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Meet the Freedom Fighters: Firebrand

The splash page for Police Comics #1 tells us everything we need to know about Firebrand, the hero who makes his first DC Comics appearance in Freedom Fighters #12:

For those who prefer words, though, Rod Reilly was the playboy son of steel tycoon Ed Reilly. He’s the first person we’ve met that became a masked vigilante simply because he was bored. He created the Firebrand persona to experience the thrills and adventure missing from his life.


During his first story, Rod suffers the same problem as his future Freedom Fighters teammates: while stopping a gang of jewel thieves, the police mistake him for one of the thieves and force him to flee. In his social circles, he must then listen to chit-chat about that “bad” Firebrand.

Originally drawn by Reed Crandall, Firebrand continued to fight crime in the pages of Police Comics for its entire 13-issue run between August, 1941, and November, 1942. During this time, he and his bodyguard, ex-heavyweight boxer “Slugger” Dunn, joined the Navy.

Fun Facts

  • Rod Reilly is an Olympic level athlete at the height of physical perfection

  • He’s a superb hand-to-hand combatant.

  • Firebrand’s costume consists of a transparent shirt and red pants.

  • The top half of his face is covered by a red bandana.

  • He uses a lariat and can climb buildings using vacuum cups:


Title: Police Comics

Issue #: 1

Cover Date: August, 1941

On Sale Date: 5-14-1941

Writer: S.M. Iger

Penciller: Reed Crandall

Inker: Reed Crandall

Editor: Ed Cronin

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