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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Human Torch #1 - The Human Torch

This short-lived reprint series of the mid-1970s featured both the solo adventures of the FF's Torch from STRANGE TALES and golden age adventures of the original android Torch. The first issue had the Torch's solo debut from STANGE TALES #101 (1962). Unfortunately, it's slightly edited, taking out a full page and one panel, most of which recap the origin of the FF, replacing it with a single later panel of the team.

Early on we see Johnny's room, which is amusingly almost completely coated in asbestos, thanks to Reed. I'm not sure, but I suspect he has the basis for a lawsuit there (as if the poorly shielded space-ship wasn't enough).

This is also back when they had this misguided attempt to give the Torch a secret identity for the first few issues (and I love the explanation from a few issues later that everyone was just humouring Johnny about the secret identity thing). So a lot of these early stories is filled with Johnny distracting people so he could flame on in secret.



It's an okay story otherwise, with the Torch foiling a villain who is trying to shut down an amusement park. Johnny eventually figures out that the high rides in the park offered a vantage point which would have exposed the landing point of a hidden communist sub. That Long Island is a nest of spy activity. There's some nice art along the way, especially of the amusement park rides done in Kirby style, and Ben Grimm makes a brief cameo.

Dick Ayers inks the now 12-page story.

Published 1974

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