Lyle Byrnes was a researcher for a lab that worked in the field of pyrotechnics. One day at work an accident caused a fiery explosion in the lab, leaving Lyle trapped under rubble unable to free himself. A firefighter who tried to save Lyle was buried under a shelf. Soon, a second firefighter came to his aid, and left Byrnes in the inferno. Lyle was only saved when the floor beneath him weakened. He was presumed to be dead but he survived with horrible burns all over his face and body. He became so consumed by his rage at not being saved and his deformed body, that he set out for revenge against all firefighters, or at least the ones in Chicago. He created a fireproof and fire creating uniform that would set anything ablaze. He even recreated the infamous Greek fire that is inextinguishable using water and would burn until it consumes all of its fuel.
Firefist was created by Len Wein, and Paris Cullins for their run on Blue Beetle.
Major Story Arcs
Firefist starts terrorizing Chicago before the Blue Beetle makes a comeback to fighting crime, and is implied to have set many more fires before the Blue Beetle's return. During one of the fights, Firefist traps the Blue Beetle under flaming debris, and leaves him for dead. After returning to his apartment, he begins on his plan to enact his revenge on the Chicago Fire Department. Firefist appeared at the grand opening of the Chicago Museum of Firefighters, to set it ablaze. The Blue Beetle intervenes, and fights Firefist in the burning museum, eventually ending up on the roof. The Blue Beetle takes off Lyle's mask, and in an attempt to hide his face and run away, Byrnes falls through the roof, and plummets into the burning museum.
Byrnes went on to fight Superman in the 8-part series "Ending Battle". Firefist began to set fire to the Metro Public Library to kill the local librarian from Clark's childhood. He was then quickly stopped by Superman before he could do much damage. The news reported the fire trucks responding to a "false alarm", due to how quick Firefist was defeated.
Only Chance Endures
Firefist was hired by the Masked Marauder, aka Count von Steuben, to take down Ted Kord's successor, Jaime Reyes. Firefist, along with the rest of the Masked Marauder's gang, were defeated by Jaime.