Flambe (X-Factor enemy) (Marvel Comics) breathing fire



Hell’s Belles only appeared in one 1992 X-Factor story arc. But they are a convenient, aggressive quartet of low-powered professional enforcers. So having them on hand is good. Plus, they are from Larry Stroman’s run on X-Factor art.

This profile is the one with the data about the team, since Flambé was the first to appear.

Flambéing is the cooking technique where one pours some well-chosen liquor over prepared food. One then ignites it, briefly and lightly roasting it. But mostly, it impregnates the food with the taste of the alcohol.


  • Note: Her name is usually given as “Flambe”. That it should have its diacritic is our assumption.
  • Real Name: Irma Ladoof.
  • Note: When first reading I thought that the name was a sarcastic nickname referencing musical Irma La Douce  (adapted in the US as a Shirley McLaine-starring movie), but secondary sources  have it as her actual name.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Hell’s Belles.
  • Base Of Operations: Unrevealed.
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Eyes: White Hair: Red


Powers and Abilities

Flambé can expectorate large quantities of a highly-flammable vapour. She also carries rods covered in chemicals allowing them to function as all-weather. So Flambé just sticks one in front of her mouth, then breathes out.

These gouts of flame are huge and surprisingly hot. She is more devastating than most flamethrowers. Flambé can fill large corridors with rolling flame, or burn people into charcoal within seconds.

She can keep this up for a long while, so she presumably does not store her vapour within her body. Her mouth might act like a very small and specialised dimensional  gateway.

Other assets

Flambé cannot be hurt by her own flame. I’ve assumed she had a high degree of imperviousness to flame in general. At some points she seemed able to keep flaming chemicals within her mouth to breathe fire without her rods.

She seems to be quite strong. Flambé can lift an adult with just one hand for an extended duration.

The Belles were not a shining moment of teamwork. They lacked coordination, did not try to complement each other, and their plans were usually to go in from different angles as pairs. Presumably they’re used to picking on opponents weaker than themselves, and lack experience taking on quality fighting forces.



During the 1980s, the Hell’s Belles worked as enforcers for undisclosed criminal cartels. They seemed to chiefly deal with the gargantuan US market for narcotics. Circa 1991, they were placed under the authority of the dreaded mercenary Cyber. He considered himself to be their mentor given his decades of experience.

In 1992 one of their number, Shrew, decided she had had enough. She negotiated with US authorities to act as a witness. Her treason may have been motivated by Cyber’s influence making the Hell’s Belles even more crazed and on the edge than they already were.

Part of the negotiation was of course protection. It was obvious the cartel would send her former colleagues — Flambé, Tremolo, Briquette — to kill her. The government had the then-current X-Factor team (commanded by Alex Summers) run that protection.

The Belles lacked the raw power or skill to pose a real threat to X-Factor, but Cyber was a problem. Though their first attack was repulsed, the spiteful Cyber and the Belles blew out the hotel in which Shrew and X-Factor had been hiding. During the fray, Cyber poisoned X-Factor operative Strong Guy. He later called to offer the only known antidote in exchange for Shrew.

X-Factor and the government turned the exchange into a trap. As a result the Belles were defeated and arrested. An antidote for Strong Guy had already been devised in government labs.


In 2006 S.H.I.E.L.D. analyses detected the powers of Tremolo, Vague and Flambé within Michael Pointer. This would mean they were depowered during M-Day. The status of Briquette and Shrew is unrevealed – they were not on the available lists.

Note that the depowered Belles’s powers can fairly easily be simulated by technology. One simply needs a micro-flamethrower, a stealth suit, a jetpack and vibroshock units. Thus, like some other ex-mutants they might soldier on with technological aids.

As for Shrew, she may have been forced back into a life of crime by the cartels. Or she may have become an Initiative “recruit” if she kept her abilities.


See illustrations with the cool Stroman art.

Flambé is a red-headed young woman, with an impressive mane that looks like a gigantic mohawk. She wears a yellow and red costume.


The Belles seem to be a dysfunctional, edgy, aggressive, cruel, out-of-control bunch. This is presumably in part thanks to Cyber. It is also possible that they were kept on a leash via narcotics addiction. Shrew considered that being on the group was insane, and that the Belles were mad dogs.

Secondary source state that Flambé is French. But while she’s Francophone her French and her name came across as being closer to Louisiana than to France. She might be an expatriate living in Louisiana and having adopted local phrases and diction. Even when she speaks English, she interjects a lot of Cajun French in her sentences.

Whilst Cyber was leading the Belles, Flambé was the teacher’s pet. She wanted to please him by showing off how cruel, unhinged and brutal she could be. Apparently she wanted to become as evil as Cyber is – a tall order. She might have daddy issues, and one gets the impression that the Belles were under 20.

Flambé was apparently the field leader of the Belles, and was successful in having Cyber treat her as his favourite.


“Just tell me where Marilyn Maycroft is hiding and *poof* the pain is but a fond memory.”
(The agent she’s torturing give her the hotel and room number ; Flambé incinerates him in one breath)
“You were a good agent, chéri. You held out as long as you could. and I kept my promise, non ? Just memories.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Enforcer
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 012 HP: 020

Flame immunity: 08, Flame project: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flame project has to be actually set alight by an outside flame.
  • Flame project has the Scattershot Advantage.
  • Flame project has a Range capped to 03 APs.

Charisma (Interrogation): 05

Language (French), Schtick (Trick Shooter (Flame project, Medium) but it is only useable to compensate for Partial Coverage).

Hell’s Belles (Low), Underworld (Low).

Creepy Appearance, Minor Rage.

Burning sticks [BODY 01, Flame being: 01. Flambé carries a half-dozen thin rods whose ends are covered in flammable substances, in order to always have a source of open flame to put in front of her mouth. She presumably also has one or more lighters to light these rods up]

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Flambé — Averaged PL5.4

00 (02) 01 (02) 01 00 01 (02) 01 01 01


Mutant ● 48 points ● Descriptor: Mutant
– Oddly strong — Enhanced Strength 2, Enhanced Stamina 1, Enhanced Fighting 1, Enhanced Fortitude 2.
– Fireproof — Protection 8 and Enhanced Fortitude 6, both Limited 3 to fire and heat.
– Flammable breathe — Area (Line 2) fire Damage 8, Accurate.
– Fire-based torture — Feature (+4 Circumstances Bonus to interrogation when using her fire).

Combat Advantages

Close attack 2, Defensive Roll 1, Improved Critical 1 (Flammable breathe).

Other Advantages

Contacts, Language (French).


Athletics 2 (+4), Close combat (Unarmed) 1 (+5), Deception 1 (+2), Expertise (Narcotics enforcer) 5 (+6), Insight 2 (+3), Perception 3 (+4), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Flammable breathe) 4 (+6).


Initiative +1
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 2
Gout of flame +6, Line 2, Damage 8, Crit 19-20.


Dodge 06 Fortitude 06
Parry 04 Toughness 02*/03
Will 03

* Without Defensive Roll


  • Got a light ? Flambé needs an open flame to light the vapours she expectorates.
  • Sicaria La Doof works as a murderous enforcer for ruthless drug cartels.
  • Got the look Flambé has distinctive looks that are difficult to conceal.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 5, Parry/Toughness PL 4, Fort/Will PL 5.
  • Points total 85. Abilities 12, Defences 11, Skills 10, Powers 46, Devices 0, Advantages 6. Equiv. PL 6.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (X-Factor books in the Summer of 1992).

Helper(s): Darci.