After traveling back in time with a number of her teammates from the Legion of Superheroes, the remainder of the team (referred to as Legion Lost out of continuity) is on the trail of Alastor who threatens to release a virus which can destroy all of mankind. After nearly stopping him in Minnesota the team travels to New York City in their continued attempt to track him.
Wildfire was originally named Drake Burroughs, who lived in the 30th century universe of our Earth. Drake was an astro-engineer who became Wildfire as the result of an accident. While working with others on a new propulsion system, Drake was engulfed in anti-energy after a valve broke in the project. His matter body was destroyed, but replaced by an anti-energy form. His colleagues designed a containment suit to keep his new anti-energy body under control. Drake took to the name ERG-1 (Energy Release Generator 1). Because of his suit, ERG-1 could maintain a humanoid appearance. Without it however, he was a cloud of abstractly shaped anti-energy.
Wildfire was created by Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum.
With his form under control thanks to the suit, ERG 1 applied to join the Legion of Super Heroes. Unfortunately, all of his known powers were already present in the Legion and he was rejected admission. However, ERG 1 secretly followed the Legion on a mission by hiding in their transport. The destination was Manna-5, and on that planet, ERG 1 saved the League by using an massive anti-energy blast. The blast however, disrupted his form and he became a floating intangible field of anti-energy. His anti-energy could not regroup, and the Legion left for Earth. They were unaware that ERG1 would regroup later. Without transportation it took ERG1 a year to reach Earth where, by chance, the Legion was in trouble again. He managed to gain form again by returning to a containment suit and the Legion's headquarters. He came just in time to save the Legion from an evil robot masquerading as a hero aspiring to join the Legion, called Molecular Master, who was really there to steal technology and destroy the Legion. Molecular Master is defeated and ERG1 is accepted as a member of the Legion of Super Heroes under the name Wildfire.
At first, Wildfire was very distant from the other legionnaires. His condition was such that he needed no sleep or rest, and so dedicated all of his time to either working the Legion monitor board, going on missions, or studying the entirety of the Legion archives. The other Legionnaires were impressed with his dedication, but deeply worried about his disconnection from his own humanity; Wildfire felt that he no longer had anything to live for as an individual, and the only thing that gave him meaning was to work with the Legion. Over time, his attitude began to change, in particular when he began to see that he had earned the respect and adoration of the people of the United Planets. On one occasion in particular, Wildfire was touched by the admiration shown to him by children in one of Earth's slums. Additionally, he began to develop attachments to the other Legionnaires, particularly a friendship with Star Boy and Timber Wolf, and the respect of then-Legion-leader Mon-El and an initial rivalry with Shadow Lass that evolved into a friendship. He took up the guitar, realizing that music was still something human he was capable of enjoying.
Five Years Later
Wildfire's Legion career came to an abrupt end during the event known as Black Dawn. In which Doctor Regulus made the sun unstable and he merged his energy with the sun's to fix the problem. He was presumed dead thereafter, but he reappeared shortly after Mordru's attempt at universal conquest. His anti-energy was still mixed with solar energy, and the only vessel he could find to contain his energies was the corpse of Sun Boy. He took it, and then covered it with one of his containment suits, and rejoined the Legion, keeping the shameful circumstances of his return secret, even while the Legion had to go on the run. But "NRG", as he called himself during this period, was forced to reveal his secret when, during Zero Hour, the Time Trapper revealed that the only ones remaining at the end of the universe were those who had both adult and SW6 counterparts, and Inferno wanted to know where his was. Drake explained what happened, and then disappeared in one final handshake with the younger Dirk...a sign of forgiveness for his desecration of the body.
Reboot / Earth-247
In a fight with Mordru, Atom'X (Randall Burroughs) and Blast-Off (Jahr-Drake Ningle), members of the Amazers and Workforce respectively, were seemingly killed by the villain. However, some time later, several Legionnaires noticed energy patterns in the area, and Umbra was able to contain the energy long enough for them to realize that it was sentient. However, when they retrieved it to a laboratory they found it contained the inseparable minds of both Atom'X and Blast-Off. Although Umbra in particular was disgusted by the forced integration, they successfully contained the energy long enough to create a containment suit for it, and the new being took the name Drake Burroughs after his forebears and the codename ERG-1. Shortly afterward, ERG-1 was one of the Legionnaires lost in a spacial rift - although he suffered a traumatic experience as his containment suit was ripped open by the rift.
