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Appearing in "The Hooded Gang"

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Other Characters:

  • Somerville city council (First and only known appearance)
    • City Councilor Ross (First and only known appearance)


Synopsis for "The Hooded Gang"

After saving a mother and her child from a burning building in a midwestern town, the Human Torch and Toro take a bus back to New York. Their bus breaks down in a heavy down pour forcing the passengers to walk to the town of Somerville where they learn all the roads have been washed out and they cannot be pulled out until the storm stops and the roads are cleared. Put up in a hotel for the night, a local real estate man named Dodds tries to pick a fight with the Torch for being a "know it all city man" but the Torch easily fights him off. Settled in, the Torch and Toro decide to see what Somerville has to offer and a local suggests they check out the action happening in city hall. There they witness a heated debate to demolish the local slum and build new subsidized houses. There are a small group of people who oppose this plan that are led by Dodd. Dodd almost incites a riot and people begin to throw things at the city councilors but the Torch and Toro break it up. With the interruption ended, the city decides to put it to a town vote on the manner, much to Dodd's dismay.

City councilor Ross thanks the Torch and Toro for their help and asks them to accompany him into Summerville, the slum of the city the following morning to see what they are dealing with. The Torch and Toro are shocked to find that a place with such a cheerful name is a bleak shanty town. When they start questioning the residents there, most seem to be for the reconstruction plan and they learn that Dodd owns all the land in the area. They are soon attacked by a group of men who oppose the urban renewal project and during the fight the Torch and Toro manage to force most of them into fleeing. Catching one of the men, he is shot dead. Before they can find the shooter, one of the fighters comes back with a police officer and accuses Ross for killing his friend. Searching Ross's person the officer finds an air gun and arrests Ross.

Knowing that Dodd had something to do with this obvious frame up, the Torch and Toro decide to sneak into Dodds house. They are caught and knocked out and Dodd has them wrapped up in asbestos tape to keep them from foiling his plan. Dodd then gathers a mob and they confront the police station wearing robes demanding that Ross face justice. When the police refuse to turn Ross over to the mob for a lynching, they force themselves inside and take the city councilor. Meanwhile, the Torch literally breaths fire out of his nose to free himself and Toro and they race after the hooded mob. They attack two of their members and learn the location of the lynching. There the Torch and Toro save Ross and easily break up the lynch mob. Catching Dodds, the Torch forces him to confess his role in everything and makes him reveal that he was attempting to sell the Summerville land to a railroad company and make a lot of money in the bargain. With his true motives revealed, Dodd is arrested.

Months later after Dodd is sentenced to prison, the Torch and Toro are invited back and are surprised to find that Summerville has been rebuilt into a prosperous community.

Appearing in "The Ghost of Reuben Hartnett"

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Supporting Characters:


Synopsis for "The Ghost of Reuben Hartnett"

The Sub-Mariner pays a visit to his girlfriend Betty Dean to find that their date has been cancelled for the evening. She explains to him that the eccentric millionaire Reuben Hartnett has died and named her as one of the beneficiaries in his will. She invites Namor to accompany her to Hartnett's estate, and along the way explains to him that Reuben was known for his love of practical jokes and wonders what sort of trickery he will have to share from beyond the grave.

When they arrive at the late Reuben Hartnett's mansion, they are introduced to those gathered: the lawyer Mr. Smythe, Jaggs the butler, and Hartnett's two surviving relatives; his sister Amanda and his nephew John Howard. Smythe reads off the will that explains that Reuben's entire fortune has been hidden somewhere on the mansions grounds and that whoever manages to find it gets to keep it. All those gathered, except for John, are reserved to retire for the night. That evening after Namor finds that his bed has been rigged with trick springs he is awoken from his sleep on the floor by Amanda's screams. Rushing out into the hallway he sees what appears to be the ghost of her brother Reuben chasing after her.

Namor attempts to give the ghost chase, but the stairs collapse under him and the supposed ghost gets away. As the others are caring for Amanda, the ghost mocks them further by tossing them the keys to his lock box. When Namor grabs at them, he receives an electric jolt that would kill a normal man. He removes a live wire connected to them and as he suggests they stick together, John makes off with the now safe keys. When he tries them in the lock of a door upstairs he triggers a gun rigged inside the door to go off shooting him dead. While Namor and the others are dealing with John's body, Jaggs enters the unlocked room and finds a lock box. Using the keys he opens up the box and finds nothing but what appear to be cigars. Hoping to savor one of his late employers expensive cigars, Jaggs is saved when Namor rushes in and shows him that the cigars all contain a powerful explosive.

