One of the most popular powers a superhero or a villain can have is the ability to create, manipulate, bend, or mechanically throw fire. Due to the stereotypical dangers often associated with the element, fire is a topic that writers love to create characters around and fans actually enjoy seeing a lot of – whether in comics, manga, anime, cartoons, or live-action TV series and films.
But some characters are just more powerful in regards to their fire abilities than others. While some completely depend on devices to generate flames and on suits to protect them from heat, others have truly inherited powers to withstand and manipulate fire at their will. From Marvel to DC Comics, from Adventure Time to Avatar: The Last Airbender, fiery heroes and villains are everywhere and come in different shapes and origin stories.
It may or may not have come from the cavemen’s discovery of fire in ancient times, but there is no other way to go about it – people love characters who can control fire in a supernatural or mechanically-enhanced way. These characters will never be absent from popular culture, and it is safe to assume that new ones will keep appearing on a constant basis.
As of now, these are the 16 Hottest Superheroes, Ranked.
Magma is not only able to create and control fire and lava, but she is also capable of flight and earth manipulation. She’s originally from Nova Roma, a Roman Empire colony hidden in the portion of the Amazon forest inside Brazil. Amara joined the X-Men as her life had become unbearable in the hands of the witch Selene, the ruler of Nova Roma. Urged by her father, Amara left with the New Mutants to meet Charles Xavier and chose Magma as her X-Men identity.
Magma has been part of several X-Men stories, and she was one of the crucified mutants who appeared in the Charles Xavier Institute’s front lawn. She was later saved by the Archangel’s blood.
An ever-present villain of The Flash, Heatwave is part of the main lineup of characters in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow television series on The CW. He was born Mick Rory, a farm boy from Central City – the same hometown as Barry Allen.
Heatwave has extensive knowledge of pyrotechnics and carries a small but mighty flamethrower at all times. He also wears a suit, most recently made by the Crime Tailor, that protects him from heat and fire.
In the comics, Heatwave is most often associated with the Rogues, a team of Flash supervillains led by Captain Cold that also includes the Trickster, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, and Captain Boomerang. In The CW’s Arrowverse, Heatwave first emerged as a villain in The Flash and later joined the Legends of Tomorrow on a long-term basis.
Originally known as Nemesis, a son to Apocalypse and one of his Four Horsemen in Marvel’s Age of Apocalypse (along with Bastion, Mikhail Rasputin, and Mister Sinister), Holocaust is a massive, armored, bio-nuclear mutant with superhuman strength and the ability to blast energy. He is also capable of absorbing life-force.
Holocaust is usually associated with X-Men stories, but much about his origin has yet to be fully explained. He was once a caretaker of a quarter of Apocalypse’s nation and was killed by Hyperion in 2005’s Exiles comic book series.
While a similar character of the same name was shown in 1993’s Stryfe’s Strike Files comics, Holocaust’s first appearance as he is known today was in 1995’s X-Men Alpha comic series. In the Earth-616 continuity, he has gone by the names Genocide and William Rolfson.
13 GHOST RIDER
The entity of the Ghost Rider, which originally took over the body of Johnny Blaze, is an extremely popular antihero character who most recently joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series on ABC.
Johnny Blaze was a motorcyclist who sold his soul to the Devil in order to save his father’s life. At times, during the night, Johnny’s head became a skull and his body was consumed by fire, giving him special abilities to succeed in his missions – for good or for evil.
In 2007, Nicolas Cage starred as Johnny Blaze in the live-action feature Ghost Rider and its 2012 sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. In 2016, actor Gabriel Luna joined the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series as Robbie Reyes, a different iteration of the Ghost Rider.
DC Comics’ Fever – also known as Shyleen Lao or, at times, “The Girl With No Name” – was a Chinese-American member of the Doom Patrol team who was introduced in 2001 along with Robotman. The team also consisted of Fast Forward, Freak, and Kid Slick, and was led by the billionaire Thayer Jost. Apart from the Doom Patrol, she was featured in multiple Teen Titans comic book series, including Terror Titans and Titans of Tomorrow (in which she went by the name Pandemic).
