Fiery Mask, known as Jack Castle, was originally a scientist who was called upon by the Police Department in order to assist them many different cases. During one night in the late 1930's, while driving back home, Jack found a car at the side of the road torn apart by bullets and half on fire. Three gangsters lay dead, with only one strange looking man still alive, even though he had been shot. Jack helped the heavily bleeding man out of the car and drove him to his house, hoping to call a doctor as soon as possible. The strange man however told Jack that he wanted to know how big his chances where of surviving. The man showed Jack that he possesed strange fire-like powers. If the man would die, he wanted to pass those powers on to Jack, hoping Jack could do more good with it then he could if dead. Jack thought he could find a doctor before the man would die, but was not sure of it. He also wanted to have the firepowers, thinking of the good he could do with it. Becuase of this, he lied to the man and said he did not think a doctor could be there soon enough, and so the powers where given to Jack. The man passed away soon after and left a grieving Jack, wrecked with guilt, behind. Donning a cape and mask and renaming himself Fiery Mask, Castle decides to fight crime.
Feeling ashamed of his actions, Jack came up with another story of how he got his powers. (This is actually the origin that was told in his first appearance). He told people he was assisting the Police Department in a case which involved the abduction of homeless young men by murderous zombies. At some point during the investigation, Castle was also abducted by the zombies who were seemingly working for The Zombie Master, a mad scientist who was kidnapping these victims in order to turn them into his zombie servants by exposing them to a special ray device.
After attempting the same process on Castle, through sheer force of will Castle resists the process. Unable to tolerate the failure of his device, Zombie Master continues to push the machine until it reaches maximum power and eventually overloads, killing him and granting Castle with a variety of new abilities which include the ability to create and control fire.
Fiery Mask was created by Joe Simon and first appeared in Daring Mystery Comics issue 1 (1940).
Major Story Arcs
After some months of fighting crime, Fiery Mask was drafted into the army to fight the Nazis in World War Two. However, when the allied forces reached Berlin, Castle and 11 other superheroes were ambushed and placed in stasis for 60 years in an SS bunker. On August the second, 2008 the basement of the SS bunker was discovered during constructionworks on the sight and the heroes were discovered to still be alive, frozen inside their tubes. The Pentagon brought them over to America and defrosted them, asking them to work for the government once again, openly this time as the Super- Human Registration Act was in effect.
For every hero, now collectively better known as The Twelve, it was a mayor adjustment to wake up 'in the future', more then 60 year after they where frozen. Most of the heroes stayed inside a mansion that had been payed for by the US government. Jack still fell guilty about the way he got his powers, and after some missions with his new team, entrusted his fellow superhero Phantom Reporter with the truth. Phantom Reporter told him it was nothing he could have done more most likely and that he has more then made up for this act in the way of saving lives.
It was however not soon after that a disturbing phone-call came in; Fiery Mask's teammate Blue Blaze had been killed, and it seemed that the lifeless robot Electro, part of The Twelve, was to blame for it. Eventually, Phantom Reporter brought the remaining Twelve members together to expose the murderer. Before he did so, he gave Jack a piece of paper, indicating to act and strike against one of The Twelve at the moment he told him to. Phantom Reporter then revealed that Electro's control helmet revealed to him that Electro had been searching for contact while the Twelve slept. It had made contact with the synthetic brain of Dynamic man. This enebled Dynamic Man to control Electro. Richard revealed that Dynamic Man was acutally an android and used Electro to murder several people he disliked, including Blue Blade. At this point Fiery Mask set Dynamic Man ablaze and shreded his costume, revealing his body to be that of an andriod. Dynamic Man snapped and destroyed the mansion the Twelve were staying in. Firey Mask, Phantom Reporter, Mastermind Excello, and Captain Wonder found Dynamic man at the lab of his creation. Durnig the ensuing battle Firey Mask was killed while he tried to rescue his friend Captain Wonder. His neck was snapped, but Jack was able to pass his powers to Phantom Reporter before he died, the same way as they were passed to him. Phantom Repoter used his powers to incinerate Dynamic man and unluckily permantly scarred Captain Wonder in the process.
Death of a Hero
A few days later, the remaining group of The Twelve found themselves at the funeral of Jack Castle. Phantom Reporter stayed at Jack's grave the longest, using his new fire-powers to spark an eternal flame at Jack's gravestone and told Jack that he had been a good man, and should not be affraid of the darkness, for he had left a light ablaze for him. It was later confirmed by Black Widow that Jack had not gone to Hell, he had washed away his sins with his sacrifices and heroism and went to a better place.