After the accident, Firestorm took to defending New York City from such threats as Multiplex and Killer Frost. The 1982 series began with the teenaged Raymond adjusting to his newfound role and later delved into the issue of the nuclear arms race. The Fury of Firestorm slowly developed the lives of Raymond and Stein, as the teenager struggled with high school and moved towards graduation and the scientist found a life outside the lab after learning about his bond with Raymond. A second nuclear hero, Firehawk, was added as a love interest for Firestorm in 1984. The series also tried to create a sense of fun, something that Gerry Conway felt was missing during his years writing Spider-Man; the banter between Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein contributed to this. Upon graduation from high school, Raymond entered college in Pittsburgh, where Stein had been hired as a professor. Afterward, together they searched for a cure for their bond.
When Conway left the series in 1986, John Ostrander (with Artist Joe Brozowski) began writing the Firestorm stories. His first major story arc pitted Firestorm against the world, as the hero, acting on a suggestion from a terminally ill Professor Stein, demanded that the United States and the Soviet Union destroy all of their nuclear weapons. After confrontations with the Justice League and most of his enemies, Firestorm faced off against the Russian nuclear superhero Pozhar in the Nevada desert, where an atomic bomb was dropped on them. A new Firestorm resulted, a fusion of the two heroes: this new Firestorm was composed of Ronnie Raymond and the Russian Mikhail Arkadin but controlled by the disembodied amnesiac mind of Martin Stein.
The Firestorm with Arkadin proved to be a transitional phase, as in 1989 Ostrander fundamentally changed the character of Firestorm by revealing that Firestorm was a "Fire Elemental". Firestorm now became something of an environmental crusader, formed from Ronnie Raymond, Mikhail Arkadin and Svarozhich, a Soviet clone of the previous Firestorm, but with a new mind. Professor Stein, no longer part of the composite at all, continued to play a role, but the focus was on this radically different character. New Artist Tom Mandrake would create a new look to match. It was during this phase that Firestorm met and befriended Sango and the Orishas, the elemental gods of Nigeria. He also met their chief deity and Sango's older brother Obatala, Lord of the White Cloth.
After the transition to the elemental Firestorm, all of the main characters from the series vanished from the comics for some time after the cancellation of the Firestorm comic in 1990. Raymond eventually returned in the pages of Extreme Justice. Raymond, at the time undergoing treatment for leukemia, regained his original powers after a chemotherapy session. It took the combined might of the Justice League led by Captain Atom, and the returned elemental Firestorm to restore Ronnie's health. Firestorm began to appear regularly in a number of DC titles, though lacking the guidance and knowledge necessary to use his skills wisely. Firestorm was drafted by Batman into a "replacement" Justice League that was commissioned in case something befell the original team (in this case, being stranded in the distant past in "The Obsidian Age" storyline). After the original team returned, Firestorm stayed on as a reserve member and participated in events such as a team-up with the Justice Society of America (in JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice) and the intercompany crossover JLA/Avengers. He was also briefly a member of the Power Company.
In the 2006–2007 weekly series 52, it is revealed that Firestorm was fused with Cyborg due to malfunctioning Zeta Beam Technology. Unmerged after several weeks, Jason Rusch, as Firestorm, tried to reform and lead a new Justice League, along with Firehawk, Ambush Bug, Super-Chief, and the Bulleteer. After a failure in handling a time-displacement crisis staged by Skeets, the new League was disbanded in disgrace, adding strain to the already shaky friendship with Lorraine, as Jason still holds her and the rest of Donna Troy's Space Team responsible for Mick's demise. Finally, during the World War III event versus Black Adam, Jason settled all differences with Lorraine, rekindling their friendship and asking for her powers, necessary to activate Firestorm after the mysterious disappearance of Martin Stein.
The Firestorm team of Jason and Firehawk made several appearances across the DCU before the search for Martin Stein ended. This included dealing with the latest OMAC and teaming up with Superman in the "Back in Action" arc in Action Comics. Firehawk later introduced Jason to Pozhar, a Russian superhero who was once a part of the Firestorm matrix; together, the trio take on a newly reborn Tokamak. This series ended with Firestorm: The Nuclear Man issue #35 in April 2007.
In the 2009 – 2010 Blackest Night miniseries, Ronnie Raymond is called by a black power ring to join the Black Lantern Corps. In the following issue, his reanimated corpse is shown confronting Barry Allen and Hal Jordan alongside Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, and J'onn J'onzz. He then attacks Jason Rusch (the current Firestorm), and absorbs him into his own version of the Firestorm matrix. Then, using Jason's unique abilities, turns Gehenna into table salt, simultaneously ripping her heart out with a smile. He uses the Firestorm Matrix to absorb Jason's anger over Gehenna's death, providing the Black Lanterns with even more emotional energies. He goes on to attack Barry and co. at the Justice League satellite. Jason then briefly asserts himself, allowing the heroes to escape. Regaining control, Ronnie proceeds to absorb Jason's Will Power. Like other Black Lanterns, the undead Firestorm mimics the personality of Ronnie Raymond, often wisecracking and exhibiting other stereotypical teenage behavior. In the final battle against Nekron, Ronnie is restored to life alongside Jason, the two separating from Firestorm. Ronnie is confused, asking Atom where Professor Stein is while Jason is upset with Ronnie killing Gehenna. Ronnie, however, apparently has no memory of doing so.
In the 2010 – 2011 Brightest Day miniseries, Ronnie Raymond, still clad in Casual clothing from a wild party the night before, arrives at Jason Rusch's apartment with Professor Stein and Ray Palmer to attend Gehenna's funeral. Stein and Palmer discuss Ron's return and how he no longer remembers anything since his death at the hands of Shadow Thief. While the two talk about the paperwork needed to have Ronnie's legal status as "dead" reversed, Ron approaches Jason and offers an apology about Gehenna's murder. Jason refuses to accept it, telling Ronnie that he forced him into being an accomplice to his own girlfriend's death, and that he probably doesn't even remember her name. When Ronnie is actually unable to remember Gehenna's name, Jason angrily lashes out and punches him in the face. This causes the two young men to merge into Firestorm, and they begin arguing inside the Matrix while Palmer transforms into the Atom in order to help them separate.
After the events of the 2011 "Flashpoint" storyline, The New 52 reality altered Firestorm's personal history to be completely restarted. Ronnie Raymond is now introduced as a high school senior and the captain of the football team. During a terrorist attack on their school, classmate Jason Rusch produces a vial given to him by Professor Stein, which contains the "God Particle", one of Stein's creations. The God Particle transforms both Jason and Ronnie into Firestorm, and the two teens briefly battle each other before accidentally merging into a hulking creature known as the Fury.
Some time after the forceful separation, he lies sleeping in preparation of a party, when a previously heard voice prods him awake – a monstrous construct of Gehenna, made totally of salt, which proceeds to throttle and choke him, taunting him to remember her name; while she is interrupted before killing him, Ronnie is left covered in salt. Not too long after, he is lying, recovering from a massive binge, when Jason again forces the merge to help several construction workers endangered when the girders at the site are transmuted without warning to bubble gum. This time, they again hear the mysterious voice taunting them, and Ronnie accepts he remembers killing Gehenna, and they realize something else is lurking from within the Firestorm Matrix.
In 2016, Firestorm was one of the features in the Legends of Tomorrow mini-series, which united Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson as Firestorm for the first time in the New 52 universe.