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DC's Firefly: 6 Things To Know About The Potential Batgirl Movie Villain

 Brendan Fraser in Professionals
(Image credit: The CW)

An essential highlight of Brendan Fraser’s recent career comeback was his casting on one of the most popular DC TV shows, Doom Patrol (as Cliff Steele / Robotman), and it looks like the DC movies are part of the next stage of his career. The No Sudden Move cast member has, reportedly, been brought on to star in HBO Max’s upcoming Batgirl movie, with rumors suggesting he will play DC’s Firefly. In case you were wondering: yes, he does dress as the very insect his alias suggests, but there is far more to learn about this comic book villain than that, such as his interesting career before he became a professional criminal.

Garfield Lynn Firefly from DC Comics

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Firefly Is A Former Movie Special Effects Expert

Created by comic book writer France Edward “Ed” Herron and artist Dick Sprang, Firefly made his DC Comics debut in Issue #184 of Detective Comics in 1952, when he still known only as Garfield Lynns. When his career creating special effects for movies was not working out as successfully as he needed, he decided to see if he could use his best skill, pyrotechnics, as a means to profit off of the wealthy in Gotham City. His first criminal act was staging a fake fire in a movie theater so he could steal whatever belongings the audience left as they escaped to safety - which would, of course, attract the attention of the city’s most trusted duo of superheroes.

Batman and Robin find a firefly

(Image credit: DC Comics)

A Funny Mistake By Batman And Robin Inspired Firefly’s Name 

While Batman and Robin successfully prevented Garfield Lynns from robbing the Gotham City moviegoers with his otherwise impressive incendiary illusion, he was able to avoid capture - and likely a good beating from the Dark Knight himself - for what is honestly a pretty hilarious reason. The dynamic duo thought they spotted the burning tip of Lynns’ cigarette and began following its path, only to discover once they were close enough that they were actually chasing a little firefly all along. When Lynn learned about the superheroes’ mistake, he took that as a sign to give his criminal persona a proper name and aesthetic and, thus, DC’s first iteration of Firefly was born.

Garfield Lynns is Firefly

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Firefly Was Reimagined As An Arsonist In 1993

I say “DC’s first iteration of Firefly” because the character we were introduced to in 1952 is not necessarily the same character we see in many of the villain’s subsequent appearances - something that the DC Multiverse is obviously notorious for. In fact, when he was reimagined in 1993 in Detective Comics #661 and #662, it was still Garfield Lynns in the winged suit and he was also still a Hollywood special effects expert, but he was actually very successful and it was his obsession with fire that ended up driving him to a life of crime. 

According to further research found out by Robin, and a tesitmony by Lynns’ sister Amanda, his objective was to vengefully set ablaze all the places in Gotham City which he was promised he would be able to visit as an orphaned child (such as theme parks and the local zoo) before his potential adoptive parents decided not to take him in.

Batgirl and Nightwing

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Batgirl And Nightwing Teamed Up Against A New Version Of Firefly

At this point you may have noticed that there is nothing really concrete to connect Firefly to Batgirl. That's because the hero and villain would not officially cross paths in the comics until the release of Nightwing Annual Vol.3 - as part of the New 52 - in 2013. Partnered with Nightwing, she took on Garfield Lynns, whom famous actress Cindy Cooke claimed burned her former boyfriend, Ted Carson, to death and had been stalking her ever since. 

As it turned out, it was really Carson who murdered Lynns, used his corpse to pose as his own, and took on the Firefly persona as part of an elaborate scheme to get Cindy to run away with him - which Batgirl and Nightwing promptly foiled. Bonus fact: Ted Carson was originally created by Batman co-creator Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff and debuted in Batman #126 in 1959.

Michelle Veintimilla as Lady Firefly on Gotham

(Image credit: Fox)

A Female Version Of Firefly Was Introduced On The TV Series Gotham

One of the more recent iterations of the Firefly character is actually an apprentice of Ted Carson’s, named Bridgit Pike, who would go by the name “Lady Firefly” after she was introduced in the DC Comics universe in Detective Comics #988 in September 2018. However, that was not the character’s official debut, because (in an origin story similar to Harley Quinn’s transition from Batman: The Animated Series to the comics) she was originally created for Gotham and was played by Ecuadorian actress Michelle Veintimilla, who joined the Gotham cast in Season 2 before later reprising the role on its fourth season. 

The hit Batman prequel TV show saw the injured arsonist team-up with the likes of Camren Bicondova’s Catwoman, the clownish Valeska brothers, and additional criminals, before her ultimate defeat at the hands of young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz.

Andrew Dunbar as Firefly on Arrow

(Image credit: The CW)

Firefly Has Also Appeared In Several Other Iterations On Screen

However, Ted Carson and Bridgit Pike’s partnership was not the first time Firefly made the transition from the comics to the screen, which was actually on The New Batman Adventures as voiced by Young Justice’s Lex Luthor actor, Mark Rolston. Other DC animated movies (like Batman: Bad Blood) and TV shows (like The Batman and HBO Max’s Harley Quinn) have taken a swing at the character, but his only other notable live action appearance until now was on Arrow

The Season 1 episode, “Burned,” introduced the very different (but thematically appropriate) interpretation of Garfield Lynns (played by Netflix’s There’s Someone Inside Your House star Andrew Dunbar) as a former member of the Starling City firefighter unit called “The Fireflies,” who goes on a spree killing his old colleagues after an accident that left him assumed dead really made him a badly burned, vengeful recluse.

Now, it appears that good, old Brendan Fraser is about to become the next one to don the Firefly suit and the first to do so in a live-action, feature-length film. Will this be the same Hollywood pyrotechnics expert we first met in 1952, or will it be yet another version of Garfield Lynns we have not seen before? We shall find out when Batgirl premieres on HBO Max in 2022.

Jason Wiese

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.