Fever has the power of pyrokinesis, a psychic ability to create and manage fire. She was originally written by John Arcudi – who also is credited for creating The Mask – and drawn by Tan Eng Huat, a Chinese artist who was responsible for the character’s heritage.
Along with her father Ozai, the ruler of the Fire Nation in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Princess Azula is a firebender who can also occasionally create lightning. The two of them were, at one point, the main villains in the series.
Azula and her brother Zuko faced several power struggles during the Avatar: The Last Airbender series, as Zuko was the heir to Fire Nation. This prompted Azula to face emotional breakdowns that put her in mental health institutions and also inspired her attempt to overthrow her brother’s reign and kidnap children to cause city-wide chaos.
She was 14 years old in the original The Last Airbender series, but was seen older in The Promise and The Search graphic novels, though always during her teenage years.
Marvel’s Inferno, also known as Dante Pertuz, is an Inhuman who mutated due to the Terrigen Bomb detonated by Black Bolt (during a fight with Thanos) in New York City. Inferno’s abilities include pyrokinesis, regeneration, and superhuman strength.
Dante Pertuz’s name was inspired by Dante Alighieri, the famous Italian author who wrote the long-celebrated poem Inferno. When Inferno’s powers are unleashed, Dante’s brown eyes become red, and his skin becomes red (or, at times, nearly black).
Dante did not know he was part of Inhuman descent until he underwent his mutation and met an Inhuman named Lash. He later met Queen Medusa and joined the Inhumans as the first of a new kind: the NuHumans, who are part human and part Inhuman.
9 SAILOR MARS
Sailor Mars, also known as Rei Hino and Princess Mars, is one of the original five Sailor Senshi of the Solar System, along with Sailors Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus.
Aside from her psychic powers – being the only Inner Sailor capable of it – and Ofuda charm, Sailor Mars has the abilities of pyrokinesis, pyromancy, and dispelling of evil spirits. Among the Sailors, Rei is the most conservative and disciplined of the bunch, often seen sporting a red outfit that matches the color of fire and her planet.
Sailor Mars is also known as “Soldier of War,” and eventually achieves the forms of Super Sailor Mars and Eternal Sailor Mars. Her greatest power is the Mars Flame Sniper, seen several times throughout the Sailor Moon manga and anime.
8 HUMAN FLAME
Human Flame is a DC Comics character who first appeared in 1959’s Detective Comics #274. He was created as a secondary villain for Martian Manhunter and wasn’t featured in stories for nearly fifty years – until he appeared again in a 2008 story of Justice League of America.
Mike Miller, the Human Flame, is a mustachioed criminal who sports a red suit and has implanted flamethrowers inside his hands, mouth, and belly. His abilities all derive from his suit and other cybernetic enhancements, such as its capability to withstand fire.
As Martian Manhunter’s popularity slowed down, Human Flame has most recently been seen confronting heroes such as Red Arrow and Hawkgirl. In the Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! comic series, for instance, Human Flame met up with Heatwave in an attempt to purchase one of his infamous flamethrowers (but it didn’t work out).
Mako, like Azula, is another member of the Fire Nation in the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender. He is one of the main characters of The Legend of Korra, the follow-up series to Avatar, and is capable of firebending.
Born to a father from the Earth Kingdom and a mother from the Fire Nation, Mako was left with his younger brother, Bolin, after their parents were killed by a firebender. While Mako is shown as an 18-year-old in The Legend of Korra, he is seen as a little younger in the web series Republic City Hustle, set three years prior to the events of the Korra anime.
The Legend of Korra portrayed a sort of love triangle between Korra, Asami Sato, and Mako, though the series finale focused on Korra and Asami becoming a legitimate couple – a huge moment for LGBTQ+ representation in a major TV series that targets children.
