Johnny Storm is .... The Human Torch

©Roman Schwachöfer

Publisher Marvel Comics
Real name Jonathan "Johnny" Storm
Identity Publicly known
Occupation Adventures, Actor
Place of Birth Glenville,Long Island,New York
Legal Status Citizen of the United States
Known Relatives Mary Storm (mother, deceased), Franklin Storm (father, deceased), Susan Storm Richards (Invisible Woman, sister), Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic, brother-in-law), Franklin Richards (nephew), Valeria Richards (niece), Marygay Jewel Dinkins (aunt), "Bones" (cousin), Lyja (estranged wife)
Group Affilation Fantastic Four
First Appearance Fantastic Four 1 
 
History:

Johnny Storm is the son of physician Franklin Storm and his wife Mary. He and his older sister Susan grew up in Glenville, New York. While still young, his mother was in a terrible car accident and she passed away, despite Franklin’s attempts to repair her body.

 

After this tragic event, Franklin fell into a downward spiral of drinking and gambling, eventually leading to his arrest for the murder of a loan shark, which he claimed was self-defense. Johnny and Sue were then sent to their Aunt’s to live and Sue spend much time caring for her younger brother. As a teen, Johnny and his sister met a scientist named Reed Richards and volunteered to go on an experimental rocket designed by Reed. The rocket would help humanity fly to the stars if everything worked as planned. But the ship was not properly shielded from cosmic radiation and plummeted back to the Earth’s surface.

They all survived the horrific crash but very soon found they had been changed. Sue, Reed and the pilot, Ben Grimm, gained super powers as a result. Johnny burst into flame and soon realized he could fly. On the spot they all agreed to use their powers for good and become the Fantastic Four.

Still young and rebellious, Johnny was ecstatic to have his new found powers. Labeled the hot head of the group, Johnny would often make brash decisions and disobey direct orders. Although his sister would try to calm him, Johnny often had issues with following Reed’s orders. He would quit the team early on (and many more times) because of his temper. While at a local bar trying to avoid the other members of the team, Johnny recognized a man who claimed to be an amnesiac. Trying to see if he was right, he dropped the man in the ocean and his assumptions were correct – it was Namor, the King of the Sea.

Learning Atlantis was destroyed; Namor waged war against the surface. Johhny helped the other team members stop him and rejoined the team, finally having cooled off a bit.

Although he was in the Fantastic Four, Johnny still had time to have his own adventures, fighting villains such as the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete, who would later go on to have grudges against both Johnny and the Fantastic Four. (These adventures were chronicled in Strange Tales). The Human Torch also started dating a fellow student named Dorrie Evans. During the time that the Torch was dating Dorrie, Peter Parker ironically met her one night, and impressed her with his quiet, studying manner as opposed to Johnny's hot headedness and eagerness. Deciding that it would be funny to see how she reacted around Spider-Man, Peter changed to Spider-Man, only to end up fighting the Beetle, another of the Human Torch's foes, who was planning to capture Dorrie for revenge on the Torch. Eventually the Torch arrived, and together he and Spider-Man defeated the Beetle and saved Dorrie, one of their earliest team-ups.

 

After an adventure with the Mole Man, the Sue Storm found a newspaper article which had a small section about her and Johnny's father. The two went to visit him in prison, but unknown to them, the Super-Skrull had kidnapped Franklin Storm and shape shifted to replace him. The Super-Skrull then went on a rampage as the Invincible Man, correctly guessing that the Torch and Invisible Woman wouldn't attack someone who they thought was their father, until Mr. Fantastic discovered the deception. The Super-Skrull agreed to return Johnny and Sue's father, but moments after they saw him, he yelled at them to escape, before a bomb which had been implanted in him exploded. Thankfully, no one was hurt except for Franklin, but he was gone from Johnny and Sue's life once more.

