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Human Torch (II)

Real Name: Jonathan "Johnny" Storm
Occupation: Adventurer
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Other Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Glenville, Long Island, New York
Marital Status: Single (divorced)
Known Relatives: Susan Storm Richards (sister), Franklin Richards (nephew), Reed Richards (brother-in-law) Lyja (ex-wife)
Group Affiliation: Fantastic Four
Base of Operations: Pier Four, New York City
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #1

History: Jonathan Storm, the second of two children born to a physician and his wife, grew up comfortably on Long Island. Despite the fact his mother died in a car crash when he was nine, Storm developed an interest in automobiles at an early age. Storm passed much of his leisure time in the company of automobile mechanics and enthusiasts, and learned to totally overhaul a car's transmission before he was fifteen years old. For his sixteenth birthday, his father bought him his first "hot rod."

Storm went to California to visit his sister, Susan, who had moved there hoping to become an actress and there become engaged to marry aeronautical engineer Reed Richards. Richards was working on a starship of his own design that would make possible travel to other solar systems through hyperspace. When the United States government threatened to cut off its partial funding for the project, Richards decided to make an immediate test flight. He himself would ride in the starship, with his friend Benjamin Grimm acting as pilot. Susan and Johnny Storm insisted on going along as well. Sneaking onto the launch site and into the starship, the four launched themselves into space. The starship encountered unexpected intense radiation, which proved to be too much for the ship's shielding to block out. (It has been theorized that this was the result of a reduction in the extent of Earth's magnetosphere brought on by a solar flare.) As a result, the four people in the ship were exposed to intense cosmic ray bombardment. Aborting the test flight, the four returned to Earth.

Upon landing, Johnny Storm discovered that the cosmic rays had mutagenically altered his entire body, enabling him to create fiery plasma all about his body without harm to himself. Storm called himself the Human Torch, the same name used by the android hero of the 1940's. Storm agreed to join Richards' proposed team of champions, the Fantastic Four.

For a time Johnny Storm tried to live quietly on Long Island with his sister, trying to finish high school while hoping that no one in the community would realize that he was the Human Torch, a fact that proved impossible to conceal from the townspeople. After graduation, Johnny moved into the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building headquarters in New York City.

After many years, Johnny began dating and then married the blind sculptress Alicia Masters, former girlfriend of teammate the Thing, who was then on a sabbatical from the team. This caused some tension between him and the Thing when he returned to the team, and later Storm suspected the Thing of inviting Crystal to join the Fantastic Four to test his marital fidelity as a way of seeking revenge or splitting his wife. Crystal soon left the team, however, and the Thing began a relationship with their other associate, the second Ms. Marvel.

Later, Alicia Masters was revealed to be a spy from the alien race of shape-changing Skrulls. Lyja, the Skrull, had fallen in love with Storm and married him. The revelation of Lyja led the team to infiltrate the Skrull homeworld to rescue the real Alicia, who was still in love with the Thing, and the Skrulls captured Lyja. Although Lyja managed to escape, her relationship with Storm was damaged, turning Storm from a hotheaded brash adult to a solemn and brooding one. Lyja returned to Earth to attempt a reconciliation and reveal that she was pregnant, a fact which began to turn Storm around, although he never fully recovered his love for what he thought was Alicia. Lyja's "child" ended up being a Skrull bio-weapon, which the Four quickly defeated. Eventually, Storm began to date again, and has since moved on in romantic terms.

Afterwards, Storm was involved alongside the Four and other heroes against the menace known as Onslaught. Although he appeared to sacrifice himself to stop the creature, he was actually shunted to another dimension and later restored to this reality.

More recently, Storm encountered the heroine Namorita, and the two had a brief but well-publicized romance. He has also tried his hand at becoming a movie star.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 170 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde

Strength Level: The Human Torch possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: The Human Torch possesses the mental ability to control ambient heat energy and the physical ability to envelop his entire body or portionsof his body with fiery plasma without harm to himself. (Plasma is a super-heated stated of matter such as exists in the atmosphere of stars.)

