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Human Torch (I)

Real Name: The Human Torch
Occupation: Adventurer
Identity: The general public is unaware that the original Human Torch also used the identity of Jim Hammond.
Legal Status: Unrevealed
Other Aliases: Jim Hammond
Place of Creation: Brooklyn, New York
Marital Status: Single (if applicable)
Known Relatives: None (if applicable)
Group Affiliation: Former partner of Toro, former member of the Invaders and the All Winners Squad, current member of the West Coast Avengers Base of Operations: now unknown, formerly New York City and (during much of World War II) London, formerly Avengers Compound, Malibu, California
First Appearance: MARVEL COMICS #1
First modern appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #4

History: 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 the Sub-Mariner. The Torch and Toro, as well as the Sub-Mariner, who became their ally and friend, served together as members of the Invaders during World War II and 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 an 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. 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 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 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 friend Lady Crichton. He then 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. 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.

Height: 6 ft. 3 in.
Weight: 300 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond

Strength Level: The original Human Torch possesses the normal human strength of a man in his middle twenties of the Torch's height and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: 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.

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