St. John Allerdyce is an Australian mutant born in Sydney. Though his powers manifested at puberty, he did not make use of them for years save for emergencies. Unable to employ his abilities for profit, Allerdyce drifted from job to job, until he became a journalist for an Australian wire service, covering Vietnam and Indonesia. His experiences and travels inspired him to start writing novels (though he also wrote torrid romances). Although Allerdyce's novels were despised by renowned novelists and critics, he found a wide readership throughout the English-speaking world. Eventually, under unrevealed circumstances, Allerdyce met the mutant known Mystique and joined her rebranded version of the terrorist Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, under the name of Pyro, the man who controls the living flame.
The Brotherhood made a name for itself by attempting to assassinate anti-mutant presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly, by infiltrating the Pentagon, only to be thwarted by the X-Men and time-traveling Kate Pryde, who fought to prevent a dystopic future caused by the terrorist attack. During the battle, Pyro was defeated by a monsoon cast by Storm after she saved him from being killed by Wolverine.
Most of the Brotherhood members were sent to prison at Ryker's Island. After being freed by Mystique and Rogue, the Brotherhood reassembled and took part in a battle against the Avengers. Pyro was in direct conflict against the Beast and the Scarlet Witch, being ultimately knocked out by Hawkeye. Once again arrested, the Brotherhood was transported to the Windust Maximum Security Prison, where Pyro, Avalanche and the Blob were prevented from escaping the authorities by the hero Rom, though Mystique, Rogue, and Destiny managed to break free.
After Rogue became an X-Man, Mystique decided to attack her former adversary in seek of revenge for stealing her daughter from her. Once again, she reassembled the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, presumably helping her former allies to escape prison. The Brotherhood orchestrated a fake terrorist fire to trick the X-Man Colossus, which led his steel-form to be severely damaged by Pyro's scorching living flame. After attacking Nightcrawler, the Brotherhood was intercepted by the X-Men, and Pyro once again was defeated by Storm. However, the Brotherhood got off scot-free this time since Mystique traded their freedom for Professor X's safety.
Mystique's infiltration in the Pentagon allowed her to maintain the Brotherhood headquartered in its hidden chambers for months and to become familiar with Val Cooper. Mystique ultimately exposed her true identity to Cooper and offered the Brotherhood's services to the Commission on Superhuman Activities, in exchange for a pardon for their past crimes. Rebranded as Freedom Force, Mystique's group's first assignment under Val Cooper's orders was to capture Magneto in order to prove their competence. Though Freedom Force was defeated by the X-Men, with Pyro being personally knocked out by Colossus, Magneto decided to surrender and face a trial.
Pyro served as a sanctioned government agent in several missions, especially in attempts to capture illegal super-humans, such as the X-Men, the Avengers, and Rusty Collins, an assignment that led him to confront X-Factor and the New Mutants in several different occasions. Additionally, when Cooper assigned John Walker to step in as the new Captain America for the Commission, the Freedom Force assisted him in his training, when Pyro, Avalanche and the Blob constantly took opportunities to mock him.
When Destiny foresaw the imminent death of the X-Men, Freedom Force attempted to force them to be in custody in order to protect their lives, leading to a brief conflict between the two groups in Dallas. The two groups soon realized they faced a common threat, the entity known as the Adversary, and joined forces to defeat him, at the cost of the X-Men's lives. The death of the X-Men had consequences to Freedom Force, as they were approached and attacked by Magik and the New Mutants, and by X-Factor, who searched for explanations.
As an enforcer of the Mutant Registration Act, Pyro intervened in the liberty of several mutants as a member of Freedom Force. The group arrested the Alliance of Evil, staged a fake trial to bait the Resistants, and got the babies who had been kidnapped by Nanny into custody. In a minor assignment, Pyro and his teammate Blob, when trying to arrest a mutant named Amanda, got into conflict with Daredevil.
In one of their most brutal combats, Freedom Force battled the Reavers on the Muir Island, a tragedy that cost them the lives of Destiny and Stonewall, demarking the fall of the group. Failing at capturing and recruiting the Hulk, Cable, and Firestar, Freedom Force was ultimately dissolved after Val Cooper was compromised by the Shadow King and Mystique went missing.
Their last and disastrous mission took place in Kuwait and was led by Crimson Commando to liberate Reinhold Kurtzman. After being attacked by the Desert Sword, Pyro decided to burn Kurtzman alive rather than surrendering him. With Kurtzman dead and the Commando severely injured, Pyro and Blob were abandoned by in the Middle East, surrendering to the Desert Sword. They survived by offering their services as bodyguards to the ranking officer who captured them.
Pyro and Blob were freed by Toad and joined his version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants out of obligation and gratitude. This new Brotherhood formed an alliance with Morlocks and went up against the fledgling mutant team X-Force. Though unsuccessful, most of them, except for Sauron, managed to escape. Sauron returned to their allies as a way to convince the X-Patriots to join the Brotherhood, but their plans were foiled by Val Cooper's new government group, X-Factor. In another failed attempt to recruit a mutant, this time the teleporter known as Portal, the Brotherhood met their defeat at the hands of Spider-Man, Darkhawk and Sleepwalker.
