The Flame made his debut in Wonderworld Comics issue #3, published by Fox Feature Syndicate, in July 1939. He was the creation of writer Will Eisner and artist Lou Fine.
In the summer of 1940, the Flame was granted his own title, that ran for eight issues, until January 1942. Fox Publications folded the same year owing its creditors around $175,000.
The Flame's alter-ego is Gary Preston. Gary's father was a missionary working in China and he met his death during a flood. He did, however, manage to save the infant Gary by putting him in a basket. The basket was washed downstream where it was eventually found by a group of lamas. They brought the child to their monastery and raised him in their mystical ways. With the knowledge they had imparted, Gary is able to control both fire and temperature. He can also travel by teleporting inside of a flame. The Flame carries with him a small flamethrower to provide fire whenever needed. Water is the Flame's one major weakness.
When he becomes an adult Gary returns to the United States to begin his battle against crime. He is eventually partnered in this mission with Linda Dale who is known as Flame Girl.
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