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Years prior to the series, Martin Stein was a grad student at Metropolis University and roommate to the fourteen year old protégé Michael Holt. The two didn't get along over the littlest details such as bathroom etiquette, cats, etc. The most noteworthy wedge between them was Martin refused to believe that Michael came up with the idea for his T-Spheres on his own, when he was working on a near identical concept, the S-Cubes, at the same time.

Years later, Martin became an engineer at a nuclear power plant, helping design it. When an assortment of terrorist showed up demanding Plutonium to sell on the black market, a boy named Ronnie Raymond was taken as hostage. A nearby reactor when critical when Martin refused to comply, which fused the two into Firestorm. Overtime, the two worked together, with Martin trying, and often failing, to be the voice of reason to Ronnie's reckless nature. Many people, including Batman, believed Firestorm was talking to himself.

Sometime later, Firestorm would return to the plant that caused their fusion when it was under attack by The Nuclear Family. The androids had plans to force the reactor to go critical, thus making a large portion of the Earth only hospitably to them. Martin was needless to say surprised when Ronnie used his matter manipulating powers to shrink the Nuclear Family to a smaller size and into a bottle they could live in. Impressed by this, Firestorm was welcomed into the Justice League.

Sometime after this, Martin was horrified to learn his old roommate Michael, now the superhero and fellow member of the League Mr. Terrific, was dedicating a new science lab to their old university. During the ceremony, the villain Calculator attacked and gained control over the T-Spheres. Ronnie was excited to work alongside the hero, where Martin was nowhere near it. During there attempt at finding Calculator, Ronnie learned the truth behind their feud, and they learned Calculator was using the T-Spheres to cause a blackout. With this, the villain could gain access to any facility he wanted. Firestorm and Mr. Terrific went to stop him but Calculator used the spheres to separate Firestorm and captured Ronnie. Dusting the S-cubes out of storage, Martin used them to find Calculator where Terrific modified some of the cubes. It here Michael admits that he felt Martin was the smartest student on campus, and only talked big because he was always put down.

Using the cubes, Terrific managed to distract Calculator long enough for Martin to get to Ronnie, allowing them to fuse. Firestorm and Terrific then quickly defeat Calculator. While inside Ronnie's head, Martin admits he was wrong about Michael stealing his design, which Ronnie translates to Martin was being a bonehead.

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