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First appearing as a member of Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Pyro was created by writer Chris Claremont and penciler/co-plotter John Byrne for Uncanny X-Men #141–#142 (1981). In those issues Pyro participated in Mystique's first attempt to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly. Pyro has the mutant ability to mentally control fire: he can increase its size and intensity and even manipulate its shape. For example, he can cause a fire to take the form of a living creature, and then direct it to attack an opponent. Pyro's power does not enable him to create flames, so he wears a flamethrower as part of his costume. Once Pyro has taken psionic control of a fire, he is invulnerable to it. Claremont revealed Pyro's backstory for The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983–1984). He was Australian St. John Allerdyce, and he worked as a journalist and novelist before allying himself with Mystique. Eventually Pyro fell victim to the Legacy Virus, which distorted his powers, causing flames in his vicinity to rage uncontrollably. Facing his mortality caused Pyro to reevaluate his life. His final act was to prevent Mystique's minion post from killing Kelly, and Pyro died in the senator's arms. But Pyro still lives onscreen. Played by Aaron Stanford, Pyro was introduced in X2: X-Men United (2003) as American teenager John Allerdyce, a student at Professor Xavier's school for mutants who ends up allying himself with the terrorist Magneto instead. Pyro has also appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.