Note: For the Golden Age Human Torch see Jim Hammond. He is a member of the Invaders.
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. Johnny helped the other team members stop him and rejoined the team, finally having cooled off a bit.
Human Torch was created by the writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby and first appeared in Fantastic Four# 1 in 1961.
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 hotheadedness 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.
Major Story Arcs
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. One of Johnny Storm's best moments was during the first battle with the Frightful Four, FF #36. The evil FF had captured the Invisible Girl, the Thing, Mr. Fantastic and Alicia Masters while Torch was absent from the Baxter Building. Wizard brilliantly attached anti-gravity discs to all four and sent them up into the atmosphere to meet certain death. However, Alicia Masters was able to signal Torch with the FF flare signal before being captured. Hence, Johnny was able to come and capture the Wizard and force him to fly a plane and rescue the missing three FF members and Alicia. If not for the Human Torch saving the day, his three partners and Alicia Masters most certainly would have suffocated high in the atmosphere! The next battle with the evil FF came in issue #38, "Defeated by the Frightful Four". As part of the Frightful Four's plans, they managed to trap the Fantastic Four on a deserted island with an atomic bomb. This took place following Medusa's capture of the Invisible Girl. 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.
Johnny would encounter Medusa shortly after Reed and Sue's wedding, when she was being chased by a mysterious man named Gorgon. Medusa revealed to the Torch that she and Gorgon were both from a mysterious race, who had superpowers. Before she could reveal any more, Gorgon managed to capture her. Johnny shortly ran into another member of the race, (which Reed dubbed the Inhumans), Crystal, whom he fell in love with at first sight. Johnny managed to convince Crystal and the rest of the Inhumans that humans were not their enemies, but shortly afterwards, Black Bolt (the King of the Inhumans) brother Maximus trapped all of the Inhumans inside a "negative energy" dome, which the Fantastic Four only just managed to escape. Following this, the Fantastic Four had their first encounter with Galactus and the Silver Surfer. (It should be noted before moving on to Galactus that some FF fans were disappointed that Stan Lee did not allow Johnny Storm and Crystal to marry and to bring Crystal on to the FF team as a permanent member. Crystal did go on to do a superb job as a temporary replacement for Sue during Sue's maternity leave. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, Crystal was forced to leave Johnny and go back to live with the Inhumans. She and Johnny never did get back together and she ended up marrying Quicksilver. It would seem likely that the reason that Stan Lee did not make Crystal a pemanent member of the team is because he did not wish to change the name of the group from Fantastic Four to Fantastic Five.)
To battle Galactus, Johnny was selected specifically by the Watcher to retrieve a great weapon he had in a safe place. Johnny was able to retrieve the weapon, known as the Ultimate Nullifier, and they threatened Galactus with it, who left the planet alone.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. It is noteworthy that two different polls of fans could be found across the internet prior to the "death issue". The polls for who fans wanted to die consistently showed Mr. Fantastic to be #1 by a wide margin. However, comic fans got it right regarding who they predicted would be killed. The Human Torch won those polls by a significant margin.
During an attempt by Annihilus to open the portal in the Baxter Building, Johnny manages to escape from his prison cell in the Negative Zone. With help from new friends, the Light Brigade, he defeats Annihilus, taking the Cosmic Rod and control of the Annihilation Wave with it. As the portal opens, Johnny is reunited with Spider-Man, who was attempting to stop the Anti-Priest from opening the portal on the Earth side.
Johnny flies into the sky, creating a flaming number four and unites the other members of the FF atop the remains of the Baxter Building. With the Kree attempting to destroy New York, Johnny immediately joins the fight by unleashing his Annihilation Wave through the portal. Leading from the flagship, Pestilence, Johnny takes the wave into space to battle the Kree armada. Galactus suddenly appears between the two fleets and Johnny mobilizes the wave to attack, however is quickly stood down by Reed who tells the team that he summoned the World Eater.
The Kree retreat and the Mad Celestials appear, combining there bodies to attack Galactus and send him hurtling toward Earth. Johnny and the Future Foundation head back to the surface in an attempt to activate a machine the Council of Reed's built to take down the Celestials. The machine doesn't fully work however, only separating the Celestials. Johnny takes flight and attempts to attack one of them, using his Nova ability, but the Celestial regenerates and knocks Johnny back to the ground.
As Johnny looks on with his family, a future version of his niece and nephew appear and future-Franklin destroys the Celestials, saving Reed from their judgement.
Powers & Abilities
The cosmic radiation that changed Johnny into the Human Torch gave him a vast array of fire and plasma based powers.
