Posted - November 3, 2017

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Firestorm (1982) No. 39
Publish or Perish

Firestorm (1982) No. 39

Tenure. After years of service, a university professor may merit tenure. Tenure means he cannot be fired. Let me repeat that: Tenure means he or she cannot be fired. It is the paycheck that always arrives. Forever. It's a big enough prize for one professor to kill for. Specially if that professor is also the super-powered Weasel.

the weasel

At least that's how the theory started. But Ronnie Raymond has a point.

ronnie talking

And you know, Ronnie makes lot of sense. Think about it. Tenure would be important to a regular, non-powered person. But if you could change into the Weasel and have werewolf-like powers would you really be concerned about your paycheck? Not so much I would think. Those powers are a form of security better than any paycheck.

First things first, though, Professor Stein and Ronnie have to get themselves out of a trap set by the Weasel.

firetorm escapes from the weasel's trap

On the one hand, we have Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, who can change one kind of molecule into another. On the other hand we have the Weasel who has the vitality, ferocity, teeth and fangs of a wild animal. It's a lopsided match, Firestorm would mop the floor with this changeling. Yes he would, if he could find him.

the weasel eludes firestorm

The Weasel's speed and stealth turn out to be formidable qualities.

Who is the Weasel? What are his motives? Everything is a guess at this point. Why did he kill four people? This story has a Sherlockian flavor to it. Unlikely as it may seem, high schooler Ronnie Raymond does some sleuthing.

ronnie does some detective work

He's not bad at it too as he shows some proficiency with data analysis. He starts with a paper-based database of information (faculty files) and selects the records of the three murder victims (just the professors, Ronnie sets aside the security guard). He goes through the information and looks for similarities and notices that all three have the same alma mater: Stanford. Same as professor Stein.

A second encounter with the Weasel has Firestorm successfully catching his foe.

firestorm catches the weasel

It's a success not so much because of Firestorm but because Ronnie goes about the fight in a crazy manner - sort of like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. Even the Weasel gets panicky at all the risks Ronnie is taking.

In the end the Weasel does verify the connection to Stanford but we don't get a definitive admission.

We end with Ronnie contemplating a milestone in his life: transitioning from High School to College.

ronnie off to college

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