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Jim Hammond (Earth-616): Misc


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Up to date as of February 09, 2010

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Real Name
Jim Hammond
Current Alias

Pappy (Toro's nickname for him)



Partner of Toro; partner of Sun Girl; former member of The Invaders, former member of the New Invaders, former member of the All-Winners Squad, former leader of Heroes For Hire, former member of the West Coast Avengers, former CEO of Oracle, Inc., former leader of the V-Battalion, member of the Legion of the Unliving

Note: As an android, the Human Torch had no true blood relatives, however he could theoretically claim kinship to other android models whose design functions were similar to his own. Phineas T. Horton (creator); the Vision (created by Ultron based upon Horton's designs); Pyronanos (nanotech based on Horton's designs); Adam II (creation of Phineas T. Horton); Volton (creation of Phineas T. Horton); Spitfire ("sister" via blood transfusion)


Base Of Operations
Originally Manhattan, New York City; European theater (during World War II); Korea (Korean War); later Avengers Compound in Malibu, California; later, mobile


6' 3"

300 lbs (136 kg)




Marital Status

Adventurer; War veteran; former CEO of Oracle, Inc.

No formal education; Capacity for creative intelligence and unlimited self-motivated activity

Created in a laboratory in 1939 by Professor Phineas T. Horton. Largely considered the world's first fully functional android.

Place of Birth


First appearance
Last appearance

Marvel Comics #1
(October, 1939)
New Invaders #9
(June, 2005)



The original Human Torch began his existence is 1939 in the laboratory of Professor Phineas T. Horton, one of the pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics. The culmination of Horton's research was an android who mimicked virtually all of the functions of a human being, including independent thought, but was composed entirely of synthetic materials.

The one flaw in the android's design concerned the photoelectric solar cells which covered every square inch of his body and served as his power source. The cells were too volatile and caused the epidermis of the android to burst into flame upon contact with air but without harming the android itself.

Horton revealed the Torch's existence to the public at a press conference in November 1939, at which he demonstrated how the Torch would burst into flame if he introduced a small amount of oxygen into the transparent container in which he was confined. The news media proclaimed the Torch to be a potential menace, and so Horton buried the android in his supposedly airtight tube within cement until such time as he could find a way either to prevent the android from bursting into flame or learn how to control its flame.

There was a slow leak in the tube, however, and eventually enough oxygen entered so that the android's flame ignited explosively, permitting him to escape. Wreaking havoc in innocent exploration of his environment, the android, inaccurately dubbed the Human Torch, soon realized the panic he was causing and, unable to control his flaming power, doused his flame in a swimming pool.

The Human Torch eventually gained control over his flame and became a crimefighter. He allied himself with the young mutant Toro, who possessed powers similar to his own. At first the greatest adversary the Torch faced in combat was Namor the Sub-Mariner.

The Torch and Toro, as well as the Sub-Mariner (who became their ally and friend) and the legendary Captain America fought together as members of The Invaders during World War II. Though the original Captain America and his sidekick Bucky were seemingly killed in action, secret replacements for them served alongside "Jim Hammond" (as the Torch was calling himself) and the rest of The Invaders in the All-Winners Squad during the postwar years. In 1949 American criminals seeking to destroy the Torch obtained a chemical known as Solution X-R from Soviet intelligence. One criminal sprayed the solution over the Torch and Toro, dousing their flame and paralyzing them. The criminals then buried the Torch beneath the Nevada desert. However, the criminals had accidentally chosen to bury him beneath a future atomic testing site.

In December 1953, the blast of an atomic bomb dropped on the site freed the Torch, and the radiation reactivated his flame. The Torch resumed his crimefighting career and his partnership with Toro.In 1955 the Human Torch sensed that the radiation from the bomb was causing him to lose control of his flame, and that he would eventually "die" by burning himself out. After bidding farewell to Toro, the Torch flew to a desert in the western United States where he tried to destroy himself by overloading his solar cells in a single burst of maximum output flame. The Torch succeeded in burning himself out and plunged to earth to lie insensate.

