The Human Torch

January 5, 2019


Johnny Storm was born in Glenville, New York, a Long Island suburb. When his mother died in a car accident and his father went to prison, Johnny was raised by his sister, Susan.

When he was still just 16, he nonetheless joined his sister, her fiancé, Dr. Reed Richards, and pilot Ben Grimm on a covert mission into space on a rocket that Reed himself had designed and built. Once in space, the crew was besieged by a barrage of deadly cosmic rays which forced them to return to Earth and crash land.

Escaping the wreckage of the ship, they discovered that they had each acquired strange new powers. Johnny himself could ignite his body on fire at will and fly into the air. He could also project fire from his hands in various forms.

The team decided to call itself The Fantastic Four, and Johnny, in homage to the 40s Timely Comics character, called himself the Human Torch.

Johnny was a 60s version of Justin Bieber. He reveled in his newfound celebrity and frequently acted like a bit of a jerk. He constantly played pranks on Ben Grimm, who had transformed into the rock-hided monster who called himself The Thing. He was terribly immature and only cared about cars and girls, each of which he seemed to have his choice of.

Although the Fantastic Four headquartered in a skyscraper called the Baxter Building in Manhattan, Johnny and Sue still lived in their little house in Glenville and Johnny continued to attend Glenville High School. These stories were depicted in his solo adventures presented in issues of the anthology comic Strange Tales.

He would have many run-ins with Spider-Man as they had a lot in common, both being teenagers. Spider-Man seemed to be the one person who could outclass Johnny, get under his skin and put him in his place.

Johnny’s long list of lady loves began with Dorrie Evans, a classmate from Glenville. Later, when he attended university at Metro College, he met Wyatt Wingfoot, a Keewazi Indian from Oklahoma, and they became fast friends.

He met and fell in love with Crystal, sister in law to the King of the Inhumans, Black Bolt. When that ended, he found love with Frankie Raye.

Johnny and Ben continued to prank each other, sometimes mean-spiritedly on Johnny’s part, but over time, they became like brothers. Johnny’s relationship with Spider-Man as well as his alter ego, Peter Parker, changed as well as the respect between them grew over time and many battles alongside, and even against, one another.

Probably the biggest change in Johnny over the course of his comic book existence is his growth from callow youth to responsible man.

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