Firefly (DC Comics)

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Firefly
DC Firefly.jpg
Firefly in Detective Comics #690 (October 1995).
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #184 (June 1952)
Created byFrance Herron
Dick Sprang
In-story information
Alter egoGarfield Lynns
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Abilities

Firefly (Garfield Lynns) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by France Herron and Dick Sprang, he made his debut in Detective Comics #184 (June 1952). Initially portrayed as a criminal who utilized lighting effects to commit robberies, Firefly was later re-imagined as a sociopathic pyromaniac with an obsessive compulsion to start fires following Crisis on Infinite Earths' reboot of the DC Universe in the 1980s. This darker depiction of the character has since endured as one of the superhero Batman's most recurring enemies and belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up his central rogues gallery.[1]

Firefly has been featured in various forms of media, including several shows set within the DC animated universe, The Batman cartoon series, The CW's live-action television series Arrow, and the Batman: Arkham video game franchise.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

Garfield Lynns was a down-and-out film special effects expert whose plan to rob a theater by faking a fire was foiled by Batman and Robin. As Lynns fled the scene, Batman mistook a distant firefly for Lynns' lit cigarette and gave chase in the wrong direction. Lynns saw this as a sign of fate and became the Firefly, a costumed criminal who utilized various lighting effects and optical illusions during heists.[1]

Post-Crisis[edit]

Following Crisis on Infinite Earths' reboot of the DC Universe, Firefly was re-imagined as a much darker and more violent character.[1]

After being taken away from their abusive parents, Garfield Lynns and his sister, Amanda, grew up at the St. Evangelina Home for Orphans. Unlike his relatively normal sister, Garfield was a problematic child whom nobody wanted to adopt. As an adult, Lynns became a pyrotechnics and special effects expert in the film industry, but eventually fell victim to Gotham City's severe poverty issue and turned to a life crime as a result. While he initially only committed arson during his robberies as a hobby, Lynns' compulsion to start fires soon turned into a pyromaniacal obsession as a result of his abusive and troubled childhood; he believed that he could see visions in the flames he created.

Lynns then becomes a professional arsonist known as the "Firefly", and allies himself with fellow supervillain Killer Moth in an attempt to kill Batman and Robin. Their alliance falls apart, however, when Killer Moth realizes the full extent of Firefly's madness and feared for his own well-being. The two villains are then taken into custody. During the Batman: Knightfall storyline, Firefly escapes from Arkham Asylum and attempts to burn all of the places that he lacked the privilege to go to as a child. After successfully destroying a pier and a theater, Firefly is stopped by Batman as he tries to scorch the Gotham Zoo. In his next attempt to burn Gotham to the ground, Firefly is horribly scarred when an uncontrollable fire that he starts at a chemical factory causes it to explode; over 90 percent of his body is burned, so he designs a fireproof battle suit to protect himself from his own flames from this point on.[1]

During the No Man's Land story arc, Firefly is one of the inmates at Blackgate Penitentiary when it is taken over by Lock-Up. When Nightwing is captured after trying to retake the prison from Lock-Up, Firefly attempts to kill him and wear his skin over his burned body.[2]

During the DC One Million crisis, Firefly nearly burns down Gotham while infected with the Hourman virus, requiring Nightwing and Robin to work with the future Batman to stop him.

Firefly makes a short appearance in the Justice League of America story arc "Crisis Of Conscience"[3] fighting Catwoman in Gotham City over a diamond before Batman arrives. Although an epic battle between the Secret Society and the Justice League ensues, Firefly is knocked unconscious and remains that way during the entire battle. He makes another short appearance in the 2005 miniseries Villains United, when the Secret Six attempts to escape the Society's grasp.

Firefly is among the numerous heroes and villains apparently murdered by the OMACs in the pages of DC's The OMAC Project, although he later appears alive in Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special and Gotham Underground.

Firefly appears with Mr. Freeze facing Batman (though Firefly is wearing the same uniform as the Firefly design of The Batman).[4] He and Mr. Freeze are again shown as having worked together a month after the events of the Crisis, Batman working with the currently-redeemed Harvey Dent to take them down before he takes his year of absence while leaving Dent to guard Gotham.

Following the Final Crisis, Firefly was with Cheetah's Secret Society of Super Villains at the time when Genocide was created. He was defeated by Wonder Woman alongside Shrapnel, Phobia, and T.O. Morrow.

