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Firefly (DC Comics)

For the Archie Comics character, see Firefly (Archie Comics).
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Lynns
Detective Comics #184 (June 1952)
Batman #126 (1959)
Created by Lynns
France Herron
Dick Sprang
Bill Finger
Sheldon Moldoff
In-story information
Alter ego Garfield Lynns
Ted Carson
Team affiliations Secret Society of Super Villains
Abilities (Pre-Crisis)
Use of tricks with colored lights
Expert in pyrotechnics and explosives
Insulated battlesuit equipped with a flamethrower, grenade launchers, extensive arsenal of fire-creating weapons, and wings that allow flight

Firefly is the name of two supervillains in DC Comics.

Publication history

The first Firefly appeared in Detective Comics #184 (June 1952) created by France Herron and Dick Sprang.[1]

The second Firefly appeared in Batman #126 and was created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff.

Fictional character biography


The first iteration of Firefly is introduced as Garfield Lynns, a down-and-out film visual effects expert who attempts to rob a theatre by faking a fire, only to be stopped by Batman and Robin. He escapes, and in the darkness Batman sees a distant firefly, which he mistakes for Lynns' lit cigarette and chases in the wrong direction. Inspired, Lynns becomes the Firefly, using various lighting effects and optical illusions in his crimes.[1] As a costumed criminal, Firefly has fought not only Batman and Robin, but also the Creeper and the Outsiders.

The second iteration of Firefly is Ted Carson, an ostentatiously wealthy gold mine heir who gambles away the family fortune and turns to crime to maintain his lifestyle. He is also Bruce Wayne's rival for the affections of Kathy Kane (aka Batwoman). His first time as Firefly occurred when he crashes the party at the Carson Mansion where Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson were attending. Batman and Robin attempt to interfere with Firefly's theft of gold nuggets from the Carson Family's first gold strike, but Firefly blinds them momentarily with a powerful light beam from his helmet and insures his gang's getaway. Later, Wayne finds Kathy spurning him for Carson causing him to exclaim that he now has both the Firefly and Carson to worry about. Soon, Batman, Robin, and Batwoman are summoned to combat the Firefly at the Gotham Glassworks, but they discover that the Firefly possesses a sonic weapon that can shatter glass and are forced to take cover while the criminals flee, though one of the criminals is caught. Later, Bruce calls upon Kathy, only to find Carson already there. After a few minutes, Ted gets up to leave and asks Bruce to see Kathy to dinner. She pleads a headache and gets Bruce's raincoat still leaving him in the dark as to whether or not she suspects him of being Batman. After Bruce leaves, a fallen paper reveals to Kathy the Firefly's plans to rob the Gotham Museum of Natural History. She becomes Batwoman and travels to Carson's house. Batwoman tells Ted to become Batman and accompany her to foil the Firefly's plans as she reveals that she saw him change from a uniform into civilian clothes at the party. Carson leaves, and emerges in his uniform which happens to be Firefly's costume. He proceeds to tie Batwoman up and joins his gang at the museum attempting to steal silver relics. But Batman and Robin have deduced his next crime-site and Batwoman has freed herself, and the crime-fighters bring the criminals down.[2]


How much of Firefly's pre-Crisis history that is still intact is unclear, but post-Crisis shows he works primarily with fire instead of lighting effects, and he also displays a pyromaniac tendencies.[1]

Garfield Lynns is originally a pyrotechnic expert for motion pictures, but falls victim to Gotham City's severe poverty and turns to crime, displaying signs of pyromania. Lynns is captured by Batman and Robin after his first robbery. He takes up arson as a hobby, but it soon turns to an obsession; he believes he can see visions in the flames. Inspired by actual fireflies, he builds a suit and becomes a professional arsonist. Early in his criminal career Firefly becomes the protégé of Killer Moth, looking to duplicate the success of crimefighting duo Batman and Robin. The alliance falls apart when Killer Moth realizes the full extent of Firefly's madness and fears for his own well-being.

In the Knightfall storyline, Firefly's plan after his escape from Arkham Asylum is to burn all the places he didn't go to as a child. He successfully destroys his first two targets, but Batman captures him at the site of his third, the Gotham Zoo. He is one of the main villains in part 1, but is captured. He has been locked up so long he has been mostly forgotten about. Knightfall marks one of the few moments where Lynns face is revealed; he has black hair with white highlights.

In a recent attempt to burn Gotham to the ground, Firefly is horribly burned when the chemical factory he targeted explodes. He suffers burns over 90 percent of his body (what portion of his body isn't burnt has yet to be revealed), and is ultimately sentenced to Blackgate Prison.[1] He was one of the inmates of Blackgate when it was under the control of Lock-Up during the No Man's Land story arc. When Nightwing was captured trying to re-take Blackgate from Lock-Up, Firefly (now wearing a mask over his face) wanted to kill him and wear his skin over his burned body.[3]

During the DC One Million crisis, Firefly nearly burned down Gotham while infected with the Hourman virus, requiring Nightwing and Robin to work with the future Batman to stop him.

