Other Aliases: Rory Calhoun
Known Relatives: Unnamed parents, brother, grandmother (all deceased), unnamed uncle.
Past Occupations: Thief, fire-eater, firefighter, Cadmus agent
Group Affiliation: The Rogues
Past Group Affiliation: The Project
Base of Operations: Central City, Missouri
First Appearance: Flash v.1 #140 (November 1963)
Mick Rory was fascinated with fire from his childhood on a farm outside Central City. He would stare at flames, and try to hold them—even if holding the flame got him burnt. His obsession came to a head one night when he set his family’s house on fire, and couldn’t take his eyes of the flames long enough to run to a neighbor for help.
His uncle raised him after that, though he continued to be obsessed with heat. One day, on a school field trip to a slaughterhouse, a friend locked him in a walk-in freezer as a joke. Mick escaped, and was compelled to lock his friend in his house, and set it on fire. While Mick Rory recognized himself as a pyromaniac—an actual, obsessive-compulsive pyromaniac, not the neighbor kid who just likes fire—he often cited this freezer incident (leaving his friend’s part out of it) as a trauma that left him cryophobic (with an intense fear of cold).
Knowing he couldn’t stay, he ran away from home, eventually joining a circus as a fire-eater. He thought he had his obsession under control, but it broke loose again, and he burned down the circus.
Desperate to fight what he had become, Rory was inspired by news footage of Central City’s Rogues to channel his obsession into a new identity. He invented a handgun-sized flamethrower, put on an asbestos suit, and began committing crimes as Heat Wave. Naturally, he became a regular combatant of the Flash. He also developed a rivalry with Captain Cold, who introduced him to the rest of the Rogues.
In and out of jail, Heat Wave constantly struggled with his illness. He also struggled with crime, eventually deciding (under the influence of the Top’s mental powers) to go straight. He even became good friends with Barry Allen, having unmasked the unconscious hero some time earlier. He began working as a firefighting consultant, using his knowledge of heat and flames from his former criminal career.
To Hell and Back
Even Rory succumbed to temptation when Abra Kadabra brought him and four other Rogues an offer that would bring them respect. An offer that would “guarantee that they would be remembered forever not as has-beens...but as the most infamous villains of their age.” What Kadabra did not tell them was that it would cost them their lives. The five died, and unleashed the demon Neron upon Earth (Underworld Unleashed #1, 1995).
Neron was not finished with them, however. As part of a convoluted plot to force the Flash into a deal, he sent the Rogues’ bodies to Earth without their souls. The bank robbers who had so enjoyed matching wits with the Flash were now soulless killers, in command of vastly enhanced powers, with even more powerful avatars that caused enormous damage and killed thousands before the Flash was able to turn the deal around and force Neron to halt the destruction and return the Rogues’ souls to their bodies (Flash #127–129, 1997).
Heat Wave returned briefly to crime before abandoning it to study among Zhutanian monks (New Year’s Evil: The Rogues, 1998). He worked for a time as a backup agent for Project Cadmus in Metropolis (Superboy #65) before leaving for the Quad Cities, Illinois area. Still struggling with his pyromania, he began working for the F.B.I. alongside other reformed rogues.
The F.B.I. project, however, failed spectacularly. On the group’s first mission, the Top returned to undo the programming that had caused most of them to reform. Heat Wave rejoined the Rogues.
