That could have been the title for Heat Wave’s first appearance in Flash #140 (November, 1963, by John Broome and Carmine Infantino), wherein this hot Flash foe was introduced. It wasn’t, the title was “The Heat Is On…For Captain Cold!”. And there in began the battle of the heat and the cold!
Mick Rory was a kid who was fascinated with fire. So much so, that he watched his parents’ home burn…with them in them. Mick was then raised by his uncle, and later ran away to join the circus and became a fire-eater.
Didn’t help him though, he burned the circus down, and was left without a home.
Mick was inspired by the Rogues to become Heat Wave, and he came up with his fire-resistant costume and heat gun, and started a competition with Flash foe, Captain Cold. This led to Heat Wave joining Flash’s Rogues’ Gallery (in Flash #155, September 1965), and many battles with the Flash for a time, both with and without the rest of the Rogues.
Mick does get tired of the criminal life, and tries to give it up for a time, encouraged by his Flash foe (secretly Barry Allen), and Mick even helps Flash capture a Heat Wave impostor (Flash #312, August 1982). With what seemed to be Barry Allen’s death during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Heat Wave had most of his reason to be a criminal, though he did mix it up with Blue Devil once (in Blue Devil #30, with the rest of the Rogues, fighting Gorilla Grodd!).
Heat Wave tried to reform, working with Captain Cold for a time, and even helped the heroes during the Invasion! (1988), but Captain Cold’s criminal nature and Mick’s own fascination with fire led him to work with Weather Wizard, Captain Boomerang, and the new Mirror Master to release the demonic Neron, where the Earth’s heroes had to face the Underworld Unleashed (November 1995). Neron had these foes trapped in hell, and later released them to bedevil the Flash (at this time, Wally West, having picked up his mentor’s name and costume, in Flash #123-129, 1997). Now, the Rogues worked together to prevent themselves from going to hell, having spent some time there (see New Year’s Evil: The Rogues)!
Working on the side of the angels didn’t last for Heat Wave, who teamed up with Green Lantern Kyle Rayner’s version of Sonar and Green Arrow Connor Hawke’s foe Hatchet to free the magnetic foe, Dr. Polaris (happening in Green Lantern #96, Green Arrow #130 and Flash #135 in March, 1998). Still, regretting this, Heat Wave tried to help out at Cadmus while Superboy was missing, and ended up working security there for a time under the watchful eye of the Guardian (on and off from Superboy #65 to 90 in 1999 through 2001). Though, he didn’t make it to the cover of any issue of Superboy, so it seems like his reformation in this title wouldn’t last.
Still, the pull of the Rogues got to Mr. Rory, and he came back to work with them for a time (though working more with the reformed Rogues…the original Trickster/James Jesse and Pied Piper). Still, at the end of the Rogue War (Flash #220-225, 2005), the Rogue’s were reunited (with Captain Cold seeming to win the battle between him and Heat Wave, as the Rogues were definitely not on the side of the angels anymore), and all pretense of Mick’s reformation had gone up in smoke.
By the time of the Infinite Crisis, Mick was willing to work with other fire-foes like Effigy, Plasmus and Scorch against Superman (Superman #225, March 2006), and this Infinite Crisis didn’t help poor Wally West, either…
Then, Mick was one of the Rogues who helped kill Bart Allen (he who was formerly Impulse and Kid Flash, and after the Infinite Crisis was Flash for a short time, and the Rogue’s ended his time as the Flash in Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10-13, 2007). This sparked a manhunt for the Rogues and all villains, and let to the villains being exiled off-Earth in Salvation Run (2008), and a Countdown to the Final Crisis.
Eventually, the Rogues returned to Earth, refused to work for Libra when he was working against the Justice League in the Final Crisis, instead choosing to get their revenge on Inertia (the Impulse foe who tricked the Rogues into killing the Bart Allen version of the Flash and finish off some Gotham Underground impostors who had tried to use Rogue weapons, in Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge, 2008), had no sympathy for similarly themed Martian Manhunter foe, the Human Flame, and worked with the Rogues to stave off the rising of the undead Flash foes during the Blackest Night (in Blackest Night: The Flash, 2010).
Heat Wave even worked with the Rogues to help fight the Renegades (25th Century police who used the Rogues as templates for their own to fight time travellers; basically a group like the Rogues, but inspired to do good by the Reverse-Flash of the 25th Century – Heat Wave’s equivalent was Heatstroke, and this all happened in The Flash #3-7, 2010).
Then, Flash faced his foe, the Reverse-Flash, and changed time in Flashpoint (with an alternate Heat Wave being the star of the Flashpoint: Legion of Doom mini-series…though Heat Wave was never a member of the original Legion of Doom, like Toyman II, instead, in a Flash-less world, he was a foe of Cyborg), and, now we await the return of Heat Wave in the New 52, which I’m sure will be a scorcher!