Firefly is recruited by a new Black Mask to be a part of a group of villains that are aiming to take over Gotham, but he follows his own agenda. Inspired by the chemicals that Black Mask used on him, Firefly inserts chips into Gothamites in order to make them burn.[5] Not long after the identity of the new Black Mask was revealed to be Jeremiah Arkham, Firefly was arrested and put into Arkham Asylum. A short time later Firefly is broken out of Arkham Asylum by Dick Grayson, who has assumed the mantle of Batman, to assist him in gaining access to Sebastian Blackspell's closest friends. Batman (Dick) desires to know what Blackspell's true intentions are in regards to killing the Riddler.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Following Crisis on Infinite Earths' reboot of the DC Universe, Firefly's depiction was drastically altered from that of a mere criminal who utilized colored lights and optical illusions to that of a violent sociopath with intense pyromania. Even prior to becoming Firefly, Garfield Lynns was already an expert in pyrotechnics and explosives with a thorough knowledge of flammable agents. After he is horribly scarred by a blaze at a chemical factory, Lynns mechanically engineered an insulated, fireproof battle suit to protect himself. This specialized outfit is equipped with an extensive arsenal of fire-creating weapons, including a military-grade flamethrower, various incendiary devices (such as grenades, napalm, and smoke bombs), and a sword-like blade of superheated plasma for close-ranged hand-to-hand combat. A high-tech, winged jet pack is also mounted on the back of the armor to allow for high-speed flight.

Other versions[edit]

Smallville Season Eleven[edit]

Firefly appears in the Smallville Season Eleven comic. A yellow ring of Parallax finds its way to Lynns and attaches itself to him, transforming him into a powerful Yellow Lantern. However, Firefly's ring is ultimately confiscated by Batman and he is returned to Arkham Asylum.

Flashpoint[edit]

In the alternate reality created during Flashpoint, Firefly is seen as a member of Canterbury Cricket's Ambush Bugs, and is killed in battle against the Amazons.[6]

Batman: The Brave and the Bold[edit]

Firefly appears as one of the villains attacking Batman and Wonder Woman's wedding, during which Lynns battles the Martian Manhunter.

Batman v Superman[edit]

Firefly is introduced to the DC Extended Universe via the tie-in prequel comic to the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[7] When Lynns attempts to bomb a warehouse full of valuables, the vigilante Batman appears and subdues him before leaving him to be apprehended by the police. Lex Luthor ominously watches all this unfold through security footage.

Other characters named Firefly[edit]

Ted Carson[edit]

A man named Ted Carson becomes the second character to adopt the identity of the "Firefly". Created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff, he first appeared in Batman #126. Carson was an ostentatiously wealthy gold mine heir who gambled his family fortune away and subsequently turned to a life of crime as the second Firefly. Carson then goes on a robbery spree before being apprehended by Batman and Batwoman.[8]

In The New 52 reboot, Carson is a former high school teacher who tries to incinerate everything that will separate him from his ex-girlfriend Cindy Cooke, though he is ultimately defeated by Nightwing and Batgirl.[9]

In the DC Rebirth relaunch, Ted Carson and Killer Moth attempt to kill Batman to collect Two-Face's multi-million dollar bounty.[10] Carson is later seen as one of the many villains that Bane pummels in his quest to reach Batman at Arkham Asylum.[11] During the gang war between the Joker and the Riddler, Carson is shown siding with the Riddler's faction.[12]

Bridgit Pike[edit]

Ted Carson's protégé, Bridgit Pike (a character introduced in the TV series Gotham), adopts the identity of "Lady Firefly". She first appeared in Detective Comics #988 (September 2018), and was created by James Robinson and Stephen Segovia. She and Carson are hired by Kobra to kill Batman while he investigates a murder.[13]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Live-action[edit]

  • Andrew Dunbar portrays Garfield Lynns on the television series Arrow, set within The CW's live-action Arrowverse. This version is a former member of the Starling City firefighting unit "The Fireflies" who was presumably killed during a massive building fire. In the season one episode "Burned", a disfigured Lynns is revealed to have survived the blaze and begins killing the members of his old crew for leaving him to burn, thus attracting the attention of hooded vigilante Oliver Queen.[14]
  • A female version of Firefly named Bridgit Pike appears on the Fox crime series Gotham, portrayed by Michelle Veintimilla[15] in season two and the second half of season four, and by Camila Perez in season three and the first half of season four. She is the quasi "stepsister" of arsonists Joe, Cale, and Evan Pike who have abused her and had her work around their apartment in the Narrows. After Evan was killed by James Gordon and Nathaniel Barnes while buying supplies at the Merc, Bridgit is forced to help Joe and Cale burn down buildings owned by Wayne Enterprises at the behest of Oswald Cobblepot and secretly Theo Galavan.[16] She goes to her old friend Selina Kyle for help and the two rob a brothel so that Bridgit can leave Gotham City. When Joe and Cale kidnap her and threaten her for the last time, Bridgit burns them to death with a flamethrower. During a confrontation with Police Detective James Gordon, a gas leak results in Bridgit accidentally setting herself on fire. After she is brought to Arkham Asylum's Indian Hill facility, where Professor Hugo Strange heals her and gives her a fireproof suit, Bridgit becomes the show's iteration of Firefly.

