firebrand inks reisze

Profile image by Alex Garcia (Pen and inks) and David Stepp (Colors)

Personal information

Real Name:  Rod Reilly

Residence: Mobile
Occupation:  Adventurer
First Appearance (Golden Age): Police Comics #1 (Augusta 1941)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): Freedom Fighters #11 (December 1977)

Character History

Rod Reilly was born in ~1920 to "Emerald" Ed Reilly, a steel magnate and his wife.  Along with his younger sister Danette, the Reilly children grew up in luxury and wanted for nothing.  Danette honed a talent for science and eventually pursued an education in geology, specializing in volcanoes (Volcanology). Rod instead remained idle and directionless, pursuing a life of leisure though at some point he became a naval reservist.  At some point in the late 1930's, the Reilly family hired former heavy weight boxer "Slugger" Dunn as a the family chauffeur and valet.  Rod became fast friends with Slugger and asked him to train him in fighting techniques and overall physical fitness.  Under circumstances yet to be revealed, Reilly hit on the idea of becoming a costumed adventurer with Slugger as his man Friday.   The first recorded case of Reilly's new identity - Firebrand - occurred when he targeted a protection racket murdering window washers and steeplejacks to allow the henchmen of Baron von Hanson to case buildings for jewels without witnesses.  Firebrand broke up the racket and convinced Hanson to leave the country but the police were convinced that Firebrand was part of the crime ring (Police Comics #1).

As the world slid steadily into World War II, Firebrand's activities primarily focused on defeating Axis agents at home.  These included thieves of top secret equipment (Police Comics #4), foreign agents (Police Comics #5) and a doctor attempting to poison the army's blood bank (Police Comics #6).  In the early fall of 1941, Rod and Slugger we enlisted as Navy reservists called back to active duty (Police Comics #8).  He maintained his activities at Firebrand, battled axis agents and fifth columnists wherever they were in port (Police Comics #9,#10,#12 and #13).  In a notable case, he broke up a Klan called the White Gardenias, a racist and anti-American organization (Police Comics #11).

In December of 1941, Reilly and Dunn were stationed at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the naval base there. Dunn was shot in the leg and Reilly in the chest, but both survived due to the timely intervention of a Japanese-American sailor who dies in the process (All-Star Squadron #1 and #13).  After weeks in a coma, Reilly eventually entered a long process of rehabilitation.  In the meantime, his sister had received powers to manipulate fire in an encounter with Wotan and adopted his codename as the second Firebrand (All-Star Squadron #3).

The activities of Reilly in the subsequent years are largely unknown.  It is known that he was still recovering in the Spring of 1942 when Uncle Sam took a collection of Earth-Two heroes to form the Freedom Fighters of Earth-X, an event Reilly witnessed and longed to join (All-Star Squadron .  At an undetermined time in the future and through mechanisms unrevealed, Reilly realized that ambition and traveled to Earth-X.  There he spent several years operating as double agent, providing locations of resistance units to Nazi forces and then warning the same resistance units so that the Nazi ambush would rewarded with a ruthless counterattack (revealed in Freedom Fighters #12). At some point prior to 1970, he ran afoul of a Nazi agent named as Raphael van Zandt, known as the Silver Ghost and fled Earth-X, ending up on Earth-One.  Whether he was intending to return home or simply fleeing is not clear.

In the later 1970's, after the defeat of Nazi forces, Uncle Sam brought his team to Earth-One seeking new adventures.  Firebrand, who had been an outlaw on Earth-X, assumed they were after him and went into hiding until the Ray crashed into his cabin in the woods (Earth-11).  After learning that he was not the target and having his interest in heroics re-kindled, he joined the team when the demon Homilus possessed them, helping restore them to normal (Freedom Fighters #13) and became a full member battling an alien race called the Warmakers alongside Batwoman and Batgirl (Freedom Fighters #14-15).  The public appearance of Firebrand brought the Silver Ghost plans to culmination and recruited a team of the Secret Society of Super-Villains to murder the entire team (Secret Society of Super-Villains #15).  The team eventually prevailed, though in the final battle, Firebrand physically struggled with Ghost until both he and his adversary were converted to silver by the Ghost's powers of alchemical transformation (unpublished Secret Society of Super-Villains #16 and #17, revealed in Canceled Comics Cavalcade #2).  While both were presumed dead, they were each later seen during the Crisis on Infinite Earths in which the Freedom Fighters had returned to Earth-X and Firebrand was witnessed actively participating (Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 and 9).  Whether this was actually Rod Reilly or a successor is unknown and as Crisis closed off the Earth-X timeline from further record, Firebrand's full final fate remains unknown.

Powers and Abilities

Firebrand was a normal human being in peak physical condition with excellent strength, speed and coordination.  He was trained extensively in hand-to-hand combat by heavyweight boxer Slugger Dunn and during his time on Earth-X, cultivated extension skills in evasion, espionage and subterfuge. 

Weaknesses and Limitations

While an excellent athlete, Firebrand was a mortal human and could be killed or injured as such.

Multiversity Villains



In the post-Crisis Timeline, the history of Firebrand is thought to bear remarkable similarity to the Earth-Two version.  While he did not travel to Earth-X, he was a member of Freedom Fighter (JSA #42).  His post-war fate in this timeline is unknown.


The history of the Earth-22 Firebrand is thought to largely resemble the Earth-0 version, though it is known he survived until the 1950's and attended Senator Tex Thompson's (secretly the Ultra-Humanite) gather that ultimately turned into a battle against Hitler the body of Dan the Dynamite. The extent of his involvement in the battle and whether he survived it are not recorded (The Golden Age LS).

Golden Age Appearances of  Firebrand