Firefly makes a short appearance in the Justice League of America story arc "Crisis Of Conscience"[4] fighting Catwoman in Gotham City over a diamond before Batman arrives. Although an epic battle between the Secret Society and the Justice League ensues, Firefly is knocked unconscious and remains that way during the entire battle. He makes another short appearance in the 2005 mini series Villains United, when the Secret Six attempts to escape the Society's grasp.

Firefly is among the numerous heroes and villains apparently murdered by the OMACs in the pages of DC's The OMAC Project, although he later appears alive in Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special and Gotham Underground.

Firefly appears with Mr. Freeze facing Batman (though Firefly is wearing the same uniform as the Firefly design of The Batman).[5] He and Mr. Freeze are again shown as having worked together a month after the events of the Crisis, Batman working with the currently-redeemed Harvey Dent to take them down before he takes his year of absence while leaving Dent to guard Gotham.

Following the Final Crisis, Firefly was with Cheetah III's Secret Society of Super Villains at the time when Genocide was created. He was defeated by Wonder Woman alongside Shrapnel, Phobia, and T.O. Morrow.

Firefly is recruited by a new Black Mask to a part of a group of villains that are aiming to take over Gotham, but he follows his own agenda. Inspired by the chemicals that Black Mask used on him, Firefly inserts chips into Gothamites in order to make them burn.[6]

The New 52

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), a new version of Firefly appears in Nightwing Annual #1. The Firefly seen is Ted Carson, a former high school teacher who tries to incinerate everything that will separate him from his ex-girlfriend Cindy Cooke. He seemingly murders Garfield Lynns along the way and attempts to use Lynns (a known pyromaniac) as a scapegoat for his crimes. Carson was defeated by Nightwing and Batgirl.[7]

Powers and abilities

In his Pre-Crisis appearances, Firefly utilizes tricks with colored lights and other such optical illusions in his crimes.

In his Post-Crisis appearances, Firefly is an expert in pyrotechnics and explosives, with a thorough knowledge of inflammable agents. After being horribly burnt all over his body after an out-of-control blaze he started at a chemical factory, he designed and built an insulated, fire-retardant battlesuit to not only protect himself, but outfit it with a number of different features, most of which relate to incendiary weaponry.

His armament primarily includes a military-grade flamethrower, napalm, grenade launchers, and a self-designed rig that projects a sword-like blade of superheated plasma for close combat purposes. The other main feature of the suit are the fixed wings mounted on his back, which allow him to glide on the updrafts of the fires he creates. Sometimes, the wings are depicted as being part of a jetpack instead, granting Firefly proper high-speed flight over short to medium distances.

Other versions


In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Firefly is a member of the Ambush Bugs led by Canterbury Cricket. He is killed in battle against the Amazons.[8]

In other media


  • The Garfield Lynns incarnation of Firefly has appeared in the DC Animated Universe.
    • Firefly appeared in The New Batman Adventures, voiced by Mark Rolston. In this version, Garfield Lynns was a pyrotechnics engineer. Introduced in "Torch Song", Lynns kidnaps his ex-girlfriend Cassidy (voiced by Karla DeVito), a singer who had fired and dumped him after he botched a pyrotechnics display at one of her concerts. He made an attempt on her life during her performance until Batman arrived. Although Batgirl rescues Cassidy, Lynns escapes and creates the armor that enables him to be Firefly. He smokes out the building Cassidy and her crew are in, enabling him to make off with Cassidy. Batman, in a fireproof metal armor, finds Firefly at an abandoned factory. After a fight, Batman defeats Firefly and rescues Cassidy (although Cassidy develops a case of pyrophobia as a result of her experience as seen at the episode's end). Firefly also appears in "Legends of the Dark Knight" in which he has been hired to burn down a building so that its owner could collect the insurance. A group of children stumble across his plans, yet Batman saves them and defeats Firefly. The producers had wanted to use the character in the earlier series Batman: The Animated Series but were forbidden by Fox to use any pyromaniac character.[9]
    • Firefly later reappears on the Justice League animated series, with Mark Rolston reprising his role. In the episode "Only a Dream", he escapes out of prison alongside Volcana, Luminus, Copperhead, and Solomon Grundy. Volcana has also developed a liking to him due to their fire-based attacks. Eventually, Firefly and Volcana are apprehended by Green Lantern and Batman.
    • Firefly was alluded in Batman Beyond. In the episode "Black Out", Firefly's costume can be seen on display in the Batcave which is destroyed during the new Batman's first fight with Inque.
File:Firefly batman.jpg
Firefly as he appeared in The Batman
  • The Garfield Lynns incarnation of Firefly appears in The Batman, voiced by Jason Marsden. A running gag in the series is people mistakenly call this version insulting insect-related names (e.g., Bugman, Bumblebee, etc.). In the series, he first appeared in "The Big Heat" as a mercenary and arsonist for hire. His weapons and paraphernalia include a heat ray, a battle suit, and a jetpack (which sounds like a fly when it is used). He was hired by GothCorp to attack its rivals, only to be defeated by Batman leaving evidence that exposed Firefly's connection to GothCorp. He returned in "Fire and Ice" to team up with Mr. Freeze. He joined Team Penguin in "Team Penguin" along with Killer Croc, Killer Moth and Ragdoll. In "White Heat", Firefly gains his new partner and lover Dr. Jane 'Blaze' Blazedale (voiced by Rachel McFarlane) and they both steal a phosphorus isotope to upgrade his battle suit. An accident causes the phosphorus isotope to mutate Firefly into the creature Phosphorus. He acquires greater powers, but is also driven insane soon after his transformation.
  • Firefly appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. This version is based on the Pre-Crisis version of Firefly. In "A Bat Divided!", he was seen at a bar where the bad guys hang out until Firestorm and the three Batmen show up. In "Emperor Joker!", Firefly uses his light powers to cause Batman problems and create his Rainbow Creature. Batman uses his rainbow costumes to defeat him. In the series finale "Mitefall", a CGI Firefly is on Bat-Mite's TV.
  • Firefly appears in the Arrow episode "Burned" portrayed by Andrew Dunbar. This version is depicted as Garfield Lynns who is a former firefighter who was left for dead and brutally scarred in a fire two years prior. Thus, he becomes embittered and goes after members of his former company who left him for dead.[10] He is never shown in his traditional costume (instead wearing a firefighter's uniform), with the name 'Firefly' being a nickname he and his graduation class acquired after they joined the fire department, each of them possessing a tattoo of a firefly on their hands. After Oliver Queen stops Firefly from killing his fire chief whom he blames for his burns, he tries to reason with him but he refuses saying he's already burned. Firefly then walks into the flames that he had set earlier and is subsequently burnt to death.

