Actor Max Adler will be setting more than hearts on fire as pyromaniac villain Jaco Birch in an upcoming episode of The Flash.
Adler is the latest Glee alumni to join the Arrowverse. Former "Gleeks" Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist famously play the title roles in The Flash and Supergirl, respectively. Blake Jenner (Ryder Lynn on Glee) played the role of Cat Grant's son, Adam Foster. Peter Facinelli (Rupert Campion on Glee) played Maxwell Lord in Supergirl's first season. Charlotte Ross (Judy Fabray on Glee) plays Felicity Smoak's mother, Donna, on Arrow. And Darren Criss, who played Blaine Anderson opposite Max Adler's character Dave Karofsky on Glee, famously made an appearance as the reality-warping Music Meister in the Supergirl/The Flash musical crossover episode "Duet".
The casting announcement was first reported by Flash TV News. Described as "an obsessive music fanatic who worships at the altar of classic heavy metal," the fire-starting metahuman Birch will be dubbed with the super-villain sobriquet Pyro. Adler later confirmed his new role in a post to his Twitter account, below.
Welp....cats outta the bag! 🙀 Excited to share.... https://t.co/qQ5EXxZugj— Max Adler (@Mr_Max_Adler) January 29, 2018
It is worth noting that there is no connection between Adler's character, Pyro, and the X-Men villain of the same-name. DC Comics also has a fire-controlling villain called Pyro, who is far less famous, having appeared only once in the second issue of Power Girl's 1988 solo series. DC's Pyro was apparently given his abilities by a villain called The Weaver, who was empowering various people in order to make Power Girl's life more difficult. The DC version of Pyro was a true fire-starter, however, able to generate and control fire, compared to the Marvel Comics Pyro who could only manipulate flames that already existed.
Curiously enough, the description of Jaco Birch's character as "a roadie for all the contemporary metal bands you’ve never heard of" does bring to mind one version of another, more famous DC Comics villain who is obsessed with fire - Firefly. The classic Batman villain was introduced into the reality of Batman: The Animated Series in the episode "Torch Song" as Garfield Lynns - a pyrotechnics technician whose one-time relationship with the rock star Cassidy inspired an obsession that pushed Lynns to super-villainy in an effort to win back his old flame. Another version of Garfield Lynns was introduced into the Arrowverse in the Arrow episode "Burned." This version of Garfield Lynns was a firefighter, left for dead by the rest of his team during a lethal blaze, who used his knowledge of how to control fires to strike back at his former friends in a twisted revenge plot that The Hood had to thwart.
Source: Flash TV News