Johnny Clostro was a bank robber who was mostly active during the 1920s. He worked with two other crooks in robbing a bank; however, his partners double-crossed him and left him for the police. While Johnny was sentenced to 20 years in prison, his partners used plastic surgery and fake identities to begin new lives. For the next twenty years, he was not the most compliant prisoner and was frequently tossed into solitary confinement. Soon, the many visits to solitary caused Johnny to develop a deep claustrophobia.

He was released from prison, and by the fall of 1942 was regularly seeing a psychiatrist for treatment of his affliction while plotting to get revenge against his former partners. By this time, his former partners led lives of relative luxury. One of them became Mr. Webb, the manager of the Fifth National Bank, while the other calling himself Mr. Garret became a wealthy manufacturer who got into arms building following the outbreak of World War II.

Johnny first targeted Webb, robbing his bank on the same day that the Human Torch and Toro were conducting their day-to-day banking. When the two flaming heroes attempted to apprehend him, he made them retreat by threatening to blow up the bank with TNT. He then proceeded to confront Webb, shoot him dead, and instead of making off with one hundred thousand dollars, he hid in the bank managers safe until the authorities left. Before Webb died from the gunshot wound, he was able to tell the police inspector on the scene that Garret was targeted next and attempted to tip him off on Johnny's affliction. The officer confused this into thinking that the crook's name was "Joey Clostro".

After the police left, Johnny jumped the crime scene photographer and stole his outfit, escaping from the bank with his loot unnoticed. However, upon taking a cab, he was struck with a bout of claustrophobia and suddenly got out of the cab and began freaking out. The cab driver found this peculiar enough to call this in to the police, making the Torch realize what Johnny's problem was. Johnny meanwhile, had paid a visit to his shrink and just finished his most recent hypnotherapy when the Torch called to warn his psychiatrist about Johnny. Realizing what was happening, Johnny shot his doctor dead and rushed to Garret's factory to complete his revenge.

There, he was once more confronted by the Human Torch and Toro, and Johnny explained his past dealings with Webb and Garret. As Garret attempted to flee, so did Johnny -- knocking Toro aside -- when the Torch attempted to grab Johnny, he had another bout of claustrophobia and jumped out of the window to get free of the enclosed space. Johnny found freedom in death, as he fell five floors to his death.[1]


Johnny had crippling claustrophobia. When in enclosed spaces he became frightened with heightened anxiety. It affected his rational thinking, leading him to become desperate to leap into an open space without thinking of the potential dangers he would face.


Johnny carried a gun and a bundle of TNT.

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