- 1 History
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Notes
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Links and References
Fred Raymond, a young man in the employ of Professor Phineas T. Horton (the man who would later create the original Human Torch), was an expert on flameproofing who was conducting experiments with asbestos. Longtime exposure to asbestos ruined Raymond's health, and he left Horton's employ. Soon afterward, Raymond married Nora Jones, a scientist who was herself seriously ill from overexposure to radium in her experiments. They honeymooned in Mexico, and nine months later their son Thomas was born. They nicknamed him "Toro," the Spanish word for bull, as a private joke, in memory of the bullfights they had seen on their honeymoon. As Thomas grew into boyhood, his parents realized that they would probably die from their illnesses before he became an adult. However, they discovered that Thomas was immune to fire, and Nora theorized that he was a mutant, but it wasn't, in fact, a mutant gene, but a recessive Inhuman gene that gave him his abilities.
One day, Raymond's home was invaded by a costumed criminal named Asbestos Lady and her gang. The Asbestos Lady utilized fire in her crimes, protecting herself with asbestos, and intended to force Raymond to develop new means by which she could use asbestos for crime. The Human Torch, who had been watching the Raymonds' home, suspecting that the Asbestos Lady would contact such a noted authority on asbestos, broke in and captured the gang. However, the Asbestos Lady escaped.
The Human Torch learned about Thomas' immunity to fire from his parents, and decided to keep watch over the Raymonds, both to protect them from the Asbestos Lady and to monitor Thomas' development. Soon afterward, Fred Raymond learned that his wife had only a few more weeks to live. When the Human Torch revealed himself to Fred, he blamed the Torch for somehow cursing his son with flame powers that he could not control and ordered him out of his house.
He kept the news from her and instead hurriedly arranged a vacation trip for the family, which would be Nora's last. They embarked on the trip by train, but the Asbestos Lady, obsessed with making up for her failure to capture Raymond, had a huge tree trunk placed on the tracks. The train hit the trunk and was derailed and wrecked. Fred and Nora Raymond died when the train burst into flames, but Thomas escaped. A married team of circus fire-eaters, Tom and Ellie Alexander, were driving by and saw Thomas rushing into the flames unharmed to try to find his parents. Moved by both sympathy for the orphan's plight and by the realization that he would prove a boon to their act, the Alexanders decided to take him under their wing.
Partner of the Human Torch
Weeks later, news reports began to spread about the amazing boy fire-eater, nicknamed "Toro the Fire-Eating Boy", and his immunity to flame. The Human Torch and the Asbestos Lady simultaneously realized who Toro was, and each set out to find him. The Human Torch captured the Asbestos Lady and her gang and then headed for the circus where Toro was performing. As the Torch approached Toro, his presence caused Toro to burst into flame like the Torch himself, but remaining unharmed. The Torch realized that Toro had the same powers that he himself did. The Torch became Toro's legal guardian and trained Toro in the use of his powers. Becoming a crime-fighting team, their first adventure led to the capture of the circus strongman Samson who stole a scientific device. Shortly after Toro's teaming with the Human Torch, he became a target of the Nazis who used spies posing as his deceased parents to convince him to go to Germany and assist in weapons manufacturing. Realizing he was duped too late, Toro was freed by the Torch and returned to America.
Toro and the Torch became almost inseparable, and always pitched in to help in a fight despite the dangers to a youth his age. Although maintaining a career in crime fighting, he also attended school. In his early adventures, Toro assisted the Human Torch in stopping mobster Blackjack, master criminal the Brain, the Hag, Imperial Japanese spy Matzu, the brilliant Dr. Smart, and arsonist Hawk Rivers.
Shortly thereafter, Toro soon became affiliated with a group of Bucky's Sentinels of Liberty Fan Club who formed together to be the Young Allies. Toro and Bucky frequently feuded over a number of subjects, from their own skills and abilities to which mentor of theirs was the better hero. Toro accompanies the Young Allies across the globe to help protect a British spy from the Red Skull and the Nazis. Their first adventure together ended when they were rescued in China by Captain America and the Human Torch. The Young Allies would reunite frequently during the 1940s. Accounts of Toro's activities with the Young Allies have been distorted by comic books published to boost support of Americas entry into World War II and many of these adventures were sensationalized and altered for matters of national secrecy.
Back alongside the Torch again, Toro assisted in clashing with foes such as the demonically powered Prince Itor, defending the nation of Alslavia from Nazi invasion, and expose the murderous Mr. Howe.
When the Human Torch's sometime ally the Sub-Mariner was convinced by Rathia to attempt to conquer the entire world, the Torch and Toro attempted to stop him. Both were captured and Toro was locked in a water filled room. Eventually succumbing to pneumonia, Toro was given immediate medical attention; however, while in a fever state, he broke free and nearly drowned in the Atlantic Ocean. Recovered by a British soldier, Toro was brought to a hospital in London to recover but the hospital was blown up during a Nazi air raid. Surviving the bombing, Toro smuggled himself back to the United States where he helped the Human Torch stop Nazi spies. Toro aided the Human Torch in foiling the Saint, N-4, the fire-proof Parrot, and the so-called "King of the Crime Syndicates". When the Parrot managed to break out of prison, Toro accompanied the Torch to California to bring him back to justice. However, the Parrot ended up blowing himself to bits instead. In Texas, they stopped the Japanese spies known as the Black Dragon Society from smuggling oil out of the country; in New York, they foiled illegal arms dealer Mr. Falton and the suicidal Legion of Despair.
