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Publication information
PublisherQuality Comics
DC Comics
First appearancePolice Comics #1 (August 1941)
Created by(Rod)
S.M. Iger
Reed Crandall
Roy Thomas
Danette Thomas
Jerry Ordway
Rich Buckler
Brian Augustyn
Sal Velluto
Justin Gray
Jimmy Palmiotti
Dan Jurgens
In-story information
Alter egoRod Reilly
Danette Reilly
Alexander "Alex" Sanchez
Andre Twist
Janet Fals
Team affiliations(Rod, Twist)
Freedom Fighters
All-Star Squadron
Olympic-level athlete
Superb hand to hand combatant
Peak physical condition
Plasma projection
Ability to control heat
Enhanced strength and speed and green flame generation due to surgical implants and advanced armor
Control over fire

Firebrand is a name of different characters appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Fictional character biography

Rod Reilly

Firebrand (Rod Reilly), cover to Police Comics #2 (September 1941).

Published by Quality Comics from August 1941 to November 1942,[1] Rod Reilly was the bored and wealthy socialite son of a steel tycoon, who decided to fight crime with his servant and friend, "Slugger" Dunn.[2] Originally drawn by Reed Crandall, Firebrand appeared in Police Comics, issues #1 through 13, at which time his series was canceled.[3] Firebrand's costume consisted of a transparent shirt and red pants, with a bandana mask covering the top half of his face.[4] He uses a lariat, and can climb buildings using vacuum cups.[5]

After DC purchased Quality Comics, Firebrand was largely left on the sidelines until the mid-1970s, when he joined the Freedom Fighters.[6] He was killed in a fight with the Silver Ghost,[2] but that occurred only in a photocopied issue of Cancelled Comic Cavalcade, which was never released to public and thus unsure as to whether it is considered part of the current DC Universe.

When DC collected most of their characters into the All-Star Squadron, it was retconned that Rod had been injured in the surprise attack, and replaced by his sister, Danette Reilly.[7]

In All-Star Squadron #5 (Vol. 2, 1981), Danette discovers that Rod is Firebrand while staying at his penthouse. Musing about Rod's relationship with his bodyguard, Slugger Dunn, she wonders "though what a confirmed bachelor playboy like my brother needed with a bodyguard, I never understood", and then finds a hidden closet that leads her to think that "from the look of these clothes, I didn't know my brother quite as well as I thought I did!".

Danette Reilly

Firebrand (Danette Reilly), from the cover to All-Star Squadron #5 (January 1982).

Volcanologist Danette Reilly is the sister of Rod Reilly, the first Firebrand. First introduced in a special "All-Star Squadron" preview in Justice League of America #193 (August 1981), Danette was studying volcanos north of Hawaii when she was kidnapped by the time travelling villain Per Degaton and one of the JSA foes he had pulled back in time, the powerful sorcerer Wotan. During her escape, Wotan hit her with a magical blast and hurled her into a pit of lava. The combination of his magic and the lava not only allowed her to survive, but gave her the power to control heat and project fire blasts (first seen in All-Star Squadron #5, January 1982). Her powers surfaced after she discovered her brother Rod's costume and put it on. As Rod had been injured during the attack, Danette decided to become the new Firebrand.[8] Due to Per Degaton going back to future when he was defeated, the All-Star Squadron forgot his attack. Originally she was quite racist towards the Japanese, but she visited her brother in hospital and he revealed he had been saved from death by a soldier whose parents were from Japan, and who later died from his wounds. Firebrand realized she had been racist and should show more respect towards those from Japan.

Danette appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths, wherein she was briefly rejoined by her former lover, the reluctant supervillain Cyclotron. Cyclotron, although deceased, phased into her time to assist her. Danette assumed partial custody of his daughter Terri, along with fellow hero the Atom. This made her technically the grandmother of Terri's son, Atom Smasher. Her later adventures have thus far been unchronicled.

After great battle, Danette assisted and later married the Shining Knight (Sir Justin). Together they faced the Dragon King and Danette was apparently killed, but to end Shining Knight manages slew Dragon King and avenges Firebrand.[8]

Her name is a homage to creator Roy Thomas' wife, Danette "Dann" Thomas.[9]

The Quality Comics heroine Wildfire was originally intended to play a major role in the All-Star Squadron but DC objected on the basis of her name, which she shared with the Legion of Super-Heroes member. Instead, Danette Reilly was introduced into the series.[10]

Firebrand was ranked 67th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.[11]

Alex Sanchez

Cover of Firebrand #1, art by Sal Vellutto.

