Batgirl’s Villain Firefly Explained: Comics History & Abilities

Firefly may be a lesser-known comic villain, but he plays a key role in the most popular origin story for batgirl. The internet has been lighting up with excitement since the announcement that Brendan Fraser will be playing Ella’s Batgirl’s opponent in her upcoming DC movie. The most familiar version of his character, Firefly, is a violent and delusional pyromaniac, but he has a surprisingly long and complicated history, in which he’s faced not just Batgirl but other members of Batman’s extended family of heroes as well.

Even though he made his comic book debut over 60 years ago as part of Batman’s main rogues’ gallery, Firefly has had relatively few appearances in comic books, at least compared with more familiar Batman villains, like Poison Ivy or Riddler. However, while he hasn’t featured in as many issues, some of his appearances have been in high-profile comic book story arcs. the batgirl movie will be his first portrayal on the big screen, having mostly appeared to date in animations, including Batman: The Animated Series, Justice Leagueand The New Batman Adventuresamong others. batgirl isn’t the first live-action depiction of Firefly though. He’s previously appeared in an episode of the CW’s Arrowand a gender-swapped female version of Firefly appeared in the crime drama series Gotham.


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Firefly is, as his name might imply, obsessed with flames. With Brendan Fraser set to bring the character to life on the big screen in batgirl, he’s certain to be a charismatic if violent foe for Leslie Grace’s Batgirl. Firefly’s original name is Garfield Lynns, a special effects expert and pyrotechnician who works on movie sets. Unfortunately, cinematic explosions are n’t enough to sate Lynns’ love of fire, and he eventually turns to crime to whet his appetite for him, starting out by using fires to distract people from his robberies before graduating to being a full-on arsonist. . An unbridled pyromaniac, Lynns’ main motivation is the fire itself, which he sees as sublimely beautiful. Some comics have gone so far as to show the fire as Lynns sees it with his own eyes, filled with beautiful dancing women who he describes as angels.

Firefly’s DC Comics History

Despite his name, Firefly hasn’t always had such a strong association with fire. Firefly’s comic debut was against Batman and Robin as Garfield Lynns in Detective Comics #184back in 1952. He appeared on the cover as The Human Firefly, with the moniker, “the man of 1000 lights.” In this first incarnation, Firefly was more of an illusionist, not unlike Marvel’s Mysterio, using lights, special effects, and optical trickery as his main weapons. Confusingly, Batman #126 featured a villain named Firefly in 1959, but this was an entirely different character. With the real name of Ted Carson, this second Firefly’s bizarre main weapon was just a very bright light which he wore on his head. While the best-known Firefly is still Garfield Lynns, Carson has shown up from time to time in comic book reboots and reimaginings. In addition, the female Firefly who appeared in the Gotham TV show was named Bridgit Pike, and the story showed her as the protégé of Ted Carson.

It wasn’t until the knightfall comic story arc, Batman’s first encounter with his infamous nemesis Bane, that Firefly would acquire his obsession with flames. Following the Crisis of Infinite Earths storyline which rebooted the entire DC universe, Detective Comics #661 featured a totally new version of the character, leaving behind the lights and trickery of the old Firefly in favor of sheer wanton pyromania. It was this darker, scarier version of Firefly who would go on to be the best known.

Firefly was one of the two main antagonists in Batgirl: Year One, a nine-part comic book mini-series published in 2003. In this comic storyline, Firefly appeared alongside Killer Moth, acting together as the main threats in an origin story for Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl. The two villains serve as foils for each other in the story and, while Killer Moth is the main antagonist of the story, Firefly’s chaotic and unpredictable nature makes him arguably the bigger threat for both heroes and villains alike.

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Firefly’s Special Abilities In DC Comics

Comic artwork of Batgirl hiding from Firefly and Killer Moth during Batgirl: Year One

Firefly is like Batgirl in that he has no superpowers of his own. Instead, his abilities revolve around an expert understanding of pyrotechnics, explosives, and combustible materials. His most dangerous trait of him, though, is his obsession with the flames he creates and the visions he looks for within them. Whether enemy or ally, no one is truly safe around Firefly. Not even himself.

Canonically, Firefly’s own love of towering infernos proved too much for him at one point, when he was caught in a blaze started at a Gotham City chemical factory (though in the movie, this probably won’t be the same one destroyed by Harley Quinn during birds of prey). This resulted in severe burns all over his body, leading him to create and wear a fireproof suit to keep himself from being consumed by the blaze. As well as his suit from him, Firefly wields a variety of pyrotechnic equipment, including a jet pack, flamethrowers, incendiary grenades, napalm, and a flaming plasma sword. Having a selection of homemade gadgets and devices at his disposal makes Firefly a villainous investment of Batgirl, who wears a utility belt much like Batman. As a result, the two make good adversaries.

Firefly In The Batgirl Movie

The most famous line from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight was spoken by Alfred about Joker, “some men just want to watch the world burn.” Firefly takes this to an alarmingly literal degree, as he takes great delight in causing conflagrations. Some comic book storylines have seen him incinerate large swathes of Gotham, meaning that he’ll no doubt pose a serious threat in Batgirl’s first solo movie from Ella.

There’s no word yet on whether Killer Moth will also make an appearance, so it’s still unclear how heavily the story of batgirl will draw from the Batgirl: Year One comic and how much will be freshly written for the cinemas. If Killer Moth is due to make an appearance, perhaps he may team up with Firefly like in the comic storyline. Alternatively, Killer Moth may be left to appear as a villain in a prospective sequel, leaving Firefly as the main antagonist for Batgirl to face.

Related: How Batgirl’s New Costume Compares To Other Live-Action Versions

He may not be among the most famous of DC’s villains, but Firefly is an ideal choice as a villain in a batgirl movie, particularly with Brendan Fraser’s unique charm behind him. His role of him in Batgirl: Year One makes him already established in her most popular origin story, and his combination of wanton violence and unpredictable chaos gives him the potential to be a major threat, as well as the perfect opposite to Batgirl’s sense of law and order. One way or another, this movie is going to be lit.

Next: Why Batgirl Should Introduce The Robins To The DCEU (Not Batman)

  • Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
  • Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
  • Batgirl (2022)Release date: February 14, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
  • Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: Aug 18, 2023


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