Soon the supposed ghost reappears and terrorizes Amanda and Betty. One moment the apparition appears solid the next translucent. However, when Namor inspects the scene he finds that the "ghost" was merely a projected image on a screen and realizes that someone is playing a hoax on them. Inspecting the house, a door leads Namor down a slide, but he stops himself to let the "ghost" get near him. Although Namor gets the drop on the so-called ghost he is knocked out and captured. He and Betty are then tied to a fast moving merry-go-round and thrown from it knocking them out again. The ghost then, unaware that Namor is amphibious, tried to eliminate him by throwing him down the well on the property.

Revived by the water, Namor fights off a snake and finds Reuben's fortune hidden in the drawing bucket. Escaping from the well, Namor rushes back into the mansion to see that the "ghost" has Jaggs, Betty and Amanda tied to the merry-go-round and is about to set it to a lethal speed. Namor throws the lock box across the room and it strikes the ghost over the head knocking him senseless. Namor quickly unmasks the "creature" that has terrorized them all night and reveals him to be Mr. Smythe, who hoped to either scare or kill off everyone in order to claim the fortune for himself. With the cape over, Namor suggests that they all invest the money in war bonds.

Appearing in "Queer Case of Johnny Clostro"

Featured Characters:


Synopsis for "Queer Case of Johnny Clostro"

The Human Torch and Toro are at the Fifth National Bank and are witness to a daring daytime robbery. When they attempt to stop the crook, he threatens to toss a load of TNT and blow the place sky high. Not wishing to risk innocent lives, the two heroes are forced to leave, however suspecting the crook might escape out a back window they trail back but find no trace of the crook. Inside the police have arrived on the scene where the bank manager has been shot dead. Talking to the inspector who spoke with the bank manager before he died, the Torch learns that the crooks name is apparently "Joey Clostro" who made off with one hundred thousand dollars. With word that Clostro intends to attack a man named Garett who owns a munitions factory, the Torch and Toro leave to follow that lead. The other officers leave shortly after.

When the police photographer arrives on the scene to take crime scene photos, he is surprised when Joey Clostro comes out of the safe -- where he had been hiding the whole time. Joey clubs the photographer and steals his clothing so he can sneak out of the bank with his stolen loot unnoticed. Joey takes a cab, but suddenly is struck by a bout of claustrophobia and gets out of the cab as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Torch and Toro arrive are the Garret Company and pay a visit to Mr. Garret and warn him of Clostro's threat against his life. Garret is not impressed by the two heroes arrival and orders them to leave his property at once. Checking back with police headquarters, they hear of a report about a claustrophobic man having an episode out in the street. This and the Torch's encounter with Clostro make him realize that Joey "Clostro" really has Claustrophobia and decides to start investigating local psychiatrists to find if any of them are treating patients with claustrophobia. As this is happening, Joey makes his way to his doctor who treats him with hypnosis. Their session is interrupted by a call from the Torch, and when Joey realizes who his doctor is talking to, guns the psychiatrist dead.

The Torch and Toro arrive too late to stop Clostro from escaping and follow him to the Garret Company. There they stop Joey just before he can kill Garret. Disarmed, Joey reveals that the banker Webb, and Garrett used to be criminals who worked with him twenty years earlier. They pulled off a bank heist, but Webb and Garret double crossed Joey and had him picked up by the cops. While Joey was sentenced to prison for twenty years, Webb and Garret used their money to get plastic surgery and new identities and started new lives. While in the slammer, Joey was confined to solitary due to his attitude problem and developed claustrophobia while in prison.

When Joey finishes his story, Garret attempts to make a run for it but the Torch manages to round him up, even though he tries to hide inside a water tower. When he returns, Joey is attempting to get away from Toro, but the Torch attempts to stop him. With his claustrophobia kicking in again, Joey panics and jumps out the window in order to get free, and ends up falling to his death. Although Joey managed to escaped them through death, it is through Joey that they managed to capture another fugitive from justice.

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