For the first Firebrand, see Rod Reilly
For the third Firebrand, see Alejandro Sanchez
For the current Firebrand, see the Firebrand page
Danette Reilly was the daughter of steel tycoon “Emerald” Ed Reilly, and brother to playboy Rod Reilly. Unlike her brother, Danette did not remain at home using her father’s money. She entered college, and became a volcanologist. In 1941, she traveled to the Hawaiian Islands, where she was investigating unusual geological activity. In fact, she stumbled across a secret base of operations of the time-traveling villain Per Degaton. Per Degaton had come back from the year 1947 in order to ensure Pearl Harbor and the destruction of the super-heroes of Earth-2. Danette, and investigating hero Shining Knight were captured by Per Degaton and his henchman: Professor Zodiak, Sky Pirate, Solomon Grundy, and Wotan.
While trying to free the Justice Society from Per Degaton, Danette was blasted by a mystical energy bolt by Wotan, and was sent into a vat of artificial lava. Danette survived, and Per Degaton and his allies were eventually defeated by the heroes of the newly formed All-Star Squadron. Danette discovered she had developed the power to generate fire. She also discovered that her brother, Rod Reilly, was wounded at Pearl Harbor. Rod’s best friend “Slugger” Dunn revealed to Danette that her brother Rod was actually the hero known as Firebrand. With her brother in a coma, Danette took the mantle of Firebrand, and joined the All-Star Squadron.
In 1981, Roy Thomas wished to launch a title that took place during the Golden Age. Thomas created the All-Star Squadron, a retconned wartime group of heroes formed at the behest of President Roosevelt. Introduced in a preview in Justice League of America #193, the team debuted in their self-titled ongoing series in September 1981. Instead of using the golden age Firebrand, Thomas created a new firebrand, this one female. Named and designed after his wife Danette Thomas, Danette Reilly debuted first as a damsel-in-distress, but then joined the All-Star Squadron as a full member in issue #5.
The second Firebrand would be a major character throughout the 66 issue run of All-Star Squadron. She would also be a recurring character in Thomas’ spinoff series Young All-Stars, revolving around a younger generation of heroes. However, after Thomas’ run, Danette Reilly would fall off into obscurity, with the occasional appearance in flashbacks.
In his 1999 series, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. writer Geoff Johns revealed that Danette Reilly died at the hands of the Dragon King in an unrevealed story.
Living the privileged life as the only daughter of an extremely rich man, Danette's life was an easy one, allowing her to pursue becoming a volcanologist . The events leading to her powers of fire control changed her life forever and reinforced her patriotism and love for her country and family. Proud of the name Firebrand, she helped bring down many World War II villains, proving herself to be a worthy and valuable member of the All-Star Squadron. She stepped in to take care of her ex-lover's child and remained loyal to the team, finding love with the Shining Knight.
Major Story Arcs
Joining the All-Star Squadron
While at first the heroes of the All-Star Squadron were hesitant to have Danette join, she quickly convinced them, proving her flamethrowing abilities extremely useful. Her early adventures include preventing the Feathered Serpent from conquering Mexico on behalf of the Nazis, stopping an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Winston Churchill from Baron Blitzkrieg, fighting the Japanese shape-shifter Kung, and stopping Hawkman’s arch-enemy Hath-Set pretending to be the alien Akhet. Firebrand became a core member of the All-Star Squadron. Under the command of Liberty Belle as chairwoman, Firebrand and the all-Star Squadron faced Nuclear the Magnetic Marauder, the Villain from Valhalla, and Brainwave. She was also on-hand for Commander Steel and Tarantula to join the All-Stars.
The Crisis on Earth-Prime
While traveling through time, Per Degaton discovered the trapped Crime Syndicate. The villains then used nuclear missiles from the Cuban Missile Crisis of Earth-Prime to threaten Earth-2’s 1942. The Justice League of America from Earth-1’s future ( Aquaman, Firestorm, Hawkman, Superman, and Zatanna) traveled to 1942 Earth-2 to stop Per Degaton. Per Degaton used the bombs as a bargaining chip, ordering the nations of the world to surrender to him. The two teams try to stop Per Degaton’s show of force, and are joined by the time-traveling Justice Society ( Doctor Fate, Green Lantern, Huntress, Power Girl, and Starman). However, the heroes are unable to stop Degaton from detonating an atomic bomb.