Video games

  • Firefly is also one of the bosses in the Batman Leapster Game
  • Firefly is featured as an unlockable villain through the "Villain Hunt" in the Nintendo DS version of LEGO Batman: The Video Game. Firefly's costume here is similar to his look in The Batman.
  • A biography for the Garfield Lynns version of Firefly can be found in the 2009 game Batman: Arkham Asylum. It can be unlocked by scanning newspaper clippings of him in the Patient Observatory in the Medical Facility as the answer to one of the Riddler's riddles. Also, his flamethrowing backpack is there. According to the biography, 90% of his body was covered in burn scars after an accident.
  • While not physically appearing in the game Batman: Arkham City, it was revealed that Firefly was currently operating with the Black Mask in his own newly formed gang and assisted him with his first (and successful) breakout attempt from the prison before the events of the game. However, during Black Mask's escape, he disappeared and was left behind by the gang.
  • The Garfield Lynns version of Firefly appears as a major antagonist in Batman: Arkham Origins, voiced by Crispin Freeman.[11] In this version, Firefly has burns covering over 90% of his body including most of his face just like the Post-Crisis version. He appears as one of the eight assassins hired by the Joker (posing as Black Mask at the time) to kill Batman. He first appears at the assassin's meeting in the Royal Hotel, though he had no real involvement in the conference beyond simply showing up. After Batman leaves Bane's hideout, he learns that Firefly is holding an entire bridge hostage to get his attention, planting bombs on both ends and inside the central pillar. Not knowing that the Joker is now incarcerated and cannot pay the bounty, Firefly also takes a train cart hostage as well as several police officers. His bombs are shut down by the combined efforts of Batman and the GCPD, though he still manages to cause enough damage to the bridge on his own. The two battle after Batman shuts down the third bomb, and Firefly attempts to detonate the bombs during their fight, unaware that the bomb squad had already defused the fourth bomb. After realizing all of his bombs have been shut down, Firefly chases Batman around the bridge before trapping him in flames. Batman grapples onto Firefly to save himself, and manages to smash him into one of the pillars before ripping off his wings and leaving him for the police. Firefly is the second-to-last boss, and defeating him locks the player into the endgame.
  • The Garfield Lynns version of Firefly appears in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, with Robin Atkin Downes reprising his role. His costume is based on his appearance in The Batman.
  • The Garfield Lynns version of Firefly will appear in Batman: Arkham Knight, with Crispin Freeman reprising his role from Arkham Origins.


  • An action figure for Firefly as depicted in The Batman was released as part of the range.
  • Although Firefly did not appear in the live-action movie The Dark Knight, the toy-line did include an action figure of him.
  • Firefly is also a character released in the Wizkids DC Heroclix: Arkham Asylum range, and Arkham Origins.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Firefly", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 122, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017 
  2. ^ Batman #126
  3. ^ Nightwing #35–39
  4. ^ JLA #115–119
  5. ^ Superman/Batman Annual #3
  6. ^ Batman — Streets of Gotham #1
  7. ^ Nightwing Annual #1
  8. ^ Flashpoint: The Canterbury Cricket #1
  9. ^ Allstetter, Rob (August 1997). "The Dark Knight Returns". Wizard (72). pp. 50–54. 
  10. ^ New Arrow Promo & Villain Confirmed (October 16th, 2012).
  11. ^

External links