Bonita Juarez was raised as a devout catholic in Buena Vista in New Mexico. From college she went into the career of social work, determined to make a difference as a social worker. Involved in many religious and youth orientated projects, Bonita helped fund, create and maintain many that helped out the communities she was working in. After a disagreement with members of her church concerning cutting some of the churches social programming, Bonita wished to clear her head by getting away from everything, and embracing the isolation of the desert. Bonita Juarez then gained superpowers when she was hit by a ball of cold fire that came out of the sky. The fireball contained extraterrestrial radiation that gave Bonita energy-wielding powers. Initially fearful that this was the devils work, Juarez eventually believed that the fireball was from the Firebird, a creature of Native American lore. After stopping some common criminals robbing a convenience store, she stopped them with her new found abilities, because of this Juarez decided to become a superhero and call herself Firebird. One day, Firebird received a call that was actually meant for the Avengers. Firebird got to the source of the call and, along with five other superheroes, fought the Corruptor. Together, the heroes defeated the corruptor and decided to band together as the Southern States local hero-team, the Rangers. Firebird was next seen when she fought Master Pandemonium alongside the West Coast Avengers. After the successful battle, Mockingbird was impressed by Firebird's abilities and wanted her to join the West Coast Avengers. The rest of the West Coast Avengers agreed so they went to look for her in the Southwest. Firebird later returned to the Avengers West Coast's mansion under a new alias: La Espirita, “the spirit" in Spanish.
Firebird is a Marvel comics character, created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. She first appears in The Incredible Hulk #265 released in 1981. Her first appearance in the Avengers books, is Issue #4 of West Coast Avengers.
Although introduced in the Hulk book, Firebird quickly moved on intended to break out as her own hero coexisting alongside other heroic peers. Falling firmly into the rule of rookie hero, we actually bear witness to Bonita's trails and tribulations in attempting to gain status as an Avenger. Sincerely motivated, merely new to powers she sets out to do as much good as she can, she had worked alongside the Avengers in battling the super villain Master Pandemonium and it was during this time she found she wished to be an Avenger, the premier superhero team. She had been suggested, however another superhero was chosen, much to Bonita's disappointment, however later unbeknownst to her she was selected for membership, but by that stage she had already set a new path for herself venturing on a spiritual quest. Another defining aspect of the character has been Bonita's religious views. Although she is not the only known religious character, she is a rare example of a character so religious dedicated, a devout Catholic her religion plays an important part of her character, and its often referenced and addressed in many of her stories as well as being the basis for for a few. In the
series, Bonita's origin of powers was delved into. Originally the character had suffered internal conflict upon receiving her fiery abilities, concerned that they may have been from some devil. After using her powers for good, she came to believe they were instead a gift and sign from God. She had maintained that belief, until the story given in Spotlight questioned this, suggesting that her powers were merely an accident, a byproduct of a mistake by aliens. This new revelation regarding her powers is hard to learn for a character who had so sought to believe that God had bestowed his powers on her as a part of some divine plan, upon reflection however Bonita decided that God still played a role in her acquisition of powers, albeit less directly. The character has been in disuse aside from some small cameos in most recent years.
Major Story Arcs
Leaving West Coast Avengers
La Espirita came to the mansion just on time because
was about to commit to suicide. La Espirita convinced Pym to not commit suicide and gave him a new lease on life. After Espirita has helped Hank Pym, they went looking for the rest of the team who had had been kidnapped by an evil alien computer called
. Together, Espirita and Hank Pym defeated him and rescued the team. Espirita then left the team, but was still considered a member. As it had turned out the rest of the West Coast Avengers team had been looking for her to offer membership, only to have been sent back in time. In a twist, they had received help from an ancestor of Bonita's, Carlotta Valdez.
Origin of Powers
Bonita later learned of her true origins when she was captured by aliens who told her that the fireball that had given her the powers was actually a failed experiment by one of their race's children. Merely an accident, that caused waste material to head towards Earth, empowering her. Bonita was hurt by this fact, because she had thought all a long that her powers were given by God. After a while of selfdoubting, Bonita overcame her depression and decided that somehow her powers were still give to her by the will of God, though less directly and once again called herself Firebird. Bonita would continue to work as a social worker while also acting as a reserve member of the Avengers. She was active during Days of Vengeance and helped defeat or beat Avengers enemies such as Morgan Le Fay, Dominex, Awesome Android. The Order, Thanos and an Atlantean invasion.
Reforming the Rangers
Firebird returned to a life of helping people in the Southwest United States but once again teamed up with the Avengers and the Thunderbolts to stop Dominex who was made from the Dominus. After the Civil War, Firebird was seen on the anti-registration side along with the Secret Avengers. She, however, switched sides when Goliath was killed. Firebird is now a member of a team formed as a result of the 50-State Initiative. This team is again called the Rangers and is based in Texas. They were of great importance in saving the President of the United States from Hydra in a recent terrorist action.
Powers and Abilities
Liker her name suggest Firebirds main power is the ability of pyrokinesis. Her powers derive from a unique type of radiation from an alien experiment. She can mold her flame into an aura resembling a mystical firebird adding to her namesake. She can use her powers to achieve flight and fly a great speeds but does not do so as her body is not adapted to traveling at such speeds. She may even be immortal as she has for unknown reasons survived different circumstances that would have killed anyone if at least not highly resistant to harm and toxins. Bonita has incredible versatility with her powers, with offense, and defense, emitting, projecting and generating heat and flames, and flame projectiles and also being able to absorb, and redirect heat and flames. Her offense also includes the ability to construct flame structures, heat waves, and generate powerful winds capable of creating updrafts that can lift weights up to tons. Firebird can travel in excess of 400 miles per hour when she is flying.
The intensity of Firebird's flames can melt foot thick steel, melt bullets in flight, and turn rock molten. Her fire may even harm some types of demons. Bonita is trained in martial arts and an adequate hand to hand fighter. Firebird's natural empathy made her an extremely good social worker.
Weight: 125 lbs
Earth - 398
In this reality, Firebird was known as Firemaiden and was a member of the Queen's Vengeance, the mind-warped legion of Avengers in
Morgan Le Fays
universe, Firebird was killed in the final mission of the original Avengers.