With Per Degaton holding the world hostage, Green Lantern, Zatanna, and Firebrand approach Per Degaton’s mentor Professor Zee. They use Professor Zee’s time machine to travel to Earth-Prime’s 1962, where the three heroes stop Per Degaton’s plan before it even gets started. With Degaton’s plan stopped in the past, time re-writes itself, and all of the heroes and villains are returned to their proper place in time, not even aware that the Crisis on Earth-Prime ever happened.
Cyclotron and Terri Rothstein
When the All-Stars investigated the burning of JSA Headquarters, they first discovered the reluctant nuclear villain Cyclotron and some Creepy-Crawlies. Firebrand, Doctor Fate, Hawkman, and the Atom fought Cyclotron, but he managed to escape with the Hammer of Thor for his boss, Ultra-Humanite. Unknown to the All-Stars, the Ultra-Humanite was after three mystical artifacts.
Little did Firebrand realize that Cyclotron was actually her ex-lover Terence Curtis. Curtis recognized Danette during their confrontation, and returned after his escape to kidnap her. While still passed out from her exertion fighting Cyclotron, Danette was kidnapped by the villain, who defeated Johnny Quick to take her. Cyclotron brought Firebrand back to the Ultra-Humanite, where Cyclotron, Ultra-Humanite and Deathbolt fought the All-Stars. The villains escape with Firebrand, Robotman, and Superman as hostage while they go after their last target: Doctor Fate’s Helmet. Ultra-Humanite’s third agent, the blackmailed Amazing Man, stole Fate’s helm.
Eventually, Amazing Man and Cyclotron are convinced to turn against Ultra-Humanite. While the rest of the All-Star Squadron and the time-traveling Infinity Inc. attack the Ultra-Humanite’s base, Amazing Man and Cyclotron freed the Ultra-Humanite's captives: Firebrand, Robotman, and Superman. Cyclotron reveals to Firebrand the reason he is working for Ultra-Humanite: his baby daughter. Baby Terri has been doused with the same radiation that turned Curtis into Cyclotron. Ultra-Humanite had promised Cyclotron a sure in response for working for him. The heroes surround the Ultra-Humanite, but before they could capture him, Cyclotron grabbed the villain. He carried the villain into the air, and detonated himself, killing them both. In the wake of the fight, Firebrand took baby Terri (given the last name Kurtzberger after Curtis’ pre-Anglicized name) and dedicated the Reilly fortune to help find a cure. In order to help out, the Atom also adopted Terri, and he and Danette became her adoptive parents.
Later Years with the All-Star Squadron
Firebrand continued to be a critical member of the All-Star Squadron, especially as the team expanded to include almost every hero of the golden age. During this time, she and the All-Star Squadron fought Japanese agent Tsunami, the racist Real American, the combined forces of Kung, Tsunami, and Sumo, and the return of Baron Blitzkrieg.
Unknown to Danette, her father, steel tycoon “Emerald” Ed Reilly, was targeted by the German super-powered operatives Night and Fog as the target of blackmail. The two assassins infiltrate Reilly’s house during a masquerade party. They try to blackmail him, but he refuses. Fog drops him out a window, but the ruckus brings the visiting members of the All-Star Squadron. Firebrand jumps out the window and catches Reilly, but he dies of a heart attack from the fall. Firebrand goes wild, and attempts to kill Night and Fog. Luckily, the other All-Stars calm her down, though Night and Fog escape.
Before the death of her father, Danette had gone on a date with the hero Hourman, Rex Tyler. However, she did not feel like he was the right man for him. At this time, the Shining Knight returned to the All-Star Squadron under the control of Wotan. Firebrand and the All-Stars freed the Shining Knight, and Firebrand realized her feelings for her real knight in shining armor. Firebrand and Shining Knight begin to date, though one of their dates is interrupted by the Villain from Valhalla.
