The son of two parents exposed to various chemicals, Thomas was born a mutant with fire-based powers similar to the original Human Torch. The young Raymond would go on to become first a sidekick to Jim Hammond, then a member of the Invaders and Young Allies. A hero in his own right, Toro fought for all the ideals of young men during the WWII era, eventually losing his life because of interference by the Mad Thinker. Toro has recently been resurrected and is once more working with his former teammates.
Toro was created by Carl Burgos and made his first appearance in The Human Torch #2 in December, 1940.
Major Story Arcs
Birth and early childhood
Thomas Raymond was born to Fred Raymond and Nora Jones. Fred, an expert on flame proofing, worked for Professor Phineas T. Horton - who would go on to create the original Human Torch, as an assistant in his experiments with asbestos. The extended exposure to the asbestos detrimentally affected Raymond's health, and eventually required him to leave Horton's employ. Meanwhile, Nora was herself a scientist working on experiments with radium; experiments that left her seriously ill. After their marriage, they honeymooned in Mexico, and were so influenced by the bullfights they witnessed on honeymoon that when their son Thomas was born nine months later, they nicknamed him "Toro," Spanish for "bull," as a private joke. They worried about the fact that they were so ill they would most likely die before young Toro reached adulthood. One thing that they did discover during his childhood was that young Thomas was immune to fire; leading Nora to theorize that he was a mutant.
At one point during Toro's early years, the Raymond's home was invaded by a gang lead by the costumed criminal the Asbestos Lady. As the Asbestos Lady utilized fire in her crimes, protecting herself with asbestos, she wanted Fred to develop new means by which she could use asbestos for crime. Hammond, watching the Raymond's home, suspecting, correctly, that the Asbestos Lady would contact such a noted authority on asbestos, appeared and captured the gang. The Asbestos Lady, herself, however, managed to escape.
Learning from Toro's parents about his immunity to fire, the Human Torch decided to continue to keep watch over the Raymonds, to monitor young Thomas' development and in case the Asbestos Lady again tried to force Fred to aid her. Fred learning the extent of his wife's ill health left her with only a few more weeks to live, decided to arrange what would be the family's last vacation together. Boarding a train to embark on their trip, they left for what Fred considered Nora's last vacation. The Asbestos Lady, still obsessed with making up for her failure to capture the senior Raymond, arranged for a huge tree trunk placed on the train tracks. When the train hit the trunk, it derailed and wrecked spectacularly. Both elder Raymonds died when the train burst into flames, but Thomas, with his immunity to fire, escaped alive. Rushing into the flaming wreckage, young Toro attempted, futilely, to rescue his parents. His efforts were seen by Tom and Ellie Alexander, a married couple who happened to be driving by. A married team of circus fire-eaters, the Alexanders were both sympathetic to the newly orphaned youngster's plight and moved by the realization that his immunity to flame could be a benefit to their act. This latter realization led them to take the distraught Raymond under their wing.
Some weeks later, reports spread of an amazing boy fire-eater and his seeming immunity to flame. Both the Human Torch and the Asbestos Lady realized that this boy must be Toro and each set out to locate him. In their simultaneous searches, the Human Torch met up with the Asbestos Lady and her gang, and he managed to capture them all. With the Asbestos Lady safely imprisoned, Hammond reached the circus where Toro was performing. As Hammond came into close proximity to Toro, his presence caused Toro to burst into flame, like the Torch himself; Toro remaining unharmed to the flames. Realizing that Toro did not only have immunity to fire, but also the exact same power set as he himself possessed, The Torch became Toro's legal guardian, and trained Toro in the use of his powers. As such, the crimefighting team of the original Human Torch and Toro was born.
World War II
With the involvement of the United States in World War II, both the Human Torch and Toro became founding members of the Invaders. For the entire length of the war - with exceptions made for the times he served with the Kid Commandos alongside his friend Bucky, Captain America's sidekick and fellow member of the Invaders - Toro remained with the Invaders. Toro was, therefore, present when the original Human Torch killed Adolf Hitler. With the war finally over, Toro remained with the Torch and continued to fight crime as members of the All-Winners Squad.
The duo continued fighting crime until, in 1949, criminals attacked them with a spray of "solution X-R" - something obtained from the Soviet Union that left both heroes paralyzed. To pay off their debt for the "solution X-R" the criminals sold Toro back to the Soviets after they buried the Torch in the Nevada desert. Toro was then brainwashed by the Soviet Union to be used as a weapon for their ally, North Korea in the Korean War. An atomic bomb test in December of 1953, released the Torch from his entombment, and he proceeded to hunt down the mob boss that set them up and then went to the Koreas himself to rescue Toro. After the Torch helped him break free of the mind control and regain his memories, the duo resumed their partnership for another two more years. However, the Torch discovered that he had absorbed radiation from the bomb blast that was causing him to malfunction.
