FLAME

Real Name: Dan Springer

Identity/Class: Human, technology user

Occupation: Arsonist-for-hire, professional criminal

Group Membership: Ricadonna's Rogues (Blue Streak (Jonathan Swift), Ferocia, Kingsize, Celia Ricadonna)

Affiliations: Corporation;
formerly Crowley (employer)

Enemies: Dazzler, Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Humbug, Misty Knight, Orka, Shang-Chi, Colleen Wing), Power Man (Luke Cage), Iron Fist

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: Dazzler#23 (January, 1983)

Powers/Abilities: Flame is an expert arsonist. His costume is fireproof and has goggles to protect his eyes from the intense glare of the fires he lights. The gloves of his costume are fitted with mini flame-throwers and can shoot fireballs from the fingertips. He also wields a 'fire-sword' which is a blade of super-hot flame. His method of transportation is his motorcycle, which has been redesigned to make no noise when running.
   Skrull organs transplanted into his body by the Corporation allowed him to shapeshift.

History: The past of the mercenary arsonist known as Flame is unknown. He was hired for his skills by Crowley, to burn down one of his buildings.

(Dazzler#23)- While Dazzler and her sister Lois were staying at a junky little apartment complex, they were awakened by fire and smoke. Dazzler found the alarm box had been vandalized and the phones were dead, so she used her light powers to create a beacon to alert the cops. Dazzler rescued fellow tenant Mrs. Shaugnessy, and then she and Lois skidaddled while the firemen doused the flames. Meanwhile, Flame sped away on his motorcycle, after watching the fire he started being extinguished by the firemen. He called Crowley and told him that Dazzler ruined his work, and that he was going to see that she would no longer be any trouble.

Long after the fire had been put out, Crowley argued with the tenants, claiming that if they had bought the co-op shares he'd been offering, thing like the fire wouldn't have happened.

Later, at Dazzler's rehearsal, Power Man and Iron Fist showed up. Dazzler called them, thinking that the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants (Mystique, Destiny, and Rogue) were trying to kill her and that they were the ones who torched the building. She hired Luke and Danny to get to the proverbial bottom of it. But suddenly, they found the studios ablaze. They tried the fire extinguishers, and found to their horror that they had been emptied. Naturally, everyone panicked, and then the ceiling started to collapse. Power Man kept it from falling on everybody, while Iron Fist broke the door open after finding someone had tampered with the handle. Iron Fist, Dazzler and everyone else quickly exited the flaming building, and at the last moment, Power Man escaped by smashing through a brick wall. As Dazzler and other onlookers watched over the fire in fear, Flame watched them from a nearby rooftop.

While Power Man and Iron Fist scoured the city for clues on who was trying to torch Dazzler, Dazzler went back to Crowley's fleabag apartment complex. Perplexed by sounds of angry shouting coming from Crowley's office, Dazzler listened closer and overhears Crowley talking about the recent rash episodes of arson. She opened the door a crack and saw Crowley was arguing with none other than Flame, claiming Flame's attempts to kill Dazzler were drawing unwanted attention. However, Dazzler made a noise accidentally, and immediately afterwards, Flame caught her. Flame then took her away to kill her for interfering, much to the distress of Crowley.

Minutes later, Flame had Dazzler tied up, and was driving her to his next arson assignment, planning to kill two birds with one stone by burning down the building and frying Dazzler at the same time. He also enjoyed bragging about his motorcycle that he had built by the best mechanics on the eastern seaboard to run completely silent. He stopped at an old building and took Dazzler inside. While Flame was occupied setting up things to burn down the place, Dazzler tried to start his motorcycle so she could convert the sound into a laser and get out her bonds. She removed the special muffler after some effort and she easily escaped using the sound of the motorcycle's roaring engine. The sound alerted Flame, who hurled a couple of fireballs at Dazzler. He missed, and Dazzler ripped off his flame-gloves. But Flame was not yet defenseless, and ignited his flame-sword!

Dazzler countered with a laser-sword of her own making, and they dueled in a Star Wars-esqe fashion. Dazzler beat Flame by burning his hand and making him drop his flame-sword, and then she proceeded to dazzle him into submission with a burst of blinding light. Meanwhile, the whole place had gone up in flames, but Power Man and Iron Fist, who found out about Flame from Crowley, conveniently rescued Dazzler. Flame was arrested, and the fire he started was put out.

(Heroes for Hire II#3 (fb) - BTS) - Flame got Skrull organs implanted by the Corporation.

(Heroes for Hire II#3) - The scientist Simon introduced Veil to Flame and the other successfull experiments. A short time later Ferocia, Blue Streak, Flame and Kingsize broke out Ricadonna from Sing Sing.

(Heroes for Hire II#4) - Flame and his current allies waited in the Corporation's HQ on Hart Island and trained his shapeshifting abilities. They were watched by Humbug through a fly. Ricadonna entered the room and told Flame and the others that they would finish their job now.

(Heroes for Hire II#5) - During the Heroes for Hire's attack on the Corporation's Hart Island facility Flame attacked Orka, made a lousy fish fry joke and was then knocked out by Misty with a kick to the neck. Later he was carried by Shang-Chi into an escape tunnel beneath the facility before everything exploded.

(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched Flame for Norman Osborn.

Comments: Created by Danny Fingeroth and Frank Springer.

Despite that Flame first appeared in Dazzler (one of the most inane comics I've read) and that he was defeated by Dazzler (you'd think a guy with flaming sword would be a tad more difficult to beat), I think he was interesting enough to deserve a return. He's got some cool weapons, and a neat little crime niche. He would make a keen opponent for Spider-Man or Luke Cage.

I don't think Flame had the technical know-how to design or build his weapons himself, so he probably had them built by a professional like the Tinkerer or Justin Hammer. Perhaps his motorcycle was created by one of them as well.

One major plot-hole in this story: how'd Flame know it was Dazzler who originally signaled the police?

Ricadonna's rogues received an entry in the Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1. In this profile Flame's real name was revealed.

Profile by Ben Peberdy, Spaceknight

CLARIFICATIONS:
Flame should not be confused with:


Crowley was the weasly landlord of some cheap apartments, who wanted to get rid of the buildings altogether as they were costing him money, due to his tenants' refusal to buy into his co-op shares. He hired Flame to torch the places, but Flame's work was disrupted by Dazzler. Crowley became scared when Flame tried to kill Dazzler for her interference, and tried to get Flame to stop drawing attention to him. When Flame caught Dazzler and announced he was going to kill her, Crowley became nervous and called the cops. He was probably arrested for his attempted crimes.
--Dazzler#23


Appearances:
Dazzler#23 (January, 1983) - Danny Fingeroth (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#3 (December, 2006) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writes), Billy Tucci & Francis Portela (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#4 (January, 2007) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writes), Billy Tucci & Francis Portela (pencils), Tom Palmer & Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#5 (February, 2006) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writes), Francis Portela (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)


Last updated: 12/09/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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