Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch, the two young men who comprise Firestorm, learn some significant things about the new Firestorm matrix, including how their powers currently work and how potentially destructive they can be. Providing the necessary plot exposition is Ronnie's original partner as Firestorm, Professor Martin Stein, and Stein's presence continues to make me pine for the original Firestorm pairing over the current arrangement. More importantly, though, the hidden enemy lurking within Firestorm finally reveals himself in the cliffhanger, surprising practically no one but still looking kinda badass regardless.
Meanwhile on the Aquaman front, upcoming Aqualad replacement Jackson Hyde also learns things about himself thanks to a mysterious chest that, of course, only Jackson can open. Just when Jackson and his father have their "Clark, you're not really our son and we found you in this rocket" Superman moment, out pops Black Manta, looking more formidable than...well...ever. Wacky chaos naturally ensues, leading right to the inevitable staredown between Black Manta and Aquaman. Artist Ivan Reis does a nice job here, especially with the splash pages, and really makes you hope that a Johns/Reis Aquaman monthly series is in the cards after Brightest Day ends in 2011.