It's been a little while since we've seen a bona fide origin story on this show- usually a good thing, because origins tend to be dreadful, honestly. Does B:TBATB manage to dodge the bullet this time, or are we in for a Firestorm of controversy?
Play by Play
We open on our favorite game show: Riddle Me This where Booster Gold attempts to answer questions to save Batman's life. He fails, but Batman lives anyway. Booster and Bats make quick work of the Riddler and his henchmen… and make a bad joke or two in the process.
Coach Ronnie Raymond is leading a field trip through a nuclear power plant. (They give field trips?) He is bugged by a bright kid named Jason Rusch. While they are on the tour, Batman is trying to capture Dr. X and DoubleX. As anyone could tell you, this is just begging for a nuclear accident that could fuse a student with his teacher, or fission Batman into three Batmen.
Okay. Yeah, I actually didn't see that coming, even though it was right there in the title.
Smart Batman is trying to analyze Firestorm, while Slacker Batman makes with the munchies. Angry Batman starts to beat the crap out of Firestorm, forcing the Nuclear Man to find his powers.
Smart Batman figures out how to reverse the process, but Angry Batman has invaded a local criminal hangout and started the mother of all donnybrooks. Smart Batman finds him; Slacker Batman is along for the ride, as is the Ronnie/Jason hybrid.
During the course of battle, Doctor X and Double X grab Firestorm… after all, they were after the energy that Firestorm absorbed back in the beginning of the episode.
Eventually the Batmen realize he's missing and start to track him.
Doctor X puts Firestorm in an energy siphon to drain off his energy. Double X emerges and smashes team Batman, while Firestorm languishes in an oversized test tube. As their energy is drained, Ronnie and Jason realize that they are going to have to become a hero permanently to solve this dilemma. They break free, siphon the energy back into their joined form and make quick work of Double X.
They (he? What personal pronoun applies to a fused being?) then cure Batman of his fission (And what personal pronoun applies to a fisssioned being?), and he (they?)takes the superhero code name Firestorm…. like we couldn't recognize him by the flaming head.
Not bad… especially since Firestorm's origin wasn't the only focus of the story. Batman's trilemma was funny… and the idea that Batman would have a third aspect to his personality that acts as glue to hold the warrior and the brain together was pretty clever.
Firestorm in the comics was originally Ronnie Raymond, student, and Prof. Stein, supergenius. Later, Jason Rusch became Firestorm, after Ronnie's death, if I recall correctly. This merging of the origins of the Firestorm(s) (yeesh… how do you refer to two fused beings?) seems appropriate here.
Not quite a return to form, but a fun episode nonetheless. A nice warmup for Smallville.
What did you think?