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"I am. A total loser. Have been since the day I was born. Thought having powers would change all that, but all that did was make things worse. And now they turn the only good thing in my life against me? My own kid. All I wanted when I got out of Iron Heights was a clean start, to get my life together so we could be a family!"
—Jaco Birch[src]

Jaco Birch, nicknamed The Hotness,[1] is the father of Harold Birch and 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 couldn't: money. He was stopped by Central City's newfound hero, the temporary Flash.

In the new multiverse, Jaco was framed for the murder of Stan Mullen and was arrested. His name was then cleared by the Flash.

Biography

Original multiverse

Gaining powers

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.[2]

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 transferred stolen powers to the first person he 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.[2]

Anti-Monitor Crisis

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,[3] only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.[4]

New multiverse

In the new multiverse, he has a son, and a wife or girlfriend. After getting arrested and sent to Iron Heights, he found out that his son's mother hightailed it leaving their son behind. That caused Jaco to clean himself up and turn his life around so he can be there for his son. As a result, he was released early on parole and got a job working a concert venue as a security guard in order to do good for his son.[5]

Jaco Birch's name is seen amongst Cisco's Who's Who? Binder, where he has now been nicknamed "The Hotness".[6]

Reunion with his son and redemption

Jaco, Flash, and Frost feel the tremor of magma in Central City.


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Jaco became the prime suspect in a murder investigation due to the fact that the victim had been incinerated and Jaco was known to have been in the area around the time of death. After Birch was arrested in front of his son, Harold, on suspicion as the killer, Barry did everything he could striving to find proof of Jaco's innocence due to how much the situation reminded him of the way Barry's own father Henry Allen had been arrested and wrongfully convicted for the murder of Barry's mother, Nora Allen. Even with the rest of Team Flash hesitant to believe Jaco wasn't guilty, Barry successfully cleared Birch's name.[5]

Personality

"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 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.[2]

In the new multiverse, he's had a change in heart and wants to be a good dad to his boy. He still likes music and has a temper. But he does his best to control it.[5]

Powers and abilities

Powers

Jaco using his powers.

  • 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.[2] However, the origins of Birch's powers in Earth-Prime's timeline are unclear, since Eric Frye still has his powers in the restored multiverse.[7] In the new multiverse, Birch's powers have also gotten much stronger as he can now draw on magma from the Earth's core. His emotions also play a key role in his abilities. The angrier he gets the more powerful he becomes.[5]
    • 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.[2]
      • Flight: Birch has a limited ability to fly by using his fiery blasts to propel himself from the ground.[citation needed]
    • 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.[2][5]
    • Limited Geokinesis: Birtch has limited control over the earth specifically the hot parts of it. He was able to open a lava channel by drawing heat from the earth’s core when he got angry.
    • Heat absorption: Birch was able to absorb the heat from the meltdown he'd accidentally caused.[5]

Weaknesses

  • Water: Like most fire, water can extinguish Birch's flames.[2]
  • Emotional state: In the new multiverse, Birch's powers draw heat and pressure from the Earth's core below him. As such, an emotional outburst or a prolonged state of anger will cause magma to start rising to the surface, enough to possibly decimate Central City and transform it into a volcano.[5]

Appearances

The Flash

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8


Trivia

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, a (most likely unrelated) villain with a surname Birch was seen in Robin (Volume #2) #81 (October, 2000).
  • 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.

References

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