His body was finally discovered many years later by the criminal genius called the Mad Thinker, one of the world's leading experts on robotics and androids. Using his knowledge of androids, the Thinker restored most of the Torch's original synthetic tissue and nervous system. The Thinker partially restored the android's memories but coerced the Torch into battling the Thinker's enemies, the Fantastic Four (which counted a new Human Torch among their number). On realizing the implications of what the Thinker wanted him to do, the Torch sacrificed his artificial life to save the Fantastic Four from a sneak attack by the Thinker's computer Quasimodo. The Thinker fled, and the Fantastic Four left the Torch's body in the Thinker's laboratory in Nevada.

In more recent years, the android hero Vision was revealed to be a reconstructed Human Torch, and the time-traveling Immortus had made this possible by creating an identical temporal duplicate of the Torch that was rebuilt into Vision by the robot Ultron. The remaining Torch was used by the villain Mad Thinker in a plot against his enemies, the hero team Fantastic Four.

The Mad Thinker buried the Torch in a non-descript grave. The hero team Avengers West Coast revived the Human Torch when in the course of investigating the Vision's origin. They invited the revived Torch to join their team, and he gratefully accepted.

However, he served for only a short time before taking a personal leave of absence, during which time he lost his powers to save the life of his aged comrade Lady Crichton. He then semi-retired from adventuring, although Hammond returned to join the Avengers' West Coast branch as reserve member, and served alongside the team on a couple of adventures.

Months later, he agreed to lead the re-launched hero team Heroes for Hire with Iron Fist and Cage, behind-the-scenes in an office capacity as CEO of Oracle, Inc., Namor's business representation in the States that acted as parent company for the Heroes. After spearheading several adventures, Hammond was revealed to be used by the villainous Master to destroy the Heroes for Hire, although the Heroes triumphed over their foe and rescued Hammond, who recovered. During this time, Hammond recovered his ability to throw fireballs, although the full extent of his powers remain lost. When the unscrupulous Stark-Fujikawa Corporation bought Oracle and began restructuring Heroes for Hire, Hammond resigned.

Hammond returned as part of the New Invaders, taking the young android Tara under his wing. He ended up sacrificing his life to save this new "Lady Torch." The majority of the Invaders left the team after this.

In the months following the "Secret Invasion" of Earth, Hammond's inert body was discovered in the UN building by retired Chinese scientist, Zhang Chin. Chin's agent, the Man-With-No-Face, recovered the body and brought it back to Taipei where Chin modified Jim's DNA and cell structure into a virus. Chin intended to use this virus to eradicate half the world's population, so that resources could be better controlled. This incident prompted Captain America (Bucky Barnes) and the Sub-Mariner to go to China to rescue their old teammate's remains. They succeed in stopping Chin and made sure that Hammond received a proper burial.[1]

Powers and Abilities



The Torch bursts into flame

The original Human Torch possesses the mental ability to control ambient heat energy and 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 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 are 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.

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).

The Human Torch's plasma has a high hydrogen content, and is surrounded by an exuded cloud of mono-atomic hydrogen atoms. This hot cloud provides sufficient positive buoyancy for him to float. With mental stimulation of his flame, he can provide enough lift to carry 180 pounds. By forming a jet from his feet, directed behind him, he can achieve speeds up to at least 140 miles per hour.

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.

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.

The Torch's light output is mostly in the infrared and 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.

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. The original Human Torch can telekinetically control not only flames and flame objects that he himself creates, but also flames he did not create.

Power Grid [2]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills

Strength level

The Human Torch possesses the normal human strength of a man in his middle twenties who engages in moderate regular exercise.



Formerly Avengers Identicard


Formerly Avengers Quinjet


  • The general public was unaware that the original Human Torch also used the identity of Jim Hammond.


  • The Initiative training facility, Camp Hammond, is named after the Human Torch. Furthermore, a statue of Hammond on the grounds bears the inscription "JIM HAMMOND, THE FIRST OF THE MARVELS: He showed us that heroes can be made"[3]. When the camp is shut down by Norman Osborn, an angry mob tore down the statue.[4]

Recommended Reading


Discover and Discuss

  1. Captain America (Volume 5) #44-48
  2. OHOTMU Golden Age 2004
  3. Avengers: The Initiative #2
  4. Avengers: The Initiative #23

This article uses material from the "Jim Hammond (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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