Johnny’s body is covered by flaming plasma that protects him from flames and heat. He can easily absorb fire and explosions.
As the density of his body changes, Johnny’s body becomes lighter than air, giving him the capabilities of flight. He is also extremely maneuverable. The faster he goes, the shorter his limit becomes. At normal speed (about fifty air miles per hour) he should be able to fly for a half-hour, a distance of twenty-five miles.
With his flames, Johnny can create shapes and objects out of flame. He can also control any fire within his range of vision no matter how it formed. Johnny can also control which parts of his body he has in flame in order to touch someone or something that he doesn’t want to burn.
The Human Torch can easily break the sound barrier while in flight.
The plasma field around Johnny’s body produces intense flame which can be raised and lowered in temperature. The heat can easily dissipate most projectiles.
The Human Torch can create streams or balls of flame and use them as projectiles. Special attacks include the Nova Flame, a multi-directional attack capable of over 1,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit and the Nova Heat, an offensive beam of heat rivaling the heat of a normal star.
The Human Torch requires oxygen to use his flame powers. Without it, he would not be able to flame on or would be soon extinguished.
The Human Torch burns through energy rather quickly depending on his energy expenditure. Special attacks such as the Nova Flame could easily deplete his energy reserves.
It takes incredible focus to control his heat powers and must be a constant thought. Johnny has learned well over the years to control this power.
Height: 5'10" Weight: 170 lbs. Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond
Earth-295- Age of Apocalypse
In the alternate reality called the Age of Apocalypse, Johnny Storm was a friend of Dr. Reed Richards, who had attempted to evacuate a large group of humans from Manhattan when Apocalypse came into power. Along with Ben Grimm as the pilot and his sister Susan, Johnny was a crew member on one of Richards' prototype rockets, which he attempted to use to fly off the island. Unfortunately, an angry mutant sabotaged the launch and both Reed and Johnny sacrificed themselves to let the others blast off safely.
Johnny Storm did not have any powers in this reality before he died, as he never was bombarded with cosmic radiation in space.
Earth-1610- Ultimate Universe
In the Ultimate universe Johnny Storm is the youngest child of William and Mary Storm. His sister is Sue Storm. In this universe Johnny gained his powers, along with the other members of the Fantastic Four, due to a malfunction in Reed Richards' teleportation device. After that he, his sister Sue, Richards and Richards' friend Ben Grimm decide to form the team called the Fantastic Four. Despite his new found super-human powers, Johnny's father made him finish high school, which he had been coerced into attending in the first place. He registered at and began attending Midtown High and made friends quickly, meeting Liz Allen, Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker (Spider-Man), among others. At one point Johnny is at a bonfire party and he catches fire which freaks out Liz Allen. The other kids immediately deduce that Johnny is the Human Torch which naturally leads to the media finding out too. Because of his fame and notoriety and because of the potential danger his presence could expose the other students to, Johnny is forced to stop attending Midtown High. In Ultimate Spider-Man #98, the Fantastic Four learn Spider-Man's identity, when he removes his mask to prove his identity.
Later Johnny returns to Midtown High wanting to spend time with real friends after becoming frustrated on a date with a popular pop-star who only came for publicity. After some prodding, Johnny insisted for a group featuring himself, Peter, Mary Jane, Kitty Pryde, Kong, Bobby Drake and Liz Allen to go the the beach. During the evening bonfire, mirror his last visit, Liz Allen bursts into flame, accidentally realizing that she herself as a mutant. At the end of the arc, Liz finds out that her father is the Blob and goes to the Xavier Institute with Iceman.
After that he meets Spider-Woman during his attempt to stop the Vulture, he flirts with and very much embarrasses her. During Ultimatum the Ultimatum Wave hit New York and the Baxter Building. Johnny and Franklin were swept in the water, and Johnny is saved by his father drowning in the process. After his return to America, he comes to live with Peter Parker and his family. Later he meets Spider-Woman again while she is battling the Bombshells. After the fight she quickly leaves but Johnny followers her.
Following the death of Peter Parker, Johnny and Bobby Drake are found by Kitty Pryde, and move into the abandoned Morlock tunnels. There they decide to stay out of sight, as it has become illegal to be a mutant. However, it is not long before Johnny and company have to go into action to keep a group of defenseless mutants from being killed.
