The Flame

Episode 15: The Flame

In Entertainment, Golden Age by adminLeave a Comment

The flame

The Flame a.k.a Gary Preston

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This week on The Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show we’ll be exploring the origin of a Golden age character that you more than likely have never heard of, The Flame. Remember, I did say that we would also be exploring some of the more obscure characters out there, and this is one of them.

And that’s what we’ll be doing on The heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show, we’ll be learning and talking about the origins and backstories of heroes and villains throughout the comic book universe and pop culture. We’ll look at both popular and obscure characters you may have never heard….but I think you’ll dig.

But how did I decide I wanted to do a cast on The Flame? Well, when I was working on developing the Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show’s website I was looked for images that fit the vibe I was going for and looked at a site I frequent that archives public domain comics. And when I was there I saw this character that just kind of stuck out and had a cool look. And I was looking for public domain art so it just clicked. So the character in all the headers and soon to be a few other places on the site…is The Flame. And I thought to honor him I should do a show on him. So let’s get into it, let’s learn about the Golden Age hero, The Flame!

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Buy The Flame #1 – Kindle Edition

Molten hot action with this forgotten but legendary comic book superhero. Will Eisner and Lou Fine created The Flame and he was instantly one of the hottest characters of comic book’s Golden Age..


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The Flame was published by Fox Feature Syndicate. The Flame first appeared in Wonderworld Comics #3 (July 1939) and this was something interesting that really surprised me, he was created by writer Will Eisner and artist Lou Fine. Now I’m a huge Eisner fan so this was really. The Flame started out in Wonderworld Comics, but was given his own title in the summer of 1940. The comic was titled, The Flame and ran for eight issues until January 1942 when Fox Publications went under. But during his heyday the Flame was one of Fox’s biggest stars. He was in fact, one of the top three, as evidenced by his starring role in all seven issues (starting Fall, 1940) of Big 3, which he initially shared with The Blue Beetle and Samson. I was really hooked on reading about golden Age characters and I always find it interesting when I learn about when and find out that they were huge back in the day and I wonder what characters now will be all but forgotten in time only to be researched by someone researching a character for their holo-cast.

The Flame’s isn’t fighting crime in all his fiery glory he’s Gary Preston mild mannered genius and all around nice guy. His story starts back when he was a baby when his father was a missionary working in China. Now his father was unfortunately killed, washed away in a flood, but he did manage to save his son by placing the boy in a basket. The basket sailed down the river and was found by a group of monks who took the boy in and raised him. During his time with the monks they taught him their ways and how to tap into mystical forces. So it’s kind of like Moses meets Dr. Strange. Now through his training Gary is able to control fire and temperature including his own body temperature to the point where he can burst into flames. I think you’re getting where he came up with the name. Through additional training and honing of his skill he gains the ability to travel from place to place through flame materializing though flame, even the tiniest flicker like that of a match. When Gary Preston has learned all he can and reaches adulthood he leaves the monastery and returns to America to fight crime as The Flame, as one does. To aid The Flame in his crime fighting he engineered a compact pistol sized flamethrower so that he has fire always on call to control.

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The Flame has many adventure and in time becomes injured by a battle with the Octopus and must step down. But before he does he gives his girlfriend Linda Dale the secret formula that gives her the secret powers of the flame She then goes on to fight crime as Flame Girl.

So that’s the origin and backstory of the character that serves as part the sites and podcast’s branding. I’m glad I learned more about him and some of his adventures. I actually found a Kindle version of his adventure on Amazon and I’ll leave a link to it in the show notes. It’s only 2 bucks and was really fun to read.

Nice interview with Will Eisner

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