When the American government learned of a combined attack on American soil by the Imperial Japanese, Nazi Germany, and a rogue faction of Atlanteans, the Human Torch and Toro were dispatched to Pearl Harbor to stop the Japanese attack there. Their highly publicized battle helped convince the American people to enter World War II, and the slaughter of American troops horrified the flaming duo. They decided to take a vendetta against the Japanese, flying to Japan and attacking Tokyo, slaying Admiral Nodope in the process.
In the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attacks, Toro and the Human Torch joined Captain America and Namor in forming the Invaders, a group of heroes sanctioned by President Roosevelt. Their first mission was to protect Prime Minister Churchill from an attack by the Nazi super-soldier Master Man. A grateful Churchill suggested the name of the team.
Reunited with the Young Allies, Toro and the others assisted Dora Livingstone in finding the mineral-rich island that her father Martin discovered and dubbed "New America", clashing with Nazi agent Black Talon. Toro and the others were assisted by the Human Torch and Captain America.
Back in New York, Toro assisted the Torch in stopping weapons smuggler Izan, the homicidal maniac known as the Javelin, and saved the city from destruction by Japanese spy Moppino with his Atom-Expanding Ray. Focusing on the war effort in the Pacific, Toro helped the Torch destroy Japanese soldier Agent X's massive island fortress. Returning to New York, they also stopped German and Japanese spies from bombing many of the city’s subway tunnels. Remaining in the Big Apple, Toro assisted in stopping the Metal Mobsters, and capturing Captain von Spitz and his spies hiding out near Coney Island.
When the Nazis sprang their agent the Python out of Alcatraz, he used a device stolen from Professor Horton to transform the Human Torch into a massive flame creature under his control. Toro teamed up with the Sub-Mariner and Professor Horton to stop the Python. In the end, the trio stopped a Nazi air raid of New York, slew the Python, and restored the Torch back to normal. Later, Toro assisted the Torch in capturing sculptor turned spy Frank Portl.
Spending time with the Young Allies again, Toro and the youth group stumbled upon a plot by the Red Skull to poison everyone in Washington D.C. Toro and the Young Allies sent the Red Skull falling to his apparent death with the aid of Betty Ross, Captain America, and the Human Torch. Partnering with the Torch again, Toro help stop Nazi spy Von Brukk, defend comic book artist Carl Burgos from Nazi assassins, and stop war stamp counterfeiter Big Eyes. Stranded with the Torch in the small town of Somerville, Toro aided in stopping the Hooded Gang lynch mob, in New York capturing claustrophobic bank robber Johnny Clostro, and in Canada stopped Nazi bomber the so-called "Canadian Fuhrer". Next, Toro and the Young Allies headed to Hollywood to participate in a movie based on their adventures, little realizing that the Nazi spy known as the Owl was using the set as a means to assist in a Japanese invasion of the United States. However, Toro and the other Young Allies soon learned of the plot and stopped the Owl with a helping hand from the Human Torch and Captain America.
Toro next assisted the Human Torch in combating the Bloodsucker Plants, a Nazi spy operation run by J-97, and Stumpy's fingerprint-planting gang. Later, when a South American diplomat was visiting the United States, he was kidnapped by the Nazi agent known as the Cobra. Toro was injured during the pursuit of the crook and had to be left behind; however, the young hero recovered quickly and helped rescue the Human Torch from danger and assisted in the Cobra's capture. Toro also assisted the Torch in capturing the cross-dressing villain Madam Crime, stopped a Nazi plot to poison food concentrates going to American soldiers, and prevent the Beak from replacing supplies going to Russia with junk.
As the year drew to a close, Toro disobeyed the Torch's orders to stay behind while he went on a mission in the Atlantic. Stowing aboard the Navy ship, Toro was discovered and assisted in the takedown of a Nazi U-boat. Aboard they found their sometime ally the Sub-Mariner and had him arrested as a traitor and placed in Castle Deptford. Namor broke out and fled to America, where the Torch and Toro tracked him. They soon learned that the Sub-Mariner was pretending to be a traitor and helped exposed Baron and Baroness Kidersky, two famous ballerinas, as Nazi spies. They then forced the dancers to send a signal to a Nazi fleet that led to their destruction.
