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Human Torch (Johnny Storm): Misc


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Current Alias

Matchstick Johnny, Doug Brown, Invisible Boy, Ryan Landau



Founding member of the Fantastic Four; Former member of the Torrid Twosome

Franklin Storm (father, deceased), Mary Storm (mother, deceased), Susan Storm Richards (aka Invisible Woman, sister), Reed Richards (aka Mister Fantastic, brother-in-law), Franklin Richards (nephew), Lyja (ex-wife;separated), Bones (cousin)


Base Of Operations


5' 10"

170 lbs (77 kg)




Marital Status

Adventurer, firefighter, Chief Financial Officer - Fantastic Four, Inc.; former actor, mechanic, race car driver, circus performer

Glenville High graduate; former student at State University and Metro University

Mutate - exposed to cosmic rays

Place of Birth


First appearance

Fantastic Four #1
(November, 1961)



Early Years

Growing up in suburban Glenville, Johnny Storm was drawn to automobiles despite his mother's death in a car accident, and became quite a mechanic at a young age. While still a teenager, he selflessly rescued two of his friends from a burning building. No stranger to adventure, Johnny, son of famous doctor and infamous criminal Franklin Storm[1], was nearly chosen as the human host of the demonic Zarathos, and was attacked by the legendary St. Germaine, who sought the power for himself. Johnny escaped the lure of Zarathos with the help of archeologist Max Parrish, the uncle of Cammy Brandeis, on whom Johnny had a bit of a crush.[2]

Fantastic Four

Human Torch

Following his sister, Sue, Johnny joined scientist Reed Richards and pilot Ben Grimm on an unauthorized space flight. Riddled with cosmic radiation, Johnny transformed into a flaming monster when the flight crashed back to earth. Calling himself Human Torch in tribute to the World War II era hero of the same name, the youthful Johnny found new adventure as part of the Fantastic Four, proving to be an invaluable if somewhat volatile member of the team.[3]

Falling out with his teammates after a battle with the Miracle Man[4], Johnny left the group and encountered amnesiac World War II hero Namor the Sub-Mariner. Recognizing Namor from comic books, Johnny dropped him into the sea, hoping to restore his memory. The plan worked, but after Namor found Atlantis in ruins, he declared war on humanity. Johnny rejoined the Fantastic Four and together they drove Namor back into the sea[5]. Later, the immature Johnny again considered quitting the Fantastic Four, this time to joining his cousin Bones' circus, but quickly returned to the team[6].

Though a member of the world-famous Fantastic Four, Johnny was still a teenage Glenville High student, albeit one who regularly clashed with super-powered menaces. Johnny even tried to conceal his dual identity from most of the locals at first, though this soon proved futile (the true identities of all four Fantastic Four founders being widely known almost from the start). In solo action, he fought the communist Destroyer[7] and Rabble Rouser[8]; the Wizard[9]; Xemu, Warlord of the 5th Dimension[10]; Paste Pot Pete[11]; Acrobat[12]; Wilhelm van Vile, the enigmatic Painter of 1000 Perils[13]; the Sorcerer of Glenville Woods[14]; the Asbestos Man[15]; the original Eel[16]; the Plant Man[17]; modern-day pirate Captain Barracuda, whom Johnny defeated in the first of several team-ups with his super-heroic opposite number Iceman[18]; and the Terrible Trio[19].

Super-villains, however, weren't Johnny's only rivals. Mike Snow, a member of the Glenville High wrestling squad, bullied Johnny until an accidental flare-up of the Torch's powers scarred Snow's face. Despite their animosity, Snow concealed the incident, blaming the injuries on a prank gone wrong and maintaining that Johnny had actually saved his life that night by flying him to the hospital.[citation needed] } While Mike tried to move on with his life, Johnny did the same, dating fellow student Dorrie Evans, although she eventually grew tired of his constant disappearances and broke it off. Johnny met another teenage hero, Spider-Man, who broke into the Baxter Building hoping to impress the Fantastic Four.[20] Despite their early misunderstandings, the Torch and Spider-Man eventually became good friends.

