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Firestar (Angelica "Angel" Jones) is a fictional mutant superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. She has the ability to generate and manipulate microwave radiation, which allows her to generate intense heat and flames and to fly. In the comics, she has been a member of the Hellions, the New Warriors, and the Avengers; in the cartoon from which she originated, she was a member of the X-Men.

Publication history

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

Firestar and her alter-ego Angelica Jones


Firestar was originally created for the animated series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. The creators had originally wanted to use the Human Torch, but the rights to the character were tied up. Kathy Garver provided her voice.

In the series, Firestar (whose pre-production names included Heatwave, Starblaze, and Firefly) is identified as being a former member of the X-Men, along with Iceman, with whom she occasionally appears to have a playful flirtation and sometimes dates. At times she dates Peter Parker (Spider-Man) as well, resulting in a relaxed love triangle of sorts (though Iceman states that, despite his feelings for Firestar, "fire and ice don't really mix"). Firestar also has a one-episode romance with Sunfire.

The animated series and the one-shot Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends comic book (which adapted an episode for print) are not considered part of standard Marvel Universe continuity. However, a recent one-shot comic, Spider-Man Family: Amazing Friends (August 2006), features an in-continuity story, "Opposites Attack!", in which the three superheroes work as a short-lived team. This story takes place shortly after up-and-coming hero Firestar becomes a founding member of the New Warriors.

Firestar mini-series

Published immediately after Firestar's first comic book appearance in Uncanny X-Men #193, the miniseries then presented Firestar's definitive, in-continuity origin. The Firestar four issue mini-series depicts events both before and after Firestar's first in-continuity appearance in Uncanny X-Men #193, showing her development from a shy, insecure girl afraid of her developing powers to a confident young woman capable of defeating Emma Frost.

The mini-series also established that Firestar's powers were microwave-based, rather than the more common fire-generation power that her animated counterpart displayed; the comic-book Firestar essentially harnesses ambient microwave radiation from her environment, making her powers far stronger in an environment such as space, where the concentration of microwaves is much greater than within a planetary atmosphere.

Despite the mini-series' efforts to flesh out the character, Firestar was not featured in any stories for a few years and seemed destined to fade into obscurity until she joined the New Warriors.

Fictional character biography

Hellions

Angelica Jones, a lonely girl raised by her single father Bartholomew and paternal grandmother, discovered that she possessed mutant powers. After her grandmother's death by heart failure and her revelation that she was a mutant, her father sent Angelica to the Massachusetts Academy. Emma Frost, the original White Queen of the Hellfire Club, began training Angelica in the use of her powers for the Club's team of young mutants, the Hellions. She was never sent on field missions with the other Hellions, however, because of her lack of control over her lethal powers and because the White Queen wished to instill cruelty and callousness in Firestar's personality, and befriending other young mutants would work against that goal. The White Queen manipulated Angelica into perceiving Frost as a loving mother figure, unaware that Frost was secretly grooming her to be a potential assassin and bodyguard. Angelica did meet the New Mutants at an Academy dance and, with the White Queen's telepathic prompting, formed a crush on Cannonball.

Firestar was later emotionally manipulated by Empath, and accompanied the Hellions Thunderbird, Empath, and Roulette on a mission against the X-Men, in which Thunderbird sought revenge on Xavier for thinking him responsible for his brother's death.

While a student of the Massachusetts Academy, Angelica had a Hellfire mercenary named Randall Chase assigned to her as a bodyguard. Growing close to Angelica, Randall eventually began to suspect the White Queen's true motives and was to be terminated. He escaped, mortally wounded, and managed to warn Angelica of Frost's duplicity just before he died. In retaliation, Jones attacked and defeated the White Queen, and decimated the hidden training complex beneath Frost's Massachusetts Academy. Afterwards, she returned to living with her father (as she was still a minor at the time), but kept the unique costume and identity of Firestar given to her by Frost.

