In 2004, DC revived the Firestorm comic for the second time, with writer Dan Jolley and artist Chris Cross, but instead of the original Firestorm, Ronald Raymond, there was a new protagonist; Jason Rusch, an African-American teenager. Subsequently, Raymond was killed off during the Identity Crisis mini-series. It was revealed in Identity Crisis #5 and Firestorm #6 that during a battle with a villain called the Shadow Thief, Raymond was impaled by the Shining Knight's sword, which the Shadow Thief had stolen. The magical sword ruptured the nuclear man's containment field, resulting in Firestorm's body exploding, and his residual essence funneling into Jason Rusch's body, perhaps activating a dormant meta-gene.
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