Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Who's Who: Fire Lad

Fire Lad
by Siskoid

Real Name: Staq Mavlen
Super-Power(s): Fiery breath
Planet of Origin: Shwar
Legion Seniority: A founding member of the Legion of Substitute-Heroes, Fire Lad was the eighth recruit to join the Legion in the mostly-unchronicled era known as the Five-Year Gap.
Legion Log
Fire Lad hails from Shwar, a world with an oxygen-poor, but still breathable, atmosphere. When he accidentally inhaled the vapors emitting from a fallen meteor and gained the power to breathe flame, he applied for Legion membership. But he forgot to take into account Earth's oxygen-rich atmosphere, which made his flame-breath too unstable to control. Not wishing to raise their already-high insurance premiums, they rejected him. Fortunately for him, he was found by Polar Boy, another reject who felt that even rejected applicants could be useful, and became one of the original members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

For several years "The Subs" worked behind the scenes to assist the actual Legion until officially deputized as official "back-up" Legionnaires. During their nearly ten-year career, they fought such foes as the Khunds, the League of Super-Assassins, and Pulsar Stargrave, as well as Darkseid himself. During this time, Fire Lad continued to have a control problem, and he spent much time fruitlessly trying to solve it.

Some time after the Subs disbanded, after Polar Boy became Legion leader in the so-called Five-Year Gap, Fire Lad was finally asked to join. His lack of control only caused more problems for a Legion that could hardly afford them, however. He was still with the Legion when it disbanded. From there he joined the underground movement run by Jacques Foccart, the second Invisible Kid, where he fought the Dominion Occupation of Earth. Among the doctors and trainers who joined the movement was a speech pathologist who was able to help Staq control his flames, albeit at the cost of hissing every time he says an "s" sound. There, Staq emerged as a leader, and as de facto leader of the Subs, helped with the efforts to resettle the survivors of Earth and train a new super-powered United Planets Militia Academy. He and his fellow Subs were called upon to help transport the pocket universe's Earth to the true universe, after which they disappeared as a result of Zero Hour.

After the Reboot, Fire Lad appeared once, on a cover, which implies he (unsuccessfully) tried to apply for Legion membership. He does not, however, appear in the story itself.

After the Threeboot, Flame Lad does not seem to exist.

After Infinite Crisis, Flame Lad's original history has more or less been re-established. When Earth Man and his Justice League took over Earth, the Subs were instrumental in helping form the resistance.

Fire Lad has had two non-speaking cameos on the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series. On the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series, Aquaman is seen portraying Fire Lad's earliest costume in the episode "Powerless!".

Important Fire Lad Stories:

Adventure Comics #306
Fire Lad makes his debut in the Legion of Substitute Heroes

Adventure Comics #311
The Substitute Heroes stops an invasion of Earth

Adventure Comics #315
The Legion offers membership to one Substitute

Adventure Comics #319
The Substitutes receive galaxy-wide recognition

Adventure Comics #331
In the Adult Legion era, competent Subs fight the Legion of Super-Villains

Adventure Comics #351
The Substitutes battle an amnesiac Supergirl

Adventure Comics #374
The Substitutes defeat the Taurus Gang

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #243
The Substitutes fight the Khunds during Earthwar

 Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #254
The Substitutes defeat The League of Super-Assassins

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #294
The Substitutes help during The Great Darkness

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #300
The Subs merge with the Legion in an alternate reality

DC Comics Presents #59
The Substitutes meet Ambush Bug

Legion of Substitute Heroes Special #1
The Substitutes help defeat Pulsar Stargrave

Secret Origins #37
The secret origin of the Legion of Substitute-Heroes
Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #16
Five Years Later, Staq returns to the book as a member of the Earth Resistance
Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #26
Fire Lad and Color Kid have perfected their powers and team work
Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #28
Fire Lad finds Sun Boy in the Dominator cells
Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #29
Fire Lad is taken hostage by Sade
Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #41
Fire Lad reflects on what the Subs/Resistance will do next

Legionnaires #43
After the Reboot, Fire Lad appears on a Legion try-outs cover
Action Comics #862-863
After Infinite Crisis, very competent Subs act as a Resistance movement
against Earth Man and his Justice League
Brave and the Bold (v3) #35
The Substitute Heroes team up with the Inferior Five
Legion of Super-Heroes animated series
Fire Lad made a cameo in the Legion animated series
Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series
Strange reference: Aquaman wearing Fire Lad's costume

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