Firehawk’s real name is Lorraine Reilly. She is the daughter of Senator Walter Reilly. She was kidnapped to see if a similar result could be produced as with the development of Firestorm’s powers. These powers did eventually manifest after she was put in a sensory deprivation chamber for an extended period of time. She was then subjected to nuclear radiation which activated her metagene. She was originally pitted against Firestorm as one of his enemies, but he was able to remind her of her past and the two teamed up together against Henry Hewitt who was using the nuclear process to become Tokamak. The two eventually overcame him and became partners.
Her first appearance as Lorraine was in The Fury of Firestorm #1 in 1982 and she was created by Gerry Conway and Pat Broderick. Her first appearance as Firehawk was in issue #17 of the same series.
She has gradually come into her role as superheroine over the course of her appearances. She is now considered an experienced veteran after partaking in numerous adventures and conflicts. Her love for Ronald Raymond has served as a point of friction throughout her history. This caused problems for Firestorm (the first version) as Ronald was still a teenager with his own girlfriend and Professor Stein was in his late forties and not interested in her. Still in the early years the heroes remained fairly close.
Major Story Arcs
Firehawk’s appearances have been closely tied to those of Ronnie Raymond through the years. She was initially a relatively popular hero but as Ronnie Raymond took on a different focus through different incarnations she had varying degrees of popularity. If there is any continuity in her first stories, it’s that the Parasite was established as one of her arch-enemies. She played a part in Crisis on Infinite Earths as a secondary character and has shown up sporadically in other crossovers since then. During Identity Crisis she renounced her superhero identity completely as she was disenchanted with the superhero community and the actions which they perpetrated. She soon started focusing on her political career to follow in her father’s footsteps. She has nonetheless continued to play a role in various incarnations of Firestorm
After Infinite Crisis she formed a part of a hastily created Justice League of America alongside Firestorm, Super Chief, the Bulleteer, and Ambush Bug. There was only one appearance of this team, but soon after she became able to fuse to create Firestorm. This was soon resolved by Professor Stein.
The New 52
The Firestorm protocols have been sold to powerful countries worldwide so each country has its own Nuclear Hero. Someone has given the Firestorm abilities to numerous terrorists, and Ronnie and Jason must stop as many as possible. Their search brings them to France, where they meet Firehawk working with Hurricane, the British Firestorm.
Powers and Abilities
Firehawk is capable of commanding nuclear forces on a molecular level and can use this ability in a variety of ways. The most common is the creation of massive amounts of heat, enough to melt metals or ignite combustibles. When she changes into Firehawk her clothing which she was wearing changes unharmed. A bluish fire surrounds her wrists, calves and hair, which shields these areas with intense heat. This also allows her the ability to fly.