Soon after, when Exodus offered asylum in Avalon for the Brotherhood's member Phantazia under Magneto's invitation, he mentioned Pyro was not worthy of joining them since he had been "tainted". Soon after, Pyro discovered that he had contracted the deadly Legacy Virus, a terminal mutant illness. At first, he sought help from Jonathan Chambers, the millionaire the Empyrean. Upon the revelation that Chambers was using his own powers to drain Pyro's energies, Pyro decided to stay under Chambers' treatment regardless. At the Empyrean's center, Pyro had the opportunity to reencounter his former teammates Avalanche and the Commando, now part of Project: Wideawake under Henry Gyrich's orders.
Having a change of mind by wanting to go out in a blaze of glory rather than die a slow death in bed, Pyro committed a spectacular crime scene, that brought him into conflict once again with the vigilante Daredevil. Pyro narrowly escaped being killed in a burning building at the end of this encounter. With his powers immensely out of control, his body intensely harmed by his own flames and his mind damaged by his disease, Pyro accidentally set a church on fire when talking to a priest. With the intervention of the X-Men, he was restrained but rescued by Avalanche before he could be apprehended, presumably under Mystique's orders. Pyro was then charged by Mystique of preventing the assassination of her son, the politician Graydon Creed, but he failed when he was captured by X-Factor, who had believed him to be the potential murderer.
As his condition worsened, Pyro robbed a New York City bank to acquire payment for a scientist who claimed to be able of removing his mutant genes. In the course of the robbery, Pyro was shot several times in his abdomen. He was taken to a nearby hospital where Dr. Cecilia Reyes, a mutant surgeon who had recently joined the X-Men, operated on him. Shortly afterwards, Pyro tricked Dr. Reyes into loosening his bonds, allowing him to escape.
Pyro then led a group of mutants to obtain a cure for the Legacy Virus by acquiring High Evolutionary's Isotope E, under the instructions of Exodus and the Acolytes. As they failed, Exodus, 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 as he was chased across Nebraska by the X-Men's rogue sentient Cerebro. Despite the X-Men's attempts to stop him, as they misunderstood his predicament, he managed to destroy the Cerebro unit. He finally collapsed, exhausted, after claiming to be working with Charles Xavier. S.H.I.E.L.D. took him into custody.
Pyro then surreptitiously attended a rally held by presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly. When his former teammates in the Brotherhood tried to assassinate the politician, Pyro warned the X-Men and even killed Post to save Kelly's life. Severely weakened by the strain, Pyro pleaded with Kelly to stop the hatred between humans and mutants, tragically dying in Kelly's arms as he succumbed to the Legacy Virus.
Return from Death
Briefly resurrected by Selene, Pyro joined her army of revived mutants during the foundation of Necrosha. Alongside Berzerker, he invaded Utopia and fought X-Force. Unexplainably, Pyro was seen alive when he, Sauron and Hairbag were attacked and captured by William Stryker. Pyro, as many other mutants, was brainwashed by Mentallo, but was eventually freed due to the efforts of Weapon X-Force. Later, after the apparent death of the X-Men, he joined Joseph's new Brotherhood, who attacked a military base in Transia. The Brotherhood was confronted by the X-Men, with Pyro being knocked out by Cyclops. A short time later, Pyro presumably met his demise, but the details that led to his death are unknown.
When mutantkind relocated to the mutant island-nation of Krakoa, Charles Xavier developed a process to allow mutant resurrection. Pyro was one of the first mutants to be brought back to life, being part of the early experimentations with the protocols. Upon learning he served as a guinea pig, he planned to steal a boat and cause trouble. He inadvertently infiltrated Kate Pryde's ship and fell asleep, which caused him to be drafted into the new Marauders by Storm's invitation. Pyro assisted the Marauders in defending a gate to Krakoa from a group of Russian soldiers and teamed up with Lockheed to defeat the attackers.
The Marauders became a marine rescue force that retrieved mutants who could not access Krakoa by themselves, performing several operations all over the globe. After defeating Batroc the Leaper and hijacking one of the Black King's ships, the team found themselves meeting up with Bishop in Taipei, where they were informed about Xavier's murder on Krakoa. Afflicted by the revelation, Kate Pryde took the Marauders to a nearby tattoo shop, where Pyro got a big black skull tattooed all over his face, a reference to the Marauders' pirate flag. In the following day, Emma Frost, the White Queen of Hellfire Trading, presented the Marauders with a gigantic ship, the Marauder, much to Pyro's excitement.
As the Hellfire Trading Company's pirates, the Marauders kept their good work of rescuing mutant refugees in Brazil and in Madripoor, where they were met by the Homines Verendi's agents, Hate-Monger, X-Cutioner and a microscopic Yellowjacket, who secretly infiltrated Pyro's body in order to invade Krakoa. However, before Pyro could arrive at Krakoa, Yellowjacket was caught in a mental trap planned by the White Queen and Bishop, forcing him to leave Pyro's organism. Later, Pyro threatened the Inner Circle of the Verendi with the White Queen's help. The Marauders struck back by ravaging the Verendi's forces in Madripoor. After Kate Pryde's funeral and resurrection, Pyro was seen with the X-Men at the end of the X of Swords tournament.
