Okay, so most of you know about Johnny Storm the Human Torch of the Fantastic four, but did you ever know about the other two which teamed up with Captain America back in World War 2?
First off we’ll start with the first one ever published and the firestorm he caused for Johnny Storm.
Phineas Horton decided to build an android. However his project went horribly wrong when his creation could work, but was still on fire as soon as he came contact with the air.
After the press dubbed him a threat, he was sealed away in oxygen free concrete, he of course survived and decided to become a superhero.
He also took the designation Jim Hammond.
He fought alongside Toro (another Human Torch), Namor the ruler of Atlantis, Captain America, and his sidekick Bucky during World War 2.
Eventually when the Fantastic Four formed Johnny took inspiration from Hammond to come up with his superhero name.
In the real world this caused a couple of issues. During the 1960s Marvel and Scooby Doo producer Hanna Barbera produced a Fantastic Four cartoon. Though something was a little off about the line up. Instead of Johnny, HERBIE the robot took his place on the team. This lead to the urban myth that Johnny wasn’t part of the line up because the producers were worried that children would attempt to set themselves alight. The actual truth was that they couldn’t obtain the copyright because the name Human Torch was already taken by the previous version.
Also artists went back to alter earlier Fantastic Four comics to prevent any similarity between Storm and Hammonds flame on appearance.
This leads me onto the other Human Torch. One of the other early sidekicks besides Robin and Bucky (who Marvel in hindsight has tried to make less similar to Robin.) was Thomas Raymond or as he became known, Toro was the sidekick to the Hammond Human Torch.
Toro’s dad had been in the employment of Phineas Horton, the creator of the Human Torch android and had become ill because of exposure to asbestos. His mother was also terminally ill due to her scientific endeavours. His mother theorised his fire based powers were caused by him being a mutant.
After an obsessive super villain called the Asbestos Lady killed his parents Toro was bought up by two fire eating circus performers until Jim Hammond legally adopted him.