Comic Book Superheroes : Hot & Cold
When it comes to Superheroes, there really is no limit to what writers and artists can come up with in terms of super powers. From brute strength to enhanced bones and skin to extractable spikes and claws to super-intelligence, it’s quite literally all been done in one form or another. Yet, with as deep as the well can be for coming up with ideas for new characters, the standards still seem to root themselves in temperature-based abilities and how they are used. That’s right, we’re talking hot and cold extremes.
Many, many a hero and villain have the power to control heat and chill. in fact, many of these same heroes and villains have names directly related to said abilities so even without actually seeing the person in action one can easily discern what kind of temperature variance they can produce. This list focuses on each and every good guy and bad guy (or woman, as the case may be) who uses these fire and frost powers to their fullest extent. For the sake of time and extensive content, these particular examples are from Marvel or DC comics universe.
Bring The Heat!
Name: Byron Calley aka Crucible – first appeared in Captain America Annual #4 in 1977. Burner is a mutant who can psionically induce and control, and subsequently extinguish any flame.
Name: Rusty Collins – first appeared in X-Factor #1 (February 1986). Rusty can turn some or all of his body into flames. He can also create flames around his body or up to twenty feet away from himself.
Name: Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch – first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #5 (August 1972). Though Ghost Rider’s powers are largely vengeance based (allowing him to use a penance stare where his victims suffer their own sins), he does have a mystical flame surrounding him, including his chains, and most obviously, his entire skull.
Name: Isaiah Crockett – first appeared in Teen Titans vol. 2, #1 (October, 1996). Hot Spot can increase the temperature of any object he touches causing it to burst into flames. He also has the power to surround himself with fire enabling him to fly.
Name: Martyn Van Wyck – first appeared in Green Lantern (vol. 3) #113. Effigy can create flame-based constructs including battle-armor, weaponry, fiery creatures, and anything else he can imagine. His powers allow him to fly, fire flame blasts, and can apparently protect him from the vacuum of space. Though considered a member of the Green Lantern Corps, his powers were not governed by the same rules as the rings.
Name: Shylene Lao – first appeared in Doom Patrol vol. 3 #1 (December 2001). Fever has power over heat transfer and, to a degree, fire, but she needs her special gloves to actually focus her abilities.
Name: Unknown – first appeared in Generation X #50 (April 1999). Fever Pitch is villainous mutant with the abilities to transform himself into a full flaming skeleton. He can extend the heat outward as various forms of fire or as searing burns. While in skeletal form it is unknown if Fever Pitch needs to actually breathe.
Name: Beatriz de Costa – her first appearance was in Super Friends #25, (October 1979). After many years of changes throughout the DC Comics universe, Beatriz is now able to completely transform into a being of pure green plasma flame, as well as focus it outward through her mouth and hands. Her power grants her flight as well.
Name: Bonita Juarez – first appeared in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #265 (November 1981). As Firebird, she has the power of pyrokinesis, which enables her to mentally excite the atoms in an object until it spontaneously combusts. By using her powers to ignite the air around her, she can surround herself with an aura of flames that often takes the shape of a bird.
(Note: Firebrand is a name shared by both DC and Marvel. I chose Marvel as he is more well-known, and for the fact that DC had four characters that used the name, none of which were very popular. Granted, Marvel has five different versions, still, the one I picked is relatively well-known.) Name: Gary Gilbert – first appeared in Iron Man vol. 1 #27 (July 1970). Gary Gilbert wears a suit with an armored exoskeleton that gives him superhuman strength and resistance to fire. It also houses flamethrowers (which allow him to fire thermal blasts from his hands), one mounted on each wrist, and flying jets that give him the ability to fly.
Name: (current) Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein (Live action on CW’s Legends of Tomorrow) – first appeared in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man No. 1 (March 1978). It quite literally takes two to form Firestorm in all of his incarnations. The Firestorm Matrix is the power behind its hosts, granting myriad powers and abilities, primarily that of wielding and controlling flame.
Name: Angelica Jones – first appeared on the animated TV show ‘Spiderman and His Amazing Friends (September 12, 1981). Firestar is a mutant. Her body stores ambient electromagnetic energy, which she can project and manipulate. As she alters the electromagnetic wavelengths, they form a microwave aura around her body, at which point she mentally “pushes” the microwaves away from herself. By focusing microwaves on a specific target, she can cause it to burst into flames, explode or melt.
Name: Pyreus Kril – first appeared in Thor #225 (Vol. 1, July 1974). Pyreus Kril was a normal man until transformed by Galactus. Given mastery over the cosmic flame, Firelord wields a flaming staff and is capable of energy projection via his eyes and staff. Like all Heralds, the Power Cosmic provides Firelord with superhuman strength, reflexes and durability, flight, mastery of the electromagnetic spectrum and total immunity to the rigors of space.
Name: Benito Serrano – first appeared in Human Torch Comics #2 (Fall 1940). Toro is, for all intents and purposes, living flame. Much like his follow-up, Human Torch, Serrano can turn his entire body into fire, project it at will, and manipulate it to form constructs and weapons.
Name: Frankie Ray – first appeared in Fantastic Four #164 (November 1975). As Nova, Frankie’s flame-based powers were enhanced exponentially by the infusion of cosmic energies by the world-devourer Galactus. She gained metahuman strength, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes. She had the ability to manipulate cosmic energy in the form of stellar fire.
