45 years ago - Martin Stein is born.
27 years ago - 18-year-old Martin begins his undergraduate studies.
23 years ago - 22-year-old Martin begins his graduate studies.
19 years ago - 26-year-old Martin begins his doctoral studies.
17 years ago - 28-year-old Martin earns his first Doctorate.
16 years ago - 29-year-old Martin earns his second doctorate.
15 years ago - 30-year-old Martin is awarded the Nobel Prize for physics.
12 years ago - 33-year-old Martin begins working on an experimental Nuclear Matrix Reactor.
10 years ago - 35-year-old Martin is caught in an accident with Ronnie Raymond & becomes the secondary host of the Firestorm Matrix. Together, they join the Justice League as Firestorm.
9 years ago - 36-year-old Martin & Ronnie Raymond's connection is ruptured, forcing them to reduce their time as Firestorm. The Justice League collapses.
Part of what made Firestorm a great character was the contrast between Ronnie and Professor Stein. Ronnie was a classic young heroic character, but in order to really make his powers work, he had a genius physicist in his head. Brilliant scientists like Professor Stein are practically stock characters in comics, but at least Martin got to be part of one of the most powerful superheroes in the history of the Justice League.
We've invented the idea of the "Matrix Reactor", the idea that the Firestorm Matrix is a result of a specific innovation in Stein's research, rather than a random trick of nuclear fusion that, frankly, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Comics don't HAVE to make sense, but every time they do they become a bit more fun.