Two heroes have used the name The Human Torch
and both were published
by Marvel Comics
. The first Human Torch made his first appearance in
Marvel Comics #1
while the second Human Torch made his debut in
Fantastic Four #1
The original Human Torch was not human, but a sophisticated android
created by Professor Phineas T. Horton. Horton had made great strides
in the area of artificial intelligence and robotics and his finest
accomplishment was a robot that looked fully human and even had a
computer brain capable of independent thought. The only flaw in
Horton's design was that his creation was built of an unstable
material that burst into flame when it came into contact with air.
After revealing his creation to the general public in a news conference
in the late 30's, Horton enclosed the robot in an airtight case and
buried it in concrete, hoping to one day discover a way to control the
spontaneous combustion issue. The robot escaped however and began to
explore the world, but was met with fear and panic. After being
dubbed by the press as the Human Torch, the android realized he was
endangering others and fled to the desert. While in the wasteland,
the Human Torch learned to control its ability to burst into flame,
but decided to use its ability to fight crime.
The Human Torch paired with a young mutant with the code name Toro
whose powers closely matched those of the Human Torch. The two often
clashed with the Sub-Mariner and eventually became members of both
the Invaders and the All-Winner's Squad. The two were made powerless
by Russian agents using an advanced chemical and the Human Torch was
believed to have been killed. The agents buried him in the desert of
New Mexico. A few years later, the test firing of an atomic bomb on that
sight caused the Torch to revive and he found Toro and they continued
to adventure together.
After a time, the Human Torch found that his flame was growing in
intesity due to his exposure to radiation. Fearing that he would
harm innocents should his flame flare at the wrong moment, the Torch
sought to burn himself out in one huge flare. Heading to the desert
again, the Torch did just that, but rather than dying, he again was
deactivated for a time.
While the original Human Torch was inactive, a teenager named Johnny
Storm accompanied his sister Susan, Susan's boyfriend Reed Richards,
and Richard's friend, Ben Grimm, on an ill-fated trip in a rocket of
Richard's design. The trip exposed the passengers to massive doses of
cosmic rays resulting in them developing unusual powers. Storm found
that he could burst into flames without harm to himself and fly. He could
also project the flames and had some limited control of fire in his
area. Storm adopted the name the Human Torch and began to adventure
as a member of the Fantastic Four, the Marvel universe's premiere
After a few years, the original Human Torch was discovered in the desert
by the villain the Mad Thinker. Reviving the android, the Mad Thinker
pitted the original Human Torch against the new Human Torch in the
desert of the American southwest. The two fought to a standstill, until
the original Torch realized that he was being used for evil purposes.
Battling the Mad Thinker, the Torch again was deactivated and buried
with honors, believed to be dead.
Storm continued to work with the Fantastic Four for many years. During
the so-called Secret Wars, Storm's teammate, the Thing, discovered that
he could willingly transform between being the inhuman Thing and his
original form as Ben Grimm and chose to stay on the planet formed by
the Beyonder. The rest of the heroes returned to Earth. In the months
to come, Storm fell in love with Grimm's girlfriend, Alicia Masters. The
two were eventually married. It was later revealed that the woman who
Storm had married was not Alicia Masters at all, but a Skrull spy named
The original Human Torch was revived by the West Coast Avengers in the
course of investigating the origins of the hero the Vision. It had
been believed for many years that the villain Ultron had used the
body of the original Human Torch to create the Vision, but this was
found to be one of Ultron's lies. The original Torch fought along side
the West Coast Avengers for a time.
The Human Torch then answered the call of Spitfire, an old teammate
from the Invaders. Believing that the Sub-Mariner was in trouble,
the two heroes along with the latest hero to take the name of Union
Jack went to Namor's rescue. During the insuing battle, Spitfire
was mortally injured. The Human Torch began a tranfusion with her
saving her life, but costing him his powers. The Torch then began
a life as a normal man, adopting the name Jim Hammond. He later
became part of Heroes for Hire, Inc.
Storm along with the rest of the Fantastic Four and members of the
Avengers, along with other heroes fought the menace of Onslaught.
The group seemingly gave their lives to defeat this menace. In fact,
they were shunted to another reality created by Storm's nephew Franklin.
The heroes have since returned.