When the Super-Skrull, possessing the combined powers of the Fantastic Four, attacked the team, the Human Torch managed to trap him inside a cave, but the Super-Skrull escaped and impersonated Franklin Storm. The Four exposed the Super-Skrull, but the Skrulls strapped a bomb to the real Franklin's chest, and Franklin sacrificed his own life to save his children.[21] A trip to the Skrull homeworld and the death of Warlord Morrat, the Skrull who authorized Franklin's murder, brought some measure of revenge.[22], but this would not be the last time the Skrulls would interfere in Johnny's life.

Flame On!


After graduating high school, Johnny enrolled in Metro College, where he befriended his roommate, Wyatt Wingfoot.[23]. Wyatt joined Johnny and the Fantastic Four on a trip to Wakanda, where they first encountered the Black Panther and helped him defeat Klaw.[24]

Around this time, Johnny met the young Inhuman Crystal.[25]. It was love at first sight, and Johnny, along with the rest of the Fantastic Four, helped her overthrow the mad Inhuman prince Maximus.[26]. Their love was passionate but short-lived, as Crystal returned to Attilan and married Quicksilver, the son of Magneto, eventually bearing his child. Johnny was crushed, but tried to move on. Hoping to catch up on old times with Dorrie Evans, he found that she had married and had two kids since they had broken up. Despite dropping out of Metro U, Johnny remained friends with Wyatt, who often participated in the Fantastic Four's adventures and was later romantically linked to the She-Hulk.

When Johnny's sister Sue and her husband Reed were separated, Johnny joined the Thing, Medusa and Thundra in a staged battle against the rehabilitated Namor in an effort to bring the couple back together. Their ploy worked, and Sue and Reed patched things up for good.

Seeking direction in his life, Johnny was tricked into attending the high-class Security College, a front for the Monocle, an agent of the megalomaniacal Enclave, who used him to steal top-secret high-tech weapons. Spider-Man broke the Monocle's control of the Torch. Johnny then joined the rest of the Fantastic Four in space, where they helped the Champions of Xandar against the invading Skrulls. When Johnny's teammates were dying from a Skrull aging ray, Johnny destroyed the robotic assassin Skrull X, allowing the infirm Reed to use his weapon to reverse the aging.

Hearing of the execution of David George Munson, his former high school classmate, Johnny helped the NYPD clear his name and nabbed several leading members of the Maggia criminal organization, including Hammerhead. After a brief relationship with auto mechanic Lorrie Melton, Johnny fell for Frankie Raye, a woman desperately afraid of his flames. Frankie eventually discovered that her pyrophobia stemmed from being hypnotized by her late stepfather, Phineas Horton (creator of the android Human Torch), into forgetting that he had accidentally given her flame powers of her own. Johnny helped Frankie adjust to her rediscovered powers as their relationship blossomed, but when Galactus returned to Earth, Frankie agreed to follow him into space as his new herald, Nova. Distraught, Johnny was comforted by Frankie's former roommate, Julie Angel, and began to have feelings for her. Confusing matters further, Julie's friend, Sharon Selleck, had a crush on Johnny. Julie eventually moved to California to continue her acting career, and nothing came of Sharon's crush.


Johnny was briefly abducted by agents of the Messiah (Alden Maas) in his mad plot to expand the Earth by super-heating its core. Brought to Battleworld by the Beyonder and forced to battle various super-villains, Johnny met and was healed by Zsaji, a native of the planet. Physically but not emotionally attracted to Zsaji, Johnny found an unlikely rival in Colossus, who fell in love with the healer. Although Zsaji returned Johnny's affection at first, she eventually chose Colossus over the Torch, but then sacrificed her own life to rescue several dying heroes.

