Last episode of The Flash introduced a brand new couple of villains, with the first one being also the main one. In The Fury of Firestorm, poor Martin Stein needs a replacement for Ronnie Raymond as a partner for his superheroic alterego, and there are two candidates: first is the real deal, Jax Jackson (acting as a substitute for Jason Rusch), while the second is Henry Hewitt, portrayed by Demore Barnes. Hewitt is a renowned scientist and apparently a perfect match, but soon he shows a darker character, and by touching Stein he acquires also the power to absorb and emit any kind of energy, becoming the first enemy of the new Firestorm. Also in the comics he’s an old acquaintance of Firestorm, to the point he was a true nemesis for the Raymond/Stein version. Let’s see together.
Henry Hewitt was born in 1945, the same day Hiroshima was bombed, in New York City, even though he lived most of his life in Washington D.C.. Nothing is known about his early life, apart from the fact that, as a certain point, he suffered an accident that forced him on a wheelchair for his life; as an adult, however, he was one of the richest and most influent businessmen in the country, CEO of his own company, the Hewitt Corporation. Power asked for more power, and Hewitt secretly became part of the 2000 Committee, a powerful group of politicians, businessmen, military officers and scientists aiming to take complete control over the United States of America. Increasing his own personal power, Hewitt also increased his influence within the Committee, raising in the ranks until he became one of the directors of the group. Always craving power, Hewitt followed other colleagues’ work on superhumans, especially the researches on Firestorm, a hero who harnessed the power of nuclear energy; he also kept pulling the strings of many powers in the States, politics included, in order to obtain total control of the country’s energy market. There was still an obstacle, however, for his Hewitt Industries Bill to be approved: Senator Walter Reilly, who strongly opposed it, knowing far too well that Hewitt was aiming to monopoly. Henry wasn’t a man ready to accept a “no” as an answer, so he had Reilly’s daughter Lorraine kidnapped to blackmail the senator; plus, he had now the perfect guinea pig to test his scientists’ progresses on. The 2000 Committee, in fact, had researched upon Firestorm, discovering the hero’s true identity (identities) and even understanding the accident that had given birth to the Nuclear Man. Hewitt wanted that power for himself, and ordered them to replicate Firestorm’s birth…but in order to test the safety of the experiment, he had them use Lorraine Reilly as a test subject first.
The experiment on Lorraine was a success, and not only she survived, but she also became some sort of female version of Firestorm, whom Hewitt renamed Firehawk. At first, Hewitt brainwashed Firehawk and used her to battle Firestorm, but when the hero managed to break her conditioning, thus gaining a new powerful ally and taking away Hewitt’s trump card for blackmailing Senator Reilly, he decided it was time to go to the next level. Hewitt had his scientist repeat the experiment that gave birth to Firehawk on himself, so that he could confront Firestorm face to face: again, the process was a success, and Henry gained the ability to absorb and emit enormous quantities of energy, as well as regaining the use of his legs; his powers, however, were stronger but more unstable than Firestorm’s and Firehawk’s ones, so he required a special suit built for him by the Committee to avoid a spontaneous meltdown. Despite the risks, Hewitt decided to take on Firestorm himself, and he named himself Tokamak, the Living Reactor, and battled the dual hero with his new suit and powers. During the battle, Tokamak proved to be too much for Firestorm to handle alone, but the Nuclear Man was eventually saved by Firehawk, who was now after the man who had kidnapped her: Tokamak proved to be superior to them both, but eventually the two heroes focused their blasts on a single point of his suit, managing to breach it. Unable to handle all the energy he was absorbing, Tokamak went in melt-down and exploded, but it was just an apparent end of Hewitt’s criminal career (and life). Henry, in fact, had survived, but was now far too weak (and sick as a result of the radiations he had absorbed) to resurface. He used his many resources to finance a program of cloning, wanting to replicate the Firestorm’s experience: from time to time, he fused with one of his clones, thus stabilizing his conditions and allowing him to absorb a certain amount of energy to heal. It would have taken time for Tokamak to come back in action, but time was one of the many things Henry Hewitt had plenty of.
Henry Hewitt is an ambitious and determined man, a self-made businessman who only craves for power, wealth and influence. Intelligent and calculating, Hewitt aims to nothing less than total control, and perceives it with the many tools at his disposal. As Tokamak, he’s able to absorb, channel and redirect a nearly infinite amount of energy, even if he needs his battlesuit to use it without self-destructing. With the powers of flight, energy blasts, force fields and even merging with his clones, Tokamak is an evil version of Firestorm, a man with all the power of the atom, and none of the morality to use it.