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- All I am is my powers. They define my entire life -- my very existence. He, you, my component parts -- you all have lives outside of your powers. I exist only to use my powers.
- -- Firestorm src
The creation of the Hudson power plant was the brainchild of Nobel Prize winning physicist, Dr. Martin Stein. Before committing himself to the field of atomic research, Stein was a physics professor at Hudson University. It was here that he met several impressionable young students, including Crystal Frost and Louise Lincoln. Frost had developed a schoolgirl crush on Stein, but the older man was unwilling to reciprocate her affection as he was married to a woman named Clarissa Clemens. Frost's amorous feelings towards Stein would return to haunt him many years later.
Stein eventually came to develop the layout for the Hudson Nuclear Power Plant, the country's first completely safe atomic testing center. His commitment to the plant became an obsession with Stein, and he sacrificed everything, even his marriage, to see it come to fruition. Unwilling to play second-fiddle to Stein's career, Clarissa Clemens sued for divorce. Marital issues only represented the beginning of Stein's troubles however.
Working under Stein's employ was an unscrupulous man named Danton Black. Black began covertly stealing Martin's research in the hopes of selling it to a rival firm. Martin discovered his colleague's transgressions however, and promptly fired him. Black swore revenge against Stein and returned on that fateful night when the Coalition to Resist Atomic Power staged their attack against the plant.
Coalition leader, Eddie Earhart raided the reactor core room and confronted Martin Stein. Taking him by surprise, he easily overcame the older man knocking him out cold. By this point, Ronnie Raymond realized that there was a lot more to the Coalition's aims than he previously believed. Ronnie attempted to stop Eddie, but the terrorist punched the high school student in the jaw, knocking him out as well. When Ronnie came to, he discovered that the Coalition had wired several pounds worth of TNT to explode inside the reactor. He grabbed the unconscious Stein and attempted to drag him out of the building. They were nearly out the front door when the TNT exploded. Both men (as well as Danton Black) were consumed by the brilliant burst of radiation. The excess power fused Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein into a single composite being – Firestorm.
- Firestorm Matrix
- Density Control: Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix have complete control over molecules and as such can change the density of solids, liquids and gases to as light as hydrogen or as heavy as uranium.
- Eidetic Memory: Also called "Matrix Memory Recall", elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix can access the memories of each and every single being that has ever been fused into the Matrix. New elements are allowed to automatically download surface information.
- Energy Absorption: Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix can absorb massive amounts of energy as well as being able to absorb many different types of energy. Most commonly the elements and energies associate with life and the human body are absorbed. Also solar energy is a possible source of energy that can work as a "emergency battery" for elements out of power.
- Energy Projection: Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix can project massive amounts of different amount of energies. Naturally occurring energy projected by Firestorm are "Nuclear Blasts" however elements can project a number of different energies at will.
- Enhanced Vision: Also called "Quark Vision", elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix have access to enhanced vision due to their nuclear nature. Different visions experienced are X-Ray Vision, Microscopic Vision, and Thermal Vision.
- Flight: Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix can soar through the sky at amazing speeds. At first it may be difficult to achieve flight through Firestorm's nuclear nature though most master it quickly. Firestorms have been clocked at over 600mph theoretically they can fly much faster.
- Molecular Reconstruction Elements tied together into the Firestorm Matrix to create Firestorm have one main ability which all other stem from. Their "atomic fusion" or "nuclear nature" stem from nuclear physics tempering with the user's mixture of psychic energies as well as physical properties. Users accessing Firestorm or the Firestorm Matrix are called "elements" as they individually make up the Matrix. Firestorms can break down and reapply subatomic particles as well as break up the molecular structure of elements and rearrange them. To do this the element must know the exact elemental make-up of the object or human. Most Firestorms cannot affect living tissue but it is possible though very unstable.
- Phasing: Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix can phase their bodies through solid objects. Although they have direct control over an object's density they can use this ability on themselves and only themselves and affect living tissue to pass through objects.
- Psychic Link: Sometimes called "floating heads", elements that embody the Firestorm Matrix appear mostly as floating heads to represent their psychic link to the other human being or other element in the Matrix. They can be represented however they'd like but the Matrix defaults them to a disembodied head. Even disconnected an element may have latent psychic traces of the previous user.
- Regeneration: Though a majorly untested power as well as being as much a reaction from shape-shifting and a direct result of molecular reconstruction; nonetheless, Firestorm elements can regenerate large sections of misplaced or destroyed physical properties.
- Self-Sustenance: Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix can survive in space unaided, never need to eat to sustain life and never truly need another element to be processed or broken down by their bodies. Although users may feel these needs and would enjoy producing such bodily functions it is unnecessary.
- Superhuman Durability Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix receive an increased amount of physical resistance and durability. They can survive bullets and stab wounds as well as the physical damage of exploding constantly.
- Superhuman Strength Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix receive an increased amount of physical strength and muscle mass. Certain elements can tap into this energy and become large hulking entities however such strength can be quite destructive to the host if not used sparingly.
- Transformation Elements tied to the Firestorm Matrix can transform from their "normal" human forms into Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. However other entities may take whatever form they want; such as, Black Lantern Firestorm and Fury. Furthermore, elements can transform their body or body parts at will with concentration with an unknown level of restraint.
- Physics: Martin Stein was an expert in the fields of chemistry and physics. It was through this knowledge, that the Firestorm entity was able to wield his powers so effectively.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- Martin Stein was a recovering alcoholic.
- 139 Appearances of Martin Stein (New Earth)
- 12 Images featuring Martin Stein (New Earth)
- 9 Quotations by or about Martin Stein (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Martin Stein (New Earth)
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This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.