Johnny returned to Earth, where he found himself drawn to Alicia Masters, longtime girlfriend of Johnny's then-absent Fantastic Four teammate, the Thing. Johnny and Alicia's romance helped estrange the Thing from the Fantastic Four for a lengthy period. Johnny hit his lowest point when Tommy Hanson, a young fan of his, set himself on fire in an attempt to be more like his hero. Hearing of the boy's death, Johnny considered retiring as the Human Torch, but the Beyonder managed to talk him out of it.[27] Eventually Johnny married Alicia, but a jealous Thing offered a spot in the Fantastic Four to Crystal, who was separated from Quicksilver at the time. Johnny's old feelings for Crystal slowly returned, but his love for Alicia enabled him to resist temptation, and Crystal eventually left the team.

Despite their long and intimate relationship, Johnny was horrified to discover that the Alicia he loved and married was not the true Alicia Masters, but a Skrull imposter named Lyja. Originally sent to infiltrate and destroy the Fantastic Four, Lyja truly fell in love with Johnny, and joined the Fantastic Four in confronting Paibok, the Skrull who had kidnapped the real Alicia. Lyja seemingly sacrificed her life to protect Johnny, but her former lover Paibok nursed her back to health. Trying to move on from yet another failed relationship, Johnny enrolled at Empire State University; but Devos, Paibok and even Lyja attacked Johnny at ESU, forcing his powers to go nova, burning down a large section of the campus.[28] Johnny briefly became a fugitive until Reed agreed to sell some of his patents to pay for the damages. Lyja returned to Johnny's life again, tricking him into believing she was carrying his baby. When this proved a lie as well, Johnny left her again.

Continuing Adventures

Johnny briefly joined his nephew Franklin's Fantastic Force team, where he battled his virtually omnipotent extradimensional counterpart Vangaard (formerly Gaard), convincing him to abandon his mission of eliminating redundant realities by showing him the hero he could become. Lyja posed as student Laura Green and dated Johnny to stay close to him; Johnny recognized her when they kissed though he didn't share this until later, but the two never had the chance to explore their true feelings.

After Franklin Richards created Counter-Earth and rescued the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and several other heroes from death at the hands of Onslaught, Roma deemed Franklin too powerful to ignore, and sent the Technet and the [Captain Britain Corps] to retrieve him. The Human Torch convinced Roma that Franklin's family, the Fantastic Four, would be able to nurture him so that he would not grow up to be a danger to the Omniverse.[29]

While the rest of the Fantastic Four battled the Gideon Trust and Annihilus in the Negative Zone, Johnny was forced to recruit a temporary Fantastic Four team consisting of Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Johnny's on-and-off girlfriend Namorita (Namor's cousin), and the She-Hulk, who battled the Gideon Trust on Earth.[30] When the cosmic entity Abraxas came to Earth-616, Johnny teamed with an extra-dimensional version of the now-deceased Frankie Raye to retrieve the Ultimate Nullifier, a weapon powerful enough to destroy Abraxas. This Nova betrayed Johnny and gave the Nullifier to her master, Abraxas, but even that couldn't save Abraxas after Galactus joined the fight. Following the battle, Susan found herself pregnant again, and, with Reed off battling the Hidden Ones, Johnny was forced to seek help from Dr. Doom when problems with the pregnancy threatened Sue's life. Doom saved both Sue and her daughter, Valeria.

Seeking an acting career, Johnny was cast as the Rawhide Kid in a summer blockbuster; but it was eventually decided he wasn't ready for the role, which was given to Lon Zelig (actually the Super-Skrull). Johnny also spent some time as a firefighter at the behest of his former classmate, Mike Snow; but when Snow moved away after his wife turned out to be a psychotic arsonist and seemingly died, Johnny left the job (though he later returned to the profession during a period when the Fantastic Four was short on cash). Sick of her brother's directionless life, Sue forced him to take a job as the Chief Financial Officer for Fantastic Four, Inc. Although initially in over his head, Johnny was able to stop a manufacturer from stealing the secret of Reed's Unstable Molecule suits, and began to warm up to both the job and his co-worker, Jian Fetta.

