[no title given]

Writers/Co-Creators: Gary Cohn & Dan Mishkin
Penciller/Co-Creator: Paris Cullins
Inker: Pablo Marcos
Colorist: Bob Le Rose
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Len Wein


I'm not going to be talking about the content of the Firestorm issue, itself--only the fourteen-page Blue Devil preview in the middle of it.

When James Jesse learns about the latest technical marvel created by fellow stunt and special effects guy Dan Cassidy, he sets out to steal it in his alter ego as the Trickster. When he accidentally kidnaps Wayne Tarrant wearing a nonpowered mock-up of the devil costume, Dan must defeat the Trickster in his first battle as the Blue Devil.


Marla: Enough! I won't waste more time arguing! I hired you when no one else would, buddy! You owe me! I'm the boss, and if I say do it, you do it! Understand?! See you on the back-lot!
Wayne: She's so masterful.

Wayne: It's because of Cassidy, isn't it?
Sharon: Don't be silly--Danny's just a very good friend!
Wayne: I sure hope that's true, Sharon--'cause otherwise you'd be robbing the cradle!

Trickster: Tell you what--give me the costume and you can have this clown! Otherwise...
Blue Devil: I've got a better idea, pal--you give me the clown, and maybe I won't graft those fancy ballet slippers to your ears!

Trickster: When you threaten me, you really put my foot in your mouth!

Blue Devil: (bound by expanding rings) No! It was a trick!
Trickster: That is my moniker, son! Now maybe I can't punch through your armor with my bare hands, but just add these little rocket-powered brass knuckles and voila! I'm Superman! This is fun! I should get into punch-outs more often!

Blue Devil: Next time you want to play cops and robbers, go hassle a super-hero! Maybe they enjoy this stuff! Me--
Trickster: Wait--can't we talk this over, stuntman to stunt--
Blue Devil: I've got work to do, and no more time to waste! You wanted to see what this suit can do...so pay attention! This should be instructive!

Trickster: (thinking) "Curses, foiled again!" he grimaced! Another day like this and they'll take away my "Villains, Thieves, and Scoundrels Union" card.



Marla reminds me a lot of Dalton from Road House: she's nice until it's time...to not be nice. Kudos to Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin for (1) writing such a strong female character and (2) never turning her into a superhero, killing her, putting her through some sort of mutation, etc., as writers are often want to do with supporting cast characters--especially female ones. Shame on Mark Waid for later offing Marla in UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED No. 2. Rest in Piece, Marla. You will be missed.

Just how old is Sharon? When Wayne accuses her of robbing the cradle, she claims to be less than three years older than Dan Cassidy, but she has been shown on at least one other occasion that I can remember to be sensitive about her age. For that matter, how old is Dan Cassidy? Well, I'm glad you asked. I just figured this one out recently myself after rereading the last issue. Dan turns twenty-six just after the release of the Blue Devil movie. So during Fury of Firestorm he was likely twenty-five years old, which would make Sharon roughly 28. Maybe she's getting nervous about approaching thirty. But she's still got a bit of distance to go.

Even though Dan recognizes the Trickster as James Jesse, he doesn't give him up to the cops at the end of the issue. I wonder what that's about. A bit of foreshadowing of his attempt to rehabilitate the man later on in the series.

All in all a very fun issue that really exemplifies the sort of two-fisted fun going on at DC in the mid-80s. Reminds me of something Stan Lee says on the Blade DVD about how Marvel in particular, and comics in general, has lost much of its younger audience. Not many writers do comics like this anymore; self-contained, action-packed, free-spirited, comedic celebrations of how darn empowering and fun it would be to have superpowers. In many ways comics are better now than they have ever been, but in other ways, they're exclusionary because there's so little tribute paid to the fundamentals of what made comic books so effectively escapist and awe inspiring in the first place. To say nothing of them being utterly continuity dependent.

We see a bit here of one of Blue Devil's charms as a character--the fact that he doesn't conceptualize himself as a superhero. He's more of a man of action. Cohn and Mishkin were fairly consistent on this point throughout the series. Though his actions characterize him as a hero, it would be better to describe him as a guy who loves a good donnybrook.

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