The first android –– or artificially created humanoid –– the original Human Torch was created in 1939 by Professor Phineas T. Horton, using advanced knowledge he had gleaned from working with the disguised Kang the Conqueror in the town of Timely, Wisconsin. Like the second Human Torch who now serves the Fantastic Four, the original could generate flame from his body without harm to himself and use it to fly through the air.

The original Torch –– who adopted the human name of Jim Hammond –– made a place for himself in society using his flame powers to fight criminals and subversives. He soon found a young partner, Thomas “Toro” Raymond, a teenage mutant who had the same fiery powers he did. When the United States entered World War II, both the Torch and Toro joined the Invaders, a team of superhumans dedicated to fighting the Axis powers that also included future Avengers Captain America and Namor, the Sub-Mariner.

In the later 1940’s the Torch and Toro also served in the post-war predecessor of the Avengers, the All-Winners Squad. Exposure to radiation from an atomic blast eventually caused the Torch to begin losing control of his powers, and he tried to destroy himself in 1955 by burning himself out. Instead, he lay insensate in a desert for years until he was found and briefly revived by the Mad Thinker, only to be seemingly killed by his sentient computer Quasimodo. Sometime later the adult Toro died in trying to avenge the Torch’s death.

For reasons of his own, the time master Immortus convinced the Vision that he was a reconstructed Human Torch. However, this was proved to be false when the Scarlet Witch used he hex power to resurrect the original Human Torch from his grave. (These events were later retconned in Avengers Forever#8: As it turns out, due to Immortus’s scheming, he had only convinced the other Avengers that the Vision was not a reconstructed Human Torch –– the Vision is, in fact, built from the same plans.)

The Torch accepted membership in the Avengers West Coast and remained with them for months. Then he was reported to have died in saving the life of the former Invader Spitfire with a massive blood transfusion. In actuality, the Torch had merely lost his superhuman powers, and he remained a reservist with the West Coast team until it disbanded.

Recently, the Torch took over Namor’s company, Oracle Inc. He also funded a new group of heroes, Heroes for Hire, and partially regained his powers during one of their exploits.

Human Torch