Firestar was later to become one of the few surviving original Hellions, after most members were murdered by Trevor Fitzroy. Firestar and Warpath (accompanied by Warpath's X-Force teammate—and Firestar's former love interest--Cannonball), went on a mission to inform Empath and former New Mutant Magma of their teammates' deaths. The trio then went to the Massachusetts Academy, where they removed the few remaining files on record of the Hellions' existence. Currently, only Firestar, Warpath, Empath, and a resurrected Tarot remain of the White Queen's original team of Hellions; however, Emma Frost, now allied with Xavier's School due to guilt over her original students' deaths, would later train a new team of young mutants, Generation X, on the Massachusetts Academy grounds, and establish a training squad at Xavier's School called the Hellions.

New Warriors

Shortly after her resignation from the Massachusetts Academy, Firestar became a founding member of the New Warriors, when she was invited - or rather, blackmailed - by Night Thrasher into joining. She helped them battle Terrax. She also aided Night Thrasher against Midnight's Fire. She also helped Thor defeat the Juggernaut alongside the New Warriors. With the New Warriors, she battled the Mad Thinker and Primus, and then battled Psionex.

With the New Warriors, she battled the second Star Thief and Stane International's Mandroids. With teammates Marvel Boy and Namorita, and the Star Thief, she launched into space aboard a Stane rocket. They encountered the Inhumans and the Watcher on the Moon. With the help of Black Bolt and the Star Thief, she destroyed the Stane rocket containing hazardous waste.

Back on Earth, the New Warriors battled the Force of Nature in a Brazilian jungle, and rescued teammate Speedball's mother. The New Warriors also battled the White Queen and her Hellions.

Eventually, she became engaged to fellow teammate Vance Astrovik (also known as Justice, formerly Marvel Boy). She later discovered that her microwave powers were damaging her ability to have children, and further use might render her completely infertile.

During a revenge scheme by a gang of thugs called the Poison Memories, Firestar's father was shot in the chest. He nearly died but recovered. Firestar also faced a time without Vance, as he had to serve a prison term for the involuntary slaying of his own abusive father.

Firestar also provided vital assistance in helping Spider-Man tackle Carnage during "Maximum Carnage", when he was also forced to ally himself with Venom, Black Cat, and Morbius to stop Carnage's reign of slaughter. Her microwave powers proved the only weapon truly effective against Carnage following his 'upgrade'- his vulnerability to sonics having been weakened - but she still refused to kill Carnage, even to stop his murders.

Avengers

Firestar and Justice later joined the Avengers, after an alternate-universe adventure and a struggle against Morgan LeFay. Firestar helped demonstrate her fitness for the position when she and Vance took down Whirlwind, a villain that had literally foiled most of the other Avengers at once.

Firestar demonstrated a more restrained fashion sense, refusing to wear a cleavage-baring costume designed by the Wasp. Though she is seen wearing exactly that costume in an Avengers promo poster and in some early Avengers appearances, she quickly altered the costume to be more modest, which was consistent with her personality.

During this period, Henry Pym determined that the cause of her potential infertility was her natural immunity to the effects of her own powers (which all mutants possess) had never fully developed. He designed a costume for her that would siphon off the excess radiation, give her natural immunity the opportunity to manifest fully and heal the damage already done. After a distinguished tenure with the Avengers, including going undercover in a bizarre cult, facing a horde of Ultron robots, and struggling against Kang the Conqueror's takeover of modern-day Earth, she and Justice left the Avengers and later resurfaced alongside the New Warriors. She also made a tentative peace with Emma Frost during this time.

Angelica started college and enjoyed a "normal life", but she abandoned wedding preparations, leaving Vance with all of the responsibility. When Vance confronted her about this, she confessed that she needed more life experience before settling into married life. Vance left in anger and presumably ended their engagement.