Unfortunately, after a major battle with Doom, Reed attempted to claim Latveria for the Fantastic Four, an act that turned the United States government against them. To escape trial, the group was forced to sell many of their patents and holdings to the government, which left Johnny's wallet much emptier than usual and sent his popularity plummeting. Seeking help from the least popular person he could think of, Johnny contacted Spider-Man, who tried to cheer Johnny up by bringing him to a water park, where they were attacked by Hydro-Man. Easily defeating the villain and rescuing the park's popular mascot, Johnny found his popularity rising once more. Johnny also began to converse with a new girl over the internet, and hit it off when he finally met her. This girl, Cole, turned out to be the daughter of one of Johnny's oldest enemies, the Wizard; but although she was sent to trick the Fantasic Four, Cole actually helped lead them to the Wizard's lair, where they battled him and his new Frightful Four. The Wizard escaped and took Cole with him, but Johnny remained hopeful about meeting her again.

An alien named Zius later came to Earth, the location of the one being in the universe who could nullify his Galactus-proof planet-cloaking invisibility shield, Susan Richards. Zius threatened to destroy the planet if Sue did not sacrifice herself, but Reed used his power gun to switch her powers with Johnny's and tricked Zius into leaving the planet. As he left orbit, Galactus destroyed Zius's spaceship and claimed Johnny as his new Herald. Unwilling to lead Galactus to populated worlds, Johnny used his new powers to analyze Galactus and, with the help of the Fantastic Four and Quasar, managed to transform Galactus back into humanoid form. Johnny's power cosmic faded, but during Reed's subsequent efforts to reverse Sue and Johnny's power switch, a remnant of the power caused a flare-up that temporarily sent the Fantastic Four's powers into four random New Yorkers.

Civil War

With the events leading up to Civil War, public perception of superheroes was at an all time low. Johnny felt unaffected by the issue, and went to a nightclub with his girlfriend. Because of his celebrity status, the bouncer opened the door for Johnny the moment he arrived, much to the resentment of those who had been waiting in line for hours to get inside. Johnny told one of them that they could have his free pass when they saved the world from Galactus, alienating the crowd further and prompting one of them to shout "What about the next time you blow up a school, jackass?" Johnny argued, with his characteristic lack of diplomacy, that he wasn't connected to the New Warriors (despite his prior romantic involvement with Namorita). But at that point the people weren't interested in hearing anything he had to say. One of them snuck up behind Johnny and smashed a glass bottle over his head, knocking him senseless and allowing the rest of the crowd to beat him into a coma.[31] When he finally awoke and none of his teammates were there to greet him due to their duties of helping Iron Man's pro-registration faction.

After the death of Bill Foster)[32] during a battle between the two factions, Johnny went with his sister, Sue, to join Captain America's "Secret Avengers". The Storm siblings narrowly escaped a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents bent on their capture, and subsequently met with the Secret Avengers. Through Nick Fury's connections, the two were given new identities as husband and wife, which they accepted (with understandable reluctance).[33]

At the end of the Civil War, Johnny and Sue returned to the Fantastic Four. Johnny and the Thing continued to serve on the team again, but this time with the Black Panther and his new wife Storm filling in while Reed and Sue took some time to reconcile.[34]

Secret Invasion

During the Skrull Invasion, A Skrull invaded the Baxter Building, posing as Sue, and sent it into the Negative Zone, with Johnny, Ben, Franklin and Valeria inside. When Johnny confronted the Skrull, she revealed herself to be his old flame, Lyja, who had been trying to keep them out of harm's way. When Ben, Johnny, Franklin, Val and the Tinkerer were ready to leave the Negative Zone she refused to leave, because she wanted to find out who she was.[35]

Powers and Abilities


The Human Torch recieved his powers when cosmic rays bombarded his body. The Human Torch's powers represent the element of fire.

