St. John Allerdyce was born and raised in Australia. His powers emerged at puberty, but since he could not think of a way to use them for profit, for years he did not use them except in emergencies. For a time, Allerdyce drifted from job to job around the South Seas. Eventually, he became a journalist for an Australian wire service and covered Vietnam and Indonesia. What he saw and experienced in his travels became the basis for novels he began writing. (He also wrote torrid Gothic romances.) Allerdyce's novels were despised by serious novelists and critics, but they found wide readership throughout the English-speaking world. Under circumstances that have yet to be revealed, Allerdyce met the mutant called Mystique, who learned of his mutant powers. As a result, Allerdyce joined her new version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants under the name of Pyro.
Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
The Brotherhood made a name for itself by attempting to assassinate anti-mutant politician Senator Robert Kelly, only to be thwarted by the X-Men and time-traveling Kate Pryde. Most of the members were sent to prison, and fought a major battle with the Avengers when they attempted to break out of jail.
Months later, Mystique's Brotherhood, renamed Freedom Force, entered the employ of the United States government, which pardoned its members for their past crimes in exchange for service. After several missions for Freedom Force, which brought Allerdyce and his comrades into conflict with various super-powered teams, the U.S. government disbanded the group following a disastrous mission in Kuwait. Pyro and his teammate Blob were abandoned in the Middle East, and spent some time as Iraqi prisoners of war. They survived by offering their services as bodyguards to the ranking Iraqi officer who captured them.
Pyro resurfaced as a member of another version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, headed up by the X-Men's old foe (and a member of the original Brotherhood) the Toad. Toad had bartered for Pyro and Blob's freedom from the Iraqis, so they joined his team out of obligation or gratitude. This Brotherhood went up against the fledgling mutant team X-Force and the new government group X-Factor, but met their defeat.
Legacy Virus & Heroic Death
Soon after, Pyro discovered that he had contracted the Legacy Virus, a terminal illness that affects mutants. At first, he sought help from the millionaire Jonathan Chambers, aka Empyrean, but Chambers was using his own powers to drain Pyro's energies. Wanting to go out in a blaze of glory rather than die a slow death in bed, Pyro committed a spectacular crime that brought him into conflict with the costumed crime fighter Daredevil. Pyro narrowly escaped being killed in a burning building at the end of this encounter. Mystique later recruited Pyro to prevent the assassination of her son, Presidential candidate Graydon Creed, but he failed.
Later, Pyro robbed a New York City bank to acquire payment for a scientist who claimed he could cure him by removing his mutant genes. In the course of the robbery, Pyro was shot several times in the abdomen. He was taken to a nearby hospital where Dr. Cecilia Reyes, a surgeon who was a mutant and had recently joined the X-Men, operated on him. Shortly afterwards, Pyro tricked Dr. Reyes into loosening his bonds and he escaped.
Pyro then led a group of mutants to obtain a Legacy cure by acquiring the High Evolutionary's Isotope E, under the instructions of Exodus and the Acolytes. They failed, and the Acolytes (who never intended to help them at all) abandoned them in the Savage Land. Not long after, Pyro returned to the United States by unknown means and was chased across Nebraska by the X-Men's rogue sentient Cerebro. Despite the X-Men's attempts to stop him (for they misunderstood his predicament), he managed to destroy the Cerebro unit and finally collapsed, exhausted. SHIELD took him into custody, but it is not known how he eventually became free again. Finally, Pyro surreptitiously attended a rally held by presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly, and when his former teammates in the Brotherhood attempted to assassinate the politician, Pyro warned the X-Men and killed Post to save Kelly's life. Severely weakened by the strain, Pyro pleaded with Kelly to stop the hatred between humans and mutants, and then died in Kelly's arms.
Dawn of X
When the X-Men relocated to Krakoa, they began experimenting with resurrection. Pyro was one of the first to be brought back to life. When he discovered he was just a guinea pig, he planned to escape on a boat and cause trouble. He was then drafted into the new Marauders by Storm, though he was ordered not to kill his opponents. He then assisted the Marauders in defending a gate to Krakoa from a group of Russian terrorists, teaming up with Lockheed to defeat the attackers. The team eventually found themselves meeting up with Bishop in Taipei, where he quickly informed them about Xavier's murder on Krakoa. Kate Pryde then took the Marauders to a nearby tattoo shop, where she got a series of knuckle tats marked with the words "Hold Fast". Pyro, however, took things way too seriously and got a big black skull tattooed all over his face.
Pyro was a mutant with the following powers:
- Fire Manipulation: Pyro was a mutant with the psionic ability to cause any fire, however small, to grow in size and intensity and to take any form that he desired, even that of a living creature. He could then psionically cause that creature of "living flame" to do anything he wished. For example, if he caused a fire to take the form of a gigantic bird of prey, he could mentally direct the "bird" to fly and attack a victim. The size, power, and intensity of the fire-beings Pyro created were limited only by the extent of his imagination and the degree of his concentration. The degree of concentration required was directly proportional to the size, power, and heat intensity of the flame-being. Pyro had to be able to see a flame in order to take control of it; in practical terms, the flame had to be within a 100-yard radius of him. (Pyro couldn't affect flames that were not within his vicinity but which he saw via television.) Once having established control over a fire, he could continue to control it after it had left his range of sight, but only with a degree of difficulty that increased as the distance between himself and the flame-being increased. Pyro could, for example, create a fiery "bird" and command it to fly beyond the range of his sight, but if it then collided with a wall or if his concentration was in the least diminished, the "bird" would revert to being ordinary fire. Any of Pyro's fiery creations would immediately turn to ordinary, amorphous fire if he turned his interest from them.
- Fire Solidification: Pyro's fiery creations could have greater "solidity" than an ordinary fire of the same size. A gigantic fire-bird, for example, could grasp a large, heavy object with its talons and carry it off into the air. The heat of the fire would affect the object just as a normal fire would.
- Fire Invulnerability: Pyro was invulnerable to any fire that he had placed under his psionic control. However, he could be harmed (just as any ordinary human would be) by any fire that he did not mentally control.
Pyro was an accomplished journalist and novelist.
Normal human male with little regular exercise.
Pyro, although able to control any fire within his vicinity, was unable to generate and project fire himself, without the means of flamethrowers. He could be harmed by any fire that he did not mentally control. Pyro had to be able to see a flame in order to take control of it; in practical terms, the flame had to be within a 100-yard radius of him. Pyro couldn't affect flames that he saw on television but which were not within this radius. Any of Pyro's fiery creations would immediately revert to ordinary flame if he turned his interest from it.
Pyro couldn't create fire himself, although he could cause an already existing fire to grow tremendously. For this reason, he wore a kerosene-based flame-thrower on his costume, which could project a stream of flame up to 25 feet away, so that he could use it to start a fire which he could then manipulate. He also wore a specially insulated costume that afforded him a certain degree of protection against fires he did not control.
- Pyro was a successful writer of Gothic romance novels and was also a journalist prior to turning to crime.
- Pyro's name "St. John" is pronounced Sinjin or Sinjun, which is a common pronunciation from Commonwealth countries including his country of origin, Australia.
- When drawing Pyro in his first appearance, John Byrne envisioned him being gay.
- 133 Appearances of St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
- 13 Minor Appearances of St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
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- Character Gallery: St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
- St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616) at Marvel Directory
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- Cronin, Brian (28 July 2017). Comic Legends: Which X-Men Villain Was Originally Intended to be Gay?. CBR.com. Retrieved on 30 March 2018.
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