Threeboot / Earth-Prime
This version of E.R.G.-1 was believed to have been destroyed when his containment suit ruptured during his try-out mission. However, his energy was collected and reconstituted by his brother Randall. This E.R.G.-1 was manipulated by his brother to become an assassin, but that was eventually stopped by Brainiac 5 and Atom Girl.He was later seen fighting the creatures from the Intruder Planet. Brainy later admitted that part of the aim of this mission was, in fact, to save E.R.G.-1 from his brother.
Retroboot / New Earth
This Wildfire storyline picks up before Five Years Later, unwillingly masquerading as a statue in the Fortress of Solitude. He reveals that his containment suit is actually the Red Tornado's robotic shell and indicates that he has at least some of the Red Tornado's memories. Back in his time Wildfire is one Legionnaire who not capture by Earth-Man and Justice of Earth, as fighting against them. During this time Wildfire tries to reconnected with Dawnstar, but she act very cold and distance from him. When Superboy Prime and his Legion of Super-Villains attack the Legion. Wildstar is one Legionnaire to slow down Superboy Prime from stopping Superboy rebirth. After fight with Superboy Prime, a badly beating Wildstar lay on ground with creak his containment suit. Dawnstar run to side holding his body as finally fell in love for him again as Wildfire (Earth-247) look on them.
NuDC / Earth 0
Post Flashpoint, Wildfire is one of Legionnaires who is trapped in the 21st century.
Major Story Arcs
The Relationship With Dawnstar
Barely more than a year after he had first joined the Legion, Wildfire surprised everyone by running for Legion leader. Even more surprising was the fact that he won the election after a series of run-offs. It was around this same time that a new Legion Academy student, Dawnstar, came to Wildfire's attention. The beautiful and exotic heroine utterly fascinated Wildfire, and despite knowing that he could never have a physical relationship with a woman, he quickly developed a serious infatuation for her. As a result, he practically pushed Dawnstar into Legion membership by fiat, and has since tended to favor her on missions regularly; a cause of some resentment to the other Legionnaires, who feel that Wildfire's motives are suspect and Dawnstar lacks the experience for some of the jobs she's been given.
As leader, Wildfire began his term with considerable controversy, when after the tragic death of Chemical King at the hand of a Dark Circle plot, he led a mission of retaliation to the Dark Circle homeworlds (against the objections of the Legion's founders and some of its other elder statesmen). This led to a diplomatic incident that almost caused a war between the United Planets and the Dark Circle, and that almost caused the Legion to face U.P. sanctions (avoiding this only due to the diplomatic and military connections held by Legionnaires like Tyroc, Princess Projectra, and Colossal Boy). Wildfire has continued to hold the attitude that he doesn't need the advice (or meddling, as he sees it) of the older Legionnaires and ex-leaders, and has consistently gone his own way, with mixed results. He has a good talent for leadership on some levels, but his impetuous and cocky nature will often lead him to make bad decisions.
Meanwhile, his relationship with Dawnstar has evolved into a sort of strained friendship; Dawnstar likes Wildfire, and likes the benefit of having the Legion Leader wrapped around her little finger, but at the same time she resents his pushiness, and dislikes the fact that Wildfire's actions lead her to be suspect in the rest of the Legion's eyes. She especially hates that Wildfire is overprotective of her, and has often berated him for trying to rescue her when she needs no rescuing or getting distracted by some danger she's facing rather than dealing with the task at hand as a leader should. Obviously, she sees no possible future for them due to Wildfire's physical state; and Wildfire himself has no idea what he's doing or how he's going to ever have anything meaningful with "Dawny".