Human Torch

Pyrokinesis: The Human Torch possesses the mental ability to control ambient heat energy and the physical ability to transform his entire body, or portions of his body into a fiery, plasma-like state of will. The cells of a normal human body convert energy from foodstuffs into a form of energy usable by the body, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Among other mutagenic changes, the cosmic ray bombardment triggered a specific genetic code rearrangement that caused the Human Torch's ATP production sites to generate a new form of energy containing molecule. (Reed Richards has dubbed this molecule adenine ribo-heptaphosphene, AR-HP.) This complex molecule not only provides ordinary bodily energy but contains large stores of latent chemical-bonding energies. Another favorable mutagenic change are his cells' ability to utilize this extra energy by converting it into a moderate-density, plasma-like state that is regulated by a subconscious mental field and can be modified by an act of will. When sufficient quantities of energy are consumed, the Torch unavoidably reverts to his solid state.

  • Plasma Form: The Human Torch possesses the physical ability to envelop his entire body or portions of his body with fiery plasma without harm to himself. (Plasma is a super-heated stated of matter such as exists in the atmosphere of stars.) Ordinarily, when aflame, the Human Torch is enveloped by a low intensity flame of low level plasma (reddish, approximately 780 Fahrenheit), which ranges from 1 to 5 inches from his body. He can, however, generate much higher levels and flames about himself. The energy used to support his low-level plasma is small; only when the Human Torch wills his flame to a higher level does the majority of surplus energy with the AR-HP complex become involved. In its plasma state, The Torch's body is no longer solid; projectiles that are not melted pass harmlessly through his body.
  • Fire Manipulation: The Human Torch can generate shapes composed of fire from any point on his body. (He usually employs his hands to "sculpt" the flames.) He can form fire into long streams, spheres, or even more complex shapes like letters in skywriting. These flames-objects will only remain their shapes as long as he concentrates upon them. The objects will only burn about 3 minutes before expiring unless the Torch continues to infuse them with energy. The temperature of these fiery projections is generally around 2,800 F (near the melting point of iron).
  • Nova Flame: The Torch refers to his highest, hottest levels of plasma that he can create as his "nova flame." The exact temperatures that his "nova flame" can attain are not known. At an average rate of expenditure of energy, the Torch can stay aflame for about 16.8 hours. In his younger days, he could only maintain his flame for much briefer periods, and sometimes exhausted it while in combat. He cannot maintain his "nova flame" for as long a time as he can maintain his ordinary flame. The Torch can release all of his body's stored energy in one intense, omni-directional "nova-burst," which can reach about 1,000,000 F, and which is similar to the heat-pulse of a nuclear warhead detonation, with an area of total devastation of about 900 feet in diameter. (The Torch has claimed that he can destroy a small moon with his nova-burst.) This violent discharge uses his entire reserve of energy (except for the necessary to keep him alive) at once, entirely exhausting his flame power. He generally requires at least 12 hours to recover entirely from such a feat.
  • Flight: The Human Torch's plasma has a high hydrogen content, and is surrounded by an exuded cloud of mono-atmoic hydrogen atoms. The hot cloud provides sufficient positive buoyancy for him to float. With mental stimulation of his flame, he can provide enough lift to carry around 180 pounds. By forming a jet from his feet, directed behind him, he can achieve a normal flight speed of 140 miles per hour, and accelerate up to supersonic speeds capable of catching up with faster beings such as the Silver Surfer while in the Earth's orbit.

Thermokinesis: The Human Torch has the ability to mentally control the ambient heat energy within his immediate environment, even when he himself is not aflame. He can reduce objects' temperatures (if they are in a normal range for existing on Earth's surface) to about 30 F, raise them to several hundred degrees, or extinguish open flames. His radius of influence is about 80 feet. The heat energy he takes from the environment is absorbed into his own body. If he takes in a critical amount while he is not aflame, he will become aflame. There are unknown limits to the amount of flame he can absorb into his own body harmlessly while he is himself aflame.

Immunity to Fire & Heat: The Human Torch is unaffected by heat and flames, including his own, even when part of him is aflame and the rest of him is not. His flesh cannot be scalded or burned by any heat source whose level is below that of his maximum output.


