You see, on top of the before mentioned problems professor Stein was dying of a brain tumor and didn't have long to live. Which means once he's passed away there would be no more Firestorm since it takes both Ronnie and the Professor to fuse together in order to become Firestorm the "nuclear man". Not only was the story well written but the dialogue was nothing short of emotionally moving! Here's some of the conversation from #64 as Ronnie re-asserts his intentions to his father about ending the nuclear threat between the U.S. and Soviet Union to his family which in turn gives the ailing professor Stein a renewed sense of inspiration for their cause.
|Firestorm #64 1987 (John Ostrander)|
Issue 64 concludes with both the JLA and The Suicide Squad converging on Firestorm and Firehawk in Times Square New York right as Firestorm is about to make a public address.
Firestorm annual #5 opens up with Firestorm battling both teams and manages to make good his escape to the Nevada desert. While there, Ronnie and the professor take time to recuperate and reflect on their career as Firestorm in anticipation of what they believe is about to be a suicide mission.
|Firestorm Annual #5 1987 (John Ostrander)|
The annual ended in what I would describe as an amazing rebirth coming on the heels of tragedy. This late 80s Cold War themed story arc touched on a number of moral dilemmas such as balancing power with responsibility and when might be the appropriate circumstances for someone with such power to justify acting outside the law. When it comes to John Ostrander I think Gale Simone put it best "I buy every fricking thing that man writes and you should too".