Supervillain Origins: Heat Wave

Script written by Craig Butler. Where there's smoke there's fire. Heat Wave is one of Flash's deadliest villains, and made his debut back in 1963. He went from being a flamethrower wielding pyromaniac criminal to a fire infused super villain, and has been a prominent member of the Central City Rogues for many years. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origins of Mick Rory, AKA Heat Wave. Special thanks to our users aldqbigsquare, Tyson Turner and Cam Gold for suggesting this topic using our website's suggest tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest.
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Script written by Craig Butler.

Supervillain Origins: Heat Wave


It doesn't take much to get this bad guy hot under the collar. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Heat Wave.
As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1963's Flash #140 and was expanded upon in 2005's Flash Vol. 2 #218 and 2012's Flash Annual Vol. 4 #1.

Fire and ice are often paired together, so it's fitting that Heat Wave made his debut in a 1963 story featuring Flash's icy nemesis, Captain Cold. As the story opened, Flash was trying to locate the grown-up daughter of a dead millionaire within 24 hours. If he found the girl, she would inherit her parent’s fortune. Furthermore, millions would be donated to help the poor of Central City.

The problem was that no one knew who this daughter was. All that was known is that she was born with a diamond-shaped birthmark on her back.

To complicate matters, Captain Cold made one of his periodic escapes from prison. His new goal was to win the heart of a local TV celebrity known as Dream Girl. To do so, he planned to defeat and humiliate the man she had named as her dream man – the Flash.

Flash was about to re-capture Cold when a new villain appeared on the scene. Named Heat Wave, he used a super heat-generating gun to thwart Flash, and both Heat Wave and Captain Cold escaped together.

Back in Captain Cold's lair, Heat Wave revealed that he was a circus fire-eater named Mick Rory. He had created his special heat gun with one goal in mind: to defeat Flash and win the love of Dream Girl!

Because fire and ice can’t mix, Captain Cold and Heat Wave abandoned their short-lived alliance and set to work battling each other. Flash was able to defeat them both and send them to prison. Afterward, he discovered that Dream Girl was actually the millionaire's daughter whom he had been seeking; what a happy coincidence.

Heat Wave's backstory was given greater depth in a 2005 re-telling. Mick Rory grew up with a loving family in a farm outside of Central City. Unfortunately, he developed an obsession with fire and liked both the feel of heat and of flame. One night, he accdently set fire to his family's house and watched everyone in it burn, unable to lift a finger to help.

Fire had come to control Rory's life. When a schoolmate locked him in a meat freezer, he retaliated by burning the boy's house and then escaping to join a circus. He was happy there for years, but eventually his pyromania resurfaced. He set fire to the tents and fled.

When Rory learned of Captain Cold's criminal career, he saw a way to control his impulses. He would use his pyromaniac tendencies as a gimmick to commit crimes. Which, as all Flash fans know, he certainly did.

During the recent reboot of the DC Universe, New 52, many characters underwent changes. For example, Captain Cold used a device called a genome recorder to alter the genetic structure of his villainous pals. As a result, Heat Wave now has an innate ability to control fire and no longer needs to use a gun – making him all the more dangerous.

Colorful and memorable villains are strongly associated with the Flash. Heat Wave is one of the most distinctive and is a fan favorite. When he turns up the heat, even the Scarlet Speedster is likely to get burned.

Are you a fan of Heat Wave? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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