The Human Torch: 20 Things Only Real Marvel Fans Know About His Body

The Incredibles 2 came out in June 2018 and it was fun to see a family with superpowers go on adventures together and save the world. Violet could turn invisible, Elastigirl had the ability to stretch her body and Mr. Incredible had super strength and invulnerability. Based on their powers and the fact that they were a family, some joked that this would be the closest fans would ever get to seeing a really good Fantastic Four movie. There were several attempts to bring the Fantastic Four to the big screen, and the most recent film in 2015 directed by Josh Trank was poorly received. Oddly enough, Chris Evans, who played the Human Torch in the 2005 film would go on to become Captain America. Michael B. Jordan, who played Johnny Storm in the 2015 film, returned to Marvel to play Black Panther villain Erik Killmonger.

The Human Torch has always been an endearing character due to his charisma, his intensity and his heroism. There's so much more to him than just the guy that lights on fire every time he yells "Flame on!" Besides the movie versions of Johnny Storm, the Earth-616 Torch is very different than his Ultimate Marvel counterpart. Also, let's not forget one of the first Marvel superheroes to make his debut in the 1930s: an android who was originally named the Human Torch! What else do fans not know about his powers? How about how Johnny prevents himself from getting burned by his own flames?  How is the Human Torch actually able to achieve flight? Get ready to find out!


Could the Human Torch burn himself? The Earth-616 version and Ultimate Human Torch both have very different ways from preventing their own power from injuring them. Earth-616 Torch seems to simply be immune to flame and heat, which makes sense because at times he can convert his body into superheated plasma.

Ultimate Johnny Storm from Earth-1610 has a layer of microscopic transparent plates on his entire body that are fireproof. These plates are regenerated on a daily basis because they get damaged or destroyed by the plasma that his cells generate via nuclear fusion. If he does not have enough protective plates, he could theoretically burn himself up!


Move over, Human Torch, here comes the Human Torch! Besides the Sub-Mariner and Captain America, the Human Torch was one of the first characters ever created by Marvel in the 1930s. The version that fought in World War II was an android that had a secret identity and eventually took the name Jim Hammond.

Hammond's trajectory was much different. When not the Torch, he was an NYPD police officer. His android form was activated and deactivated numerous times, and in modern day is a current agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Besides being able to emit and control flame, Hammond now can also generate radiation as well.


The Human Torch got his start with the Fantastic Four, but Johnny not only has had solo adventures, he also was a member of the Avengers as well. Even though the Fantastic Four roster has included Wolverine, Ghost Rider and Black Panther to name a few, the original four stick out as the best quartet ever. They're also together because they're family, but their powers also depend on proximity.

There have been times when the power levels of each member either declined or increased, but their powers could disappear altogether if they're not in the same plane of reality. The Fantastic Four are imaginauts and explore different universes and dimensions. If the team is in separate universes for too ling, their powers decline and could disappear completely.


human lantern

In 1996, Marvel and DC created Amalgam Comics, in which characters from each universe were merged together to create a hybrid. Super-Soldier was a combination of Superman and Captain America, and Doctor StrangeFate was a combination of the Sorcerer Supreme and Doctor Fate.

Looking at the above photo, there's a character wearing an outfit that looks similar to Alan Scott's uniform, with the rest of his body covered in some sort of green flame. The Human Lantern was an amalgamation of Golden Age Green Lantern as well as the Jim Hammond android version of the Human Torch. In Amalgam Comics, Human Lantern used mystic flames to make...  a birthday cake.


The Human Torch is one of a number of characters in the Marvel Universe who has the ability to control fire. Pyro, for example, can't generate flame, but can shape it to form fire creatures that he controls. That's something Johnny Storm either can't do or chooses not to do, but he has used his flame powers in other ways besides throwing fireballs and flying.

Johnny Storm is smart enough to avoid water as well as other substances that might snuff out his flame, but he is also smart enough to know when fire and heat come in handy. Johnny was able to use his powers to superheat his own internal temperature in order to burn toxins out of his body after being poisoned.


Although there have been times when Johnny has lost the ability to control his flame power (as well as losing the power altogether), the Human Torch has incredible control over the flames that engulf his body. He has the ability to control the intensity of the heat of his output, as well as isolate what parts of his body are on fire.

