Tuesday, August 18, 2015

GOTHAM Casts Michelle Veintimilla as Firefly

Gotham is out to prove there's equal opportunity for pyromaniacs.

TVLine reported yesterday that the Fox series Gotham has cast Michelle Veintimilla as Bridgit Pike, a new female version of DC Comics supervillain Firefly.

Pike will appear in the fifth and sixth episodes sometime in late fall, and is described in the article as "Enslaved by her brothers, a notorious gang of arsonists, Bridgit Pike is forced into the family business.  When she catches the eye of Selina Kyle, the young Catwoman and the soon-to-be-Firefly team up to put Bridgit’s firestarting skills to good use.  But after a deadly encounter with the Pike Brothers, the meek Cinderella is transformed into a vengeful supervillain, hell bent on destroying those who have wronged her."

Veintimilla appeared as Sarah Branson on the Lifetime series Those Who Kill, and has had roles in the film Not Cool and on episodes of The Good Wife and One Life to Live.

Created in 1952 by France Herron and Dick Sprang, Firefly first appeared in Detective Comics (vol.1) #184 as Garfield Lynns, a down-and-out film visual effects expert who attempts to rob a theatre by faking a fire, only to be stopped by Batman and Robin.  He escapes, and in the darkness Batman sees a distant firefly, which he mistakes for Lynns' lit cigarette and chases in the wrong direction.  Inspired, Lynns becomes the Firefly, using various lighting effects and optical illusions in his crimes.

After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character was reworked as a pyrotechnic expert for motion pictures who fell victim to Gotham City's severe poverty and turned to crime, displaying signs of pyromania.  Following his capture by Batman and Robin after his first robbery, Lynns took up arson as a hobby, but it soon turned to an obsession.  Believing he can see visions in the flames and inspired by actual fireflies, he built a suit and became a professional arsonist.

A second Firefly, Ted Carson, was introduced in Batman (vol.1) #126 in 1959 by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff.  Carson was an ostentatiously wealthy gold mine heir who gambled away the family fortune and turned to crime to maintain his lifestyle.  In the current New 52 continuity, Carson was a former high school teacher who tried to incinerate everything that separated him from his ex-girlfriend Cindy Cooke.  He seemingly murdered Garfield Lynns along the way and attempted to use Lynns (a known pyromaniac) as a scapegoat for his crimes.  Carson was defeated by Nightwing and Batgirl.

Veintimilla will be the second person to portray Firefly in live action, after Andrew Dunbar in the Arrow episode "Burned."  The character has appeared in a number of animated projects, including The New Batman Adventures and Justice League (voiced by Mark Rolston), The Batman (voiced by Jason Marsden), and Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Robin Atkin Downes).

Gotham returns to Fox for Season 2 on Monday, September 21st.

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