Firebrand (Marvel Comics)

For the DC Comics character, see Firebrand (DC Comics).

Firebrand is the codename of different fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Three of them were normal humans inside powered armor and relied on fire-based weapons; one was a mutated human.

Publication history

Firebrand first appeared in Iron Man vol. 1 #27 (July 1970), and was created by Archie Goodwin and Don Heck. The character subsequently appeared in Iron Man #48 (July 1972), #59 (June 1973), #74-75 (May–June 1975), #77 (August 1975), #80-81 (November–December 1975), #172 (July 1983), and was killed by the Scourge of the Underworld in Captain America #318-319 (June–July 1986). Firebrand received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #17.

Fictional character biography

Firebrand (Gary Gilbert)


Firebrand (Gary Gilbert)
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Iron Man vol. 1 #27 (Jul 1970)
Created by Archie Goodwin (Writer)
Don Heck (Artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Gary Gilbert
Abilities Powered armor grants:
Superhuman strength
Flight via flying jets
Thermal blasts via flamethrowers
Resistance to fire

Gary Gilbert was born in Detroit, Michigan. A superpowered enforcer for corrupt industrialist Justin Hammer, as Firebrand he is a former radical activist saboteur who turned to violence after believing peaceful protest produced no results.[1]

Firebrand accidentally killed his own father.[2] He also won the Black Lama's "war of the supervillains".[3] He then fell to alcoholism and gave up political activism only to work for other villains because he "needed the work".[4] He later gave up his costumed identity and became a "supervillain agent", brokering employment for other costumed villains.[5][6]

When news of the Scourge of the Underworld's initial wave of supervillain murders spread among the criminal community, Gilbert took it upon himself to gather several costumed criminals for a meeting to determine what should be done about this menace. The meeting, held at an abandoned tavern in Medina County, Ohio, known among the criminal underworld as "The Bar With No Name", turned out to be a massacre, as Scourge infiltrated the event disguised as a bartender; a few minutes into the meeting, Scourge slaughtered every criminal present, including Gilbert, with machine gun fire.[7]

Firebrand was later among seventeen of the criminals murdered by the Scourge, who were resurrected by Hood using the power of Dormammu as part of a squad assembled to eliminate the Punisher.[8] His fire powers are augmented, and he can melt through concrete or metal.[9] After the Punisher is captured, he is present at the ritual where the Hood intends to resurrect the Punisher's family. Microchip shoots G. W. Bridge in the head, which activates the ritual using Bridge's life force to resurrect Microchip and Punisher's families. The Punisher refuses to accept this, and forces Firebrand to burn his family alive, and then Punisher shoots Firebrand in the back of the head.[10]

Firebrand (Russ Broxtel)


Firebrand (Broxtel)
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Web of Spider-Man Vol 1 #77 (June, 1991)
Created by Archie Goodwin (Writer)
Don Heck (Artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Russ Broxtel
Team affiliations Force of Nature
Abilities Powered armor grants:
Superhuman strength
Flight via flying jets
Thermal blasts via flamethrowers
Resistance to fire

After Gilbert's death, a man named Russ Broxtel was seen acting as the new fire-themed member of the eco-terrorist group known as the Force of Nature, and fought Spider-Man.[11] With Force of Nature, he also battled Cloak and Dagger and the New Warriors.[12]

Firebrand was later hired by R.A.I.D and helped into London by Fasaud. The Arabian Knight confronted Firebrand who struck back with a wall of flame. Protected by his magic uniform, the Knight stopped Firebrand.[13]

After Civil War, Firebrand returned to the United States. Donning a new suit, he attempted to rob a gas station. He was stopped by Young Avengers members Hawkeye and Patriot.[14]

Firebrand escaped and was later seen along with King Cobra, Mauler and Mister Hyde, who attacked Yellowjacket, Constrictor and other Initiative staff and trainees.[15]

Firebrand (Rick Dennison)


Firebrand (Rick Dennison)
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Iron Man Vol 3 #4 (May, 1998)
Created by Kurt Busiek (Writer)
Sean Chen (Artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Richard L. "Rick" Dennison
Species Human Mutate
Team affiliations The Flaming Sword
Terra Tactics
Masters of Evil
Notable aliases Project: Firebrand
Abilities Heat ray projection of thousands of degrees
Cybernetic harness which could reconfigure itself into different modes

Richard L. "Rick" Dennison was the third Firebrand. He was an anti-capitalist eco-terrorist who worked with a group called the Flaming Sword, and he fought Iron Man on several occasions.[16]

After he recovered, Firebrand returned with the Flaming Sword and kidnapped Osborn Chemical vice-president Charles Standish. He was then confronted by the Avengers and he was defeated.[17]

Firebrand later appeared as a member of the Shadow Council's incarnation of the Masters of Evil.[18]

Baron Zemo later recruited Firebrand his fellow villains Flying Tiger and Plantman II to join his "New Masters."[19]

Firebrand (Amanda)

A female Firebrand was recruited by Mandarin and Zeke Stane in a plot to dispose of Iron Man.[20] She is later hired along with Living Laser and Vibro by a Colombian drug lord to protect his bunker from Iron Man, who is after an Extremis virus sample; she ends up knocked unconscious by sleeping gas released from Iron Man's armor.[21]

During the Infinity storyline, Firebrand was among the villains enlisted by Spymaster to assault the nearly-defenseless Stark Tower. In this appearance, her first name is revealed to be Amanda.[22]

Firebrand (Erikson Hades)

A new Firebrand with a mutated form appeared in Detroit as member of what appeared to be a terrorist group of supervillains.[23]

Powers, abilities, and equipment

Gary Gilbert wore a suit with an armored exoskeleton that gave him superhuman strength and resistance to fire. It also housed flamethrowers (which allowed him to fire thermal blasts from his hands), one mounted on each wrist, and flying jets that gave him the ability to fly.

Broxtel uses a modified version of the Firebrand suit. Dennison was actually a mutated human being whose body temperature was up in the high hundreds. He could project heat rays of thousands of degrees. He was equipped with a cybernetic harness which could reconfigure itself into different modes if he mentally commanded it to do so.

In other media



  1. Iron Man #27
  2. Iron Man #45-48
  3. Iron Man #48
  4. Iron Man #60
  5. Iron Man #48
  6. Iron Man #60
  7. Mark Gruenwald (w), Paul Neary (p), Dennis Janke (i). "Overkill" Captain America 319 (July 1986), Marvel Comics
  8. Punisher Vol. 7 #5
  10. Punisher Vol. 7 #10
  11. Web of Spider-Man #77-78
  12. New Warriors #29-30
  13. Captain America #413
  14. Dark Reign Files #1
  15. Avengers: The Initiative #13
  16. Iron Man Vol. 3 #4-5
  17. Avengers Vol. 3 #0
  18. Secret Avengers #30
  19. Captain America: Steve Rogers #1
  20. Invincible Iron Man #513
  21. Iron Man Vol 5 #3 (February, 2013)
  22. Infinity: Heist #1
  23. Great Lakes Avengers #1
  24. Iron Man Armored Adventures: World on Fire

External links

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