Frightfull Four:

By now, Reed and Sue had agreed to marry, but shortly before they could, the Fantastic Four's counterpart, the Frightful Four (consisting mostly of old enemies of the Human Torch) attacked the group. As part of the Frightful Four's plans, they managed to trap the Fantastic Four on a deserted island with an atomic bomb. Although Sue was able to protect the group with a force field, the radiation still somehow affected them and took away the Fantastic Four's powers. The team was then attacked by Doctor Doom, who wanted revenge for having been tricked into thinking that he had defeated the team the last time they clashed. The team managed to regain their powers with a special gun of Reed's, but the Thing left the quartet after being forced to have his powers back. Following him the Thing, both he and the Human Torch were brainwashed by the Frightful Four into joining the group. After a lengthy fight between the Frightful Four and Fantastic Four, Johnny and the Thing were cured, but a member of the Frightful Four, Medusa, managed to escape.

Inhumans:
 
 

By now, Reed and Sue had agreed to marry, but shortly before they could, the Fantastic Four's counterpart, the Frightful Four (consisting mostly of old enemies of the Human Torch) attacked the group. As part of the Frightful Four's plans, they managed to trap the Fantastic Four on a deserted island with an atomic bomb. Although Sue was able to protect the group with a force field, the radiation still somehow affected them and took away the Fantastic Four's powers. The team was then attacked by Doctor Doom, who wanted revenge for having been tricked into thinking that he had defeated the team the last time they clashed. The team managed to regain their powers with a special gun of Reed's, but the Thing left the quartet after being forced to have his powers back. Following him the Thing, both he and the Human Torch were brainwashed by the Frightful Four into joining the group. After a lengthy fight between the Frightful Four and Fantastic Four, Johnny and the Thing were cured, but a member of the Frightful Four, Medusa, managed to escape.

 
Galactus:

While in a in a singles bar Johnny met Frankie Ray and later met up to go on a date. On their first date, Frankie learned that Johnny was the Human Torch when he had to save a man's life. Frankie was repressed of her memory about the accident that gave her super-powers, until one day it came to light. Reed helped her learn the truth of her past. Frankie and Johnny soon became a couple and Frankie even became a member in-training.

When Galactus needed to consume the Earth to survive, Frankie volunteered to become his next herald to explore space and have adventures as long as he spared the Earth. Galactus accepted, endowing Frankie with the Power Cosmic and called herself Nova. Johnny lost his second love that day.

Secret Wars:

During the Secret Wars, when the Beyonder transported a group of heroes and villains to Battleworld, the Thing decided to leave the Fantastic Four and live among monsters at Monster Island. Johnny and Alicia Masters would soon start a relationship during the Thing’s absence.

Johnny Storm and Alicia Masters are about to get married, but the Mad Thinker and Wizard plan to take advantage of the event. The Thing and the Puppet Master have different plans and manage to stop the two evil geniuses.

Reed and Sue decide to take some time away from the Fantastic Four and leave the Thing in charge. And his first duty is to find replacements for the two. Thing finds Crystal and Ms. Marvel as the replacements. Johnny is torn between his first love Crystal and his now wife Alicia.

Skrull Homeworld:

Just when Reed and Sue return to the team, it is revealed that Alicia is really a Skrull named Lyja. The Fantastic Four take off to the Skrull Homeworld to save the real Alicia Masters from their clutches. Upon finding this out Johnny would have nothing to do with Lyja, despite the fact that she was branded traitor for helping the Fantastic Four save the real Alicia. Lyja then disappears.

Lyja eventually returns and teams-up with Devos, the Devastator, and Paibok, the Power Skrull and are out for Johnny’s blood. During the battle Johnny accidentally goes Super-Nova and starts the Empire University on fire.

Johnny goes Super-Nova and sets Empire University on fire

Johnny then becomes a wanted man by people who he once called friends and ally. After being hunted by Silver Sable’s Wild pack, Daredevil, Spider-Man, and the Secret Defenders. Johnny eventually has his day in court, but the Huntara, Paibok, Klaw, and Devos chose this opportunity to strike. Unfortunately Johnny has some super-powered allies to lend a hand.

Lyja returns, but now both Johnny and his Ben are fighting for her affections. Not wanting to cause problems between the two she again disappears.

Infinity War:
 
Johnny's double of himself and some of Earth’s other heroes at the beginning of the Infinity War attacked Johnny, creating mixed emotions from having to battle his friends. Creating doppelgangers of Earth’s heroes, the evil Magus planned to remake the universe in his image. Johnny joined all of Earth’s heroes in battle with their evil counterparts before the final defeat of the Magus.
 
