Name: The Human Torch
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.