Firefist from DC Comics' Who's Who


(Lyle Byrnes)

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


Firefist is an exceedingly minor DC Comics villain, who fought Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) that one time. His main claim to fame is getting a Who’s Who entry, which is solely because he appeared in 1986.

But he’s pretty handy as a generic-ish street-level villain.


  • Real Name: Lyle Byrnes.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Chicago.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 197 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown (clumps).


Powers and Abilities

Byrnes is a competent researcher in pyrotechnics, who made at least one major breakthrough.

In the grand comic books tradition, since he was disfigured and went insane, he also possesses a maniacal level of strength (in DC Heroes terms STR, Martial Artist). This allowed him to fare surprisingly well in hand-to-hand combat with the Blue Beetle.

His suit of armour is able to operate deep into raging industrial fires, protecting him against heat, flame, fumes, glare, etc.. It also has armoured plates to protect against falls and falling debris, as well as heavy gauntlets.

Flame throwing

It packs a nearly inexhaustible amount of recreated “Greek fire” in an armoured backpack. The liquid gets pumped via armoured lines into the heavy gauntlets, the fingers of which end in high-pressure nozzles.

Firefist’s unique incendiary formula results in fires that are abnormally hot and difficult to put out. The usual firefighting tools and techniques have little effect on his flames, and even the best commercially-available fire-extinguishing foams will yield very poor results.

In DC Heroes terms, treat this type of fire has having 12 APs of potency when trying to put it out with Powers – see our rules files for more about fires.



Lyle Byrnes was a pyrotechnics researcher in Chicago. One day, a sudden research accident turned his lab into a wrecked inferno.

A fireman came into the room, but was stunned by collapsing debris. When one of his colleagues found him, he pried his fellow fireman out and dragged him out. But they apparently did not hear Byrnes’s cries for help. Thus they left him to burn, pinned under a beam.

Eventually, the floor collapsed. This saved Byrnes, though he was badly burned and severely disfigured. During his months in the hospital, he developed a somewhat insane hatred of the CFD. To take his revenge, he developed the identity and gear of Firefist the Incendiary Man.

Man on fire

At the heart of his arsenal, shot from the finger nozzles built into his gauntlets, was his recreation of the legendary “Greek fire”. This is a potent incendiary compound that, according to myth, could not be extinguished until it had burned itself out.

Firefist's helmet

Firefist started striking in Chicago, starting with the buildings housing the apartments of prominent firemen. He also prepared his big strike against the opening ceremony of the Chicago Museum of Firefighting. The Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), who was just coming out of his self-imposed retirement, came after Firefist.

The Beetle deduced Byrnes’s identity and to intercept him at the ceremony at the Museum. However, the Incendiary Man still managed to torch much of the Museum. The Beetle unmasked Firefist, who fled in a panic to hide his ravaged face. At this point, the roof collapsed around the arsonist and he disappeared into the inferno. No body was found.

Much later

Byrnes resurfaced much, much later in Smallville, as a hired hitman. His psychological state seemed to have considerably improved, though he was still a bit weird. He was one of a number of minor villains hired to conduct strikes on places and people in Smallville whom Superman held dear.

Like the others he was stopped within seconds by Superman as soon as he was detected.


See illustration.


A raging psycho, with a murderous, petty hatred of the CFD. He considered that he had died as Byrnes during the fire in his lab.

He was full of bitter resentment at his disfigurement, greatly fearing the gaze of others on his destroyed face.

Later on

Apparently, in the years between his initial appearance and his documented return, he got considerably better. Mind, he still kept his face hidden and behaved as an antisocial, murderous arsonist. But was feeling pride about his discoveries and felt he deserved some recognition for them.

He was flakey, but not violently demented.


(1986) “No — not my face —!! You mustn’t see me face —!”

(1986) “Burn, Beetle — as soon, this whole city shall burn ! Burn ! BURN ! BURN !”

(1986) “They’re cowards, every one of them —! They abandoned me to the flames — left me to die — as you shall all die for daring to support them —! Feel the flames of Firefist, fool — and know what it is to suffer !”

(1986) “No ! You mustn’t mention that name ! Lyle Byrnes died in his burning laboratory ! Now there is only Firefist ! FIREFIST — THE INCENDIARY MAN !!”

(2002) “I actually wrote [a book about that]. ’Greek Fire And Its Applications’ by Lyle Byrnes. It’s a page turner.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Firefist, the Incendiary Man

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Psycho
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Former scientist ; arsonist
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 013 HP: 025

Gadgetry: 04, Martial Artist (AV): 07, Martial Artist (EV): 05, Scientist: 04

Expertise (Pyrotechnics), Iron Nerves, Stroke of Genius (“Greek Fire”).


Strange Appearance, MIF of having his face revealed. Formerly had a MIH of the Chicago Fire Dept..

FIREFIST SUIT [/BODY/ 07, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 06), Flame immunity*: 07, Flame project: 10, Sealed systems*: 07, Shade: 02, Limitation: Flame Project has a Range of but 04].

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Firefist (DC Comics) — Averaged PL6.8

00 (03) 00 (02) 00 (01) 00 01 (05) 02 01 00 (01)


Maniacal intensity ● 31 points ● Descriptor: Psychosis
– Enhanced Strength 3, Enhanced Stamina 2, Enhanced Agility 1, Enhanced Fighting 4, Enhanced Presence 1.
– Enhanced Will 3, Enhanced Fortitude 3.
– Close Combat (Unarmed) 2 (+9), All-out Attack.
– Second chance (Fear & intimidation).

Greek fire expert ● 4 points ● Descriptor: Skill
Enhanced Intellect 4 (Limited 1 to applications having to do with incendiary compounds).


Firefist Suit ● 27 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology, Greek Fire
– Reinforced — Protection 4.
– Fireproofed — Immunity 1 (Environment heat), Protection 8 (Limited 2 to fire/heat).
– Sealed — Enhanced Stamina 2, Immunity 3 (Environmental glare, all suffocation).
– Heavy gauntlets — Blunt Strength-based Damage 2.
– Gauntlets nozzles — Ranged flame Damage 9 (Diminished Range 3), Accurate 2.

Combat Advantages

All-out Attack, Close Attack 2, Defensive Roll 1.

Other Advantages

Second chance (Fear & intimidation).


Athletics 1 (+4), Expertise (Chemistry) 6 (+8), Close Combat (Unarmed) 4 (+11), Perception 3 (+4), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Firefist gauntlets) 2 (+6), Technology 6 (+8).


Initiative +1
Unarmed +9, Close, Damage 3
Heavy gauntlets +9, Close, Damage 5
Gauntlets nozzles +6, Ranged (diminished 3), Damage 9


Dodge 05 Fortitude 06
Parry 05 Toughness 02*/03/09**
Will 05

* Without Defensive Roll
** With Firefist Suit and Defensive Roll


  • Disfigured Byrnes is badly disfigured. Furthermore he will panic if people can see his face.
  • Psychotic Firefist used to be a raging psychotic with a murderous hatred against the CFD, but he seems better now.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 8, Dodge/Toughness PL 7, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 6.
  • Points total 89. Abilities 8, Defences 6, Skills 10, Powers 35, Devices 27, Advantages 3. Equiv. PL 6.


His Maniacal Intensity Power may have diminished as he became saner, but on the other hand he might have improved his suit.

His Averaged PL ends up deceptively low, since he’s rather one-dimensional and has clear weaknesses. But for a street-level character the Toughness, constant All-Out Attacks and sheer destructiveness of fire on the environment make for a threat greater than a PL 7-ish would suggest.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe (mostly early post-Crisis Blue Beetle issues).