Flame (I). Gary Preston is the son of Charteris Preston, an American missionary in China. A flood washes Charteris away, and the infant Gary is only saved by being placed in a basket. He is washed into Tibet, where he is found by lamas. They raise him and educate and train him, so that he is at the peak of physical and mental powers. He is also trained in magic, specifically in the power over flame. As an adult he vows to use his abilities to fight crime and evil and returns to the United States with a costume to fulfill his vow. He is assisted by the brutish Pug and, late in his career, by Flame Girl. The Flame can control flame, is hot enough that bullets melt when they touch him, is mostly invulnerable to explosions, and can transport himself via flames. He is vulnerable to water, however, which weakens him. He battles arsonists, dictators, German Mad Scientists, an enormous creature called The Beast, and river pirates. He appears in stories with titles like “Invasion of the Kikoos,” “Raiders of the Deep,” and “Dr. Drool Returns From the Dead.”
First Appearance: Wonderworld #3 (Fox), July 1939. 100+ appearances, 1939-1942. Created by Will Eisner and Lou Fine.
To the Introduction • To the Character List • To the Taxonomy • To the Creator List