While The Flash is currently using its dimensional breach to introduce different versions of certain characters (such as Harrison Wells), we also just got to meet the second Earth 1 version of Barry’s superhero compadre Firestorm. Some out there have been wondering why the show’s creative team decided to introduce a new version of that character, and how he'll be different from what we've seen from the hero so far, and you might not be surprised to learn that it has a lot to do with the comics.
Here’s what executive producer Andrew Kreisberg had to say about what Jax is bringing to The CW’s shared DC universe, according to IGN.
Here you got to see the camaraderie and when you guys get to see Legends, you’ll gonna get to see a lot more of the ‘What the hell are you talking about? Why are we doing this?!’ while they’re merged, so there’s a lot more room for comedy with the Firestorm character than we’ve previously had before.
You guys remember that time that Ronnie made everyone laugh with his killer jokes? Me either. It’s still a little too early to tell if Franz Drameh’s Jax Jackson is going to be a hit on the show, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was. The actor looks more mischievous and fun-loving while in Firestorm’s glow-eyed mode, and I think he’ll be a great compliment to Barry’s still-learning hero, especially with Stein there to offer some guidance.
According Kreisberg, the writers seemingly backed themselves into that unfunny corner themselves in the way they adapted Firestorm for the small screen, and they're happy to take a new approach to the time-honored comic character.
What worked so well in the comic books was the idea that they were so different, Stein and Ronnie. In the comic books, Ronnie was a jock. He was a dumb jock. Obviously, Robbie [Amell] and the character we created for our Ronnie was an engineer and was more mature and has a girlfriend and his more of an adult. So the idea of a second Firestorm being somebody who is just sort of in his early 20s and somebody who was radically different from this Firestorm.
That makes a lot of sense. While there are undoubtedly people out there who adored Robbie Amell’s Ronnie, he always felt way too serious to me to be in this often light-hearted show. It probably had something to do with him seemingly coming back from the dead after being gone for a while, but still. He and Caitlin were an okay couple, and his death was definitely shocking, but I don’t think the show has suffered for it. And there's definitely nothing wrong with adding more jokes and funny dialogue to this show.
Understandably in this modern world where cultural awareness is at an all-time high, Kreisberg says that they’re also glad to introduce a new African American superhero to the world, which is a difference in and of itself, so that new generations of kids growing up with The Flash will know this version of Firestorm early on. Hard to find anything wrong with that.
It’s unclear just how many more times we’ll get to see Firestorm II on The Flash each Tuesday night, but viewers can look forward to seeing him on a weekly basis when Legends of Tomorrow premieres early on in 2016.