Retirement

Firestar is one of the few mutants left on the planet with her powers intact, after the Scarlet Witch altered reality and decimated the mutant population. Firestar was not among the New Warriors who died in the catastrophe that sparked the events of Civil War. She was presumed to be among the Warriors who confronted the operator of an anti-Warriors hate site created in the wake of the catastrophe, revealed to be former Warriors member Carlton LaFroyge (Hindsight Lad). She is seen flying in the background, above the confrontation.

Firestar has responded to the Superhuman Registration Act by effectively retiring from her career as a costumed hero. She was recently seen as part of a New Warriors reunion of sorts with Nova and Justice, with whom she seems to be on good terms again. She is currently attending college.

Marvel Divas

In the limited series, Marvel Divas (a parody of Sex and the City), it is revealed Angelica's closest friends are Black Cat, Hellcat and Photon. At the very end of the first issue, Firestar announces she has been diagnosed with cancer. She's later diagnosed by Doctor Strange and the Night Nurse as being in the earlier stages of the illness, provoked seemingly by the same inability to shield herself from her microwave emission powers that's making her infertile. Despite her brave dealing with the illness (she asks Patsy to write a book and a blog to relay her experience to other cancer survivors, strongly believing in her ability to heal), and Henry Pym offering her a second opinion (despite Pym actually being a biochemist, and not a physician), she's still in visible distress, enough for Daimon Hellstrom to approach his ex-wife Patsy, ensuring her fast healing in exchange for Patsy giving him her soul, and marrying him again.

Powers and abilities

Firestar is a mutant possessing the ability to convert ambient electromagnetic energy in her environment into microwave energy, which she can then manipulate for various effects. As she alters the electromagnetic wavelengths they form a microwave aura around all or parts of her body, at which point she mentally "pushes" the microwaves away from herself. Doing this allows her to release heat, light, and radiation into her environment at various intensities. By focusing microwaves on a specific target she can cause it to burst into flames, explode, or melt. She can project microwave energy blasts which have a thermo-concussive effect, heating objects so that they melt, while the superheated and pressurized air created by the directed microwaves produces impact. Firestar can also sense microwave signals (such as cellular phone signals or remote-control devices) and disrupt electronics with her own microwave emissions. By superheating the air around her, Firestar can can generate enough upward thrust to fly at high speeds and lift objects as heavy as the X-Man Colossus. Though exposure to high levels of microwave radiation can be harmful or fatal to living beings, she is apparently immune to most of the damaging effects of her powers, though she was in danger of rendering herself sterile until a cure was discovered by Henry Pym.

On rare occasion, Firestar has demonstrated the ability to disrupt the psionic powers of others using her own power (namely, Emma Frost, Empath, and the Darkling).

The nature of Firestar's power grants her the capacity for large-scale destruction. However, she typically limits how much of her own power she accesses for fear of permanently damaging the planet, its atmosphere and electromagnetic field. In space, she is far less inhibited, and can access greater levels of ambient electromagnetic energy to fuel her powers. She easily produced an attack that injured Garthan Saal when he possessed the energy of the entire Nova Corps, and also used her enhanced abilities to power a massive Shi'ar interstellar transport gate with very little effort.

Other versions

Exiles

  • An alternate version of Firestar was forced to join the team known as Weapon X, a group of alternate reality-hopping super-people bound to repair broken worlds. Joining the team, Angelica was soon killed in a mega-blast unleashed by her own powers, opposing the evil Hyperion. In the process, her sacrifice also killed Spider. Because her body was reduced to ash, it was not returned to its native universe (Earth-3062).


Marvel Zombies Vs Army of Darkness

In Issue 3 of this miniseries, she is shown, in flashback, to be among the reserve members of the Avengers answering Colonel America's distress signal (unaware it was a trap), and subsequently leaving the mansion (with fewer people than went in) infected and hungry for human flesh.

MC2

Firestar appeared in a flashback, detailing the last adventure of the original Avengers. Firestar was among the team members who died in the team's final battle.

