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"I'm not saying I'm a God or even that I'm particularly extraordinary but all I know is that I'm alive when I should most certainly be dead. Besides, these powers had to come from somewhere." ~ Baron Butane
Victor "The Baron" Grant had a remarkable experience. He once survived being burned alive as his home burned to the ground around him. As the flames licked at his skin he felt no more than a slight tickle. His skin didn't blister and boil, it didn't even redden. Indeed, the fire seemed to wrap around him like a comfortable old blanket. It was on that night that his life as an ordinary man ended and his life as an extraordinary man began.
Victor was born in a quiet suburban neighborhood near Olympia, Washington. He was particularly large and strong for his size as a child and had quite a temper. He particularly enjoyed getting into fights. When he got old enough, upon the recommendation of a therapist, he began to take boxing lessons. The sport allowed him to channel his anger and calmed him considerably in his every day life. He became quite good and by the time he was eighteen he was already known on local circuits. He became bigger and bigger throughout his early twenties, eventually achieving considerable national fame and going on to win several titles. His big fight came on the Las Vegas Strip in 2003 when he won his first World Heavyweight Championship. The Baron, as he was called by his fans due to his impeccable dress when out of the ring, would go on to win the championship four more times. Eventually, however, his handlers and others on the circuit decided that the Baron's domination needed to come to an end. During preliminary bouts in 2008, the Baron was informed that it would behoove him to throw the match. He disregarded this "encouragement" and went on to drop his opponent, Hector Rodriguez in a fight lasting less than two minutes.
Rodriguez had been promoted by the public arm of a considerably powerful Crime Syndicate and the Syndicate was not particularly pleased by the Baron's refusal to throw his fight. That night, as he slept, the Syndicate set fire to his apartment. By rights, the Baron should have experienced a horrible death as he burned alive in his own home. Remarkably, he survived the encounter, though not without a price. Assumed dead, the Baron lost everything. Realizing that something had happened to him, he knew that he simply couldn't reappear. How would he explain that he had survived being burned alive? Would it even be possible to hide the fact that he was constantly bursting into flames?
The Baron's first act was one of vengeance; he discovered all he could about the Syndicate that had ordered his death and personally brought it to its knees by carrying out a systematic destruction of various properties owned by the cartel. Buildings that housed significant members of the syndicate all "mysteriously burned to the ground" often with the leading syndicate members caught unaware inside.
Whether the Baron's reckless use of his powers would have led him down a darker path or not remains a mystery but perhaps it was providence that the Qularr invaded when they did. Declaring himself to the Champions and the officials of Millenium City, the Baron could not simply stand by while aliens attacked his home. It was whilst he was engaged in rescue operations, defeating a number of Qularr invaders personally in order to rescue civilians trapped in the city during the invasion, that he came to realize his powers were a gift that could help people.
Since the invasion, and being accepted into the hero community at large, the Baron has made a conscious effort to change his disposition. Aware that so many "fire guys" have hot tempers, the Baron tries to project an image of joviality. He takes to his life "as a cape" with considerable zeal and if he ever regrets the complete loss of his civilian identity, he never mentions it.
Baron Butane was born shortly after the invasion ended when the city awarded him with a tailor-made suit that through advanced technology, and just a touch of mysticism, had been made completely flame-retardant. Keeping the title "Baron" from his civilian days and adopting the sobriquet Butane, a reference to his combustibility, Victor Grant is now known by the population at large as Baron Butane or "that one fire guy who really likes suits" by those who can't be bothered to remember every cape's name.