He developed his relationship with Dawnstar, and in time, she returned his love, despite the fact that it could never be consummated. He was, for a while, able to control his energy-form without the containment suit, thanks to the help of Quislet, but his touch burned Dawnstar and the two of them agreed that their love would never be complete. In addition, Quislet was soon forced to leave the Legion, and Wildfire was unable to keep his physical form without Quislet's help.
Reboot / Earth 247
ERG-1 Change His Name To Wildfire
When Element Lad had returned the other Legionnaires to normal space, albeit becoming separated from them in time in the process, ERG-1's energy leeched into space too, congealing as a "star" noticed by Shikari's nomadic people, the Kwai, which led her to discover and accidentally revive the other Legionnaires, who had been held in suspended animation. Soon afterward, while the Legionnaires met the Kwai, Kid Quantum noticed that the "feral star" the Kwai had been following was in fact ERG-1. Brainiac 5, with the Kwai's help and materials, managed to create a new containment suit for him, restoring a semblance of form to him. In addition, the time spent alone in space had merged his two minds into one. Shortly afterward, he took the name Wildfire after a mistranslation by Shikari. After they returned to their home galaxy, however, he was captured by Qward and used to power their whole planet for a considerable time. Though his power was great, it was finite, and after his rescue he was left so weakened by the experience that the threat of running out of energy became a real and ongoing threat to him.
Wildfire Meets Wildfire
Wildfire and Legion battle a hundreds members Fate Five from other dimension, after the battle Legion seemed to fade from existence. He reappeared back on Earth-247 fighting the coming crisis on Earth, He and his team are pull into New Earth world where he help battle against Superboy-Prime and Legion of Super-Villains. Earth-247 Wildfire look on to a beating New Earth Wildfire who lay on ground after a fight Superboy-Prime, he is being held in Dawnstar arms. Afterwards, Earth-247 Wildfire and other Legionnaire under the guidance of Shikari go back into void. They takes the name " the Wanderers" and decides to travel the Multiverse to look for survivors from the various alternate universes that were destroyed.
Powers and Abilities
Space travel, energy/anti-energy blasts, super strength and super human speed, the ability to change his size and density, and manipulate chemical reactions. His most unique power was kept hidden until it was paramount for him to use it, and that was the ability to create a massive anti-energy blast. Wildfire is possibly immortal, as his anti-energy constantly comes in contact with matter and creates micro atomic explosions, thus allowing essentially an endless supply of power. Over time, Wildfire lost several of his initial powers due to the trauma caused by his explosive exit from his containment suit that granted him Legion membership. Regardless of containment suit, he always retained his flight, strength, and energy blasting/absorption abilities and was typically considered to be one of the Legion's four most powerful members along with Superboy, Mon-El, and Ultra Boy.
Wildfire cannot contain his form without a special suit, and he cannot touch most beings without burning them. This places a burden on his love life and social abilities, and makes him quite short tempered.
As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Wildfire possesses a Legion Flight Ring. The ring gives its wearer the ability to fly, the speed and range of which is determined by the wearer's willpower. It also acts as a long-range communicator (enabling constant vocal contact with other Legionnaires, even across vast distances of space), a signal device, and a navigational compass, all powered by a micro-computer built inside the ring.
There are hints than Wildfire will outlive his teammates, even maybe live thousands of years and will still keep the memory of the Legion beyond the 31st century. In Legends of the dead earth, he formed two new teams in an already isolated and paranoid universe alterning fails and triumphs. In DC One million, he evolved in the Wildflame, a source of information and inpiration for the Justice Legion L and even to later generations, thousand years in the future.
In the alternate 31st century of Justice League 3000/3001, a dark version of Wildfire is a member and ally of Lady Styx.
In Legion of Super-Heroes annual 6, Wildfire is an analog to the Tin Man in an Oz inspired story.
In Superboy's Legion, Wildfire is one of the many Legionnaries recruited in the final page of the story.
Drake appears in Justice League Unlimited in the episode called "Far from Home" as one of the beings who attack Supergirl while controlled by a mind-control disc.