Animation[edit]

  • Garfield Lynns / Firefly has been featured in various series set within the DC Animated Universe, voiced by Mark Rolston.
    • The character is introduced in The New Batman Adventures. In the episode "Torch Song", Garfield Lynns is depicted as a former pyrotechnics engineer who becomes the arsonist Firefly to kill his ex-girlfriend Cassidy, a singer who had fired and dumped him after he botched a pyrotechnics display during one of her concerts. In "Legends of the Dark Knight", Firefly is hired to burn down a building so that its owner can collect the insurance money. The producers had wanted to utilize Firefly in the earlier show, Batman: The Animated Series, but were forbidden by Fox to use any pyromaniac character.[17]
    • Firefly returns in Justice League. In the episode "Only a Dream", he escapes from prison alongside Volcana, Luminus, Copperhead, and Solomon Grundy. A romantic relationship between Firefly and Volcana is hinted at due to their similar fire-based abilities.
    • In the Batman Beyond episode "Black Out", Firefly's costume is seen on display in the Batcave.
Firefly in The Batman.

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

Lego series[edit]

Batman: Arkham[edit]

Garfield Lynns / Firefly in a promotional image for Batman: Arkham Origins (2013).

Garfield Lynns / Firefly is featured in the Batman: Arkham video game series, where he is voiced by Crispin Freeman.[18] This version is depicted as an unhinged and obsessive pyromaniac with burns on 90 percent of his body.[19]

  • A newspaper clipping of Firefly is featured in Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009) as the answer to one of the Riddler's challenges. It can be found in the Patient Observatory at Arkham Asylum's Medical Facility along with his fire-creating arsenal, and scanning it will unlock Firefly's profile.
  • Firefly first appears in the prequel Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) as one of the eight assassins hired by Black Mask (later revealed to be the Joker in disguise) to kill Batman on Christmas Eve.[20] He is first seen during a meeting held by the Joker at the Gotham Royal Hotel. Firefly later plants explosives throughout the Gotham Pioneers Bridge and takes several hostages to draw Batman out, only for the vigilante to incapacitate the bombs with police captain James Gordon's help and deactivate Firefly's jet pack before leaving him to be taken into custody.[21]
  • Firefly returns in Batman: Arkham Knight (2015). The side mission "The Line of Duty" reveals that prior to the game's events, Chief Raymond Underhill gave Firefly a list of abandoned buildings to burn down in hopes of preventing his firefighters from being laid off. Firefly betrays Underhill, however, and kidnaps the chief and his crew during Scarecrow's takeover of Gotham City on Halloween. Batman is then forced to save the captured firemen from Firefly's thugs and uncover Underhill's corruption. In the side mission "Gotham on Fire", Firefly attempts to burn down every firehouse in the evacuated city only for Batman to pursue him with the Batmobile and imprison him at the GCPD lockup.

Merchandise[edit]

  • DC Collectibles has released a 7-inch action figure of Firefly in Series 2 of their Batman: Arkham Origins line, based on his design in the 2013 video game. This statue was sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Firefly", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 122, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ Nightwing #35–39
  3. ^ JLA #115–119
  4. ^ Superman/Batman Annual #3
  5. ^ Batman — Streets of Gotham #1
  6. ^ Flashpoint: The Canterbury Cricket #1
  7. ^ Whitbrook, James (February 4, 2016). "Everything You Need to Know Going into Batman v Superman, According to Dr Pepper". io9.com. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  8. ^ Batman #126
  9. ^ Nightwing Annual #1
  10. ^ All-Star Batman #1
  11. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #19
  12. ^ Batman Vol. 3 #26
  13. ^ Detective Comics #988
  14. ^ New Arrow Promo & Villain Confirmed (October 16th, 2012).
  15. ^ "Gotham Launching Season 2 Firefly Arc (and There's a Cool Casting Twist)". TV Line.
  16. ^ Bruno Heller, Megan Mostyn-Brown (2015-10-19). "Scarification". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 5. Fox.
  17. ^ Allstetter, Rob (August 1997). "The Dark Knight Returns". Wizard (72). pp. 50–54.
  18. ^ Freeman, Crispin (November 9, 2013). "Yes, that is me as Firefly". Twitter. Archived from the original on November 11, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  19. ^ WB Games Montréal (October 25, 2013). Batman: Arkham Origins. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Scene: Black Mask's Assassins Introductory Sequence. Batman: Garfield Lynns, a.k.a. Firefly. Burns on 90 percent of his body. His obsession is going to be his end.
  20. ^ Haas, Pete (August 20, 2013). "Batman: Arkham Origins Firefly Trailer Is Full Of Villains". CinemaBlend.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  21. ^ Guerrie, Brandon (October 2013). "Batman: Arkham Origins Walkthrough- How to Apprehend Firefly at Pioneer's Bridge". Prima Games. Archived from the original on November 13, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  22. ^ Brown, Luke (September 12, 2013). "DC Collectibles - Batman: Arkham Origins Series 2 Trailer". Screen Crush. Archived from the original on February 10, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2019.

External links[edit]