Firebrand is a super-villain that appears in the comics. A Legacy Character, the identity has been assumed by four individuals.
The original Firebrand was Gary Gilbert. Gary was the son of Simon Gilbert, a corrupt businessman who attempted to have Tony Stark removed from his own company. Simon's corrupt business practices, as well his abusive parenting, drove Gary and his sister, Roxanne, away from their father. Both siblings attended Empire State University and became involved in student activism and numerous social justice movements. As the reactionary forces opposed to their activism responded with bullying, death threats, and police brutality, a rift developed between the two siblings - Roxanne remained an ardent pacifist while Gary believed that any system that would meet peaceful reformers with violence must be destroyed. Gary graduated from ESU with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and took an internship at Stark Enterprises. But he was not able to let go of his anger. Recalling his "fight fire with fire" mentality and the tendency for anarchists to be called "firebrands", Gilbert created an armored battlesuit with flame projection powers and began calling himself Firebrand.
Gilbert debuts as Firebrand after the Stark Foundation unveils a new community center in the town of Bay City. Local leaders, believing the money used for the construction of the Community Center should have been used to help small business owners, organize a protest. Iron Man arrives in an attempt to keep the peace, as Firebrand attempts to drive protestors into militant action. Iron Man initially believes that Firebrand has been hired by a business competitor, but he surprises the Armored Avenger by revealing his background as a student activist. It eventually becomes evident that Lyle Bradshaw, the City Councilman pushing for the Community Center, is a corrupt slumlord. Firebrand kidnaps Bradshaw and attempts to execute him, but since his flame projectors were damaged by Iron Man's previous attempts to subdue him, he opts to spare the corrupt politician and make his own escape.
Firebrand repairs his equipment and, ironically, is hired by his father to assassinate Tony Stark. Equating Stark with the face of the military-industrial complex he despised, Firebrand agreed, and found himself in a second confrontation with Iron Man. The ensuing battle resulted in Simon's death. Though Gary hated everything his father stood for, he was, at the end of the day, still family. Firebrand swore vengeance against Iron Man, before flying off yet again.
Gary sought out Roxanne and told her of how Iron Man attacked him and prevented him from saving their father. While Roxanne suggested that her brother was more concerned with avenging the bruised ego of being defeated twice, she still hides him from the authorities. Roxanne had inherited some sizable shares of stock from Stark Unlimited after her father's death, but uncomfortable with the company's history of munition sales, she wished to sell them back to Stark. When Stark and Pepper Potts arrived for the transaction, Firebrand moved in to strike, taking Pepper hostage and drawing Iron Man into a confrontation at Simon's gravesite. After a fierce battle with the Armored Avenger, Firebrand was pummeled into unconsciousness and captured.
Although Gilbert would escape prison in short order, he found that his weapons were considerably less effective against the improved thermal shielding of the Model 4 armor. Deciding to use the methods of "the system" against itself, Gilbert became a talent agent for costumed criminals, helping them find work in exchange for a nominal commission. He was eventually assassinated by the vigilante Scourge.
Firebrand was one of 17 supervillains killed by Scourge (who had since been defeated by Captain America) resurrected by the Hood to help him fight the Punisher. They were told that the Punisher was the one that originally killed them, and unless they destroyed him, they would return to their eternal slumber within 30 days. All 17 of these villains, including Firebrand, were killed a second time by the Punisher, who ensured they would not be likely to be resurrected again.
The second Firebrand was Russell Broxtel a disgrunted janitor at Stark Unlimited who worked the night shift so he could access the company's computers. He copied the schematics for Gilbert's battlesuit and used it to become a professional criminal. Ironically, he was not a foe of Iron Man, but instead usually fought Union Jack and Spider-Man. After a pitched battle with Spider-Man, Broxtel's armor overloaded on electricity and exploded, seemingly killing him.
The third Firebrand was an eco-terrorist named Richard Dennison. Dennison attempted to blow up an energy plant, claiming the energy source they were experimenting with was unsafe. Wounded by a guard, he was caught in the ensuing explosion. Instead of being killed, the energy source transformed his body into a being of living flame, which needed to be encased in a special containment suit to avoid dissipating. He was rescued by the terrorist group Flaming Sword, who were eager to have a supervillain on their team. Using his newfound powers, this Firebrand attacked a Stark-Fujikawa mixer on Isla de la Seurta, bringing him into conflict with Iron Man.
The fourth Firebrand's true identity is unknown, but her first name appears to be Amanda. She was part of a co-op assembled by The Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane. When the co-op collapsed, she became a mercenary.
Powers and Abilities
The first Firebrand did not have any extranormal abilities. His armor had flame projection abilities, and enabled him to fly. The second Firebrand wore a copy of this armor. The third Firebrand was, as a result of his mutation, a being of living flame. The fourth Firebrand was a human mutate capable of projecting plasma blasts of varying intensity. She could also use this ability to enable herself to fly.
- "I am the voice of your children, Mister — the non-meek who intend to inherit the Earth!""
- ―Firebrand I
- "I'm just an all-American boy, Iron Man, one of those wide-eyed innocents who started out to make the world a better place. I sat in for Civil Rights, marched for peace, demonstrated on campus, and got chased by vicious dogs, spat on by bigots, beat on by "patriots", choked by tear gas, and blinded by mace until I finally caught on. This country doesn't want to be changed! The only way to build anything decent is to tear down what's here and start over."
- ―Firebrand I
- "You control the WEATHER and you think you can fool people into thinking you're a GOD! But I'm Firebrand -- I am the UNFETTERED FURY of the world itself, crying for JUSTICE!"
- ―Firebrand III
- "Bringing a stealth suit to an exoskeleton brawl? Not smart."
- ―Firebrand IV
- There are no current trivia available on this topic.
- There are no current trivia available on this topic.