Cover to Gunfire #1, artist Steve Erwin
|First appearance||Deathstroke Annual #2, October 1993|
|Created by||Len Wein (writer)
Steve Erwin (artist)
|Alter ego||Andrew Van Horn|
|Team affiliations||Blood Pack|
|Abilities||Agitation of particles to either cause objects to explode or fire energy projectiles.|
Fictional character biography
During the Bloodlines crossover, Venev, one of the Alien Parasites, consumes a luggage handler at the Metropolis Airport. A carelessly thrown piece of luggage from the dead man's inattentive partner stuns and entraps her in the cargo compartment of the plane. Emerging in Paris and in her human form, she senses power nearby in the form of Deathstroke the Terminator.
She follows him to the Van Horn company building, and on the way attacks and slays the owner of the company. Andrew Van Horn, the man's son, is also attacked and seemingly killed. Venev notes how he has a 'familiar taste'.
Andrew soon awakens and realizes that some creature is inside the building, slaughtering his employees. He creates a suit of technological armor and follows the trail of bodies. He encounters Deathstroke whom he attacks, thinking him responsible for the carnage, although both men fail to hurt each other due to their body armor. In the course of the battle, Andrew discovers his blasting powers and attempts to use them on Deathstroke. Both men soon come to an understanding and head off to battle Venev.
Soon after this incident, Andrew's connection with the aliens draws him to Metropolis, where veteran superheroes are battling the creature that the parasites have brought forth. Andrew works with dozens of other 'New Bloods', people who have acquired powers when attacked. Eventually, the superheroes are freed and the aliens destroyed. Gunfire learns his father had profited from weapons sales to terrorists, whom he starts working to neutralize, which leads him into conflict with 'Dominion', a former employee of his father's business. Dominion runs a group called the 'Oblivion Front' but Gunfire soon ends its operation.
During the Infinite Crisis, the Secret Society of Supervillains gathers an army to march on Metropolis. An army of heroes, including Gunfire, is gathered by the information broker Oracle. This group includes National Guard soldiers and many of Gunfire's fellow Bloodlines heroes. A massive battle ensues, with fatalities on both sides.
DC One Million
Gunfire's eyepiece survived into the far, far future, appearing in Hitman One Million. This grants a citizen of the future Gunfire's exact powers simply because it is so old and was used by a super-powered hero. Unfortunately the man utilizing the eyepiece was not very competent. He turns his medical pack into a gun, injuring himself, then accidentally turns his own buttocks into a grenade. He perishes moments later.
John McCrea, who illustrated that issue, describes Gunfire as "one of the shite-er characters to come out of Bloodlines", stating that he "told Garth [Ennis] many, many times that [McCrea] hated Gunfire, because it's a terrible, terrible concept."
Powers and abilities
- Gunfire is able to agitate the atoms present in matter and either cause said objects to explode or convert a portion of their mass to directed blasts of concussive energy. Originally the objects needed to have a topological focal point for the blasts (such as the tip of a crowbar or a metal pipe). Eventually, due to much of their mass being converted to energy, the objects tend to disintegrate. Metal objects lasted longer than wooden ones.
- If Gunfire attempts to use an object without a defined topological focal point (i.e. perfect sphere like a snowglobe), it would become a timed explosive, like a hand grenade.
- On at least one occasion Gunfire was able to release a concussive force blast without using an object. He was able to agitate atoms in the air in front of his hands and released enough energy to send himself flying backwards through a wall. This would seem to indicate that his abilities also function on non-solid materials, since air itself has no defined focal point.
- Gunfire's ability to convert matter to energy is similar to an ability possessed by Russian superhero Pozhar.
- Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Gunfire", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 151, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- "Infinite Crisis" #5
- Faces of Evil: Prometheus #1
- "Hitman One Million"
- HITMAN: AN APPRECIATION, II - JOHN McCREA, by Zack Smith; at Newsarama; published July 6, 2007; retrieved January 27, 2014 (via archive.org)