Name: Johnny Storm – first appeared in The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961). Once bombarded by cosmic rays on an ill-fated mission, Storm gained his flame powers just as the rest of the Fantastic Four did. Johnny can surround his entire self in flame and has the ability to control it according to his whim.
Name: Amara Juliana Olivians Aquilla; also known as Alison Crestmere – first appeared in New Mutants #8 (October, 1983). Magma is a mutant with geothermal powers. These grant her the ability to control the movement of earth and tectonic plates, even to the extent of causing seismic upheaval. She can also call forth molten rock from the Earth’s core, producing projectiles composed of lava, or miniature volcanoes.
Name: Ben Hamill – first appeared in New Mutants, vol. 2 #5. Ben’s abilities are pyrokinesis, enabling him to produce and manipulate flame. In addition, he is seemingly immune to fire and high temperatures. As a side effect of his powers, Ben’s head remains constantly aflame, though it appears that he can control the extent of the flaming.
Name: Mark Raxton – first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #28 (September 1965). Molten Man’s skin can generate intense heat, burning anybody who tries to touch him and shooting flaming projectiles at his foes. At one time, his skin was like molten lava, allowing him to project radiation and heat up to 300 °F. In his molten form, the Molten Man’s skin may reach a critical stage at which point his skin could actually melt off him.
Name: Roberto de Costa – first appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants (September 1982). When in his solar form, Sunspot also has a corona effect, an aura that has been depicted in multiple ways, though two predominant conventions exist for its portrayal: one is that the air close to him manifests black globes of various sizes and the other is a unified field glowing a bright yellow or white.
Name: Deborah Morgna – first appearance in Teen Titans v3 #42
(March 2007). By harnessing power from the sun, Sun Girl can generate and manipulate flames of intense temperature.
Name: Shiro Yoshida – first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #64 (January 1970). Sunfire is a mutant with the ability to absorb solar radiation and convert it to ionized matter into a fiery plasma state which bursts into flame when exposed to oxygen. Referring to his plasma output as “solar fire”, he can release this energy through his hands as blasts of searing heat, deadly radiation, explosive concussive force, or simple flames.
Name: Leyu Yoshida – first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #392 (April, 2001). Sunpyre’s powers are nearly identical to her brother’s, Sunfire.
Name: Marsha Rosenberg – first appearance in Secret Wars #3 (Jul 1984). As Volcana, she has the ability to convert her entire body into a plasma form, in which she blazes with white-hot intensity, at times setting aflame any surface beneath her.
Mix and Match
Name: Arani Desai – first appeared in Showcase #94,
(September 1977). Celsius is able to project formidable heat to a volcanic level from her left hand or intense cold and ice to an arctic level from her right.
Name: Crystalia Amaquelin – first appeared in Fantastic Four #45 (Dec. 1965). Crystal is often described in her appearances as an elemental due to her unique ability to psionically control the four classical elements: air, earth, fire, and water. The character’s proficiency in controlling these “elements” allows her to achieve a variety of effects and additional abilities.
Name: Idie Okonkwo – first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #528
(September 2010). Idie has the power of temperature manipulation. This power allows her to move heat from one area to another, producing various effects. She is consistently able to move enough heat to create fire in one area and ice in another.
Name: Terrance Sorrenson – first appeared in Marvel Team-Up #23 (July 1974). Equinox possesses both pyrokinesis and cryokinesis as well as superhuman strength and durability. He continually undergoes “thermal transitions” so that part of his body is always aflame and part of his body is covered with ice.
Feel The Chill!
Name: Tora Olafsdotter – first appeared in Justice League International #12 (April 1988). Ice has the ability to project various forms and quantities of ice and snow through her hands.
Name: Bobby Drake – first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963). Iceman has the ability to instantly decrease the temperature of ambient water vapor in his immediate vicinity to below zero degrees Celsius, thereby freezing it into ice. He is able to make ice that will not break unless he wills it to.
Name: Leonard Snart – first appeared in Showcase #8 (June 1957). Captain Cold has no actual superhuman powers, instead relying on his various guns that shoot ice in myriad forms.
Name: (current) Caitlin Snow – first appeared in Firestorm #3 (June 1978). Killer Frost has the ability to absorb heat from external sources and transmute it into waves of cold.
Name: Dr. Victor Fries – first appeared in Batman #121 (February 1959). Freeze freezes areas around him using special weapons and equipment, most notably a handheld “Freeze gun”. His refrigeration suit grants him superhuman strength and durability as well.
Name: (current) Randy Macklin – first appeared in in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963). Blizzard can emit freezing rays, which lower the temperature of the surrounding air (or objects) and release ice as a projectile from his costume.
Name: (current) Cameron Mahkent – first appearance All-American Comics # 90 (October 1947). Due to his father’s prolonged exposure to his ice weapon, Cameron’s altered genetics, allow him to freeze objects and people or to lower the temperature of a room or other area.
Name: Supposedly actually Jack Frost – first appearance USA Comics #1 (August 1941). Since this entity is apparently the actual Jack Frost of known lore, his powers are completely magical and can turn ambient air and surroundings into ice, snow, and frost.
Name: Brek Bannin – first appearance in Adventure Comics #306 (March 1963). Polar Boy, like any Tharrian, can reduce the heat around himself or other objects, creating a drop in temperature ranging from mild to intense.
Name: Klaus Kristin – first appeared in Batman #337 (July 1981). Snowman’s powers grant him control over ice and snow and give him superhuman strength.