Infinity Crusade:

The Magus’ opposite, the Goddess, started the next major event that would be known as the Infinity Crusade. Preying on the religious beliefs of others to manipulate them into joining her cause, Sue was coerced into allying with the Goddess. This cause Johnny to question his faith since he believed he and his sister were equally strong in their beliefs.

Onslaught:

The next major threat was a being known as Onslaught, a psionic creature created out of the minds of Professor X and Magneto. It took all of Earth’s heroes to combat this threat. In the end the all non-mutant heroes sacrificed themselves to defeat him and it seemed that the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and many other heroes were gone forever.

Counter Earth:

Franklin used his abilities to create a pocket universe for all the heroes to remain living on. On this Counter Earth, Johnny and the other Four lived out their lives anew, not knowing the events of the past. With the help of Roma, this Earth was brought back to Johnny’s original dimension and all the heroes returned to life, although confused over the previous events.

 

 

After the death of Galactus, the evil embodiment of destruction known as Abraxas was unleashed on the universe. Abraxas planned to destroy all life in the multiverse. A plan was developed to find the Ultimate Nullifier since Johnny was the only one aware of it’s location, although subconsciously. The other members of the team traveled to other universes to gain pieces of the Nullifiers location from alternate Johnny’s. In the meantime, Johnny and an alternate reality Frankie Raye began the search for it. Once they found the Nullifier, Nova revealed she was really the Herald of Abraxas and took the Nullifier to give to her master. Franklin and Valeria were able to revive Galactus, who was able to easily defeat Abraxas.

Civil War:

During the Superhuman Civil War, Johnny is severely beaten in a night club by people outraged by the events in Stamford and super heroes in general. When he awoke, the team had split in many separate ways. Johnny joined Sue on Captain America’s anti-registration Secret Avengers team. At the end of the war, the team reunited. Reed and Sue took a short leave for a honeymoon to rekindle, leaving the Black Panther and Storm in their place.

Team Turmoil:

Over time, the stability of the Fantastic Four began to diminish. Johnny began to start searching for a career as an actor. Johnny actually won a major role in a summer blockbuster but soon realized he wasn’t up to the task. Johnny began working in television instead before finally becoming a New York City firefighter. He returned to be the Chief Financial Officer of the Fantastic Four and even averted disaster with his leadership abilities.

After another battle with the teams greatest foe Doctor Doom, Reed attempted to take over Latveria. This caused a major misunderstanding, turning the United States government and the team against him. With the resulting death of the Thing, the team split up once again. Johnny took to his old love, automobile repair. He was plagued by hallucinations that Ben was not dead, which in fact he was not and was returned to his normal state. The team next had to deal with an alien scientist named Zius. He had developed a cloak to hide planets from the world devourer Galactus, but the Invisible Woman’s powers threatened his plans. He demanded she sacrifice herself to save billions of lives.

 

To protect Sue, Reed used a specially designed machine to switch her powers with Johnny. This fooled Zius and he left the planet. This did not fool Galactus who destroyed Zius and claimed Johnny (with Sue’s invisibility powers) as his new herald.

Galactus bestowed a portion of his Power Cosmic to Johnny and forced him to see through the cloaks and find him planets to feed on. Johnny was not mentally altered by Galactus and hid many planets from him for as long as he could. As Galactus’ patience dwindled the remainder of the team and Quasar came and rescued him.

Death: The last stand of the Human Torch:
 

A second Annihilation Wave under the command of Annihilus' Anti-Priest, the head of the Cult of Annihilus, fought The Universal Inhumans and later, under "Kid Annihilus'" personal command, they initially breached The Negative Zone portal in The Baxter Building in an attempt to ignite the Second Great Annihilation War. The Human Torch managed to hold them off until the gateway could be completely sealed and was cut down shortly afterward by the vast wave of Arthrian cultists and their child lord, much to the dismay and horror of a powerless Ben Grimm and his godchildren, Franklin and Valeria Richards.

 
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