The modern Firestorm (Jason Rusch) was supposed to ship with the first shipments of DC Universe Classics Wave 2, but for various reasons it was held back–not the least of which was fans appeared to want the classic Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) more anyway.
Refresh shipments of Wave 2 are arriving in stores now, with the modern Firestorm (and nothing else). I picked one up off Toys R Us’s website, but they appear to have sold out.
When a mortally wounded Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) fell from the sky, he cascaded Jason Rusch in atomic energies. Jason thus bonded with the “Firestorm Matrix” and gained the ability to fuse his body with others. Eventually, Jason merged with Professor Stein, original host of the Firestorm Matrix, to carry on the mantle and the mission of Firestorm…
It’s very clear Jason Rusch was the original Firestorm the Horsemen sculpted, and the Ronnie Raymond one was the actual repaint. In the comics, Raymond’s gloves were relatively small, ending at about the wrist, and had no lines on them. Rusch’s gloves go to his elbow and are marked with white lines. The Ronnie Raymond Firestorm has elbow-length yellow gloves and raised markings on his gloves (which are painted white on Rusch). Moreover, the chest markings on classic Firestorm are mostly painted on, rather than being raised as part of the sculpt, since again, the only raised parts were made for the Rusch Firestorm.
While I like both figures, I think I like the Rusch Firestorm a bit better. I don’t have any nostalgic attachment to the classic Firestorm, and the newer look is sleeker and a tad more stylish. More importantly, the sculpt serves the character better, since it was designed for him.
The paint work on Rusch is a little better, too–the yellow is a tad darker, and he has a nice wash around his torso.
Rusch didn’t have any stuck joints. All was not perfect, though; his biceps had been put on the opposite arms. I used a hair dryer to heat the arms, removed them, heated the elbows so I could pop out the pins and swapped the biceps. He’s fine now.