Frankie Raye is a female comic character who features in Marvel Comics.
Frankie Raye was a red-headed female human born in the modern age. At some point, her mother re-married to a man named Phineas Horton. She was still a baby by this point and sometime afterwards her mother died leaving her in the care of her step-father. Horton felt trapped as he had to care for an infant daughter but ultimately was a good man who never raised his voice or used physical force against her. When Frankie was 14 years old, the Fantastic Four first debuted as a team of heroes with one of their members taking the name the Human Torch. This angered Phineas who was a bit forceful with his step-daughter when holding her hands but never hurt her. He then took her to an abandoned warehouse where he revealed that he was no mere repairman as he had been the inventor of the android Human Torch though the project was shut down by the government. At first, Frankie could not believe him but ultimately decided to help him as he gathered his own equipment. Whilst carrying some chemicals, the floor gave way causing the content to fall on Frankie who caught on fire. However, the compound resulted in her being unharmed and able to generate flames at will. Horton was worried with grief and came to blame himself for her new ability. He initially used hypnosis in an attempt to see the extent of the damage to her mind but this was a pretext to him planting mental blocks to make Frankie forget this incident along with a fear of fire. This was in order to prevent her from ever finding out about her powers. A year later, he provided her with a bodysuit that would manifest whenever her powers were active but reactivated the memory block in the hope that she could lead a normal life. (Fantastic Four v1 #238)
She at a store in Los Angeles when she was recruited into the female Defenders in stopping Caroline le Fay's plans in sending a beacon to otherworldly beings to draw them to Earth. Reluctantly, she accepted the offer of joining the superhero team as they travelled to the site of the summoning in an abandoned pyramid leading to a battle with le Fay's supervillain minions. After the villains were defeated, Frankie turned into her Nova form and used her power to absorb the cosmic energy to prevent the signal from being sent thus helping in saving the world. (Fearless Defenders v1 #29)
Personality and attributes
Her step-father went by the name of Thomas Raye but in actuality was an assumed name by Professor Phineas Horton. Initially, she believed him to operate as a simple repairman but he was actually a brilliant scientist that was the inventor of the android Human Torch. (Fantastic Four v1 #238)
The psychological fear of fire was actually a mental block implanted into her mind through hypnosis by her step-father. (Fantastic Four v1 #238)
Powers and abilities
Originally, Frankie Raye was an ordinary human being. This was until she was exposed to experimental chemicals that were used by the android Human Torch to generate his flames. This initially caused her to be lit on fire but she absorbed the flames and were not harmed by them. Thus, she could engulf her body in fire, generate flames and have the power of flight with these being similar to the Human Torch. The flames had a tendency to burn awa any clothing she had on her. It was this reason that her step-father crafted a bodysuit that could survive the flames and had melded with her skin whereby it only appeared when she lit on fire. (Fantastic Four v1 #238)
- Frankie Raye was created by Roy Thomas and George Pérez where she made her first appearance in Fantastic Four v1 #164 (November, 1975).
In other media
- In Fantastic Four, the character made an appearance in the episode "When Calls Galactus" where she was voiced by Leeza Miller McGee. As a child, she had a step-father who was a scientist that was working on a robot for the military. He forbid the young Frankie from entering into his laboratory but secretly on one occasion she entered the room where she witnessed the body of a mechanical Human Torch under construction. During this moment, she accidently spilt chemicals on herself causing her to develop superpowers that led to her being able to catch on fire. The trauma of the incident caused her to mentally suppress this past childhood event. As an adult, the red haired woman met Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four who was heart broken over his separation from Crystal with the two developing an attraction to one another. Contact with Johnny led to the re-activation of her long dormant powers allowing her to catch on flame just like the Human Torch. Together, the two embarked on a romance when Earth came under threat from a hungry Galactus who desired to feed after he had staved off the effects of a poisoned world he had eaten earlier after being betrayed by his Herald Terrax. To save Galactus and Earth, Frankie Raye decided to become his Herald as he had none now and was empowered with the Power Cosmic to become Nova. She then departed Earth with Galactus to find him uninhabited worlds to sate his eternal hunger.
- In Silver Surfer, Frankie Raye made a number of appearances in the animated series where she was voiced by actor Tara Rosling.
- In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the character made an appearance where she was portrayed by actress Beau Garrett. She was shown as being a United States Army Captain where she worked in General Hager's team. When the Silver Surfer appeared on Earth, she accompanied the General during his visit to Reed Richards in order to find a way to stop the alien. During her time there, Johnny Storm met her and was attracted to her though she ignored his attentions. Following the Silver Surfer's capture, Captain Raye had the Fantastic Four imprisoned as well but she helps them escape after Victor von Doom stole the Herald's cosmic powers where she followed them as they sought to stop him. After the defeat of Galactus, she attended Sue Storm's and Reed Richard's wedding where she attempted to catch the bouquet only for Johnny Storm to burn it in mid-air as he said he wanted to "avoid risks" much to the chagrin of Frankie Raye.
- In Marvel: War of Heroes, Frankie Raye appeared as a playable card in the video game.
- Fantastic Four v1:
- Heralds v1:
- Fearless Defenders v1: