Not much is known about the being who calls himself Willy Pete. He calls himself a "Fire Elemental" but it is unclear what, if anything, he means by this. According to Mindf***, his mind is cobbled together from several other consciousnesses which means he may not have any history outside of his current incarnation. His earliest appearance was as the last boss of the Witless Minions. When the Witless Minions attempted to rob him as they had numerous other villains he killed all of them, save Thugboy. Thugboy continues to be haunted by the memory, having recurring nightmares.
Willy Pete seems to be primarily motivated by a desire for sexual gratification. Being completely composed of fire the temperature of the surface of the sun, his sexual encounters are always gruesome and often fatal for the other person. In fact, his preferred method of killing is to "Love" someone to death. Thugboy fears that Willy Pete allowed him to escape death to help him find a super-heroine who could survive sex with him for extended periods.
The Superhomeys had ignored Willy Pete for a long time saying he was not really their problem, possibly because he doesn't act like a normal super-villain, stealing or trying to take over the world. Empowered was finally able to convince them to pursue him and had Thugboy tell what he knew about Willy Pete. Despite Thugboy's warning that they should not underestimate the villain, they sent only a few heroes to apprehend him. Almost all of the heroes were promptly killed and Empowered herself barely escaped with her life.
"Willy Pete" is slang for white phosphorus, among other things.