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Follow the Path – Firestar

by  in Comic News Comment

In this feature I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media, as well as characters who entirely came from outside media. I’m sure you can think of other examples, so feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you want to suggest some other examples for future installments.

Today, based on suggestions from readers Rob O. and Lex W., we take a look at how one of Spider-Man’s Amazing Friends made her way into the Marvel Universe…

For three seasons in the early 1980s, Spider-Man starred on an animated television series called Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. The “Amazing Friends” were the mutant superheroes Iceman and Firestar, with the whole ice and fire thing going on.

Peter Parker, Bobby Drake and Angelica Jones were all college students together while they weren’t fighting crime as superheroes.

Angelica was likely based visually on Mary Jane Watson, who was not present in the series as a result (contrary to popular opinion, though, she wasn’t literally a re-worked Mary Jane drawing, as Firestar was part of the series from the original pitch – this is also why it is not true that she was a “replacement” for the Human Torch, as while they may have initially considered the Torch, he was out of the running before they ever made their first pitch).


Here is John Romita SR’s original design of Firestar (she was initially named Heatwave) as part of the pitch to the network for the show…


She was a key part of the series and even got a couple of spotlight episodes…


There was a comic based on the show released by Marvel…


And the three heroes appeared together in an advertising supplement, as well…


But it wasn’t until 1985, a few years after the show went off the air, that Angelica made her proper debut in the Marvel Universe, and it happened in a somewhat surprising place for a Spider-Man character (although, I guess, not really considering her background on the show itself)…

Uncanny X-Men #193 celebrated the 100th issue of the All-New, All-Different X-Men in the title and there is Firestar right there on the cover…


In the issue itself, we see that she is under the sort of mind control emotional spell of her teammate, Empath, one of the creepier mutants…


Empath is helping his Hellions teammate, James Proudstar, get revenge on the X-Men by manipulating Firestar into helping them attack the X-Men through love for Empath…


(Again, Empath is messed up)

In the end, the X-Men break the spell and Angelica is back to normal.


The next year, Tom DeFalco, Mary Wilshire and Steve Leialoha (with Bob Wiacek filling in one issue) did a cool mini-series where we see Angelica in her age 13, 14, 15 and finally 16th year, bringing her up to her appearance in Uncanny X-men #193.



The series had two amazing covers by comic book superstars Art Adams and Barry Windsor-Smith…



A few years later, she joined the New Warriors, where she had her most famous years.

Thanks for the suggestions, Rob and Lex! If anyone else has a suggestion, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!