Beatriz da Costa is a rare example of a relatively popular Brazilian superhero in a mainstream comic continuity. Her background is rather convoluted because of the nature of her creation. She was created for the Super Friends franchise which was popular in both in both print and on screen. Thus as she made the transition to comics her portrayal was based on that as it was elsewhere. Compounding this fact was that shortly after her introduction that DC Comics had a company-wide reboot following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Beatriz had two origins fairly close together in real life which were different enough to cause confusion among readers between the two versions. In the initial version her mother is Carlota da Costa and her father is a surveyor in the Amazon River Basin. Beatriz was born among a tribe of people known as the Ge as result of this. It was foretold by the religious man that she would have great powers as determined by the Sky Spirit. Although the family as skeptical of this news, when she was 15 she was contacted telepathically by the religious man and told of her powers. After learning to use them she started her superhero career as the Green Flame. In her civilian identity she became the head of the Brazilian branch of Wayne Enterprises.
Her origin after Crisis on Infinite Earths was changed in parts to make her fit better into the DC continuity. In this version, she is now born in Rio de Janeiro and became a supermodel. After growing disillusioned with this line of work she transferred to the field of espionage and became a spy in the Brazilian Espionage Network. She excelled with certain technological items, including a pyroplasmic gun. After her boss stole one of these weapons she was assigned to get it back. The weapon ended up exploding and bathing her in pyroplasmic rays which in turn gave her superpowers (though this version did not have the ability to cast illusions.) Because of her failure she became a hunted fugitive. She eventually discovered a degree of safety with the Global Guardians where she assumed the named Green Fire.
Fire was created by writer E. Nelson Bridwell and artist Ramona Fradon. Her first comic appearance was outside of the regular DC continuity in the comic book adaptation of the Superfriends television series. She remained here for some time (and at one point was the star of an issue) until the Global Guardians were finally introduced to the main DC Continuity in DC Comics Presents #46. At the time the title was used as feature to team up Superman with various characters from the DC Universe, some of them famous, but in other cases either forgotten or obscure, which applied in this case to the Global Guardians.
After joining Justice League International as a relatively undeveloped character, Beatriz had her character expanded on gradually over time. The overall tone of the series was not as serious as the comedic relief of the actions of Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle often took center stage. Beatriz often played the role of a comedic “straight man” for the purposes of their jokes but was also often set up as the punchline to jokes, a role which she would most often have a sassy comeback to. Although portrayed for a time as a more carefree and liberated woman (which countered the more conservative Ice) she nonetheless provided a feminine presence on a team which had very little of one otherwise. As time progressed the focus of the series moved away from comedy and towards more serious plots. Beatriz remained (in fact in terms of consecutive issues she is the longest serving member of the Justice League in all its incarnations.) With a change towards more serious plots she also became more of a strong female presence on the team, offering a form of leadership by her presence. Throughout her tenure on the Justice League one common aspect was her devotion to her best friend Ice. This included encouraging her to be more outgoing yet also protecting her in certain aspects. One manifestation of that protection was that she severely disapproved of Ice’s relationship with Guy Gardner.
Major Story Arcs
During the late silver age in the events leading up to Crisis on Infinite Earths, Beatriz was mostly portrayed as a background character to give a story a more international feel. She was notably on hand though during Crisis to defend her home country.
The most important development for the character in her history was not so much of a creative one, but an editorial decision to change the Justice League into an international team. The creative team instead of looking to fill its ranks with new characters instead chose to use pre-existing characters. This led to the disbanding of the Global Guardians (explained in comics as having lost their funding from the United Nations) and she and her friend Ice Maiden were free to join the new Justice League.
Although it does not necessarily agree with their previous origins, it is depicted that Green Flame and Ice Maiden join the Justice League after having become best friends during their tenure together with the Global Guardians. The pair also become close friends with Booster Gold and Ted Kord. In their early appearances on the team Beatriz is most often reduced to a background character as her power level was not sufficient to make her involvement necessary for the team (while Ice Maiden abilities allowed her to have a more prominent role.) It was during this time that the two decided to simplify their names by shortening them simply to Fire and Ice. One of the most significant developments in the character’s history occurred during the Invasion crossover event. After being subjected to the Gene-bomb during the invasion her powers go out of control and she falls into a coma. When she comers out of the coma she discovers that her powers have changed substantially so that now she could become a being of pure fire. Another issue which presented itself to her was control, as her powers would manifest themselves from her emotional responses (usually fear). In order to help this Mister Miracle and Big Barda were enlisted to teach her some control of her new powers by teaching her in a manner similar to how the Female Furies were taught.
As the team continued its mission to protect the earth, the largest threat they faced was when Doomsday came to earth intent on killing Superman. The first people to react to the threat was the Justice League. Despite using her powers to the fullest extent she and the other team members were unsuccessful in stopping the monster and which led to the eventual death of Superman as well as numerous team members being temporarily injured.
After the death of Ice, Fire gained a better degree of respect for Guy as she saw how much her death affected him. Shortly thereafter another hero by the name of Ice Maiden appeared. She had been a member of the Global Guardians before either of them had joined. Due to the sadness over her friend’s death, this new member of the Justice League was not received warmly by Beatriz, but then she tries to take her on a surrogate for her missing friend, a role which the new Ice Maiden didn’t take to very easily. This was further confused by the fact that the new Ice Maiden was physically attracted to Beatriz. This new Ice Maiden would also soon die and the team would soon disband.