As the Marauders planned to conquer territory and influence in Madripoor to fend off the Verendi, Pyro, Iceman and Bishop built and bought several facilities in Lowtown, starting with the Princess Bar, which led them to fight the Reavers and Madripoor's navy. When Storm left the Marauders, on the Hellfire Gala's eve, Pyro expressed his admiration for her and the Marauders' crew. During the Gala event, Pyro was saluted by the White Queen alongside other members of the Hellfire Trading Company for their good work for Krakoa's best interests.
- Fire Manipulation: Pyro has the ability to cause any fire to grow in size and intensity and to take any form he desire. He usually refers to his fire creations as "the living flame", which he had usually shown to shape as gigantic claws, birds or golems. The size, power, and intensity of the fire-beings Pyro created were limited only by the extent of his imagination, the degree of his concentration and his force of will. He has shown the ability to use his flames to elevate Colossus's steel form's temperature near its melting point. Pyro can also manipulate intense heat blasts derived from microwaves, even though they are not necessarily ignited, such as those generated by Firestar.
- Fire Solidification: Pyro's fiery creations can manifest a high level of "solidity", differently from an ordinary fire, since his creations have been shown to be able to grasp his enemies for instance.
- Fire Invulnerability: Pyro is resistant to any fire he had placed under his control. He has been shown to absorb and redirect flames, commanding them to slide across his skin and even reach his heart. However, he could be harmed, just as any ordinary human would be, by any fire that he did not mentally control.
Pyro is an accomplished journalist and novelist, even though he does not have recognition from his peers.
- Although able to control any fire within his vicinity, Pyro is unable to generate and project fire himself without an external source. After joining the Marauders, Pyro often teams up with his teammate Lockheed, who has the ability to breathe fire, fueling Pyro's living flame.
- Pyro's influence on flames can be counterattacked in different ways. When targeted by Storm's intense monsoons, he lost the capacity to sustain his fire. In case the source of his fire is extinguished, he will not be able to maintain the fire either. When the Wasp blocked his flamethrowers, his living flame was destroyed.
- Pyro could be harmed by any fire that he did not mentally control. Pyro has to be able to see a flame in order to take control of it; in practical terms, the flame has to be within a 100-yard radius of him. Pyro cannot affect flames that he sees on a screen but which are not within this radius for instance. Any of Pyro's fiery creations will immediately revert to ordinary flame if he loses his interest in it.
Since Pyro is unable to create fire himself, he wears 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's mantle was used by a mutant named Simon Lasker, who was manipulated by Mesmero into joining his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but eventually helped the X-Men and was in a brief romantic relationship with Iceman. This second Pyro is presumably not Australian.
- "St. John", as a rare given name, is pronounced either as [ˈsɪnʤɪn] (SIN-jin) or [ˈsɪnʤən] (SIN-jən), having its origins as a tribute to St. John the Baptist or to St. John the Evangelist.
- "Pyro" ([ˈpaɪɹəʊ] PEYE-roh) is an English prefix from Greek origin which means "fire", being present in words such as "pyromaniac" and "pyrotechnics", and can also be used as shortening for these words.
- In his first appearances, Pyro was referred to as an Englishman and made use of British slang. However, upon his return a few years later to the X-Men pages, he was depicted as Australian, by speaking Australian vernacular and mentioning his grandmother lived in the inner-city of Wooloomooloo, near Sydney. Both characterizations were provided by creator Chris Claremont.
- When drawing Pyro for his first appearance, John Byrne envisioned him being gay. However, as Byrne left the book few months later, this characterization never came to be.
- Pyro was a successful writer of Gothic romance novels and was also a journalist prior to turning to crime. When running from the Reavers on Muir Island, he wondered if his new book would be a bestseller, indicating he kept writing even as an agent of Freedom Force. He kept writing on Krakoa being inspired by his adventures as a Marauder, authoring the best-selling romances The Burning Within and Men Overboard. His yet-to-be-published novel The Secret Tides of Salt Wives focused on a love story between a committed lady and an Australian seafarer.
- Pyro was constantly seen smoking cigarettes in his appearances during the 1980s.
- Pyro can play guitar and is a good singer, as it was shown when he performed Just Dropped In' and Ring of Fire for Nature Girl, Cypher and Egg on Krakoa.
- Pyro has unregretfully burned many human victims to death, but claims to draw the line at animal cruelty, being emotional about it.
- 139 appearance(s) of St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
- 16 minor appearance(s) of St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
- 11 mention(s) of St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
- 129 image(s) of St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
- 4 quotation(s) by or about St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
- 3 victim(s) killed by St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616)
Links and References
- St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- uncannyxmen.net Spotlight On... Pyro
- St. John Allerdyce (Earth-616) at Marvel Directory