6 FLAME PRINCESS
Adventure Time’s Flame Princess, aka Phoebe, is the 16-year-old ruler of the Fire Kingdom. Her body is constantly on fire, and such flames become more or less intense according to her mood.
Jake, one of the protagonists of Adventure Time, first found the Flame Princess while she was trapped inside a lantern in a chamber inside the Fire Kingdom. She goes on to date Finn, the central character of the series, but they break up after she feels manipulated by him. Flame Princess eventually forgives Finn and they develop into friends as she officially becomes the ruler of her kingdom.
Flame Princess is short-tempered and absolutely despises any sort of lying. The flames that come out of her body get particularly high and fiery when she becomes upset.
As previously mentioned, Zuko is another firebender from Avatar: The Last Airbender, brother of Azula and son of Ozai. While he holds the title of Fire Prince, his relationship with his father – the Fire Lord – is not the greatest. At one point, Ozai hits Zuko in the left eye, leaving a mark long seen in the anime, and sends him into exile.
Zuko eventually becomes the Fire Lord himself, ending the Hundred Year War and welcoming an era of peace in the Fire Nation. Aside from his ability to control fire, Zuko’s weapon of choice was a pair of broadswords.
In M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action 2010 film The Last Airbender, Zuko was portrayed by the English actor Dev Patel, who had just undergone a career breakthrough with his protagonist role in 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire.
Firebird’s abilities include pyrokinesis, flying, and foreseeing the future. She fought alongside Thor to defeat a zombie Captain America, joined the Phantom Rider to rescue Rick Jones, and convinced Hawkeye to let her join the West Coast Avengers after his insistence of only recruiting The Thing. In the Civil War comic book event, Firebird sided with Captain America, positioning herself against Iron Man’s Pro-Registration act.
Bonita Juarez gained her powers as a radioactive meteorite fell in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her DNA was then modified, giving her abilities to fly and generate flames. Firebird, her heroic name, came as she was inspired by the mythical creature of the Phoenix – the bird on fire.
3 HUMAN TORCH
Johnny Storm became the Human Torch in the events that created the team known as the Fantastic Four, also known as Marvel’s First Family.
The Human Torch can resist, absorb, and create heat. His entire body is lit on fire at his will, which also enables him to fly and shield damages. With his sister Sue Storm, brother-in-law Reed Richards, and friend Ben Grimm, he embarked on a failed space mission that gave different powers to all of them. Johnny is known for often being childish and impulsive.
In the 2005 live-action film The Fantastic Four, the Human Torch was played by Chris Evans, who later would become Captain America in the MCU. In the 2015 live-action reboot Fantastic Four, actor Michael B. Jordan took the reins of the character.
Reignfire first appeared in an X-Force comic series in 1993. He is a sun-absorbing, heat-projecting, amorphous villain whose origin was initially tied to Dr. Siegmund Joshua’s experiments in cloning the genetic code of the mutant Sunspot.
The entire physiology of Reignfire is portrayed as being made of fire. Aside from manipulating heat and flames, he’s also capable of superhuman strength and flight. Reignfire became the leader of the Mutant Liberation Front, a team comprised of Reaper, Tempo, Wildside, and Forearm, after the events of the X-Cutioner’s Song – adding two more members to the group: Moonstar and Locus.
The last appearance of Reignfire was in an X-Force comic series in 1999. He was eventually crushed in the hands of a Celestial Golem and died inside a Celestial ship.
The Phoenix can generate cosmic fire, travel through space, manipulate basically all sorts of energies, and disintegrate matter – it is one of the mightiest characters in the entire Marvel Comics universe. While the X-Men films often portray the Phoenix as something Jean Grey has little to no control of, comics have presented a wide array of possibilities, ranging from showing the Phoenix as Jean’s full potential, showing both characters as amicably co-existing, or merely presenting Jean Grey as a host to the almighty Phoenix Force.
Regardless of its relationship with Jean, there is no fire-type character stronger or hotter than the Phoenix itself.
Did we miss any super hot superheroes and villains? Let us know in the comments!