- "When you took powers from him, you gave them to me. And now I'm gonna get what he couldn't. Money!"
- —Jaco Birch to Matthew Kim[src]
Jaco Birch, nicknamed The Hotness, is a commoner-turned-criminal, who accidentally received meta-human powers during a confrontation between Matthew Kim and Eric Frye. With his newfound fiery powers, Jaco tried to commit robbery and attacked a police squad, saying that he'd get what Eric could not – money. He was stopped by Central City's newfound hero, the temporary Flash.
It is unknown whether Jaco was a criminal before getting powers. In fact, he ended up becoming a victim of a crime committed by Eric Frye, a S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator-mutated meta-human, who took hostages during his bank robbery, Jaco among them. Eric was challenged by Matthew Kim, a lone meta vigilante, who thought he was trying to save Central City by taking powers away from meta-human criminals. Unbeknownst to Matthew, he actually transmitted mutations from one person to another, and, as such, gave Eric Frye's fiery powers to Jaco Birch.
Finding himself armed with pyrokinetic powers, Jaco went on to become a criminal, presumably setting fire to at least one building. He later used his pyrokinesis to attack the police officers, and was once again confronted by Matthew Kim. Kim demanded that Birch surrender his powers, but Jaco refused, saying that he figured out that Matthew was actually not just taking other people's powers, but transmitting mutations to the first person they touched. He released a wave of fire at Matthew, who was saved at the last moment by the new Flash. Jaco turned himself into the center of a fiery tornado, threatening to burn everything around him, forcing the Flash to create a tidal wave to stop him at the advice of Harry Wells and Barry Allen. As Jaco was enjoying his powers, his fire was swiftly extinguished by an incoming tidal wave, and he was apprehended by the CCPD. It was mentioned that Jaco was remanded to Iron Heights Prison.
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Jaco as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019, only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.
Jaco Birch's name is seen amongst Cisco Ramon's 'Who's Who?' binder, where he has now been nicknamed "The Hotness".
Jaco had a posturing, self-confident disposition, flaunting his newfound powers and enjoying himself talking. He was smart enough to figure out how he got the powers and the way Matthew Kim's mutation worked. His motivation was simply to demand money in the hammiest way possible. He's a fan of the "KISS" band and rock'n'roll in general, saying "Long live Rock'n'roll!" as he turned himself into a fiery tornado.
Powers and abilities
- Meta-human physiology: Matthew Kim accidentally transmitted the meta-gene from Eric Frye to Jaco Birch, which in the process granted Birch the same powers.
- Pyrokinesis: Birch received Eric Frye's pyrokinetic powers, which were previously stated by Cisco to be capable of reaching 6,000 °F. Birch also displays the ability to manifest a fiery vortex around him.
- Heat resistance: Birch displays resistance and possibility immunity to extreme heat, as shown when Birch surrounds himself in a fiery vortex without coming to any visible harm.
- Water: Like most fire, water can extinguish Birch's flames.
- As Hotness is in Cisco's Who's Who Binder, it means he either gained his powers from the Particle Accelerator or Melting Point never got the chance to take his powers away.
- With the revelation that Jaco Birch is actually The Hotness, this makes him the ninth case of gender-bending on , succeeding Brie Larvan, Lucious Coolidge, Mina Chaytan, Izzy Bowin, Janet Petty, Spencer Young, Joslyn Jackam, and Raya Van Zandt.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, a (most likely unrelated) villain with a surname Birch was seen in Robin Vol 4 81.
- The Hotness was a female villain that was seen during the Forever Evil storyline where she was killed by Killer Frost.
- The character may be named after J.J. Birch a pseudonym of DC comic book artist Joe Brozowski who worked for a long time on comics about another fire-related character, Firestorm.