Real Name: Russ Broxtel
Identity/Class: Human technology user
formerly hired muscle for crime lord Phillipe Bazin;
formerly janitor at Stark International
of Nature (Aqueduct, Firewall, Skybreaker, Terraformer);
formerly employed by Phillipe Bazin
Affiliations: Black Lodge (Surgeon General, others), Boomerang, Corrupter, Fasaud, King Cobra, Maggia, Mr. Hyde, Mauler (Doyle), R.A.I.D.;
briefly Mezdbadah and his armed forces;
formerly Phillipe Bazin, Stark International
Enemies: Arabian Knight (Hashim), Phillipe Bazin, Betty Brant, Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Cloak, Constrictor, Kate Cushing, Dagger, Jalfah Dahn, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Ent, Flash Thompson, Gina, Glory Grant, General Halladah and the Trans-Sabalian Army, Hawkeye (Bishop), the Initiative (Annex, Batwing (Santini), Butterball (Emery Schaub), Gorilla Girl, Prodigy (Gilmore), Sunstreak, Taskmaster, War Machine (Rhodes), Yellowjacket (Criti Noll)), J. Jonah Jameson, Marla Jameson, Anna Johnson, Nick Katzenberg, Willie Lumpkin, Joy Mercado, Mother Inferior, Mr. Munson, New Warriors (Firestar, Namorita, Nova (Richard Rider), Rage, Silhoutte, Speedball (Robbie Baldwin), Sprocket), Detective "Rusty" Nales, Harry Osborn, Liz Osborn, Rose Harriet Palermo, Victor Palermo, May Parker, Patriot (Bradley), Pester, Martha Robertson, Randy Robertson, Robbie Robertson, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Ben Urich, Mary Jane Watson, numerous party goers (including Woody Allen, Mia Farrow and Stan Lee), the occupants of the local homeless shantytown and the Poseidon Hotel, the NYFD and NYPD; basically anyone who got in his way.
Known Relatives: None
Operations: New York, USA, and mobile internationally,
including London, England, and Trans-Sabal;
formerly unnamed prison in Queens, New York, USA;
formerly a subsidiary of Stark International (location unrevealed)
First Appearance: Web of Spider-Man#77 (June,1991)
Powers/Abilities: Firebrand's exoskeleton allows him enhanced strength, durability, flight and flame projection "from anywhere and everywhere," including a protective sheath of flame enveloping his body. He possesses at least an above average intelligence to be able to hack into the Stark International computers, steal the Firebrand costume, enhance its capabilities and use it effectively (although Stark Int. may have enhanced the suit before he stole it.) He is mercenary and opportunist by nature with scant regard for human life.
(Web of Spider-Man#78 (fb) - BTS) - Russ Broxtel was employed on the custodial staff of Stark International. Using his humble station to his advantage, Broxtel hacked into company files and discovered the schematics for the Firebrand exo-skeleton, his "shortcut to success." Stealing the tech, Broxtel became the new Firebrand, hiring out his services to the crime lord Phillipe Bazin. Bazin sent Firebrand to extort money from Mr. Munson, who wished to convert the Poseidon Hotel, located on Bazin's "turf", into a homeless shelter. Munson paid Broxtel the money, but Broxtel double-crossed both men and kept the money, hiding it in the bumper of an abandoned car near the local homeless shantytown. He then informed Bazin that Munson hadn't paid up, and got the go-ahead to torch the Hotel.
(Web of Spider-Man#77) - At the gala opening of the Poseidon Homeless Shelter, Broxtel and Munson spoke briefly; Munson hadn't expected him to be there. Later, during the chaos caused by the Morlocks Ent and Pester, Broxtel slipped away. As Munson searched for him, he found Broxtel's tie and cummerbund, then was attacked by Firebrand, who sprayed fire over the terrified crowd.
