Appearing in "The Birth of the Torch"

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Synopsis for "The Birth of the Torch"

On December 28, 1948, the Human Torch rushes to the home of his creator Professor Horton in response of his call. He arrives at the house to find committee of the Academy of Science there and also finds that his lifelong friend had just recently passed away. While the Torch is saddened by this, the Academy member tells him that they came to present Horton the Logan Medal for his achievements. As the story hits the newspapers, the Human Torch thinks back to his origins....

It is November 1939 when the Academy of Science met with Professor Horton to see his latest invention: A human android. Horton however shows off the only design flaw: When exposed to air, the android bursts in to flames. Seeing this Human Torch as a threat, the Academy members demand Horton to destroy it as a potential menace, but Horton refuses. The Academy then spreads the story in the papers to denounce Horton's creation and label him as insane. Seeking to defend his reputation, Horton invites members of the press to see his creation, but they as well demand Horton to destroy the Torch. Horton sill refuses and becomes determined to fix the flaw in his creation. Overworking himself, one day in next spring Horton suffers a black out. When he recovers in bed, Horton is asked by his doctor to forget and bury the Torch. Finally cracking, Horton takes doctor's hint literally and has the Torch buried in the cement in his back yard.

The Torch remained trapped until August 10, 1940 when an explosion ripped across Horton's back yard freeing the Torch. The Human Torch fled before Horton had a chance to stop him. Disorientated, the Human Torch inadvertently terrorizes the city with his uncontrollable flame powers. The Torch tries to get people to calm down but nobody listens. Fire crews show up and try to hose him down, to no effect, and the Torch flees wondering how he can stop his flame powers. By August 12, the Human Torch and his existence has attracted the attention of a mobster named Tony Sardo. Sardo and his minion Al pay a visit to Professor Horton to force him to use the Human Torch for their own ends. As coincidence, when Sardo and Al are roughing up Horton, the Torch returns to the property and manages to douse his flames by diving into Horton's swimming pool. Sardo strong arms Horton into using the Torch for their insurance fraud scheme and Horton pretends to agree.

With no other choice, Horton puts the Torch back in his airtight container while Sardo begins selling of his "Human Torch" insurance to local businesses. First victim, Akmen Steel Company and its executive Mr. Green, refuses to pay and informs the authorities. When the press hears of this, they immediately brand Horton a criminal. Horton protests the damage to his reputation, but Sardo and Al force him to take the Torch out on arson at warehouse of Akmen Steel Co. The Torch gets loose from the building as fire teams arrive on the scene. They try to hose down the Human Torch, this time with a heavily concentrated carbon dioxide spray which snuffs the Torch's flame.

The Torch sees Sardo and Al fighting with police when Horton tries to flee from them. Al shoots first Horton in the back and then intervening police chief. He and Sardo flee in a stolen police car, but the Torch flames on and goes after Sardo. He disables their car and captures the crooks for the authorities and suddenly to his surprise the Torch finds that he can control his flame for the first time in his short life. When the police try to arrest the Torch, he uses his flame powers melting the police officer's handgun. The officer tells that Horton has explained everything and wants to see the Torch. They drive to Horton's house with a police car while the policeman tells that Horton will survive the shooting but will be bedridden because the bullet lodged to his spine. Horton is delighted to learn that the Torch can control his flame. The Torch then shows off his new abilities and tells Horton that he intends to use his powers to fight crime.

Appearing in "The Choice"

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Synopsis for "The Choice"

The Witness watches the life of John Whitter who gave up all opportunities for fun, joy and love to attain knowledge, wealth and power. Now an adult and a wealthy Wall Street investor, John is in a plane crash one day he finds himself under the care of Verna Stoddard. He falls in love with Verna, who has no interest in wealth or moving to the city and so John returns to his old life and finds it no longer fulfilling. Deciding to give it all up, John liquidates all his assets and buys a small farm home and marries Verna and begins a family and takes in the pleasures of living a simpler life.

Appearing in "The New Whaler"

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Synopsis for "The New Whaler"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in "The Man Who Wouldn't Give Up"

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Synopsis for "The Man Who Wouldn't Give Up"

Andy Opp, an accountant, has grown tired of his boring life. Having grown up reading Captain America stories, he hopes to become a great detective one day. When returning home from work one day, Andy passes the home of his wealthy neighbour George Blake. He recalls that George's brother had returned from Africa with diamonds and recently went missing. He tells this situation to his roommate, actor John Harrington, and suggests that George must have killed his brother.

That night, Andy dreams about solving the murder of Peter Blake, and the following day as Harrington is leaving the city, Andy vows to solve the murder. He pays a visit to Blake's home and interrupts a visit by Captain America and Golden Girl. When Andy accuses George of being responsible for Peter's disappearance, Cap and Golden Girl notice how George chooses to avoid the subject of his brother and find this suspicious. After Andy is asked to leave, George explains that his brother illegally smuggled diamonds into the country and he argued with his brother over them and he suddenly vanished.

Overhearing this from the window, Andy decides to search the property and finds clues on the scene. He then tackles Jake Golen, the former Blake gardener and demands to know what he is doing. Golen explains that he was fired from his job and was trying to see Mr. Blake to get it back and he flees the scene. Shortly thereafter, Captain America and Golden Girl are on the scene investigating as well. The pair catch up with Andy and they both find Peter's body buried on the ground.

Upon uncovering the body they also find an extra set of clothing that Andy immediately recognizes. Suddenly, John comes out of the bushes with a knife and tries to kill Golden Girl. However, Captain America easily deals with John and he is arrested for his part in Peter's murder. In the aftermath of the mystery, Andy decides to give up being a detective to resume his normal life, finding reading comic books thrilling enough.


  • This is the first retelling of the Human Torch's origins. It contains a number of differences from the original account from Marvel Comics #1. In this version, Phineas Horton is called Albert and is more involved in the plot. He is being forced into serving Tony Sardo and using the Torch by their command, versus the original version of the story in which the Torch was tricked by Sardo by himself. Also this version of the story paints Horton in a different light. In the original story, Horton is depicted as a fame seeker and it is the primary reason why the Torch cuts ties with him at the end of that story. This version of the story shows the Torch and Horton parting on good terms. Another difference is how the Human Torch manages to control his flame. In the original story, the Torch controls his flame when Sardo tosses a container of nitrogen at the hero. In this version it is a heavily concentrated carbon dioxide sprayed on him by fire fighters that is the catalyst for his control of flame powers. Also different from the original story is the fate of Sardo. In the original story, Sardo is killed by the Human Torch, while in this story he is merely captured by the Torch and turned over to the police. Most of the details in this story should not be considered canon.[2] However, it is established in this story that on December 28, 1948 Horton died, but it's revealed in Saga of the Original Human Torch #3 that Horton was forced to fake his death by the United States government.
  • Although the narrative refers to him as Steve Rogers in the Captain America story, as per the retcon of What If? #3 this appearance is attributed to Jeff Mace.
  • At the end of the Human Torch story it is stated that "More about the early days of the Torch in the next issue of Marvel Comics!" However, this never came to pass. With super-hero stories losing popularity, Marvel Mystery Comics was rebranded Marvel Tales and changed format to a horror/sci-fi/thrill anthology series.
  • This is also the last Human Torch story of the 1940s, the character does not appear again until Young Men #24 in 1953.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. Marvel Mystery Handbook 70th Anniversary Special #1

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