|“||You're sure you weren't followed? I've heard about you. They say you're good at what you do, and even better at keeping secrets. The Avatar is alive. I want you to find him, and end him.||„|
|~ Zuko ordering Combustion Man to hunt down and assassinate the Avatar.|
The "Combustion Man" is a major antagonist of Book Three: Fire in the cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender. He is a ruthless bounty hunter hired by Zuko to kill Avatar Aang.
Little is known about Combustion Man's origin, however it is known that when he was a child, he accidentally shot off some of his body parts with his special power.
He was first called "Sparky Sparky Boom-man" by Aang and Sokka in "The Runaway", then later re-named Combustion Man. Zuko mentions that his name isn't Combustion Man, but does not mention the man's real name.
Combustion Man was hired by Zuko to kill Aang, because knowing he was alive and could destroy his father's new respect for him drove him crazy. Professional and diligent, the assassin eliminated or intercepted any evidence that could compromise his secrecy. When Aang was spotted by two Fire Nation soldiers, Combustion Man's raven eagle intercepted their Messenger Hawk to the Fire Lord and he destroyed the message. That night he stealthily approached Aang and his friends campsite, but his metallic footsteps were detected by Toph.
Eschewing stealth, Combustion Man attacked. His powerful bolts countered
anything the group threw at him, forcing them to take cover. Aang told his friends to flee while he himself tried to lead the enemy away. Following a running battle, in which Aang used both airbending and earthbending to fend off Combustion Man's attacks to no effect, he eventually retreated onto Appa and the group flew away.
In his second attempt, Combustion Man operated more subtly by setting up a trap in Fire Fountain City via a wanted poster to capture Katara and Toph. He locked them in a wooden cell deprived of both earth and water to bend and used them as nothing more than bait to lure in Aang, which proved successful. After Katara inventively used her sweat to waterbend and escape, the two girls arrived just in time to help Aang and Sokka, who had only narrowly avoided the ambush because Aang heard the assassin inhaling.
Katara momentarily hampered Combustion Man's assassination attempt by freezing his head in a block of ice, allowing the group to escape. Toph launched a boulder at him to cover the group's escape, prompting him to explode it. As the rock exploded, a single pebble flew off of the rock and struck him right on his third eye tattoo, blocking his chi. He got up and attempted to shoot another explosion in the group's direction, only to find his ability hampered. The air around him detonated, sending him flying against a nearby wall, enabling the group to escape. He was visibly angered when he saw his prey escape.
He somehow located the group again in the Western Air Temple. Zuko, having undergone a change of heart, deflected his opening attack and told him to stop. Zuko told Combustion Man that he would not pay him if he continued his attack, and then changed his offer to double-pay if he ceased to attack. Combustion Man, however, ignored both offers, appearing to attack for reasons other than money.
Zuko's antics proved to be a useful distraction for the group who used the time to take cover. When Combustion Man resorted to blowing up pylons supporting the temple, Sokka took aim and used his trademark boomerang to strike Combustion Man square on the forehead, briefly stunning him and blocking his chi. He ignored it and tried to firebend again anyway, causing a massive point-blank explosion which killed him. His metal arm was seen falling into the misty abyss.
|“||We built this place secretly with your father to hold a very special prisoner. She's a powerful firebender named P'Li who can create explosions with her mind. Ironically I hired a guy with a similar ability to kill the Avatar myself once. ...didn't work.||„|
|~ Lord Zuko, many years later, explaining P'Li's abilities and her similarity with the Combustion Man.|
The Combustion Man didn't leave much of a legacy behind due to the fact that he was very mysterious. Except that he was remembered by many as a man who haunted and tried to kill the Avatar. Lord Zuko and Chief Sokka still remembered many years after his death. P'Li became a "legacy carrier" for the Combustion Man by hunting down the Avatar together with Zaheer. It is unclear if P'Li had any other connection to the Combustion Man aside from having similar abilities.
An elder Zuko mentioned Combustion Man when visiting P'Li's prison cell, remarking how long ago hired the assassin to hunt down the Avatar before awkwardly remarking that his scheme didn't work much to the discomfort of Chief Tonraq.
Powers and Abilities
Combustion Man has the strange ability to shoot a laser out of his forehead. The laser is presented in the form of an energy ball that explodes upon impact. This ability is known as "combustion bending".
This power seems to become vulnerable when a projectile (such as a small rock) hits his third eye, making it weaker and subject to a backfire on himself.