Gunfire (comics)

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Cover to Gunfire #1, artist Steve Erwin
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Deathstroke Annual #2, October 1993
Created by Len Wein (writer)
Steve Erwin (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Andrew Van Horn
Team affiliations Blood Pack
Abilities Agitation of particles to either cause objects to explode or fire energy projectiles.

Gunfire is a fictional DC Comics superhero and freelance anti-terrorist operative. He first appeared in Deathstroke Annual #2 October 1993, he was created by Len Wein and Steve Erwin[1] and was one of the "New Bloods," several superpowered individuals introduced during the 1993 DC Comics Bloodlines crossover event.

Fictional character biography[edit]

During the Bloodlines crossover, Venev, one of the alien parasites, emerges in Paris and 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, realizing that a creature is inside the building slaughtering his employees, 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.[1]

New Bloods[edit]

Main article: Bloodlines (comics)

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.[2]

As Andrew Van Horn takes over his family company, he quickly 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.[1] Dominion runs a group called the 'Oblivion Front' but Gunfire soon ends its operation.

Gunfire was seen as one of the many prisoners in stasis tubes after the Ultra-Humanite, using the magic of Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt, conquers the world.

Infinite Crisis[edit]

Main article: Infinite Crisis

During the Infinite Crisis, the Secret Society of Supervillains gathers an army to march on Metropolis. Gunfire is amongst the army of heroes gathered by the information broker Oracle. A massive battle ensues, with fatalities on both sides.[3]

Some time later, while fighting alongside fellow Blood Pack colleagues Hook, Anima and Argus, his hands are cut off by the supervillain Prometheus. Anima and Hook do not survive the battle.[4]

Final Crisis[edit]

Gunfire is seen with dozens of other forgotten heroes, such as Ace the Bat-Hound and fellow Bloodlines Geist. They are all stuck in a self-described 'Limbo', where no stories happen. They are rescued by Superman and a dimension crossing ship. Later, all of them assist against the cosmic threat of Mandrakk.[5]

Other versions[edit]

DC One Million[edit]

Main article: 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.[6]

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."[7]

Powers and abilities[edit]

  • 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.[8]
  • 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.


  1. ^ a b c Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Gunfire", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 151, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017 
  2. ^ Bloodbath #1-2
  3. ^ "Infinite Crisis" #5
  4. ^ Faces of Evil: Prometheus #1
  5. ^ "Final Crisis Superman Beyond 3D" #1-2 (October 2008)
  6. ^ "Hitman One Million"
  7. ^ HITMAN: AN APPRECIATION, II - JOHN McCREA, by Zack Smith; at Newsarama; published July 6, 2007; retrieved January 27, 2014 (via
  8. ^ Gunfire #0

External links[edit]