Expert Mechanic: An expert mechanic since his teens, Johnny was able to totally overhaul a car's transmission by the age of 15. His design and mechanical acumen went into the creation of the Fantasticar Model-2

Johnny also has experience as a professional race car driver.

Strength level

The Human Torch possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.


Energy Depletion: At an average rate of expenditure of energy, the Torch can maintain his plasma state for about 16.8 hours before he is forced to revert to his solid state.

Physical Condition: The Human Torch's physical condition (health, injury or exhaustion) also limits his flame's duration.

Fire Extinguishing: The Human Torch's flame is supported by the presence of oxygen, and thus is extinguished in low air pressure or a vacuum. The Torch's flame can be extinguished by smothering materials, such as water, sand, fire-fighting foam, and heat-resistant blankets, unless his flame is at such an intensity that it immediately vaporizes such materials on contact. If hit with small amounts of water, up to about five gallons, the Torch can turn it to steam with relatively little effort. More water than that could extinguish his flame at its normal level, and he would have to wait until he could evaporate the residual moisture before re-ignition.

Low Light: The Torch's light output is mostly in the infrared region of the spectrum, and is invisible to the unaided eye. Less that 10% of his total power output is in the visible portion of the spectrum. Thus, the Torch, when aflame, is dimmer than one would expect of so powerful an energy source.



  • Fantastic Costume: The Human Torch's costume, and the rest of his wardrobe, is constructed of unstable molecules, which are attuned to his powers, allowing it to become burst into flame when he does. The Human Torch's costume has a complete data processing and telemetry system woven into its fabric on a molecular level, making it a wearable computer. The costume forms a network with the rest of the Fantastic Four, providing a constant, real time uplink of everyone’s physical condition as well as their location and current situation. The costume is capable of displaying data and has touch-pad controls on the gauntlets. Its sensors can track all of the team’s uniforms and provide a picture of their immediate vicinity. The costume has an intricate scanner system which can detect things around the wearer, from how many people are in the next room to what dimension or planet they are on.


  • The Human Torch was one of the characters featured in Series A of the Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
    Marvel Value Stamp #25


  • Johnny Storm has had several crushes with tons of women, one being the Dazzler, the singing heroine.

Appearances in Other Media

Human Torch (toy) (Series 2)

Human Torch

Mutagenically transformed by cosmic rays into the heroic Human Torch, Johnny Storm is the hothead of the Fantastic Four . Often impetuous and immature, the Torch has a talent for tormenting his teammate, the Thing . The Human Torch, who possesses the mental ability to control ambient heat energy, can transform his body into living flame upon command. In this state, he can fly and expel bolts of fire in varying degrees of intensity, up to a super-charged nova-blast. His uniform and clothing consist of unstable molecules, enabling him to "flame on" without damaging them in any way. -Description from ML pack


Discover and Discuss

  1. Fantastic Four #31
  2. Before the Fantastic Four: The Storms
  3. Fantastic Four #1
  4. Fantastic Four #3
  5. Fantastic Four #4
  6. Fantastic Four #15
  7. Strange Tales #101
  8. Strange Tales #119
  9. Strange Tales #102
  10. Strange Tales #103
  11. Strange Tales #104
  12. Strange Tales #106
  13. Strange Tales #108
  14. Strange Tales #109
  15. Strange Tales #111
  16. Strange Tales #112
  17. Strange Tales #113
  18. Strange Tales #120
  19. Strange Tales #122 and Strange Tales #129
  20. Amazing Spider-Man #1
  21. Fantastic Four #32
  22. Fantastic Four #37
  23. Fantastic Four #50
  24. Fantastic Four #52-Fantastic Four #53
  25. Fantastic Four #45
  26. Fantastic Four #48
  27. Fantastic Four #285
  28. Fantastic Four #371
  29. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #6-Fantastic Four Vol 3 #8
  30. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #43
  31. Civil War #1
  32. Civil War #4
  33. Civil War #5
  34. Fantastic Four #543
  35. Secret Invasion Fantastic Four

This article uses material from the "Jonathan Storm (Earth-616)" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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