The original Human Torch was not Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four. Although he went by the secret identity Jim Hammond, the first Human Torch was actually an android created by Professor Phineas T. Horton. The Professor labored for years on his creation, hoping to make a fully functional artificial man. He wanted his construct to be completely identical to a real human in every regard, right down to the blood that flowed through it's veins. When Prof. Horton completed his work, he invited top scientists from around the world and the news media to attend the unveiling. Unfortunately, as soon as his android was removed from its protective tube, it burst into flames. Amazingly, the android was not only not destroyed, it was able to control and harness the flames. Horton became a laughing stock over his 'failure' and returned the android to its tube. Refusing to give up on his artificial man, Prof. Horton buried the android in its tube in a block of cement. He had headphones attached to the android and fed it information, so that it could learn while it 'incubated.' Horton hoped to learn how stop the android from bursting into flames at the first contact with oxygen, but he never got the chance. A small crack in the cement allowed enough air into the tube to allow the android to "Flame On" for the first time. The android escaped and became the Human Torch. The Torch fought for good against such menaces as the Sub-Human, the Asbestos Lady, and his future ally (but natural adversary) the Sub-Mariner. The Human Torch adopted the guise of Jim Hammond and even took a protege under his wings: Thomas "Toro" Raymond.
Once the war began, the Torch and Toro joined forces with the Sub-Mariner, Captain America, and Bucky in the Invaders. The Torch fought for the Allies throughout the war, but was always discontent with the fact that he was not a natural-born human. He remained a crimefighter after the war in the All-Winners Squad but was deactivated in the late 50s by the Mad Thinker and buried in a cave. It was assumed many years later that the original android Torch was reactivated and reassembled as the android Vision of the Avengers. But in the late 1980s the aged Professor Horton revealed that the Vision was not in fact his construct. The original Torch was then discovered and reactivated.
During a battle with the Warrior Woman and Master Man in the early 90s, the Torch gave an emergency blood transfusion to Jacquline "Spitfire" Falsworth--just as he had in the 40s. Spitfire regained her youth from the transfusion but the Torch was at long last deprived of his flame powers. To protect him from any old enemies, members of the Avengers and Fantastic Four announced that the Torch had died in battle. In reality, Jim Hammond settled down with Toro's widow and at long last embarked on a normal human life.
First Appearance: MARVEL COMICS #1 (1939)
First Modern Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #4
Invaders Appearances: #1-41
Lost Powers In: NAMOR THE SUB-MARINER (vol. 2) #12 (1991)
Return to the Invaders main page