"Step Two: Associate With the Wrong People": Human Flame is surprised to find that he survived the explosion, and is ready to spend all the money he stole from the Kyrgyzstani mafia - but the suitcase with the money is in the car, which promptly explodes. He is about to give up, when he reiterat
- You don't need-need your gall bladder, do you? Because, I could really use the space.
Appearing in "Step Two: Associate With the Wrong People"
- General Immortus
- Professor Milo
- Brown Recluse (First appearance)
- Condiment King
- Miss Army Knife (First appearance)
- Mister Polka Dot
- N-Emy (Only appearance; dies)
- Phoney Baloney (First appearance)
- Seductress (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Step Two: Associate With the Wrong People"
Human Flame is surprised to find that he survived the explosion, and is ready to spend all the money he stole from the Kyrgyzstani mafia - but the suitcase with the money is in the car, which promptly explodes. He is about to give up, when he reiterates his determination not to give in. Robbing the corpse of the lead mobster, he steals his wallet and keys. He breaks into the man's apartment, where he is attacked by a trio of corgis. Enraged, he throws them out the window and beguns to ransack the place. He grabs the mobster's "escape kit" - a change of clothes and some money - and leaves.
That night, he meets with Heat Wave. With his prototype crime-suit gone, he needs some other means of perpetuating his "Human Flame" persona, and he wants to buy one of Heat Wave's pistols. He offers $5000, and Heat Wave turns him down. Human Flame, enraged, grabs one of the pistols, and the two men start shooting at one another. Heat Wave pins him and retrieves the gun, telling him that supervillainy is not "something you turn yourself into, Mike. It's something you just are."
The warehouse turns out to be full of fireworks, and Heat Wave makes a run for it, empty-handed. He runs to the last pplace he can think of - the Evil Spirits bar. He asks for a doctor who takes IOUs, but no-one can help - except the Condiment King, who has a suggestion...
Meanwhile, Green Lantern and Firestorm are still tracking the Human Flame.
The Condiment King has led the Human Flame to an abandoned building, where he introduces him to his leader - Immortus. While dying on Salvation, Immortus had an epiphany, and is now assembling a group of second-rate villains. He also introdues Human Flame to the doctor - "mad scientist" Achilles Milo.
When Human Flame wakes up, he has been enhanced - he now has built-in cybernetic flamethrower attachments, and feels as good as new. Taking him to see Immortus, he sees Immortus accusing N-Emy of stealing something from him. As first act within the group, Human Flame must kill him. Human does so, but suddenly doubles over - his pain receptors are still dealing with the surgery, and Immortus does not beieve he will survive.
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