Free Universe Characters


The Flame


Alias: Gary Preston
Occupation:  Adventurer
Group Affiliation:  The New Furies
Base of Operations:  New York
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 185 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Blond
First Appearance:  Wonderworld Comics #3 (Fox, July, 1939)
Known Creators: Will Eisner & Lou Fine


Gary was only a baby when his father, a missionary named Charteris Preston, living on the banks of the Yangtze River in western China, was washed away in a massive flood.  The reverend saw to it that one of his men should place the Infant in a basket, moments before the tidal wave of water crashed down upon their village.  The basket floated away, through the mouth of a cave and into the sacred valley of a sect of Tibetan monks.  Upon finding the boy, the monks declared him their new high grand lama, and guided him to great achievement. 

When a group of Western explorers entered the valley, Gary was sent with them, to rediscover the western world.  Raised with a sense of virtue, and appalled by the corruption he found in modern civilization, Gary decided to use his special talents to protect the innocent and avenge all acts of evil.


Equipment and Abilities:  
The Flame was granted a secret formula which enabled him to generate intense heat from within his own body.  The Flame can create an aura of heat around him which is capable of vaporizing approaching bullets, melting through steel walls and, of course, burning enemies.  Preston also developed a number of mystical abilities, through a lifetime of intense study, which are focused through the power of fire. Preston can look into a flame and see anything that is happening near another flame within a certain vicinity.  He can materialize himself within any flame in his vicinity, and because he is one with the flame, he is immune to its heat.  He can also walk on flame as if it were substantial, so that an arc of flame can serve as a bridge, slide or staircase for him.  Although Gary can become one with flame, he can not easily or reliably generate fire beyond his own aura.  For this reason he carries a small hand held flame thrower, which he refers to as his "Flame Gun."  While the Flame's powers were enhanced when he was in or near fire, water would dampen or extinguish all of The Flame's special abilities.

The monks who raised him also trained Preston in a variety of physical disciplines. He is unusually strong for his size, and his leaping ability is nearly superhuman.  He was an excellent hand to hand combatant.

In addition to these abilities, Preston also became reasonably wealthy when he returned to the United States. He owned his own secret laboratory and several vehicles which were painted red, with yellow flames. The vehicles included a 30 foot high speed power launch with grappling hooks to draw in a fleeing ship and a high speed stunt plane with mounted flamethrowers.


FLAME GIRL (Linda Dale)
Linda was Preston's girlfriend.  When The Flame was injured and in need of her help, he entrusted her with a formula that gave her the ability to generate an aura of heat and flame the way he could.  For a time, she became the Flame's crime fighting partner, and Preston attempted to teach her to use his other abilities.  However, when Linda appeared to be injured using her new powers, Preston asked her to stop using her abilities until she could learn to control them.  Linda felt obligated to keep fighting crime anyway.  Linda had a rich uncle named John.
First Appearance:
Wonderworld Comics #30 (1941)
Pug was a good friend of Gary and Linda who aided them in their adventures.  He carried a gun and he was a decent brawler.  Pug seemed to feel a lot of pressure to stop the bad guys himself, and often felt badly when he failed to protect his friends.  He spoke with a heavy Boston accent and his favorite phrase seemed to be "Aw Cheez!"
Jarvis was Preston's loyal butler, who sometimes accompanied him on missions as support.  His role seems to have been taken over by Pug.
First Appearance:
Wonderworld Comics #3 (1939)
Additional Images:



Copyright © 2011 Jason J. Stevenson.  Character bios and character designs are to be considered in the public domain.
However, original artwork is under copyright.  Please do not redistribute without consent.  Thank you.