On numerous occasions, the Human Torch has had to carry someone while having enough of his body on fire to fly and simultaneously carry the weight of another person. He will leave his hands unlit to hold his passenger with the person he's carrying free from the dangers of being burned by touching his arms.


Look up in the sky! It's a fireball! It's a shooting star! No, it's the Human Torch! Whereas Reed, Sue and Ben need to travel via the flying Fantasticar, Johnny gets around by taking to the skies after shouting "Flame on!" But what exactly is enabling Johnny Storm to fly around 50 miles per hour?

In the Ultimates Universe, Johnny Storm was able to fly because when he flamed on he became lighter than air. For the Earth-616 version, Johnny was able to fly due to combustion. However, the current version of Torch, when at extreme temperatures, converts his entire body into superheated plasma, no longer becoming solid.



Let's be clear, kids, playing with fire can be extremely dangerous. Don't play with the stove or even with matches! Someone like Johnny Storm has to be very careful when he's in Torch mode, because he could accidentally set fire to objects that are near to him... but what if that's exactly what he wanted to do?

Johnny regularly employs flame attacks, but there are times when he needs to launch an epic assault on a foe or a group of foes, and that's when he goes nova. Going nova means that he's going to release in all directions the biggest burst of flame he can muster. How hot is it? It's been said to be the equivalent to that of an exploding sun! It's also rumored to be around 1 million degrees fahrenheit!


We've seen lots of versions of Ghost Rider over the years. Not only has the demon changed, but so has the host as well. Normally it's the demon Zarathos possessing an unfortunate person, such as Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch. In Thanos #15 we learned that the future host of Ghost Rider would be in space... and that it would be Frank Castle!

Believe it or not, fate also had another Johnny targeted to be host to the Spirit of Vengeance. The demon Zarathos almost chose young Johnny Storm to ride the flaming motorcycle and give his Penance Stare to the guilty. With the help of archaeologist Max Parrish, he was able to escape Zarathos. Now as the Human Torch, he's covered in regular fire, instead of hellfire!


Although the X-Men were born with their superhuman abilities, others had to get their super-powers through alternate means. Peter Parker became Spider-Man after an accidental bite from a radioactive spider. For the Fantastic Four, it required something a little more complex, and their origins vary greatly depending on which version you look at.

In the Ultimate Universe (as well as in the 2015 Fantastic Four movie), Johnny Storm and his friends received super-powers after teleporting to a parallel universe classified as the N-Zone. In regular continuity, Johnny and company received their powers after exposure to cosmic rays while on a spaceship.


Human Torch Jim Hammond

Although Johnny Storm's Human Torch made its first debut back in 1961, the original android Human Torch appeared in 1939. The Torch was a creation by Dr. Phineas Horton and although feared at first, he would later play a key role fighting against the Axis Powers in World War II. Oddly enough, Dr. Horton perhaps made the Torch a bit too human.

At first glance the android looked human. In fact, he had the same vulnerabilities that humans do. For example, although he's a machine, he can still be drugged as well as rendered unconscious by gas. He's even vulnerable to telepathic assaults. Perhaps Noonian Soong from Star Trek: The Next Generation should introduce Data to the Human Torch!


In the 2005 Marvel crossover series House of M, all of reality as we knew it was changed. Instead of mutants being hunted and persecuted, they were now the ones in charge of the Earth, and the one in charge of the mutants was Magneto. Some heroes were different, others didn't exist at all. So what was the Human Torch doing in this warped reality? Was there a Fantastic Four still?

In this reality (Earth-58163), one of the more popular television shows was Sapien Death Match, in which regular humans fought each other while wearing armor with special abilities. Yup, you guessed it: Johnny Storm was a contestant on Sapien Death Match and wore armor that flamed on in a similar way to when he had powers.


The Fantastic Four has some very famous and iconic enemies. Doctor Doom is one of their biggest adversaries, but the FF have enemies that aren't even from the Earth. Arguably, the biggest threat the FF faces on a regular basis is the planet-devouring Galactus! However, due to a series of bizarre events, Johnny Storm actually became his Herald! Not only that, he didn't have his flame powers!

