Heatmonger

Let’s briefly come back to the ongoing tv series, starting from The Flash, which featured a couple of new characters (well, kind of) this week. In Cause and Effect, an amnesiac Barry is asked to testify in a trial against a professional arsonist, Lucious “Heatmonger” Coolidge, who’s said to be the spiritual heir of Heat Wave. The criminal, portrayed by Richard Zeman, is a relatively lucky guy, as the trial decisively ends in his favor, but he only has time to burn down a skyscraper before coming back to the usual bad luck. There’s no Lucious Coolidge in the comics, but Heatmonger is present…albeit he’s a she. In the animated DC universe, although, Heatmonger had already become a male (with a jetpack), so this is not the first time she’s suffered a gender swap (a female-to-male one, for a change). Anyway, let’s see together the blonde-haired version of this bald guy.

Not much is known about the woman called Heatmonger, not even her real name. She was a convinced white suprematist, to the point that she became close to the ideology that, during World War II, had characterised the Nazi Third Reich. Sick and tired of seeing “inferior people” being considered on par with Aryans, and even members of races other than the human one being welcomed on Earth and considered as heroes, she decided it was time to do something about it, and became an activist…obviously, however, a simple human could do nothing against people who belonged to lesser races, but who got superpowers nevertheless. In order to be able to face this kind of threats, she accepted to be experimented on and became a cyborg: she had her arms replaced with artificial limbs which were also thermal cannons, and took the name Heatmonger, ready to burn down the illusions of a tolerant society with the fire of her certainties. Sadly, she wasn’t the only one devoted to such a cause, and she entered the radar of the Aryan Nation, a group secretly led by Senator Sanders Hotchkins: Aryan Nation had quite a majestic plan in mind, and they needed armed agents to support it with force. Heatmonger was recruited in the Aryan Brigade, the Aryan Nation’s strong arm, and she joined other people with her same ideas: the super-strong Iron Cross, the blind psychic Blind Faith, the elastic Backlash and the flying Golden Eagle. Together, the members of the Aryan Brigade kidnapped a number of chemists, which were later forced to develop a genetic virus programmed to attack all non-white elements in human DNA, and that would have been released in Earth’s atmosphere to cleanse the world from the inferior species. Every great vision, however, finds opposition, and as soon as the FBI realised what was happening, they enlisted the heroes from Justice League Task Force to stop the neo-Nazis.

Entrusted by the feds, the Martian Manhunter assembled an undercover team to infiltrate the Brigade, but only Hourman managed to enter the enemy’s ranks. Heatmonger and the others, however, were no fools, and thanks to Blind Faith’s telepathy they managed to expose the Task Force and to incapacitate them all…all but Hourman, who eventually freed the other imprisoned heroes. While Martian Manhunter stopped the missile that carried the virus in the atmosphere, the remaining members of JLTF battled the Aryan Brigade, resulting in an utter defeat of the Nazi wannabes and in the exposure of the Aryan Nation. Heatmonger and the others managed to avoid capture, differently from their bosses, and put themselves on the market as mercenaries. They didn’t have to wait for long, as the alien Overmaster required new members of his Cadre: quite ironically considering their initial positions, the once Aryan Brigade started working for an alien, and under his leadership they battled the Suicide Squad. Even this time, however, things didn’t go too well, and Heatmonger herself was captured along with Golden Eagle. Both of them were given a chance of redemption by Amanda Waller, and became members of the Suicide Squad as well, embarking in impossible missions in the vain hope of having their sentence reduced. Thing got even worse the moment the government decided to exile Earth’s supervillains on a remote planet, ironically called Planet Salvation, in the effort of reducing the world’s criminality…and despite serving in the Suicide Squad, Heatmonger was among the ones sent to space. Planet Salvation was a living hell of rivalries and civil wars, and Heatmonger witnessed her former teammate Iron Cross being killed by The Joker, but some ray of hope seemed to appear on the horizon as Lex Luthor started gathering the best minds among the supervillains to build a teleportation device that would have brought them back to Earth. Unfortunately, the machine needed a power source to work, and Luthor used some of the lesser villains as living batteries…Heatmonger among them. Apparently, Heatmonger’s destiny was to be abandoned on an alien hostile planet, but that wasn’t the case, as the machine self-destructed, killing all its living batteries. Hard to say what’s better.

Heatmonger is a Nazi activist, a terrorist who firmly believes in the supremacy of the Aryan race over any other. As a cyborg, she possesses mechanic arms that grant her an augmented strength; the artificial limbs are also thermal cannons, super-powerful flamethrowers she can use to incinerate anything and anyone. A devoted believer dedicated to a monstrous ideology, Heatmonger tolerates no imperfection in the genetic template of the “supreme race”, and she’s ready to burn down everyone standing in the way of said perfection.

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