- I owe the army one thing-- it gave me a skill I didn't have before! It made me a demolitions expert-- a master in the art of incendiary explosives-- and enabled me to equip this insulated costume with hidden tanks of a concentrated napalm derivative! Yeah, the army made me a Firebug-- and I'm putting what they thought me to good use!
- — Joe Rigger src
Joseph Rigger was a soldier during the Vietnam War, who was trained in explosives and demolitions. Before he could return to Gotham City, his family had been killed in three separate building-related accidents. His sanity slipping, Rigger set out to destroy the buildings using his military training and a costume containing tanks of napalm. Under the alias of Firebug, he burned the first two buildings in his list. Before he could burn the third one, he was defeated by the Batman atop the towering Gotham State Building, and believed dead after his costume exploded.
Firebug reappeared some time later, taking on a mission from the Calculator to invade Hero Hotline's HQ, but was disarmed and defeated by the Hotline members. Still later, Firebug applied for membership in Black Mask's gang, but was beaten by his rival arsonist, Firefly. He subsequently attempted to prove he was a better arsonist, and again appeared to be killed by his own inferno.
Rigger again turned out to be alive, although covered in burns. He helped the detectives of the GCPD'S Major Crimes Unit apprehend the new Firebug, to whom Rigger had sold his suit. He was never seen again after that.
- Firebug suit: Insulated costume with hidden antigrav tanks of a concentrated napalm derivative. The gloves of the suit were designed as flamethrowers.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- In his first appearance, Joe Rigger was African American. In subsequent appearances, he is depicted as Caucasian.
- 11 Appearances of Joseph Rigger (New Earth)
- 4 Images featuring Joseph Rigger (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Joseph Rigger (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Joseph Rigger (New Earth)