Galactus at one time had Frankie Raye as his Herald, and she sported flame powers very similar to Johnny. But when Johnny became Galactus' herald, he had actually switched powers with his sister, Sue, and for a brief period went by the name The Invisible Boy. Johnny betrayed Galactus and with the help of Quasar, the Fantastic Four took away Galactus's awesome powers.


Aliens from the Negative Zone were going to invade the Earth. Although Ben Grimm initially volunteers to activate a force field that would trap both Grimm and the aliens in the Negative Zone, it's Johnny that does the deed. Valiantly, he fight to the death. However, he's later resurrected by Annihilus, who plants insect-creatures in his body to revive him in an attempt to open the portal.


It's only natural that a superhero goes through changes after their initial introduction. The Hulk was always incredible, but when he was first introduced back in 1962 his skin was gray, not green. When Johnny Storm was first introduced as the Human Torch in 1961, there was a big difference when compared to who he is today.

When Johnny Storm first became the Human Torch after being transformed by cosmic rays, he actually had transformed himself into living flame. Early versions show him almost as a fire elemental. Eventually it was changed so that Johnny was generating an aura of flame around his human body.


The Marvel Cinematic Universe has planted a variety of easter eggs in their movies over the years, hoping that they'll "hatch" in future films. The end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had audiences wondering if we'll finally see the big screen debut of Adam Warlock. In Captain America: The First Avenger, we saw in plain sight the Human Torch!

The Human Torch was an android that was created in the 1930s. When deprived of oxygen, the Torch wouldn't be able to ignite his body, and he would also go into a stasis mode until enough oxygen was present. The android dressed in red was clearly seen at a technology fair in the movie, possibly in stasis. Perhaps he'll return in an Invaders movie!


We've talked about Johnny's incredible flame and his ability to do unreal amounts of damage with his powers. However, the Human Torch has some amazing control over his abilities. Sure, he can do his nova blast, which releases more energy than a nuclear bomb, but what about times where he exerts extremely finite control over his flame?

He can shape the size and shape of the flame he emits (but not necessarily to the degree of the mutant Pyro). On a smaller level, the Human Torch has used his flame power precisely and safely enough to cut a person's hair. While on the Avengers Unity Squad, Johnny, along with Rogue and The Beast, removed parts of Professor Xavier's brain from the Red Skull and incinerated it. Now that's skill!


The Super-Soldier Serum was created as a part of Operation: Rebirth by Dr. Abraham Erskine during World War II. There have been many attempts to this day to try and recreate the exact formula that transformed weakling Steve Rogers into the iconic Captain America. However, is there a better alternative to the serum that's more accessible?

The blood of the original Human Torch, Jim Hammond, has shown to have miraculous properties. A transfusion of his blood was given to a woman named Jacqueline Falsworth. The result was her gaining super speed and becoming the hero known as Spitfire. The Mad Thinker also was able to use cells from Horton to make a mind control agent called Compound D.


Thanks to the pages of What If?, Marvel fans can see how alternate realities would play out for our favorite superheroes and villains. What If? plots explore such alternative moments like the Skrulls successfully invading the Earth during Secret Invasion. For Johnny Storm, What If? gave us insight into alternate lives for the Human Torch.

What If? #11 explored four stories in which the Fantastic Four all had the same powers. Oddly enough, when the team had Reed's stretching powers, they all thought the ability to be ludicrous except for Johnny, who revealed himself to the public as Mr. Fantastic. In What If? #6, Johnny Storm developed powers very similar to Colossus and is referred to as a living robot.


Johnny is known for being an impetuous hot-head, but he's certainly no dummy. The Human Torch is brave and resourceful and on more than one occasion has saved his fellow Fantastic Four teammates from death. From time to time, Johnny's even been shown to implement some clever strategies in battle.

For example, Johnny is able to make multiple copies of his flame form. The flame doppelgangers are not sentient duplicates the way Multiple Man creates dupes, but is similar to when Iceman makes ice copies of himself as decoys to fool whomever he's fighting. The flame dupes can fly and are identical in appearance to the Human Torch.

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