Heat Wave was one of the three Rogues who delivered the killing blow to Flash 4: Bart Allen (Flash: TFMA #10–13: Full Throttle & All-Flash #1, 2007). He was captured and sent with the rest to the alien prison planet, Salvation (Salvation Run, 2007–2008).Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Art Credits
- Origin Tales
- Profiles in Print
- Silver-Age Appearances
- Legacy-Era Appearances
- One Year Later Appearances
- Related Commentary
- Main: Green Lantern #96 (March 1998) - Paul Pelletier and John Lowe
- Profile: The Flash #218 (March 2005) - Howard Porter and Livesay
- Flash #218 (March 2005): “Rogue Profile: Heat Wave,” Geoff Johns
- Who’s Who in the DC Universe #10 (December 1985)
- Who’s Who (loose-leaf edition) #13 (October 1991)
- The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
- The Flash Companion (2008)
- Flash Secret Files and Origins 2010 (May 2010)
- DC Comics Super-Heroes and Villains Fandex under The Rogues (2010)
- Flash #140 (November 1963): “The Heat Is On... For Captain Cold,” John Broome
- Flash #155 (September 1965): “The Gauntlet of Super-Villains,” John Broome
- Flash #166 (December 1966): “Tempting Target for the Temperature Twins,” John Broome
- Flash #174 (November 1967): “Stupendous Triumph of the Six Super-Villains,” John Broome
- Flash #193 (December 1969): “Captain Cold Blows His Cool!” John Broome
- Flash #226 (April 1974): “The Hot-Cold War in Central City!” Cary Bates
- Flash #231 (February 1975): “The Only Crook Flash Could Never Catch!” Cary Bates
- Flash #242 (June 1976): “The Charge of the Electric Gang!” Cary Bates (cameo)
- Flash #243–244 (August–September 1976): “If I Can’t Rob Central City, Nobody Can!” and “The Last Day of June is the Last Day of Central City!” Cary Bates
- Flash #248 (April 1977): “Challenge of the Cardboard Criminal,” Cary Bates
- Flash #266–267 (October–November 1978): “Heat Wave Plays It Cool!” and “Heat Wave’s Blaze of Glory!” Cary Bates
- Flash #278–279 (October–November 1979): “Road to Oblivion!” “Death-Feast!” Cary Bates
- Flash #300 (August 1981): “1981—A Flash Odyssey,” Cary Bates (cameo)
- Flash #312 (August 1982): “Dead Heat for a Scarlet Speedster!” Cary Bates
- Flash #314–317 (October 1982–January 1983): “Look Upon the Eradicator!” “The Eradicator Strikes Again!” “Speed Kills!” and “A Fast Way to Die!” Cary Bates
- Flash #331 (March 1984): “Dead Heat!” Cary Bates
- Flash #19 (December 1988): “A Meeting of Rogues,” William Messner-Loebs
- Secret Origins #41 (June 1989): “A Rogue By Any Other Name,” Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn
- Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995), Mark Waid
- Flash #125–126 (May–June 1997): “Cause and Effect” and “Trial Run” (Lead-in to Hell To Pay), Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
- Flash #127–129 (July–September 1997): “Hell To Pay,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
- Green Lantern #96, Green Arrow #130, Flash #135 (March 1998): “Three of a Kind,” Ron Marz, Chuck Dixon, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar
- New Year’s Evil: The Rogues (February 1998): “Men & Gods,” Brian Augustyn
- Flash/Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold #4 (January 2000): “How Many Times Can A Man Turn His Head?” Mark Waid and Tom Peyer
- Flash #190 (November 2002): “Rat Race,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #210–211 (July–August 2004): “Reconnected” and “Animal House,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #213 (October 2004): “Slow Motion,” Geoff Johns (cameo)
- Flash #214–216 (November 2004–January 2005): “The Secret of Barry Allen,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #218 (March 2005): “Rogue Profile: Heat Wave,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #½ (2005): “Rogue Wars Prologue: Tricksters,” Geoff Johns (cameo)
- Flash #220–225 (May–October 2005): “Rogue War,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #227 (December 2005): “Finish Line, Part 1: The Last Days,” Joey Cavalieri (dream sequence, cameo)
- Countdown #51–49 & #47–46 (May–June 2007) Paul Dini (head writer) with Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Tony Bedard, Sean McKeever
- The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10–13 (May–August 2007): “Full Throttle,” Marc Guggenheim
- All-Flash #1 (September 2007): “Justice, Like Lightning,” Mark Waid
- Salvation Run (7-issue miniseries, January–July 2008), Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges
- Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge (3-issue miniseries, September-November 2008), Geoff Johns