In February 1996, DC introduced a third Firebrand, former police detective Alejandro 'Alex' Sanchez. After nearly dying in an explosion that destroyed his apartment, Sanchez underwent experimental surgery to restore his mobility. The surgery was paid for by local philanthropist Noah Hightower, who later approached Sanchez with a special opportunity. Hightower offered Sanchez a suit of advanced armor which, when combined with the implants, would give Sanchez enhanced strength and speed for a period up to four hours. After Sanchez's partner was attacked during an investigation, he agreed to become the superhero Firebrand. In addition to enhanced strength, Sanchez's armor emits a greenish flame, giving him a demonic appearance.[12]

Alejandro's storyline reflected concerns about racial injustice in America, and violence suffered by people of color.[13]

Sanchez's tenure as Firebrand lasted only nine issues of his self-titled comic. He reappeared in JSA: Secret Files #2, where he is stabbed in the throat and apparently dies in Roulette's underground gaming arena, the House, at the hands of a drugged Checkmate knight.

Andre Twist

Firebrand (Andre Twist) in The Battle For Blüdhaven #2 (January 2006), art by Dan Jurgens and Jimmy Palmiotti.

In April 2006, Andre Twist was introduced in The Battle for Blüdhaven. He gains control over fire after his exposure to Chemo being dropped on the city.[14] He also appears in the limited series, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, as a member of the new Freedom Fighters. Andre carries a bo staff, and has some measure of athletic and martial arts ability. In The Battle for Blüdhaven #5, Andre hears a voice in his head, asking him to come to the Mississippi River and fight for liberty, claiming that Andre is pure of heart and will be his Firebrand. The voice is that of Uncle Sam.

After joining forces with Uncle Sam, Andre is captured and tortured by Father Time after attacking senator/presidential candidate Henry Knight, who is really Gonzo the Mechanical Bastard. He is freed from captivity by Phantom Lady, and joins the rest of the Freedom Fighters to recruit the new Black Condor.[15]

He and the rest of the Freedom Fighters manage to defeat Gonzo, and are offered positions as the new leaders of S.H.A.D.E.

In the 2007 Freedom Fighters series, Firebrand strikes up a relationship with Red Bee, and is distraught when she had been taken over by an alien insectoid race. Together, the Freedom Fighters are able to save Red Bee, and repel the insectoid's invasion. In the 2010-2011 mini-series, Twist was first paralyzed during a fight and later killed in action.

Janet Fals

The latest Firebrand, Janet Fals, appeared in The Unexpected series (not to be confused with The Unexpected fantasy/horror series also released by DC Comics during 1968-1982), first issue[16] released in June 2018.

Janet died during the Dark Multiverse invasion, but her father used his CIA connections to bring her back to life, releasing her remains to Civil Solutions, a futurist arms developer, who resurrected her with a new heart called the "Conflict Engine". The device requires her to start fights to stay alive, meaning she could not return to her old life or identity. She quenches her needs by fighting in underground matches as Firebrand.

She had a flirtation with Joy, a female receptionist at V.A. Hospital in Mammoth City. Janet Fals/Firebrand's creator Steve Orlando has confirmed that she is a lesbian.[17]

Powers and abilities

An olympic-level athlete and superb hand-to-hand combatant, the Rod Reilly Firebrand possessed no true super-powers, but he was personally trained by ex-heavyweight boxer "Slugger" Dunn to the height of physical perfection.

In other media

An amalgamated incarnation of Danette Reilly / Firebrand appears in the Young Justice episode "Humanity", voiced by Vanessa Marshall. This version is an android codenamed "Red Inferno" that T.O. Morrow created to infiltrate the Justice Society of America in the 1930s, though she overcame her programming and seemingly died taking an energy blast from Dragon King meant for the Flash. In the present, an android double of Morrow rebuilds Red Inferno and sends her alongside Red Torpedo to capture Red Tornado. However, Red Tornado convinces his fellow androids stop Red Volcano before he causes the Yellowstone Caldera to erupt. Red Inferno and Torpedo sacrifice themselves to help Red Tornado avert the eruption.


  1. ^ Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 177. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b Wallace, Dan (2008), "Firebrand I", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 122, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  3. ^ Markstein, Don. "Firebrand". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  4. ^ Koolman, Mike; Amash, Jim (2011). The Quality Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-1605490373.
  5. ^ Nevins, Jess (2013). Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes. High Rock Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-61318-023-5.
  6. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Freedom Fighters", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 131, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  7. ^ Thomas, Roy (2006). The All-Star Companion: Vol. 2. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 978-1893905375.
  8. ^ a b Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Firebrand II", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 122, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  9. ^ Thomas, Roy (January 2002), "The All Star Squadron Chronicles Part III: Hail, Hail, Now the Gang's Really All Here!", Alter Ego, TwoMorrows Publishing, 3 (#12), retrieved 2007-04-30
  10. ^ "Fanzing 37 - August 2001 - the Many Deaths of Miss America". Archived from the original on 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
  11. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-4402-2988-6.
  12. ^ Beatty, Scott (2008), "Firebrand III", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 122, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  13. ^ Aldama, Frederick Luis (2017). Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics. University of Arizona Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 9780816537389.
  14. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  15. ^ Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #2
  16. ^ Written by Steve Orlando, "The Unexpected #1", DC Comics, June 2018
  17. ^ @thesteveorlando (June 2, 2021). "@FbioMximo3 Correct! Firebrand was a lesbian in Unexpected, Dominator was non-binary in Electric Warriors, and with…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.