What Does Victor Garber’s Departure Mean for the Future of Firestorm?
It was announced earlier this week that Victor Garber would be leaving Legends of Tomorrow in order to appear on Broadway. Garber has done such an amazing job as Martin Stein on both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, and it is sad to see him go. But his departure poses the question of what will become of Firestorm.
Firestorm is created through the combined efforts of two hosts, Stein serving as the partner to Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) during the first season of The Flash (he was killed during the season two premier) and then Jefferson ‘Jax’ Jackson (Franz Drameh) during season two of The Flash and all seasons of Legends of Tomorrow. It was proven in the episode ‘The Fury of Firestorm’ that without a merge into Firestorm, Stein would have a nuclear meltdown. That’s when Jax became the other half of Firestorm. So what does this mean for Stein, Jax, and Firestorm?
It was heavily hinted in the Season 3 premier of Legends that Stein might leave the team as his daughter is pregnant. He and Jax have a good moment together where they talk about their future on the Waverider and the fact that the team has become their family over the past three years. Jax has found his calling in being the mechanic, so I don’t think that he will be written out of the show along with Stein. But how is the series going to go about his departure?
There are a couple of possibilities. The easiest solution would be that Stein and Jax find a way to live separately. This isn’t so far-fetched as there is a time in the comics when Firestorm was a single being, though maybe not as powerful as when the matrix is two beings. Jax could continue to travel through time while Stein stayed with his family, and neither would have to worry about suddenly combusting.
Fans are buzzing with the news and saying that this could mean the return of Ronnie. Ronnie was killed off on The Flash because Amell was unable to reprise the role for Legends. In order to stop a wormhole from ripping Central City apart, Firestorm flew into the center and separated, creating a reaction that destroyed it. Barry was able to snag Stein from the air, but Ronnie’s body was never recovered. I have always found Ronnie’s death to be suspicious and heavily believe that if there’s no body, then they aren’t really dead. It could be that my theory finally pans out and Ronnie wasn’t killed, but was thrown into a different universe. Garber will still be around for the major crossover event ‘Crisis on Earth-X,’ so could it be that Ronnie will make his return then?
There are a couple of issues I foresee with this option, though. Both Ronnie and Jax are the drivers of Firestorm. They are two personalities that might clash over who gets to be the body of the superhero. Also, the reason Jax was chosen was because he was a close genetic match to Ronnie. Much like Stein and the other potential candidate, Henry Hewitt, Jax and Ronnie may be too close of a match and not compatible at all.
Another option is the introduction of the current comic version of Firestorm, Jason Rusch. In the comics, Jason is a 17-year-old who desperately wants to escape his life in Detroit (sounds like Legend material to me). He gets his powers after the death of Ronnie when the Firestorm Matrix is searching for a new host. He didn’t originally have another half in order to become Firestorm, but eventually did merge with Stein and later Ronnie, who came back from the dead. Jason and Ronnie frequently clashed when they merged and created significant problems. Their emotional turmoil when they were together could lead to an explosion if they didn’t work through their differences.
Legends could also introduce a completely original character to match with Jax (much as he was created for the show).
Regardless of what happens, I am sad to see Garber go. He was such a great character and his banter while merged is amazing. Stein was also an incredible mentor for Jax and I know that their final good-bye is going to be emotional. I think Garber’s departure is going to happen during or right after the ‘Crisis on Earth-X’ event.
Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesday nights on The CW. The ‘Crisis on Earth-X’ crossover event kicks off Monday, November 28, with Supergirl and Arrow, concluding Tuesday, November 29, with The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
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