Flaming Meteor

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Huh, the sky is falling.
General Fletcher, upon a shot from a Meteor Tower killing an alien. Defense Grid: The Awakening

In Real Life, meteorsnote  are mostly balls of ice and/or rock, neither of which is flammable through normal atmospheric combustion. As they enter the atmosphere the heated parts of the now-meteor melts/burns away, leaving a relatively cold meteorite behind if they manage to make it through the atmosphere and impact Earth intact.

But you wouldn't know this from their depictions in media.

Whether because most writers only know of meteors from the dozens of videos of meteors igniting the atmosphere (making it look like the meteor itself is burning), or because it looks cool, meteors in media are depicted as literal burning, or red-hot, boulders that incinerate anything they touch. If the object is burning even before the atmosphere is at all within range, then it's safe to assume that Space Is Air is in effect as well.

Because of this association with fire, if anyone has the ability to call down Meteors, it's the person Playing with Fire, sometimes as a Limit Break. In these cases, they're often Slap On The Wrist Nukes. Compare with the standard Fireballs, which are sometimes depicted as small rocks that are on fire. Piss off your Game Master enough and it might be these particular rocks that fall. Contrast Frictionless Reentry; when objects travelling through space can get into the atmosphere without the atmosphere igniting.

Examples:

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     Anime/Manga 
  • One Piece
    • Akainu can use his Magma Man abilities to fire fist-shaped lava projectiles upwards. They rain down like burning meteors. The attack is appropriately named Ryusei Kazan, literally meaning "Meteor Volcano".
    • Admiral Fujitora is a more straight example. His gravity abilities can bring down meteors from outer space, and they're all predictably fiery.
  • Pokémon depicts the move 'Draco Meteor' as the user summoning dozens of flaming boulders from the sky. This is in contrast to the games where the same move calls down a number of non-flaming blueish-green meteors.

     Comic Books 
  • The Resistants first appeared in Captain America flying on a flaming meteor. Justified because two of them combined their powers over gravity (Meteorite) and fire (Crucible) to create it.

     Film Animated 
  • Ever since he hatched, Aladar from Disney's Dinosaur has lived on an island with lemurs as a surrogate family. That all changed one day when the sky was filled with glowing fragments that were the harbingers of the Big One. That flaming meteor fell into the sea, causing a mushroom cloud and sending out a shockwave before flaming meteor shards began impacting across the island, each one making a miniature explosion, utterly obliterating more and more of the island. Aladar and the lemurs had to make a Leap of Faith from the island's edge into the water below, after which they swam to the mainland home of all the other dinosaurs.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Played with in Dungeons & Dragons by the Meteor Swarm spell, which conjures small "meteors" that deal bludgeoning damage on impact and then explode for fire damage.

     Video Games 
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening and its sequel has the 'meteor towers' - it's a Meteor In-Name-Only though, as it is launched from the ground as a fiery ball which arcs to its impact zone, dealing massive amounts of fire damage.
  • Diablo III has Meteor as a high-level Wizard spell, which not only impacts the ground to deal heavy fire damage, but also leaves behind a residual patch of fire at its impact location.
  • In the Disgaea franchise, Laharl's recurring attack Meteor Impact is always depicted as a red glowing rock, as if it was made of magma.
  • Dota 2:
    • Invoker's Chaos Meteor deal damage-over-time when a foe touches the meteor. The distance of the meteor and the damage is based on his current power of Wex and Exort, respectively. It takes time for the meteor to land and move, so synergy with his other skills is necessary for maximum damage.
    • The Meteor Hammer summons a meteor burning with blue flames after a few seconds which can stun and deal damage-over-time to units and buildings.
  • Golden Sun: 'Meteor' is the highest-level pure fire-element summon, which brings down a meteor the size of the screen into the enemy. The animation is even more complex in the third game, where it breaks apart slightly and is seen heating up in the atmosphere.
  • In Terra Battle, Bahamut's final skill is "Meteor", which rains down a bunch of fiery meteorites on the field, dealing fire damage to any enemies that get hit.
  • Warcraft has featured flaming meteors since its first instalments, always summoned by spellcasters
    • The first game had 'conjurers' summon a multitude of these using the 'Rain of Fire' spell. It was then abscent from Warcraft II as their counterparts in that game, the 'mage', conjured blizzards instead. By the third game the 'Archmage' still summoned blizzards and left the Flaming Meteor summoning to the demons in the form of the Pit Lord Hero Unit's 'Rain of Fire' ability.
    • Another example of a Justified Flaming Meteor from the third game and onward; Infernals are flaming Rock Monsters which are summoned by high-level demons, sending them impacting against the ground in a curled-up meteor-like state, after which they get up and begin wrecking their summoner's enemies.
  • World of Warcraft: continues the depiction of flaming meteors started by its predecessor games.
    • The infernals from the Warcraft games return, and they now have Elite Mook versions called Abyssals. They are still 'stored' in a curled-up, burning, roughly-spherical form, and summoned to the battlefield as flaming meteors.
    • Meteor is also a high-level mage spell, sending a near-molten, fiery rock impacting against the ground to deal a large amount of fire damage split between targets in the impact zone, while also leaving a residual patch of fire behind. Some NPC's have access to a 'Meteor Swarm', essentially the former taken Up to Eleven.

    Web Animation 

     Web Comics 
  • Subverted in Draconia Chronicles. A volcano erupts and throws out meteor-like chunks of lava. At first, the fire dragons attempt to use their elemental control powers to deflect them, only to discover that they're actually made of rock and they can't really do anything to stop them. Giving the oppressed earth dragons the chance to demonstrate their value.
  • Meteors in Homestuck look like normal asteroids when floating in the Veil, but as soon as they're summoned to various locations, they become flaming rocks. Since players can breathe in space, it's safe to assume the Medium got oxygen, allowing the meteors to look cool despite rock and ice being inflammable.

     Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sozin's comet is portrayed as a fiery boulder from which Firebenders could draw extreme power. The Firelord's Evil Plan is to use this power to Take Over the World when the comet returns.
  • The Loonatics Unleashed received their superpowers in 2772 when a large meteor entered the atmosphere of Acmetropolis, catching fire presumably due to air friction, and leaving a smoke trail as it plummeted into the city's central bay. There, it released arcane energies that empowered six relatively ordinary Funny Animals, and also some of their Rogues Gallery, such as Weather Vane and Massive.
  • In the opening of the Superman Theatrical Cartoons episode 'The Magnetic Telescope', a meteor is dragged towards Earth, soars through the atmosphere, and rolls through a city as a red-hot solid ball of rock - so hot, in fact, that it lights a port authority building on fire just by rolling over it while simultaneously rolling past dozens of other buildings with no effect.

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