(Web of Spider-Man#78) - Firebrand's attack caused the ceiling to collapse on the Morlocks, Spider-Man and Anna, who were in the sub-basement. The Morlock Mother Inferior was killed by falling debris while saving Ent and Spider-Man's lives, while up above, Munson asked Firebrand why he was attacking after he'd paid Bazin off. Firebrand admitted he'd "forgotten" to give Bazin the money, then he burned Munson alive. As the NYFD arrived, Firebrand attacked them, drawing the attention of Cloak and Dagger who were searching for Anna. As the trio fought, the police attempted to arrest all three of them, giving Firebrand time to attack. Firebrand tried to fuse the heroes to the ground, but Dagger's light knives quickly freed them. Firebrand then turned his flame on the homeless shantytown, drawing Cloak and Dagger away to protect the endangered innocents. Cloak then tried to entrap Firebrand within his Dimension of Darkness, only to be blasted off by Firebrand's flame abilities. Firebrand used the distraction to recover the stolen money and attempted to escape. Spider-Man and Ent broke out of the flaming hotel, freeing the others, and Spidey took up the battle against Firebrand, snatching the money while he was distracted. As the raving Firebrand pursued him, Spidey webbed his hands together, slammed them into each other, and struck Broxtel in the face with his own hands, shorting out the costume's circuitry. Broxtel awoke in the middle of a very angry crowd and the cops took him away.
(New Warriors I#29 (fb) - BTS) - Firebrand was recruited as part of the Force of Nature and they entered the civil war conflict in Trans-Sabal.
(New Warriors I#29) - After several weeks of intense fighting with the Trans-Sabalian Army, Firebrand attacked a contingent of soldier alongside his team mates in the Force of Nature, which sought to stop the pollution generated by the civil war. However, this time, they encountered and fought the New Warriors, who were there to stop the carnage and violence.
(New Warriors I#30) - Finally overwhelmed by the fighting, particularly against the super-powered heroes, Firebrand sought to escape the fray, but was knocked out from behind by Sprocket. Recovering later, Firebrand rejoined the Force of Nature and stormed the palace in the city of Jaffan alongside brief allies the New Warriors and the opposition forces led by Mezdbadah. He had the handcuffed would-be King Jalfaha Dahn in his sights and blasted flames at him in an effort to kill him so that the Force of Nature could set themselves up as the new rulers of the oil-rich nation, but the fiery projections were blocked by Nova. Namorita then bent the mercenary's arm back, breaking it at the elbow. The New Warriors then left, leaving the warring forces behind.
(Dark Reign Files) - Firebrand "drifted into obscurity for years", following his time with Force of Nature.
(Union Jack II#1 (fb) - BTS) - Sporting new armor, Firebrand was hired by R.A.I.D. and helped into London by Fasaud.
(Union Jack II#2) - Sent to Heathrow Airport, Firebrand, wearing a suit similar to the original Firebrand's, and Boomerang entered a stand-off with the Arabian Knight and the Contessa, taking a passenger plane hostage. The Arabian Knight confronted Firebrand who struck back with a wall of flame. Protected by his magic uniform, the Knight stopped Firebrand with a swing from his blade.
(Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America#3 (fb) - BTS) - Firebrand escaped custody and returned to the United States.
(Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America#3) - Donning a new suit, Firebrand attempted to rob a gas station. Stopped by Patriot and Hawkeye during his getaway, Firebrand shot flames at them. Pausing to laugh at Hawkeye's misfired attempt to hit him, Firebrand was engulfed in flame-retardant chemicals when the arrow ricocheted back at him. Patriot used his shield to knock a fire hydrant valve off, blasting Firebrand into unconsciousness.
(Avengers: The Initiative #13 (fb) - BTS) - Firebrand, back to wearing the suit from his encounter with the Arabian Knight, and fellow mercenaries King Cobra, Mr. Hyde, and Mauler, accepted a contract against Taskmaster for acting as an instructor for the 50-state Initiative training facility at Camp Hammond.
(Avengers: The Initiative #13) - Firebrand and the other mercenaries caught up with Taskmaster outside Camp Hammond while he and other Initiative staffers Yellowjacket (secretly the Skrull, Criti Noll), War Machine, and Constrictor were looking for absent trainees. Destroying their vehicle with a fireball, Firebrand went after Taskmaster while his partners handled the others. Meeting resistance by the trainees, Firebrand also fought Constrictor before fleeing, realizing he and the others were outmatched.
