The wonderful thing about comics is that, if you feel like it, you can discuss the depths of human feeling, the universality of heroes and heroic tropes, and the greater questions of individuality versus the greater good.

And other times, you can just go “Dude! That’s guy’s entire dome is, like, totally en fuego, maaaan!” Welcome to Ten Things!

Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with ‘An Amateur Comics Historian’, and ‘Third-Degree Scalp Burns’, Presents:

TEN CHARACTERS WHOSE HEADS ARE TOTALLY ON FIRE!

10) TAKION

Takion

A late entry to the New Gods pantheon, Takion popped up in 1996, and was chosen by the Highfather of New Genesis to become an elemental being of The Source itself. Thanks to some strange power plays in the halls of the New Gods, Takion eventually became the new Highfather himself, and was slain along with all of the other New Gods ’round about the time of the Final Crisis. Takion’s flaming dome was, at first, a symbol of his lack of control over the power he had been imbued with…

 

9) BLAZING SKULL

Blazing Skull

Dating back to the Golden Age of Comics (he made his bow in 1941), The Blazing Skull was an extremely minor part of Golden Age Marvel/Timely’s roster. He was absent from the pages of comics for decades before making a cameo as a mind-projection of Rick Jones during the Kree/Skrull War. Originally his namesake blazing skull was merely a (terribly dangerous) mask, but later years have retconned him as having fire-type powers and a healing factor that keeps him from aging. At one point, he was even tied into the legacy of ANOTHER burning-skull hero, whom we’ll get to in a minute…

 

8) NIKKI

Nikki

The first female member of the 30th Century Guardians Of The Galaxy, Nikki is a native of planet Mercury, whose body was genetically engineered to survive the extreme temperatures on that planet. What looks like her hair is actually her body’s way of venting the excess body heat she generates. Interestingly, she doesn’t do a lot of heat/energy-based attacks, preferring to use her natural agility and skills with a stun-gun, though she did once scorch off teammate Charlie-27’s eyebrows in anger…

 

7) JET

Jet

Let’s get one thing straight: You can make fun of the goofy 80s plotlines of The New Guardians, but the book was an honest attempt to expand the scope of the DC Universe and add some diversity to their roster of 30ish white dudes. Jet is of Jamiacan origin, but lives in the UK, at one point giving her life to save the world from an alien invasion. (It didn’t take.) Later a member of the Global Guardians, Jet’s trademark flaming green hair was once worn in somewhat puzzling flaming cornrows.

 

6) WALLOP

Wallop

One of the superhuman offspring of Adam Destine known as the ClanDestine, Walter is well over 200 years old, and despite his brutish demeanor, is a gentle man at heart, who supports himself by writing romance novels under and alias. His powers allow him to grown in size and strength, turning swollen and blue in the process and (at a certain power level) having his head ignite. Wally dislikes his superhero alias, and only tolerates it because of his obligation to care for his “cousins” (actually younger siblings), Crimson Crusader and Imp…

 

5) FLAMING CARROT

Flaming Carrot

UT! Perhaps the most absurd superhuman character in an industry chock-full of them, Flaming Carrot read 5,000 comic books in one sitting and suffered traumatic psychological injury which led him to take on his super-alias. The leader of the Mystery Men (yes, the very same ones from the 1999 movie), his adventures are utterly bug$#@% crazy, and the man himself is a sex symbol and idol of millions. His mask, created by Doctor Heller, has never been seen to go out, and when asked why he wears flippers? “In case I have to swim…”

 

4) NOVA

Nova

Frankie Raye started out as another of Johnny Storm’s long line of (you should excuse the expression) old flames, but eventually discovered that she had her own flame-powers, thanks to be the step-child of Professor Horton, creator of the android Human Torch. She palled around with the Fantastic Four for some time before being chosen by Galactus as his latest herald, taking on the then-vacant name of Nova. She, like so many super-dupers, was dead for a while but was last seen as a member of Valkyrie’s Fearless Defenders…

 

3) PHOENIX

Phoenix

Not Jean Grey, but her alternate-future daughter Rachel, who traveled back from the future world of ‘Days Of Future Past’ to join The X-Men and Excalibur in the present. Most of her costumes are pretty awful, but her time wearing the colors of Dark Phoenix while channeling the alien Phoenix Force were the exception. Or at least sort of an exception, as the red-and-gold looks amazing, but it is pretty tasteless to wear the distinctive colors of a mass-murdering alien force of nature while traipsing about the universe. Rachel is currently an X-Man, but no longer the Phoenix, and as such doesn’t have nearly as many “head on fire” moments, although she does still have flaming red hair…

 

2) FIRESTORM

Firestorm

The Nuclear Man debuted right before the legendary “DC Implosion” caused the publisher to have to cancel nearly a fourth of their line output in 1978 or so. Still, his unique look and powers made him a lock to be revived, and it was less than a year before the flame-headed composite hero ended up joining the Justice League Of America. Though different incarnations of Firestorm have followed the original, and his costume has been through some changes, all versions (including the one currently appearing on TV in ‘The Flash’) have maintained the burning head motif…

 

1) GHOST RIDER

Ghost Rider

The motorcycle-riding hero who embodies the 70’s monster hero trope better than perhaps any other hero, Ghost Rider too has been through a lot of changes in his 40-odd year history. Though Johnny Blaze is still around and about the Marvel Universe (and has somehow absorbed some of the powers of his 90s counterpart, as well as the ability to travel through mystical dimensions), there are at least three other Ghost Riders extant. Each of them has a slightly different set of powers and abilities, but all of them maintain the flaming skull that makes the character visually distinctive…

Feel free to follow along (@MightyKingCobra) for more Ten Things madness on Twitter!  As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, and indeed, during the writing of this batch, I recalled at least four other characters who would fit the bill as well. Fire is, after all, one of the basic elements of the universe blah blah blah fishcakes. The comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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5 Comments

  1. sydness
    April 8, 2015 at 10:35 am — Reply

    Firelord! Xandar represents!

  2. DamienR
    April 8, 2015 at 10:51 am — Reply

    Any list that puts Johnny Blaze on the top is my kind of list!

    Blazing Skull and Ronnie (THE ONE TRUE Firestorm) are also worthy.

    Sadly, though, still no love for Staq Mavlen :(

  3. Steve Cramer
    April 8, 2015 at 11:40 am — Reply

    Nice to see Flaming Carrot again. Hey! You have a FC retro review…

  4. Doctor Dinosaur
    April 8, 2015 at 3:30 pm — Reply

    CONAN O’BRIAN

  5. CleV
    April 8, 2015 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    Who dares … forget the DREAD DORMAMMU?!

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