Earth-721- Earth A
In this reality, also known as Earth A, (first seen in Fantastic Four #118), Only Reed Richards and Ben Grimm was aboard the spaceship and got exposed to cosmic rays. Afterwards Reed Richards got the Thing powers and Ben Grimm got the Mr. Fantastic powers. Furthermore Johnny Storm was believed to have died in Vietnam, but he became Gaard and later Vangaard. Sue Storm married Ben Grimm.
In the 1602 reality, Jon Storm is a member of the Four of the Fantastick.
In the MC2 reality Human Torch is married to Lyja and leader of Fantastic Five, alongside Big Brain, Thing and Psi-Lord. He and Lyja have a son named Torus. Upon the return of Reed and Sue, Reed resumes the leadership of the team. Johnny begins to contemplate splitting from the team and forming his own super team. Eventually, Reed is put in a coma by Doctor Doom and Johnny resumes as leader.
In this reality, also called Battleworld, Human Torch and Wasp had a son called Firefly.
In this reality Human Torch is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Thing and Spider-Man.
In this reality Human Torch is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Thing and Namor.
In this reality Human Torch is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Thing and Silver Surfer.
Human Torch was also a member of Fantastic Five in this reality, alongside Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Thing and Spider-Man. They were all killed by Hyperion and Weapon X.
Earth-One Dimension Away
In this reality The Human Torch was known as Jack Richards and was the husband of Mr. Fantastic. Jack died trying to avenge his husband's death at the hands of The Marquis of Death and Clyde Wyncham.
Earth-58163 - House of M
In the House of M reality that the Scarlet Witch created Johnny Storm is a fighter in the Sapien Death Match television show. When Tony Stark dons the Iron Man suit, it is Johnny who the House of M believes is in the Iron man Suit. Johnny feels that Tony has the right idea and tries to help homo-sapiens. Tony and Johnny save 4 million mutants lives but fail to save Howard Stark.
Old John Storm
During FF, John Storm appears through a wormhole above the Baxter Building, proclaiming the Fantastic Four had died on their journey through time/space. Being taken in by the Future Foundation, John Storm explains that after he left with Fantastic Four, they encountered Doom, The Annihilating Conqueror, an amalgamation of Doctor Doom, Annihilus and Kang, who killed the others and chased him through space/time for years.
This older version of Johnny has long grey hair, is missing his left eye and has robotic left arm and leg.
Fantastic Four Movies
Chris Evans portrayed the Human Torch in the 2005 feature film Fantastic Four and reprised it in the 2007 sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer. The film version of Johnny Storm portrays him as an extreme sports fanatic and test pilot working for Von Doom Industries, who was washed out of NASA by Ben Grimm for irresponsible behaviour in a flight simulator involving two underwear models. The novelisation explains that Johnny was intellectually gifted from an early age but never developed the discipline to attain his intelligence, leading to his current 'frat boy persona'.
Super Hero Squad Show
Here he is part of The Super Hero Squad, who defends from Dr. Doom and his threats. He is played by Travis Willingham (who also does The Hulk in this animated series.)
- The Human Torch makes a guest appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the Game Boy and PlayStation 2.
- The Human Torch (along with the rest of the Fantastic Four) has a cameo in Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage for the SNES and Sega Genesis systems.
- The Human Torch is one of the Fantastic Four members who make an appearance in Spider-Man for the SNES.
- The Human Torch featured prominently in the 2000 Spider-Man video game, voiced by Daran Norris. The Torch makes numerous appearances in cut-scenes throughout the game, and is last seen dancing with the Black Cat.
- The Human Torch appears in his own game for the game boy advance titled Fantastic 4: Flame On.
- Johnny is a playable character in the Fantastic Four video game based on the 2005 movie, voiced by Chris Evans with Quinton Flynn reprising his role in bonus levels , and in the video game based on the 2007 movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer voiced by Michael Broderick.
- The Ultimate version of the Human Torch appeared in the 2005 Ultimate Spider-Man game voiced by David Kaufman. The player, as Spider-Man, had to race the Torch through New York.
- The Torch also appeared as a playable character in the Electronic Arts-produced title Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, voiced by Kirby Morrow.
- Human Torch appears as a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by Josh Keaton. His classic, Ultimate, original, and modern costumes are available. A simulation disk has Human Torch fighting Paibok. He has special dialogue with Black Widow, Hank Pym, Thing, Crystal, Uatu, Karnak, Wyatt Wingfoot, Black Bolt, and Shocker.
- David Kaufman reprises his role of Human Torch who appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
- Whilst he doesn't appear, in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, there are billboards for a car wash company, which Johnny has endorsed.
- Human Torch is a playable character in the Diablo style MMO Marvel Heroes.