Earth's Mightiest Annotations
by Sean McQuaid
Supplemental: Firebird

FIREBIRD (Bonita Juarez) is a southwestern social worker and occasional
adventurer who gained miraculous power over heat and flame when a failed
alien experiment created a fiery meteor that impacted near her in the
desert. A recurring associate of the Avengers since West Coast Avengers
[v2] # 4, Firebird eventually accepted official membership as of Avengers
[v1] # 305; however, she has served strictly in a reserve capacity and
works with the group quite infrequently, due in part to the fact that
her base of operations is New Mexico, far from the Avengers' current
New York headquarters. She first appeared in Incredible Hulk # 265 as
a founding members of the Rangers, a short-lived superhero team based
in the American southwest.

     Firebird first met the Avengers when she sought their aid in dealing
with the demonic mystic Master Pandemonium in West Coast Avengers [v2] # 4.
After aiding the Avengers against various foes in West Coast Avengers [v2] #
5-10, Bonita withdrew on a spiritual quest to better understand her power,
which she regards as a gift from God since she is a devoutly religious Roman
Catholic. When she renewed her association with the team in West Coast
Avengers [v2] # 17, she had adopted a new costumed identity as Espirita to
reflect her religious beliefs and her faith in the supposedly divine source
of her powers. As Espirita, she helped a suicidally depressed Hank Pym
rebuild his Avengers career; briefly romanced Pym; rescued the western
Avengers from Dominus's time travel trap alongside Pym, Moon Knight and the
Fantastic Four; confronted the Collector alongside the Avengers; and was
rescued by the Silver Surfer when the Collector tried to imprison her. She
broke off her brief romance with Pym after deciding they were incompatible
and left the Avengers again on another spiritul retreat. During this leave,
she met the aliens who had accidentally given her super-powers. Initially
angry and disillusioned that her benefactors were not God Himself, Firebird
soon accepted the revelation as a lesson in humility and comforted herself
with the belief that God might still be the author of her powers, albeit
more indirectly than she'd first imagined. Resuming her original alias as
Firebird, she returned to her career as a social worker and has continued to
act as Firebird on occasion, both alone and as an inactive reserve member of
the Avengers.

     Firebird's Avengers appearances include West Coast Avengers [v2] #
4-10 (as Firebird); West Coast Avengers [v2] # 17-24, West Coast Avengers
Annual # 2 & West Coast Avengers [v2] # 25 (as Espirita); and Avengers
Spotlight # 24, Avengers [v1] # 305, Avengers West Coast Annual # 4,
Avengers Spotlight # 27, Avengers Annual # 19, Avengers West Coast Annual
# 5 & Avengers [v3] # 1-3 (as Firebird). She appeared most recently in
Avengers [v3] # 1-3.

     Firebird has the ability to generate heat and flame, which she
can control with molecular precision. Common applications of her power
include intense heat, fire blasts, flame constructs, and convection
currents that she can use to propel herself or other objects through the
air. Firebird can also mentally control any heat or flame that originates
outside her body as well. Firebird has on occasion displayed additional,
seemingly mystical abilities that remain unexplained to date. She has
had prophetic visions, has a seemingly extrasensory awareness of evil and
the forces of magic, sometimes displays seemingly mystical intuition, and
on one occasion proved able to breathe in the vacuum of space. She also
once survived the ingestion of an alien poison that the Collector claimed
could kill any living being.

     Firebird appears here in her third costume, adopted as of Avengers
[v1] # 305; however, Perez has slightly modified the outfit as of this
story, adding a design element to her boots and chest emblem that looks like
a profile view of a bird's head.