I’m creating a superhero story, and one of the heroes is a character named Joseph Kroger, AKA The Phoenix. He can create fire with mind, and manipulate it. He also has a high tolerance for heat and therefore cannot be severely burned. He also like black leather, motorcycling and whiskey. Fire manipulation, or pyrokinesis, is often exclusively used for offensive fighting. My question is, what possible ways could pyrokinesis be used defensively?

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    $\begingroup$ That sounds a lot like Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Aug 14 '18 at 3:53
  • $\begingroup$ Some abilities just aren't good on the defense, just like some abilities (for example, the ability to build large reinforced concrete forts) aren't very good in the attack. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Aug 14 '18 at 3:55

Wall of fire is usually pretty good. Not as good as they hoped here, but still good.

wall of fire


A firestorm with high winds and fire tornadoes should give attackers pause. They should pause because the wind is towards the fire, through the fire and up; a rough trip. Besides being hot and super windy, there will not be much oxygen left there.

fire tornado http://donaldsweblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/firestorm.html


Since Joseph has a high heat tolerance, he would be able to shield himself with a wall of fire. Not a shield in the traditional sense of blocking arrows or something, but nobody would want to get near that wall of fire. Assuming he can also control the temperature of the fire, his fire wall could be hot enough to instantly vaporize bullets, so even ranged attacks would be ineffective against him. Unfortunately, such high heat would probably cook anyone near him alive and things like furniture would combust. To remain as non-destructive as possible, he would have to create an energy spike as the bullet entered the fire shield.

  • $\begingroup$ If you're interested, I can do some of the math for the "melt a bullet" thing and edit my answer. Let me know. $\endgroup$ – Ian Johnson Aug 12 '18 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ You can check your math here: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/87229/… $\endgroup$ – Willk Aug 12 '18 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ I know how to do the math and can edit my answer to include it, if anyone is interested. $\endgroup$ – Ian Johnson Aug 16 '18 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ I am always interested in reading math as applied to physics and made popularly comprehensible. Please add! $\endgroup$ – Willk Aug 16 '18 at 13:23

A. Melting/Vaporizing objects

This is self-explanatory. He could radically raise the temperature of incoming projectiles.

B. Flashes/explosions

He could radically increase air temperature, creating bursts of plasma that result in explosions. These could distract the attacker. Simple heated air could also distort their vision.

C. Defensive heating

He could superheat the weapons of his foes, or the magazines of firearms.

  • $\begingroup$ Heating up incoming projectiles may melt or incinerate incoming projectiles but not stop them. It surely reduces the lethality of the projectile but it is still likely to harm you if fast enough. (Also I guess the superhot projectile would incinerate your clothing). I would use this only as a last resort. $\endgroup$ – kscherrer Aug 13 '18 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ @cashbee I was thinking more like vaporizing them, not just melting them. $\endgroup$ – user49466 Aug 13 '18 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ The vapor is still mass, with momentum, and is heading straight towards you. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Aug 14 '18 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ @ronjohn A bullet's worth of gas will lose momentum almost immediately without a solid form. $\endgroup$ – user49466 Aug 14 '18 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ Lead and copper are dense. I'd like to see some physics on the momentum of such heavy molecules. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Aug 14 '18 at 12:13

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