Minorities in cartoons: Fire (DC Comics)

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Fire (real name: Beatriz Bonilla da Costa), a Brazilian superheroine published by DC Comics. Fire first appeared in “Super Friends” #25 (October 1979), and was created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon.

Background

Beatriz first appeared in the “Super Friends” comics as the “Green Fury,” a heroine with various pyrokinetic abilities granted by Brazilian mysticism. She also ran the Brazilian branch of Wayne Enterprises. After some adventures with the Super Friends, Beatriz graduated to the mainstream DC Universe comics in “DC Comics Presents” #46 (June 1982) as part of the team the Global Guardians.

Fire got her more familiar origin and larger usage after “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Post-Crisis, she’s shown to have been a former model who eventually went to work for the Brazilian government as a secret agent. Instead of mysticism, she gained her flame powers during a mission that saw her caught in a pyroplasmic explosion. It was after this she went off to join the Global Guardians, at first under the name “Green Fury,” then  changing it to “Green Flame.”

Upon the Guardians’ disbanding in favor of the United Nations funding the newly-formed Justice League International, Beatriz and her Guardians teammate/close friend Ice decided to apply to join; being short-handed, the JLI took the two on. Beatriz soon changed her name to “Fire,” and went on to serve a long stretch as a member of the team. The death of her friend Ice greatly affected Fire. This played into a later storyline where the similarly-named and -powered Icemaiden joined the team.

The late 80s crossover “Invasion!” saw Fire’s powers amplified, with the main long-term result of Beatriz being able to turn her body completely into a green flame (a la Marvel’s the Human Torch).

Post-JLI, Fire appeared in various books, including the series “Checkmate,” where she served as a covert agent and assassin for the US government organization. Beatriz also has made it into the New 52 reboot and its version of the JLI.

Other media

Fire’s made various non-comics media appearances, her first in a failed 1997 “Justice League of America” TV pilot movie, where she was played by Michelle Hurd.

Fire later made several appearances in “Justice League Unlimited,” where she was voiced by Maria Canals Barrera.

Beatriz also was seen in “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” along with her friend Ice; Fire was voiced here by Grey DeLisle.

Beatriz also was mentioned in the 2010s live-action series “The Flash,” and is a character in the video game “DC Universe Online.”

(Updated 9/15/16)

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