Central City forensics expert Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) will face some serious challenges when The Flash returns for the second half of its debut season, but he won't be the only DC Comics superhero taking the spotlight. Sharing super-duties with the scarlet speedster is Firestorm, played by Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People) and Victor Garber (Alias, Argo) - and the dual credit is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what makes Firestorm one of a kind.
Introduced as the lovable fiance of Caitlin Snow Ronnie Raymond (Amell) was presumed dead after the events of the series' pilot. Raymond would later emerge as a crazed, tortured vagrant able to turn his body to flame, making him a far cry from a costumed superhero. Now both Amell and Garber have offered more details on their shared form, the technology used to separate them, and why heroism may require a sacrifice from them both.
We've already offered a breakdown of the essential Firestorm facts fans should know, but the short version of the origin story sees Ronnie and Dr. Martin Stein (Garber) fused into a single form: two minds forced to occupy the same body. Speaking with CBR about their upcoming arc, the actors touched on the challenge of portraying that intimate a relationship - but why they're eager to tackle it:
Amell: Our first episode together, we're supposed to have been battling for control mentally against each other for over a year now, so there would be a familiarity -- and we already had that. We went out for dinner before we shot anything together, in Vancouver -- we saw each other at the table read, and went out to dinner that night, and got to catch back up. It was nice to come in knowing and having a friend, and having fun.
Garber: There's an immediate trust, that you can just throw the ball, and they'll bat it back. That's what acting mostly is. It's just listening and responding, and Robbie is really good at that.
Amell promises that although the 'new' Ronnie isn't the one Caitlin was set to marry, that version will be back on the scene before long. Apparently, it seems that fans will have a device - seen in previous promotional photos - to thank for that.
According to Amell, that device is known as the 'Splicer,' presumably what makes it possible for Stein and Raymond to be separated, and allow Ronnie to return to his former self. But it may be too early to call it an actual "costume":
Amell: [The Firestorm costume] will definitely evolve. Right now, it just happens to be the wardrobe I was wearing when the splicer gets put on. The splicer is really the only piece of the costume that I think will be consistent, and that'll be a staple. I think the rest of it is interchangeable.
Garber: They're going to have more money next season, so they'll change it. [Laughs]
Both Stein and Raymond may be eager for some time apart once they've parted ways in the coming episodes, but just like in the comics, that division comes with a price. The two men being joined is what makes Firestorm - and his mastery over atomic structure itself - possible. Amell claims that the duo will have to team up and aid The Flash, meaning Stein must give up his own identity to save the day.