Ordinarily, when aflame, the Human Torch is enveloped by a low intensity flame of low level plasma (reddish, approximately 780 Fahrenheit), which ranges from 1 to 5 inches from his body. He can, however, generate much higher levels and flames about himself. The Torch refers to his highest, hottest levels of plasma that he can create as his "nova flame." The exact temperatures that his "nova flame" can attain are not known.

At an average rate of expenditure of energy, the Torch can stay aflame for about 16.8 hours. In his younger days, he could only maintain his flame for much briefer periods, and sometimes exhausted it while in combat. He cannot maintain his "nova flame" for as long a time as he can maintain his ordinary flame. The Torch can release all of his body's stored energy in one intense, omni-directional "nova-burst," which can reach about 1,000,000 F, and which is similar to the heat-pulse of a nuclear warhead detonation, with an are of total devastation of about 900 feet in diameter. (The Torch has claimed that he can destroy a small moon with his nova-burst.) This violent discharge uses his entire reserve of energy (except for the necessary to keep him alive) at once, entirely exhausting his flame power. He generally requires at least 12 hours to recover entirely from such a feat.

The Human Torch can generate shapes composed of fire from any point on his body. (He usually employs his hands to "sculpt" the flames.) He can form fire into long streams, spheres, or even more complex shapes like letters in skywriting. These flames-objects will only remain their shapes as long as he concentrates upon them. The objects will only burn about 3 minutes before expiring unless the Torch continues to infuse them with energy. The temperature of these fiery projections is generally around 2,800 F (near the melting point of iron).

The Human Torch's plasma has a high hydrogen content, and is surrounded by an exuded cloud of mono-atomic hydrogen atoms. This hot cloud provides sufficient positive buoyancy for him to float. With mental stimulation of his flame, he can provide enough lift to carry 180 pounds. By forming a jet from his feet, directed behind him, he can achieve speeds up to at least 140 miles per hour.

The Human Torch has the ability to mentally control the ambient heat energy within his immediate environment, even when he himself is not aflame. He can reduce objects' temperatures (if they are in a normal range for existing on Earth's surface) to about 30 F, raise them to several hundred degrees, or extinguish open flames. His radius of influence is about 80 feet. The heat energy he takes from the environment is absorbed into his own body. If he takes in a critical amount while he is not aflame, he will become aflame. There are unknown limits to the amount of flame he can absorb into his own body harmlessly while he is himself aflame.

The Human Torch's flame is supported by the presence of oxygen, and thus is extinguished in low air pressure or a vacuum. The Torch'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 an intensity that it immediately vaporizes such materials on contact. If hit with small amounts of water, up to about five gallons, the Torch can turn it to steam with relatively little effort. More water than that could extinguish his flame at its normal level, and he would have to wait until he could evaporate the residual moisture before re-ignition.

The Torch's light output is mostly in the infrared and infrared region of the spectrum, and is invisible to the unaided eye. Less that 10% of his total power output is in the visible portion of the spectrum. Thus, the Torch, when aflame, is dimmer than one would expect of so powerful an energy source.

The Human Torch is unaffected by heat and flames, including his own, even when part of him is aflame and the rest of him is not. His flesh cannot be scalded or burned by any heat source whose level is below that of his maximum output.

Abilities: Johnny Storm is a brilliant racing car driver. He is also a superb mechanic and designer of automobiles. He himself is responsible for major redesigns of the Fantastic Four's flying Fantasti-Car, based on Reed Richards' designs for the original version.

Paraphernalia: Johnny Storm's Fantastic Four uniforms and ordinary clothing are created using unstable molecules, enabling him to flame on while wearing them without harming them in any way.

NOTE:
Jay Underwood played him in Fantastic Four (1994)
Chris Evans played him in Fantastic Four (2005)

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