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aka: Human Torch

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The Human Torch

Alter Ego: Jonathan Lowell Spencer "Johnny" Storm

Notable Aliases: Invisible Man

First Appearance: The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)


An impulsive (and soon, literal) hothead, Johnny is the younger brother of Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman. A classic case of Silver Age science fiction, Johnny was part of an outer space expedition that —alongside Sue, her boyfriend Dr. Reed Richards, and his associate Ben Grimm — granted him special powers via cosmic radiation. In his case, Johnny gained fire-based abilities, including flight. With them, Johnny became a founding member of the Fantastic Four, using their powers for the betterment of humanity.

In the following years, Johnny would join up with varying factions of the Marvel Universe outside the F4, including the Avengers and Inhumans. He's also become synonymous for his friendship with Spider-Man, as well as his antagonistic (but still loving) rapport with Ben, now known as The Thing.


As a member of Marvel's founding family, Johnny has appeared quite frequently in other media. He's perhaps most remembered for his role in the 2005 Fantastic Four film (and its 2007 sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer), as portrayed by (a pre-Captain America: The First Avenger) Chris Evans. Johnny also features in the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, portrayed there by (a pre-Killmonger) Michael B. Jordan. Apparently, playing the Human Torch in a subpar feature film prepares you for roles in better superhero movies. Who knew!

Not to be confused with the original Golden Age Human Torch, Jim Hammond.


The Human Torch appears in:

     Notable Comic Books 
  • Fantastic Four (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1961 — 1996, 2002 — 2012, 2015)
    • vol. 2 (1996 — 1997)
    • vol. 3 (1998 — 2003)
    • vol. 4 (2013 — 2014)
    • vol. 5 (2014 — 2015)
    • vol. 6 (2018)
  • Human Torch (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1974 — 1975)
    • vol. 2 (2003 — 2004)
  • FF vol. 1 (2011 — 2012)
  • Secret Wars vol. 2 (2015 — 2016)
  • Uncanny Inhumans (2015 — 2016)
  • Uncanny Avengers vol. 3 (2015 — 2017)
  • Marvel Two-in-One vol. 2 (2017 — present)



     Video Games 

The Human Torch provides examples of:

