Staq Malvern came to Earth in the latter part of the 30th Century from his native planet Shwar, to apply for membership in the Legion of Super Heroes. His power to breathe fire, acquired after inhaling the fumes of a weird meteor, was considered too dangerous and he was rejected.
Calling himself Fire Lad, he became one of the 5 Legion rejects to form the Legion of Substitute Heroes.
When the Subs temporarily disbanded, Staq went to work at a company that makes recreations of antique glassware. He quickly achieved master status after speeding through their apprentice program by being able to provide his own heat source. He collaborated with Color Kid to create beautiful glassware that is still displayed at modern art galleries all over the galaxy.
Staq left his glassware career when the Subs reformed to battle the Justice League of Earth along with Chlorophyll Kid, Stone Boy and Rainbow Girl.
In the "Five Years Later" timeline, Fire Lad (along withe other Subs) assisted the underground forces against the Dominators.