The Crisis on Infinite Earths
With the awakening of the Anti-Monitor, all of the parallel Earths were threatened. The Monitor, in an attempt to stop his anti-matter counterpart, sent the Monitor throughout time and space to recruit a team to stop the Anti-Monitor. Harbinger traveled to 1942 to recruit Firebrand to join this team. The Monitor explained to this assembly of heroes and villains that he had placed tuning forks in key areas across the various Earths to stem the flow of anti-matter. The heroes and villains agreed to defend these tuning forks from the Anti-Monitor and his Shadow Demons during this Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Firebrand joined Cyborg, Green Lantern John Stewart, and Psimon in the year 1879 on Earth-1’s Texas. There, the four joined forces with a variety of the greatest heroes of the wild west to defend the tuning fork. The Anti-Monitor’s Shadow Demons attacked, and wild west hero Nighthawk died during the battle. Unfortunately, none of the heroes or villains could stop the Shadow Demons, as the Anti-Monitor’s antimatter wave destroyed the tuning forks. After their failure, Danette Reilly was transported back to the Monitor’s satellite.
While there, Firebrand compared notes with Nuklon and Atom. She discovered that her adopted daughter, Terri Kurtzberger, later married and became Terri Rothstein, where she became the mother of the hero Nuklon, whom Firebrand had met during an earlier time-travel adventure. She discovered that Terri’s workplace in 1985, Cape Canaveral, was the location of especially strong time fluctuations. Firebrand led a group of heroes from various ages to Cape Canaveral to protect her now-adult adoptive daughter. Cape Canaveral was under siege by Native American heroes from various time periods. Firebrand investigated, and found that the Native Americans were under the control of the Ultra-Humanite. Firebrand and a time-traveling Cyclotron (stolen from moment before his death) save Terri from the Ultra-Humanite, and Cyclotron returns to the point of his death, content that Terri and Nuklon will make his mark on the world a positive one.
With the events of the Crisis, all of the various Earths merged into one unified Earth. Firebrand’s history changed so that her adventures occurred on this new Earth’s World War II. In addition, her brother Rod never traveled to Earth-X. With this new history, more golden age heroes became members of the All-Star Squadron, and retcons erased Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Speedy’s membership in the All-Star Squadron.
The End of the War and the Young All-Stars
After the Crisis, Danette continued with the All-Star Squadron. The heroes faced the time-traveling robot Mekanique, who tried to take advantage of the temporal anomalies caused by the Crisis. While the All-Star Squadron continued to operate, a group of younger heroes came together to form the Young All-Stars. Firebrand served as one of the mentors to this young team.
Last Days and Impact on the Future
By the end of the war, Danette Reilly and the Shining Knight were actively dating. The Dragon King reared its head again, and the All-Star Squadron was called in to defeat him. The Dragon King caused the All-Stars to fight each other. While the All-Stars broke free of the Dragon King’s control and defeated the villain, the victory cost the life of Firebrand. The Dragon King escaped again, and the Shining Knight vowed vengeance over the death of his love. It would take the Shining Knight three decades, but he eventually avenged the death of Danette with the help of Pat Dugan and the Star-Spangled Kid Courtney Whitmore.
Meanwhile, the Atom continued to raise Terri Kurtzberger. She eventually married Phillip Rothstein, and gave birth to Al Rothstein, just as the future predicted. Al’s cells contained the radioactive radiation from Cyclotron, and he became the superhero first known as Nuklon and later known as Atom Smasher after both Al Pratt (the Atom) and Terry Curtis (Cyclotron). Phillip would eventually die in the Vietnam War, and the Atom would help Terri raise Al.
Powers and Abilities
After her bathing in the volcanic vapors Danette could generate fire, usually in the form of "fireblast" and "bolts of flame". She's impervious to fire, heat, and could survive any heat-induced physical harm. She could control fire in various forms. She learned to surround her body with flame and not harm herself or her clothing. She has complete mental control over fire in her immediate vicinity and can absorb it into her body harmlessly. Danette also learned to use her power to make her fly, which she usually surrounds herself with a flaming aura when in flight.
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 118 lbs
Danette Reilly as Firebrand was ranked 67th in Comic Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics list.