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Firelord

Contributed by Ronald Byrd

Pyreus Kril (Firelord) was a member of the Xandarian Nova Corps whose commanding officer, Gabriel Lan, was transformed into the Air-Walker, herald to the world-devourer Galactus. When the Air-Walker was slain in alien combat, Galactus created an android duplicate of his servant, but this replacement proved unsatisfactory, and when his path again crossed with Kril, he designated the Xandarian as his new herald. Firelord was later freed from Galactus’s service and lingered on Earth for a time as a somewhat unpredictable hero, but he later returned to space, discovering that his homeworld of Xandar had been decimated by the space pirate Nebula. It has since been rebuilt. In the course of his quest for vengeance, Firelord was accompanied by the Eternal rogue Starfox. Following an encounter with Nova II, the fire-powered woman who was then Galactus’s current herald, Starfox questioned Firelord: “Doesn’t your fiery nature ever burn simply for pleasure?”

Firelord: “Not the way you mean it, Eros! Not since the day Galactus made me the Firelord! Not since the day I lost my friend Gabriel—!”

The implication seems obvious enough. However, Firelord has been depicted in Uncanny Origins #4 as having had a female lover, Navigator Cortellia, with whom he was still involved by the time of transformation, and when Firelord survives into the 31st century, some level of attraction exists between him and Nikki of the Guardians of the Galaxy. No romantic relationship with Lan was suggested in the Uncanny Origins story. This seems to suggest that Firelord is bisexual. Considering that he is, after all, an extraterrestrial, it is even possible that this is simply an accepted aspect of Xandarian nature and all members of his species are bisexual. Perhaps they do not necessarily see two-person monogamous relationships as essential, if we assume that Kril was romancing Lan and Cortellia simultaneously, although this scenario has yet to be officially suggested. In “real life,” of course, it is safe to assume that the remark from Silver Surfer has simply been overlooked. Although for a time back in Galactus’s service following Nebula’s capture, along with a second android version of the Air-Walker, at last report, Firelord was again a cosmic wanderer, seeking his destiny alone. The precise relationship between Firelord and this doppleganger of his lost friend has never been revealed.

Like all of Galactus’s heralds, Firelord is imbued with the Power Cosmic, which in his case grants him control of stellar fire that he can manipulate for a variety of effects. He most often channels this energy through his staff, although it is only a focus for his power and not the source of it. He possesses superhuman strength, can fly at near-light speed through outer space unprotected, and is impervious to most forms of physical harm.

Firelord’s creators are Gerry Conway and John Buscema who debuted the character in Thor #225 (July, 1974).  The character is arguably revealed as bisexual in Silver Surfer #20. (volume 2). That story was written by Steve Englehart, who has introduced gay themes in the storylines of several series with various degrees of success.

Art by John Buscema, Joe Sinnott, and Glynis Wein (first image) from Thor #225 and Ron Lim, Joe Rubenstein, and Tom Vincent (second image).

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