Review By: Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: A Change is Gonna Come
The new Aqualad rises – and the truth about Firestorm is revealed!
Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Ivan Reis, Scott Clark & Joe Prado
Inks: Oclair Albert & David Beaty
Colors: Peter Steigerwald & John Staff
Letters: Ken Lopez
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Art: David Finch
Publisher: DC Comics
As the new Firestorm (the Ronnie/Jason gestalt) finds himself growing more and more powerful, Professor Stein thinks he’s finally figured out the truth behind the nuclear man. Meanwhile, Jackson finds himself facing a past he never knew he had.
This issue we return to two of my favorite plot strings in this series, one of which has been highly neglected for the past month or two. The bizarre nature of the Firestorm matrix is explored this issue, and as we so often see with Geoff Johns, he’s taking a concept that’s been around for quite a while and applying a little thought to 1) help it make sense and 2) take it to the next logical level. The revelation of the “extra” voice that’s been hanging around Firestorm’s head is also explored, and while it’s not a surprise, it leads to a really great last page.
Then there’s Jackson, who doesn’t actually call himself “Aqualad” yet, but we all know that’s where he’s headed. This issue his father tells him something we readers already knew – that he’s not Jackson’s real father – and then delves into the stuff we didn’t know yet, all the backstory. Again, not surprisingly, the writers tie Jackson’s past into an existing DC hero, but when it’s done well it’s okay if it’s not a total shock. We haven’t connected all of the dots yet, but the stuff we’ve seen so far works for me and makes me want to see more of this kid.
The alternating artists this issue work better than they have in some other issues, possibly because there are fewer of them and possibly because one of them handles the bulk of the book with Jackson’s tale. Steigerwald and Staff do some neat stuff with the colors this week too, particularly in the Firestorm sequences. Energy effects can be really cool if they’re done well and not overdone. The effects here work just dandy.
Strong issue with a pair of good tension points to leap into the next story.