  • Action Hero: Perhaps one of the most energetic of this trope, whatever he goes up against he goes straight to attack-mode without any thought or caution. Ben lampshades that Johnny was the one who strung the Fantastic Four.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Susan.
  • Anyone Can Die: Was killed off in the "Three" storyline, but got better. As it turned out, almost immediately after, too. He just spent the equivalent of several years fighting and dying at the hands of Annihilus, who had the means to bring him back.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Johnny Storm
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Quick to brag about his abilities during battle, yet more downplayed compared to Hercules or Thor.
  • Brother–Sister Team: He and older sister Sue are half of the Fantastic Four.
  • The Casanova: If it isn't him fighting in battle or talking smack, it's him flirting with almost any attractive female within his vicinity.
  • Catchphrase: "Flame on!" In Mexico and Latin America, his catchphrase is translated as ¡LLAMAS A MI! (Roughly translated from Spanish as "(I invoke the) Flames to me!") and it has become a Memetic Mutation there.
  • Celebrity Superhero: Johnny, along with the rest of the Fantastic Four, are considered celebrities. They don't have secret identities and Johnny often capitalizes on his fame.
  • The Charmer: A frequent charmer of the ladies, judging by the amount of girlfriends he had, he's quite successful. Although sustaining a relationship with of a love interest with him is another thing.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Willing to flirt with almost anyone under the sun (including one's not his one), but is respectful when he's rejected and knows more how to back off even in his youth.
  • Cool Uncle: He loves Reed and Sue's children, who in turn love him in return. Ironically, they think he's cool because of of his powers which are anything but.
  • Custom Uniform: Wore a red-and-gold variation of the team costume in the mid-70s.
  • The Dandy: Sometimes dialed up into Camp Straight, such as in World's Greatest Heroes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Generally with Ben, has shades of this with Spider-Man or when he feels the need to crack wise about the situation.
  • Death Is Cheap: Got killed by Annihilus's army, came back less than a year later (in real-time, that is).
  • Depending on the Writer: Johnny Storm has alternated between self-obsessed prima donna and self-obsessed whiny asshat. Some FF writers, most notably Tom DeFalco, have tried to upgrade Johnny to at least being savvy about his powers and status. Later ones felt the need to make him dumb and dumber both.
  • Dimension Lord: Of the Negative Zone.
  • The Ditz: On his worse days. Admittedly, when a regular twenty-something's standing in a room with Reed Richards, they're going to look a little dumb.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: With Lyja, who lied about her identity multiple times in order to trick him into a relationship with her, as well as with Ravonna, Zodiac, and multiple others who kiss him against his will.
  • Dumb Blonde: A male example depending on the writer.
  • Elemental Baggage: For Johnny's power source in creating flame. Occasionally justified by him feeling tired or very hungry after using extremely hot flames.
    • And then there's the part about his body and his powers both needing oxygen to function. There have been times when he's been trapped in airtight spaces, causing him to pass out when his flame powers used up all the oxygen.
  • Flying Firepower: 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.
  • Foil: To his brother-in-law, Reed. Johnny is a reckless Leeroy Jenkins hero who has little care about laws and want to do what is right, while Reed is law-abiding hero with a sense of duty who plans things ahead for his teammates. Both Reed and Johnny also took different sides during the Civil War events.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Spider-Man. Though at first, it was just that Johnny couldn't stand the guy. They become less competitive with each other as they get older, but there's still an element of ragging on each other/trying to outdo each other there, only now mixed with actual respect - to the extent that Johnny left instructions for Peter to replace him on the team in the event of his death.
  • Fun Personified: In a good mood, he's cheerful, easygoing and quick to celebrate with his friends.
  • Future Badass: A future version of Johnny had the ability to burn white-hot and shut off his younger self's flame.
  • Glass Cannon: Johnny is extremely powerful, as he can light up supernovas, decimate large areas like mountain ranges, and absorb the energy of atom bombs. However, all of his powers are directly related to fire and nothing else, which means Johnny has no Super Strength or Super Toughness inherent to his own body, and thus is vulnerable to those who do possess augmented physical abilities.
  • Grass Is Greener: He admits to some jealousy of Peter Parker. Johnny is aware that he has it much better in terms of public standing, admirers, and financial security (all things Spider-Man often lacks), but Peter always had Aunt May to go home to. Watching Peter and May hug in Spider-Man/Human Torch #1 makes Johnny think how he'd give up anything to be hugged by a parent.
  • Hidden Depths: Not quite the superficial himbo slacker he seems, this one. As immature and impulsive as he can be, Sue learns he invests a lot of self control in keeping his powers in check when she ends up with them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Then he got better.
  • Hot-Blooded: Like his powers, he's a very temperamental person and it doesn't take much for him to go berserk on things with his powers.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Frequently petulant, childish, selfish and bone-dead stupid, but his heart is in the right place.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: When the series started, he was the teenager in a cast of adults. Early on in the series, he was extremely popular and was the Breakout Character with his own spinoff within a year after the series started. His popularity was one of the reasons why Marvel created other teen superheroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men.
  • Large Ham: Usually his default mode in battle, but also with Ben or Spider-Man.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: He's matured a bit, though.
    Mark Waid: The Avengers' battle cry is "Avengers, Assemble!" The Fantastic Four's battle cry is "Johnny, wait!"
  • Legacy Character: The Human Torch is loosely based on the Golden Age Human Torch.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Of course the Human Torch is hot! Johnny has been portrayed as the Marvel universe's most eligible bachelor.
  • Personality Powers: Johnny is hot-headed and impulsive, which goes along with his power of fire.
  • Playing with Fire: He can generate shapes composed of fire from any point on his body (He usually employs his hands to "sculpt" the flames, occasionally as a lasso to ensnare enemies) .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
  • Uncle Wolf: Just to round it off; although he doesn't take that much seriously, messing with his nephew and niece is a good way to increase your chances of being reduced to charcoal in the near future.
  • Sibling Team: He and Sue are half of the Fantastic Four.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Johnny's love for cars goes beyond the superficial aspect of things, and he's actually a competent mechanic who was able to overhaul a car's transmission as a teenager. He has also helped Reed build countless of vehicles, including the Fantasti-car.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Johnny dying a year before the FF's 50th anniversary. Yeaaaah, that'll stick.
      • All part of the plan - Johnny ends up in the Negative Zone leading a Five-Man Band to overthrow Annihilus and gains control over the Annihilation Wave. Took a Level in Badass indeed.
    • There have been dozens of "Johnny-learns-to-act-more-mature" stories over the decades. Then the next writer comes along and it starts all over again.
  • Token Flyer: Johnny is the only member of the team who can fly under his own power. His sister has Not Quite Flight but can't reach the heights and speeds Johnny can.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • With Ben. They spend most of their time either sniping and snarking at each other, planning increasingly elaborate practical jokes on each other, or lambasting each other with creatively brutal threats about what they'll do to the other (which are hardly ever followed through) after said practical jokes. They are, of course, practically inseparable.
    • And Peter Parker. Spidey and the Torch's team-ups usually consist of them trying to one-up each other, with the expected volley of insults and snark. But at the end of the day, Spider-Man is probably Johnny's closest superhero friend outside of the FF.
  • Wreathed in Flames: He has the physical ability to transform his entire body, or portions of his body into a fiery, plasma-like state of will.

Alternative Title(s): Human Torch


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