As such, he bid farewell to Toro and flew to the desert, where he emitted a burst of energy and became deactivated. Toro realized eventually that the Torch had truly "died," and so Toro retired from crimefighting, got married, and proceeded to lead a normal life in relative obscurity.
Many years later, the Mad Thinker found the deactivated the Human Torch and reactivated him, forcing him to attack the Fantastic Four. In the course of battle, the Torch was once again deactivated, this time supposedly for good. Funeral services were announced for the Torch, and Raymond decided to attend. The Mad Thinker confronted Toro outside the cemetery and drugged him. Upon awakening, Raymond was suffering from partial amnesia; and the Thinker was able to convince him that he was the Human Torch. Moreover, in Toro's unconsciousness, the Thinker had affixed a collar around Toro's neck with which he could cause enough pain that Toro was forced to become Thinker's servant. In a following battle which pitted Toro against former teammate Namor, the Sub-Mariner, the collar was damaged enough that it no longer could be used to cause Toro pain. Joining with the Sub-Mariner against the Thinker, Toro's regained his full memory. Enraged that he had be enslaved and brainwashed, Toro attacked his former tormentor, and the Thinker fled in a skycraft. Toro gained entry to the ship's rocket tubes and used his powers to propel the craft towards the Thinker's pacific island laboratory, where the ship crashed and exploded. Tha Thinker managed to escape via a teleportation device, but Toro was killed in the crash.
Toro was one of the WWII era heroes how were sent to the future prior to the Secret Invasion. In the course of the journey, Raymond learned of his impending demise. In returning to his original time, he, with the other members of the Invaders and some time displaced Avengers, battled with the Red Skull for possession of the Cosmic Cube. With the battle won by the heroes, the two Avengers teams returned to the present, but not before Bucky wished his friend back to life using the Cosmic Cube. Aarkus, the original Vision, was present when Thomas awoke, and helped him on his journey to accustom himself to the new time and being alive again.Invaders Now!
Most recently, Toro rejoined his former teammates to journey to the site where the team committed their biggest sin, in an effort to correct the wrongs made during the height of World War II.
Toro is a mutant who possesses several fire-based powers.
He can mentally control ambient heat energy and can envelop his entire body or portions of his body with fiery plasma without harm to himself. Ordinarily, when aflame, Toro is enveloped by a low intensity flame of low level plasma (a reddish color, which makes the temperature approximately 780° Fahrenheit) that ranges from 1 to 5 inches from his body. However, he can generate heat and flame of temperatures reaching up to 2500° Fahrenheit.
Toro can shape fire, creating forms made entirely of fire. These flame-objects can only retain their shapes as long as Toro's attention is focused upon them. Unless Toro consciously infuses them with energy, the objects have a life of only approximately three minutes. Just like his mentor, the original Human Torch, Toro can telekinetically control not just the flame objects that he created himself, but also flames he did not create.
The plasma Toro's flaming body is composed of possesses such a high hydrogen content that it exuded a cloud of mono-atomic hydrogen atoms. This cloud allows enough buoyancy that he can float on it. By forming a jet from his feet while aflame, he can propel himself in self-propelled flight that reaches speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.
Much like other flame-powered individuals, Toro can absorb flames into himself without harm within certain undefined limits.
As Toro's flame is supported by the presence of oxygen, it is therefore extinguished in low air pressure or a vacuum. Toro'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 a level of intensity that it immediately vaporizes such materials on contact. If hit with small amounts of water up to about 5 gallons, Toro can turn it to steam with relatively little effort on his part. More than 5 gallons of water will extinguish his flame at its normal level of intensity, and he must then wait until he can evaporate the residual moisture before re-igniting his flames.
Toro is able to output light in the infrared and far infrared regions of the spectrum and is invisible to the unaided eye. Therefore, when aflame, Toro is dimmer than one would expect of so powerful an energy source.
Toro is unaffected by any heat and flames, including his own, even when part of him is aflame and the rest is not. His flesh cannot be scalded or burned by any heat source whose level is below that of his maximum output of heat.
- Height: 5'4" (as Teen); 5'11" (as Adult)
- Weight: 115 lbs. (as Teen); 170 lbs. (as Adult)
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Black, formerly blond (See Trivia)
- Known Relatives: Fred Raymond (Father; Deceased), Nora Raymond (Mother; Née Jones, Deceased), Elaine Raymond (sister), Ann Raymond (Wife).
- Citizenship: American
- Place of Birth: New York City
- Place of Death: An island in the Pacific Ocean
- Marital Status: Married
- Identity: Secret
- Occupation: Adventurer; Former Circus "Fire-Eater"
- Education: High school equivalency, otherwise unrevealed
In his first appearances, Raymond was depicted as blond. However, in following depictions, Thomas is shown with dark black hair.
Toro of the Heroes Reborn Earth (aka Counter-Earth) is Benito Serrano. He has the ability to transform into a superstrong humanoid bull.
There is also a Toro of normal Earth-616 also named Benito Serrano. He has similar abilities to his Counter-Earth counterpart.