Formerly Known as the Justice League
For more information see: Superbuddies
After the Justice League team that Fire was on disbanded she returned to Brazil, where she even lost her powers for short time. She would continue here in relative obscurity until many of her former friends and allies formed a team called the Super Buddies, which paid homage to both her time associated with the Super Friends and with the early incarnation of Justice League International. While in Brazil Fire has started a web site of pictures and video of her on fire. Although she is never nude men thinks she are and this forces Max to shut down the site. Before the Superbuddies first mission they are kidnapped by Roulette and taken to The House. There they are mind controlled to not want to escape. The subliminal messages they are given is in English but since Fire thinks in Portuguese she is able to break free and save the rest of the team. She is forced to stop Mary Marvel from killing Captain Atom. She fights Mary long enough for Mary to break free from the mind control. After the team escaped The House, they return to Queens where they with the help of the Justice League stop Lord Manga from starting an intergalactic war. Afterwards Fire and Wonder Woman exchange harsh words and Fire takes Mary Marvel under her wing.
It is shown later that she is still quite attached to her friend Ice and makes attempts to save her despite her death. Following the disbanding of this team, she is recruited to join Checkmate and to serve as a knight (which is akin to a field agent.) Despite her connection with Maxwell Lord on most incarnations of the League which she was involved with she was shocked to discover that he was responsible for the death of Ted Kord. This news is soon met with good news as she finds out that Ice never really died, but their friendship is strained over her return. In the Generations Lost story arc she and her allies believe that the new Blue Beetle (Jaimie Reyes) was also killed by Maxwell Lord.
Following the events of Flashpoint the entire DC Universe was relaunched into the new 52. Fire is now a member of the new Justice League International.
The Signal Masters
For more information see: The Signal Masters
Fire is approached to be a member of the New Justice League International, as a representative of Brazil, she excepts. She joins the team run by Booster Gold, and their first mission it to go to Peru and finds some missing UN personnel. While they are there they are attack by a giant robot, and when Tora is badly hurt, Booster orders the team to retreat. Several team members disagree with this but Fire is concerned for Tora.
Once the team regroups, and learns that there is now 4 robots, Booster makes teams of two to investigate the other robots. Fire goes with Vixen to the investigate the robot in South Africa, where they find a cavern under the robot. While there they are attacked by mud-men and knocked unconscious.
When they wake up they a have been trapped in mud and teleported to Peru where Peraxxus, the alien who is responsible for the giant robots, has gather the team. The team is able to break free but are no match for Peraxxus who leaves them for dead. After they escape again they attack Peraxxus's ship, where they are able to over power Peraxxus and he needs to retreat. The team does crash his ship into one of the giant robot shutting them all down but causes massive damage.
Fire, Vixen and Booster Gold are forced to go in front of the UN counsel and explain their actions. Luckily August General in Iron shows up and convinces the UN to keep the JLI in action, but later when the JLI is reintroduced a terrorist blows up there stage badly injuring Fire.
Powers and Abilities
The original Green Fury had magical flame breath powers due to Brazilian mysticism. She could control her flame breath to allow her to fly and land like a rocket. She was able to mystically alter her clothing when needed and change the color of her eyes from green to black, and vice-versa. She was also able to create and cast illusions with her 'dazzle power' and fire blasts with her white-hot flame or super-cold freezing flame. Her green flame had the magical ability to heal and repair her costume after a battle. Beatriz was also trained by Batman in hand-to-hand combat. Due to the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Green Fury never had any of these magical powers and had a new revised origin.
In her Post-Crisis incarnation, Beatriz's only power, gained from a saturation by an organic energy source called Pyroplasm, was the ability to breathe a jet of green flame from her mouth. During the Invasion crossover event, the alien Dominators set off a "metagene bomb" in the upper atmosphere which affected almost all DC characters with superpowers and, after a period of illness, Fire found her powers greatly magnified as an after-effect. The "new" Fire was now able to completely turn into a being of green plasma, in which form she could fly and throw devastating blasts, similar to the Human Torch. Solid objects could pass completely through her form without causing injury. Unfortunately, it took her some time to come to terms with her increased powers, and she often "flamed on" involuntarily when stressed or angry (and sometimes still does), a distressingly common event for a character depicted as having a tendency towards passionate outbursts. The Super Buddies continuity established (and made light of) the fact that flaming on destroyed Bea's clothing, rendering her naked when she stopped using her powers. Checkmate and other appearances have ignored this. Beatriz is also a skilled investigator and espionage agent, and in the latter context was considered a valuable asset by Checkmate chief Amanda Waller for her ability and willingness to kill in order to complete missions (unlike many of her contemporaries who maintain a no-kill policy).
Fire has had many appearances in other media most to do in some way with the Justice League. She appeared in a never aired television pilot featuring members of the Justice League and then later was a member of Justice League Unlimited during numerous appearances. She would also appear in Batman: the Brave and the Bold.
As a female character a certain amount of attention is on the manner in which she dresses. Although this has changed substantially over time her costumes have never really been considered extremely revealing, at least by comic book standards. She had three different costumes before Crisis and at approximately 8 afterwards. Her costume since the gene bomb is also just herself as a green fire being, thus in practical terms a costume in unnecessary. In her earlier stories her hair is green because she dyes it that color. As no mention is made subsequently of this in comics, it stands to reason that this is still canon.