Mutant X

  • In the Mutant X Universe, Firestar's powers had evolved to the point where her entire body was composed of microwave energy. She was one of the many people trying to resist the rule of Madelyne Pryor. She, along with numerous other heroes, died in battle in the final issue of Mutant X.


Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane

  • Firestar appeared in Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. In the initial Firestar story, Mary Jane watched Spider-Man and Firestar battling crime together and became very jealous. In subsequent issues, Firestar expressed a true romantic interest in Spider-Man. The Firestar story arc took place in issues 16 to 20 of the series and was compiled in digest form as "Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane: Volume 4". Also, Iceman appears in a few pages of the final issue of the story arc, showcasing a rare comic-book moment in which the "Spider-Friends" are shown together.


Ultimate Firestar

Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of Ultimate Spider-Man, revealed his intentions to have Firestar appear in the book in an interview on Comic Book Resources on July 20, 2007. Bendis further stated he had spent 120 issues working toward this and making it an 'organic' event and not something "I pulled out of my ass."

Ultimate Firestar makes her debut in Ultimate Spider-Man #118, the first issue following the conclusion of the "Death of a Goblin" arc. Throughout the issue Liz Allan claims to be suffering from some bizarre ailment, and at the close of the issue catches fire while at a beach party with her friends. In the final moments of the story, Liz's body becomes a living mass of flames, signaling her transformation into what could be considered Ultimate Firestar.

The next issue (#119) deals with Liz as she tried to come to grips with her powers. The Human Torch is forced to deal with a call from the Fantastic Four while Shadowcat is grounded, leaving only Iceman and Spider-Man able to go after Liz, a homage to the "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends" television series.

After some friendly banter, Magneto shows up, asking Liz to come with him so that he can take her to her biological father. Unsure of what to do, Liz goes home to confront her mother who reveals that her uncle Frank is in fact her real father. Magneto and the X-Men, summoned by Spider-Man, then show up asking Liz to side with one of them. Liz chooses neither and flees to Mary Jane's house.

Spider-Man quickly follows her there, and in order to convince her of his words, he reveals his true identity. She is greatly moved by this and refers to him as an "amazing friend." Swayed, Liz then thinks it might be cool to join the X-Men, leaving for the mansion alongside Iceman.

The issue ends with a flashback that reveals that Liz's father is in fact the Blob. It was revealed in Ultimate X-Men #94 that Liz has chosen the codename Firestar, and has some control of her powers.

In other media

Television

Firestar as she originally appeared in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Firestar has also made other media appearances besides Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends:
  • In a scene toward the end of the short-lived TV series Once a Hero, Captain Justice returns to the "Real Earth" and a group of comic book characters can be seen cheering for him. The group included Spider-Woman, Firestar, and Skeletor.
  • Firestar appears in the Wolverine and the X-Men episode "Future X." She appears as a mutant who is captured by Sentinels in the MRD-dominated future. She saves Marrow and together they help take out a Sentinel. This version is also shown to have fiery hair when using her powers. She is voiced by Tara Strong.


Video games

  • In the video game Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage for Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, Firestar is one of the backup characters that can be called in a limited number of times to assist, but cannot be controlled directly. Her attack is exceptionally damaging to Carnage himself due to his vulnerability to heat-based attacks. She did not, however, have as much presence in the plot as she did in the Maximum Carnage comic event.
  • Firestar appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Kimberly Brooks. She is a non-playable character on the side of Captain America's Anti-Registration forces. If the player selects pro registration, she will be encountered as a mini-boss fighting alongside Patriot, if the player selects anti registration, she will be found assisting at Captain America's hidden base and later assist in a boss fight in Act II (in Act III, she is mind controlled by Fold). In a sly nod to her origin, the dialogue options with Spider-Man include him suggesting that they make a "great team" that should be on a TV show together, to which Firestar replies that it is "great to be among such Amazing Friends."


Miscellaneous



References

External links




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