Quote1 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! Quote2
-- Joe Rigger src

Joe 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.[1]

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.[2] Still later, Firebug escaped Blackgate Prison and 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.[3]




  • Insulated costume with hidden 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 appearances, Joe Rigger was African American. In subsequent appearances, he is depicted as Caucasian.[4][3]



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