(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched Firebrand for Norman Osborn.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#700.3 (fb) - BTS) - The Maggia hired Firebrand to burn Giacomo Scrap Metal Co. as part of an insurance fraud.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#700.3) - Spider-Man interfered, but Firebrand nearly burnt him alive, overexerting himself and causing a massive explosion at the scrapeyard. Before the proper authorities arrived an unconscious Firebrand and Spider-Man, with his costume burnt away, were picked up by an ambulance from the supervillain hospital Black Lodge.
At the Black Lodge Firebrand was put into intensive care and when he woke up revealed to a nurse that Spider-Man had been brought in with him.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#700.4) - The nurse used the defibrillator controls to wake up Firebrand, who ran amok at the Black Lodge, causing a big fire. The Surgeon General and his crew fled the building, leaving behind the supervillains, who were saved by Spider-Man or escaped on their own.
Comments: Created by Terry Kavanaugh (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils) and Keith Williams (inks).
There was some speculation that the Firebrand to appear in recent years wasn't Broxtel, but this was clarified in the Dark Reign Files handbook, where Firebrand received a brief profile. It was in this profile that his name was finally revealed to be Russ.
The Black Lodge story in Amazing Spider-Man I#700.3-4 has to take place at some point after Firebrand's Avengers: The Initiative appearance because he wore the same costume.
Woody Allen, Mia Farrow and Stan Lee made cameo appearances at the party in Web of Spider-Man#77. Flash Thompson also attended the party in full costume as the villain Stilt Man, thinking it a costume party, and caused quite a little commotion himself ...
Mother Inferior and Mr. Munson were the only known fatalities of the Poseidon Hotel fire, although Gina and Glory Grant apparently suffered serious injury. Gina had to be hospitalized and was in a wheelchair during her recovery. Kate Cushing may or may not have broken her arm; likewise, Harry Osborn was said to have had a broken arm, but Liz was apparently mistaken, as he was seen a few days later without an arm brace or cast.
The other mercenaries hired by
R.A.I.D. in the London attack included Crossfire and his Death-Throws,
and Zaran. However, since Firebrand was partnered with Boomerang and
the Corrupter, and did not actually work with the others, they're not
counted as allies.
Profile by Darc_Light. Updated by G Morrow
Firebrand (Broxtel) has no known connections to:
Mr. Munson has no known relation to:
Mr. Munson was the head of the charity fund raiser committee attempting to convert the Poseidon Hotel into a homeless shelter designed to help people get back up on their feet. Bazin demanded payment to set up the shelter in his territory, but Broxtel stole it and claimed it was never received. Firebrand brutally burned Munson to death. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery, where Anna later visited his grave.
--Web of Spider-Man#77
Avengers: The Initiative#13, p17, pan4 (main image, current suit)
Web of Spider-Man#77, p14, pan 5 (head shot)
New Warriors I#29, p14, pan 3 (flying)
Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America#3, p12, pan1 (costume worn while fighting Young Avengers)
Web of Spider-Man#77 p15, pan 5 (Mr. Munson)
Web of Spider-Man#77 (June, 1991) - Terry Kavanaugh (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Web of Spider-Man#78 (July, 1991) - Terry Kavanaugh (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
New Warriors I#29 (November, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Darick Robertson (pencils), Larry Mahlstedt & Brian Garvey (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)
New Warriors I#30 (December, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Darick Robertson (pencils), Larry Mahlstedt (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)
Union Jack II#1 (November, 2006) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Mike Perkins (pencils), Andrew Hennessy (inks), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Union Jack II#2 (December, 2006) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Mike Perkins (pencils), Andrew Hennessy (inks), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America#3 (July, 2007) - Jeph Loeb (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#13 (July, 2008) - Christos N. Cage (writer), Steve Uy (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin (head writer/coordinator), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man II#700.3-700.4 (February, 2014) - Joe Casey (writer), Timothy Green (pencils), Walden Wong (inks), Tom Brennan (editor)
First Posted: 12/13/2007
Last updated: 02/14/2015
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com/
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters