|First appearance||X-Factor #1 (February 1986)|
|Alter ego||Russell "Rusty" Collins|
Mutant Liberation Front
United States Navy
|Abilities||"Pyromorphing" (Pyric Form or Fiery Form), Pyrokinesis|
The character subsequently appears in X-Factor #2 (March 1986), #4-5 (May–June 1986), #7-10 (August–November 1986), #12-23 (January–December 1987), #27-29 (April–June 1988), X-Factor Annual #3 (1988), X-Factor #30-33 (July–October 1988), X-Terminators #1-4 (October 1988-January 1989), The New Mutants #72-74 (February–April 1989), X-Factor #40-41 (May–June 1989), The New Mutants #76-78 (June–August 1989), #80 (October 1989), #82-87 (November 1989-March 1990), Fantastic Four #342 (July 1990), The New Mutants #100 (April 1991), Cable: Blood and Metal #1-2 (October–November 1992), X-Men #13 (October 1992), #15 (December 1992), X-Force #24-25 (July–August 1993), Cable #11 (May 1994), and X-Men vol. 2 #42 (July 1995).
Rusty Collins received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #2, and the Marvel Encyclopedia HC vol. #2 - 'X-Men' (2003).
Fictional character biography
Rusty Collins was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Raised by his uncle, Rusty joins the US Navy at sixteen years of age. His mutant power, generation of fire, manifests itself violently, burning a woman. Rusty is arrested, but when a prison guard playfully threatens him with deadly harm, he bursts into flames again and escapes.
X-Factor is alerted and comes to Rusty's aid, helping him to control his powers. He comes to live with X-Factor, who are slowly gathering a small team of mutant wards. Rusty forms a relationship with Skids, a former Morlock.
For a time, they all live upon Ship, a sentient being in the form of a long, rectangular spacecraft that towered over all other Manhattan skyscrapers. Rusty and the X-Terminators help X-Factor when an old booby-trap activates, threatening Ship's brain with a gigantic bomb. Ultimately, the bomb explodes harmlessly far above Manhattan.
During the "Inferno" storyline, Skids and the other wards, taking the name X-Terminators, the name their mentors used when traveling in their mutant guises, teamed up with the New Mutants to help rescue mutant babies from N'astirh, who was using them to help keep open a portal to Limbo. Rusty himself had gone back into custody at the Navy but willingly goes with the group when he realizes his younger friends, Leech and Artie Maddicks have been captured by demonic forces. At the conclusion of Inferno, with Artie, Leech and the even younger kidnapped children involved rescued from the demons, Rusty joins the New Mutants, along with Skids, Rictor and Boom Boom.
Rusty and Skids help out when long time New Mutants member Danielle Moonstar loses control of her mystical powers. During the incident they are separated from the rest of the group. Mystique's Freedom Force attacks them at Liberty Island. Part of this conflict involves the ultimate fate of the children Rusty helped rescue; he believes that Freedom Force had wrongfully taken them into custody.
Due to a fight with Nitro and Vulture, Rusty is brought back into the sights of Freedom Force. While attempting to escape, he was severely injured by the Blob. While recovering in the hospital, he and Skids were contacted by members of the Mutant Liberation Front. With soldiers opening fire on them, they felt there was no other choice than to join them.
Shortly after, Rusty and Skids were brainwashed by Stryfe into being two of his soldiers. During this, Rusty is part of an MLF strike team sent to a museum to steal an ancient artifact. Cable, the man who took over the New Mutants soon after Rusty left, is there. Cable slays MLF member Sumo. He attempts to kill the rest of the group but only gets two of them in the arm, Rusty included.
Due to the brainwashing, Rusty had no qualms about attacking former teammate Cannonball during the X-Cutioner's Song storyline. At the end of this story, the Mutant Liberation Front are turned over to the authorities.
Shortly after, Rusty and Skids were kidnapped by the Friends of Humanity. While being transported, X-Force (the team created by the former members of the New Mutants), rescued them. Arriving back to their base, X-Force was soon confronted by Exodus. He was inviting original New Mutants Cannonball and Sunspot to Avalon, a "safe haven" for selected mutants. Cannonball refused to go unless all former New Mutants present (Boom Boom, Rictor, Rusty and Skids) were invited also. While Exodus complained that Rusty and Skids were "damaged" due to their brainwashing, he finally acquiesced.
Upon arriving at Avalon, the mutants were taken to "the Savior" (in reality Magneto), who used his powers to undo the brainwashing done to Rusty and Skids. When X-Force arrived to save their friends, Rusty and Skids decided they would stay with Magneto, feeling that they owed him. With this being done, they joined the Acolytes.
When a mutant body belonging to Holocaust, a "survivor" from the Age of Apocalypse, was discovered floating in space near Avalon, it was brought on board. While on guard duty watching over the thought-to-be frozen body, Rusty's life force was drained by Holocaust, killing him.
Rusty is resurrected by means of the Transmode Virus to serve as part of Selene's army of deceased mutants. Under the control of Selene and Eli Bard, he takes part in the assault on the mutant nation of Utopia.
Powers and abilities
Rusty Collins is a mutant with the psionic ability of pyrokinesis. He can control and manipulate fire, as well as turn some or all of his body into flames. He is immune to the effects fire would otherwise normally have on his body.
In other media
Russell Collins / Firefist appears in Deadpool 2, portrayed by Julian Dennison. In this adaptation he is a New Zealander child who possesses fire controlling abilities and was tortured at "Essex School" along with other mutant children. In killing the school's headmaster who was his primary tormentor, he becomes fascinated with killing and in the future he kills Nathan Summers / Cable's family. The events of the film portray how the timeline is altered after Wade Wilson / Deadpool convinces him to let go of his desire to kill the headmaster of the school and killing in general. Sala Baker portrays an older version of the character during Cable's flashback sequences, set in a post-apocalyptic future.
A much younger version of Rusty appears in the X-Men episode "No Mutant is an Island". An orphan who Cyclops met while visiting his old orphanage in Nebraska, Rusty finds it hard to control his pyrokenetic powers. A man known as Killgrave offers to help and adopts Rusty, seemingly out of charity. In reality, Killgrave, a mutant himself with telepathic abilities, wants to use the powers of Rusty, Skids, Boom Boom, Rictor, and Whiz Kid to take over as governor. Cyclops is able to snap Rusty and the others out of Killgrave's hypnotic brainwashing.
- X-Factor #1 (February 1986)
- X-Factor #16 (May 1987)
- X-Factor #28 (May 1988)
- X-Terminators #1-4 (October 1988-January 1989), The New Mutants #72-73 (February–March 1989). Marvel Comics.
- X-Terminators #1 (October 1988). Marvel Comics.
- The New Mutants #76 (June 1989). Marvel Comics.
- New Mutants #80. Marvel Comics.
- New Mutants #86 (February 1990)
- The New Mutants #87 (March 1990). Marvel Comics.
- Cable: Blood and Metal #1 (October 1992)
- X-Men vol. 2 #15 (December 1992)
- X-Force #24 (July 1993)
- X-Force #25 (August 1993)
- X-Men vol. 2 #42 (July 1995)
- X-Force (3rd Series) #21, January 2010