There are some comics that are bad. And there are some comics that are bad — comics that are so completely wretched that they compliment merely incompetent comic books by showing just how truly bad comics can be. The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Men #1 is a thoroughly wretched, horrible, terrible, no good, very bad comic. Not only is it clearly the worst comic of the New 52 (Congrats Judd! Congrats Scott!), but it is one of those horrific comic books that may actually go down in comics history as truly one of the most pathetically bad comics of all time.
Let’s start this review by looking at Page 5 of this comic, which contains perhaps one of the laziest panels ever created by a fan favorite artist whose initials aren’t Rob Liefeld. Hang on, let me drop this panel below this paragraph.
- There are 10 men on each side of the ball. Football is played with 11 men on the field at one time.
- This is obviously supposed to be a scrimmage but both sides are wearing red uniforms. In a scrimmage one side is always home and the other visitors -– because, duhh, otherwise there’s no way of knowing who you have to tackle.
- The two sides are lined up about 4 yards apart from each other. That’s a good strategy for defenses to ensure their opponent can get a first down on every possession.
- Only 5 men on the offensive line of scrimmage. As certain rather famous site called Wikipedia points out, the Illegal Formation penalty is called when “Fewer than 7 players line up on the line of scrimmage(NFL/High School)”
- The defensive players are in a formation that makes no sense. A defensive football team will have three or sometimes four down linemen but never, ever five.
- The offense is in a formation that makes absolutely no sense and could never actually happen on a football field.
- There’s literally one coach on the sidelines of the football field. Even in these lean economic times, a school would never cut football back that much – it would be dangerous for the kids
Oh sure, you could say that this is just a stupid old comic book and the last thing that a reader might expect is realism in a comic book about a super-hero with a nuclear furnace in his chest. But come on, seven errors in one panel that depicts only the MOST POPULAR SPORT IN THE UNITED STATES, a sport for which a simple Google Image Search for the term NFL brings EIGHTY EIGHT MILLION results. Surely Yildiray Cinar could have found one reference image to high school football teams scrimmaging? Surely it can’t be hard.
I’m honestly astonished about the sheer level of laziness that causes a creator not to do a simple little bit of research on Google these days. He’s already in front of a computer; even if he’s under an insane deadline, it should take about , oh, 0.15 seconds to make sure you illustrate one image of this sport correctly.
Look two panels below this image and you find an equally amazing image. First, look at this image of Tom Brady, generally considered one of the best quarterbacks playing in the NFL these days, passing a football. (by the way, “Tom Brady Passing” brings 699,000 Google Image results):
But Cinar isn’t the only one to deliver a fumble with this book. Gail Simone, a writer who has done some excellent writing in her career, performs like a third-string quarterback playing against the ’84 Bears defense. Look at this horrific exchange that she delivers -– horrific not because it was embarrassing, as it was intended to be, but embarrassing because it’s so completely contrived and stupid.
Around about Page 11, I got the feeling that Cinar just gave up, or maybe he just isn’t a native English speaker. Is he maybe from Brazil or somewhere that they don’t watch American Football or speak English as a native language? Hmm and in fact, Wikipedia reveals that Cinar is from Turkey, where last time I checked people do indeed not speak English as a native language. So where are the editors? What did editors Rachel Gluckstern and Rickey Purdin do on this book? Didn’t they look at this book before it was released?
But that’s all right, because very soon a group of terrorists break into the high school, which looks like a maximum security prison:
But you know, none of this really matters because after more stupid fight scenes, the issue wraps up with the first appearance of Fire-Hulk, who the angrier he gets the more nuclear powered he gets. He’s got a badass costume, the body of the Hulk and the attitude of Wolverine. Yes, he’s Fury, the baddest most awesome superhero ever to make racist comments and throw a football badly. Somehow asshole plus football player equals giant hulking nuclear waste dump.
It’s a shame, because I’ve liked Simone’s work in the past, but this comic is a complete dog. My only regret is that I’m just too damn tired tonight to make this review funnier. I desperately wanted to spend more time mocking and less time complaining. I apologize to you for that, dear reader.
Jason Sacks has been obsessed with comics for longer than he’d like to remember. He considers himself a student of comics history and loves delving into obscure corners of this crazy artform. Jason has been writing for this site for about seven years and has also been published in a number of fan publications, including the late, lamented Amazing Heroes and The Flash Companion. He lives in north Seattle with his wife and three kids.