and subsequent dissipation of Ronnie Raymond left Jason with sufficient power to turn into Firestorm without having to merge with others, though he was still capable of the merge if the need arose. More recently, Martin Stein, using his knowledge of the Firestorm Matrix, managed to reconfigure Firestorm's present characteristics . According to Martin, Firestorm's power is theoretically infinite. However, that level of power could potentially burn out the host's mind.
  • Solar Energy Absorption: Firestorm can now absorb sufficient amounts of solar energy to keep him fully functional without using someone as an "emergency battery".
  • Elemental Transmutation: Firestorm has the ability to alter the molecular composition of organic and inorganic matter. The full measure of this ability is limited only by Jason’s will and imagination. This power operates with such precision that he can turn a tire into a working hairdryer, transform a human into simple ice and vice versa. Jason’s finesse with molecular reconstruction is directly linked to the amount of scientific knowledge available to him. If he is merged with a chemist or a nuclear physicist, the ease with which Firestorm’s power operates increases. Firestorm’s power does not appear to be limited by weight or volume.
  • Energy Projection: Firestorm can generate large waves of thermal-nuclear radiation. With enough practice and concentration, Jason can focus this energy into a concussive "fusion blast". Martin Stein's alterations to the costume make the fusion blasts more efficient.
  • Quark Vision: The ability to see molecular structures and detect discrete atomic interactions.
  • UV Vision
  • Thermal Vision
  • Microscopic Vision
  • Telescopic Vision
  • Flight: Through an act of will, Firestorm can fly without the aid of wings or artificial enhancements. He can fly beyond the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere and can travel to the moon with little impediment.
  • Superhuman Durability: One of the many advantages of this ability is that he can survive in outer space without the aid of equipment.
  • Phasing: A more stable version of the original Firestorm's intangibility.
  • Elemental Reconstruction
  • Self-Sustenance: Firestorm can survive for extended periods without the need for either food or water.
  • Firestorm Matrix Memory Recall: The ability to play back the memories of the Firestorm Matrix - or the memories of its hosts - in the Firestorm mind-scape.
  • Limited Time-Sight: A limited form of time-sight, which lets Jason see the Matrix's past and/or future in dreams. The ability to see the future is presently beyond Jason's conscious control.
  • Elemental Firestorm Connection: Jason retained Ronnie's psychic connection to Martin Stein's "Elemental Firestorm"; Martin, however, appeared unaware the Firestorm Matrix had been transferred to Jason up until the two actually met.
  • Limited Telepathic Link: Jason has a telepathic link to the other person in the merge, a link which apparently enables that said person to communicate with Jason (apparently visualizing the other person as a floating head), and see Firestorm's immediate surroundings.

Abilities


Strength level

Firestorm possesses superhuman strength which is at least lets him lift over 100 tons.


Weaknesses

Atomic Fusion: There were originally two problems with the merge. The first problem was that the other person's body chemistry affected Jason for the duration of the merge; if the other person had been taking drugs, Jason would find himself affected by the drugs to a lesser extent. The second problem was even more dangerous; if either Jason or the other person in the merge overstretched themselves, the other person in the merge could burn out and die. Martin's redesign adjusted things so that host burn out is, theoretically, no longer a risk, and the partner's body chemistry is not a problem.

Absorption Overload: The Firestorm Matrix now draws its power from the Sun, or any nearby stars; should it be overcharged - for example, by spending too much time in the Sun's vicinity - then the Matrix burns out, severely crippling Firestorm's ability to control his own power.

Unlike previous incarnations, this version of Firestorm can affect biological matter without experiencing harmful biofeedback. As of this writing, Jason and Martin have chosen to leave this ability off the table, to be used only when there's no other choice.

Extra-dimensional Attack: The other partner in the merge is usually safe from external harm. However, they can be attacked by someone with the ability to become extra-dimensional.

Removed From Humanity: The greatest danger of the Firestorm Matrix is a long-term one; beyond a certain power level, the host slowly becomes distanced from their humanity. Martin became mentally and emotionally distanced, while Ronnie had become the effective equivalent of a walking energy containment unit by the time of his death.

Paraphernalia

Equipment

Firestorm Costume: The focus of Firestorm's costume was made more practical by Martin's redesign, including control devices able to contain and direct the hero's nuclear energies. Firestorm's newer powers, such as his ability to control organic matter, were left out of the new design out of a fear that they might be too difficult to control without making the Firestorm hosts less human over time.

Tools and Gadgets: The Firestorm costume can now manifest various minor tools and sensors out of energy.

Transportation

Flight

Weapons

None

Notes

  • The original Firestorm concept was created by writers Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom. Jason Rusch was created by Dan Jolley.
  • Jason's dual identity is known to a number of people, including his father, Gehenna, Firehawk, Pozar, his fellow JLA members, the New Gods, the Pionic Man, and Doctor Otaki, one of Jason's former neighbors.
  • According to Infinite Crisis, had the Pre-Crisis Multiverse continued, Jason would have been a native of the original Earth-Eight.

Known adversaries

Others who have shared the Firestorm Matrix

In chronological order

  • Gordon
  • Stevie Golek
  • Preston
  • Nicole Garcia
  • Mick Wong
  • Luis Salvador
  • Fredo Burleson
  • Lorraine Reilly
  • Ronnie Raymond
  • Martin Stein
  • Gehenna

Trivia

See Also

Recommended Reading

Related Articles

Links and References

  • Firestorm at DCComics.com
  • Firestorm at Wikipedia
  • Firestorm (Jason Rusch) biography page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
  • Firestorm biography at Firestorm 2 HQ
  • Museum of Black Superheroes: Firestorm

Footnotes

Justice League of America member

This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Justice League of America members" category.


This article uses material from the "Jason Rusch (New Earth)" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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