Mick Rory was obsessed with fire from his childhood. He would stare at flames, and try to hold them He even set his house on fire and couldn’t take his eyes of the flames long enough to run to a neighbor for help. Before that, he had wanted to be a fireman.
At school, Heat Wave always wore winter clothes inside. The kids made fun on this. This led to a friend locking him in a walk-in freezer as a joke during a school field trip. Mick escaped, and was compelled to lock his friend in his house, and set it on fire. Mick often cited this freezer incident (leaving his friend’s part out of it) as a trauma that left him with an intense fear of cold.
He ran away from home, eventually joining a circus as a fire-eater. He was happy and thought he had his obsession under control, but it broke loose again, and he burned down the circus.
Rory was inspired by the Rogues to channel his obsession into a new identity. He invented a handgun-sized flamethrower and wore an asbestos suit and committed crimes under the identity of Heat Wave. When they met at a bank robbery, Captain Cold invited Heat Wave to join the Rogues.
Heat Wave was first introduced in The Flash #140 which was written by John Broome. He was first made to be a rival for Captain Cold, however in recent comics by Geoff Johns, Rory looks to Captain Cold to help him keep his obsession at bay, though Cold thinks he'll eventually become beyond help.
Mick Rory first made his comic book appearance as a friendly rival to Captain Cold in The Flash #140. The two worked together to try and defeat The Flash, but at the same time, Cold and HeatWave bickered and fought a lot. One significant moment for Mick in the Silver Age was that he was recruited by Captain Cold at a bank robbery to join the team, The Rogues.
Not a lot happened for Mick Rory during this time period. One thing he did do was make Barry Allen into a "flaming menace", he essentially made it that every time Flash would run, fire would spew behind him.
Heat Wave eventually decided to be good after the events of Underworld Unleashed. He began working as a firefighting consultant, using his knowledge of heat and flames from his former criminal career.Still struggling with his pyromania, he began working for the F.B.I. alongside other reformed rogues
The F.B.I. project failed. 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. He then joins the Secret Society, led by Alexander Luthor.
Major Story Arcs
One Year Later
He is next seen being recruited by Inertia to team up against Bart Allen. He is one of the rogues the deliver the
killing blow to Bart. He freaks out about what he and the Rogues have done and flees only to be captured by Captain Boomerang alongside Weather Wizard. He is sent to "hell planet" Salvation with the other Rogues. When the conflict starts he sides with Luthor. When they beat J"onn he's worried about killing another hero, claiming that they will kill them with rusty razors. He returns to earth with the villains who are still alive. Later he hears Libra's offer and (off-panel) rejects it. When he hears Inertia free he decides with his fellow Rogues to kill him for their troubles. He and the other Rogues find Paul Gambi seriously injured by a group of Libra's men called the " new" rogues. He receives a new improved costume from Gambi. Heat Wave defeats his "new" rogue counterpart, Burn. Captain Cold has him kill Cold's father. While Libra tries to hypnotize the Rogues, Captain Cold tells him to watch a nearby fire. When they are fighting Inertia, he melts his boots, making him unable to move. He then helps the other Rogues kill Inertia.
Heat Wave meets with the Human Flame, who wants to buy one of Heat Wave's guns. Heat Wave is appalled by the small amount of money he is offered, and beats up the Human Flame. On his way out he blows up the fireworks factory they were meeting in, with the Human Flame still inside.
In the Flashpoint universe, Heat Wave desperately wants to be part of Firestorm. He kills Jason Rusch, trying to force Ronnie Raymond to give him half the matrix. Cyborg stops him, leading to Heat Wave getting major burns. (These burns destroy his sense of smell and touch). Heat Wave is sent to death row for murder.
The day before his execution, Heat Wave plots his escape. He has Cluemaster smuggle in the villainous Plastic Man.
Heat Wave joined Captain Cold and the rest of the Rogues on the Genome Recorder. When the machine had a power surge that destroyed the building he awoke with 90 percent of his body burned. He could control the fire and project it from his hands and chest like his suit once did.
Powers and Abilities
Heat Wave has no meta-human abilities. However, he constructed a heat gun that can create fire well over 900 degrees.
Heat Wave has described the heat as something so hot that it can melt even The Flash's boots while he is running at full speeds, making Heat wave's fire hotter than the friction of something hitting the ground at light speed.
He also has a high, but not superhuman, tolerance of heat.
Weapons & Equipment
The suit Heat Wave wears us entirely made out of asbestos, making it nearly impervious to heat.
The heat gun Heat Wave uses can melt something going at light speed, making it extremely deadly and nearly impossible to avoid getting burned if you are not superhuman.
Heat Wave also has a pipe on his left arm that can project a fire retardant to put out fires.
In the recent Flash series focusing on Barry Allen a future incarnation of Heatwave has arrived from the future calling himself Heatstroke. It is unknown what connection he has to the original Heatwave other than having similar weapons and appearance. Unlike Heatwave though Heatsroke is a law-enforcement officer from the 25th century a member of Reverse-Flash Task Force called the Renegades who are based off the Rogues of the present.
He briefly appears in Justice League Unlimited the animated series along with Trickster, captain cold, and captain boomerang.
He appears in the DC Universe Online as a villain you can fight on the Strykers Island mission. He can also be found in the Meta Wing of the Hall of Doom selling high tech gear.