Gary Preston is the son of Charteris Preston who was a missionary in China when Gary was a baby. The Preston's were not in China long before they were victims of a catastrophic flood that caused Charteris to put his son is a basket and hope that he would be safe from the flood. Gary washed up in Tibet where he was taken in by a mysterious clan of people who taught him the ways to control fire. Among the many things he learned was how to control the size of fire and the temperature of fire, how to raise his body heat to a temperature that would melt steal bullets as they were shot as him, how to teleport himself from inside one flame to another and back no matter how small the flame, even as small as the size a match. When Gary became an adult he moved back to the United States and became the superhero known simply as the Flame.
After a period of time fighting crime in America and honing his skills he started to show the ability of spontaneously bursting into flames. He also met Linda Dale who joined him as his female sidekick. She took the name Flame Girl and wore a matching costume to the Flame. As he became a stronger superhero he and Flame Girl joined many other heroes and helped the allies in World War II.
The Flame was created by Basil Berold in 1939. In Fox Feature Syndicate he become one of the Big 3. He the Original Blue Beetle and Samson even had their own comic for a very short time called The Big 3. This is not unlike Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in the DC Comics Universe today.
Golden Age Fox Feature Syndicate
The Golden Age Flame not only had gadgets like his own Flame Gun Boat and Plane but he could transport himself into any lit fire. Quite often bad guys like Black Flagg and Doxol let the Flame right into their inner sanctums by this method.
The Flame was reinterpreted by Ajax Comics in a very short comic series called "The Flame" in 1954. In this version while very strong he was otherwise a normal human with flame playing no part of his abilities or adventures.
In his battles in World War 2 and against the criminals he faced he commonly used his hand held flame thrower that he built. He became acquainted with heroes like Black Terror, Green Lama, Fighting Yank and Death-Defying Devil, and all the other members of 'Superpowers'. This proved to be bad for the Flame when in a misguided attempt to save the world Fighting Yank captured him and the rest of his superhero team in the Urn of Pandora. A funeral was held for the Flame as his fellow heroes thought he was consumed by his own flames in a battle against the Japanese Army.
This left no one to suspect that the Flame was stuck in suspended animation in the Urn of Pandora, which he was joined by all the other members later on. After 60 years the Fighting Yank is confronted by the American Spirit who convinces the Yank to free all of the heroes, including the Flame, from the Urn. He's found in Hollywood, California after becoming confused by his time in the urn and burning the famous 'Hollywood' sign.
In the Superpowers team latest endeavor the the Flame is being sought out by Zues, disguised as Captain Future, who wants to take the Flame's Prometheus power for his own.
The Flame has the power to control Prometheus fire. He can teleport himself threw fire no matter what the size. He can also heat his body up to the point where bullets melt just from going near him,
He has pin point accuracy due to the use of his hand held flame thrower, by which he can generate heat from anywhere. He also has genius level intellect which he displayed by inventing that hand held flame thrower he uses. He has the average agility, strength and stamina of an normal human.