In 1943, Toro continued his partnership with the Human Torch, rarely leaving his side. He assisted the Torch in protecting Doris Horton, the niece of Torch creator Professor Horton. During the incident, Toro expressed his jealousy over Doris, due to the potential love interest between her and the Torch. This would not come to be, and Toro joined the Torch in foiling the bombing plot of Nazi agent Mr. Hetler, experimental Japanese fighter planes hidden in Death Valley, defending the recently completed Mount Rushmore from destruction by Nazi sympathizer Eric Ward, and protecting an experimental plane from Nazi agent Colonel von Getter. They also traveled to England to defend it from invasion by Nazis led by Herr Blutcher. Returning to New York, Toro and the Torch stopped a Nazi plot to replace dummy rounds used in air raid practices with live rounds, and stopped Nazi operative the Blue Diamond from stealing a new experimental "puff gun" invented by Professor Philo Baker.
After assisting the Torch in stopping a Nazi plot involving smuggling explosives in bottles of prescription cough medicine, Toro joined the Young Allies in traveling to the nation of Bonara as ambassadors to finalize a rubber export deal with the United States. There he assisted the Young Allies in stopping the Ambassador of Terror from ruining the plans. He also assisted the allies in destroying a secret tunnel linking Japan to the United States that was being protected by Japanese agent known as the Serpent. Returning to New York City, Toro assisted the Human Torch in capturing Herr von Richter from blowing up New York's biggest banks and prevented Captain von Sar's bomb plot. He also assisted the Torch in stopping a mad scientist name Bashon and his army of ape-men, and stopped the so-called Sewer Man who was murdering wealthy people in the sewers beneath New York's financial district.
Toro accompanied the Torch to Turkey, where they prevented Nazi agent Elanor von Drei from possessing a sacred Yashmak to control the armies there. Returning to the United States, the pair protected a German defector from assassination, prevented Nazi spies from obtaining the body of their fellow agent Franz Papp that had hidden defense secrets, and saved members of an anti-Nazi play from the Carnival of Doom. When Nazi agents launched massive rockets from occupied France that could reach American shores, Toro accompanied the Torch there to destroy them, and returning home, helped the Torch free Russian war hero Sonia Petroya from the Nazi spy known as the Rabbit.
Joining the Torch in Washington D.C. to collect a citation awarded to them by the president, Toro assisted his mentor in stopping the Nazi saboteur known as Moonface from destroying key government buildings. He also joined the Torch in stopping the Claw's acts of sabotage, stopped the saboteur calling himself the Vulture, broke up a Nazi plot to sell tainted beef on the Chicago black market, stopping revenge killed the End, thwarted the Nazis' Purple Terror plot, and prevented Nazi spies from using their new "war water" on the George Washington Bridge. Continued adventures included stopping Nazi spies led by Zomber, stopping a Nazi plot to blow up the White House, clearing the Torch's name when he was framed for murders caused by the Masked Fiend, and capturing Nazi scientist Professor Fear.
When the Torch and Toro clashed with the Japanese assassin known as the Kangaroo, Toro once more became jealous when it appeared that the Torch was developing a romantic interest in Jessica Hobbs, one of the Kangaroo's intended victims. However, these fears proved unfounded as nothing came of it. As the year came to a close, the Torch and Toro opened up an office in New York City. The pair came to the aid of their secretary Janice Perry from the Beetle. The pair ended the year defending the Allied Forces efforts to push back the Nazis by foiling the operations of Nazi spies in the area.
Post World War II
When the United States entered World War II, the Human Torch and Toro became founding members of the Invaders. Toro remained with the Invaders for the length of the war, except when he was serving with the Kid Commandos. Toro was present when the original Human Torch killed Adolf Hitler. After the war, Toro and the Torch continued to fight crime as members of the All-Winners Squad.
In early 1949, the criminal organization called the Crime Syndicate and its leader the Crime Boss paralyzed the Human Torch and Toro with a spray of "Solution X-R", which they had obtained from the Communists. The criminals sold Toro to North Korea, and buried the Torch in the Nevada desert.
In late 1953, an atomic bomb test released the Torch, who resumed his partnership with Toro for two more years. But in late 1955 the Torch discovered that the radiation he had absorbed from the bomb blast was causing him to malfunction. He bid farewell to Toro and flew to the desert, where he emitted a burst of energy and became deactivated. Toro eventually realized that the Torch had "died," and so Toro retired from crime-fighting, married a girl named Ann, and led a normal life in relative obscurity.
Resurface and Death
Years later, the Mad Thinker found and reactivated the Human Torch and forced him to attack the Fantastic Four. The Torch was deactivated again, supposedly permanently, in the course of the battle. Funeral services were announced for the Human Torch, and Thomas Raymond decided to attend. The Mad Thinker confronted Raymond outside the cemetery and drugged him. When Toro awoke, the drug had given him partial amnesia, and the Thinker convinced him that he was the Human Torch. Moreover, the Thinker had fastened a collar around Toro's neck through which he could induce enough pain to force Toro to act as his servant. However, in a battle between Toro and the Sub-Mariner, the collar was damaged so that it could not hurt him, and Toro joined forces with the Sub-Mariner against the Thinker. During the ensuing events, Toro's full memory returned. Enraged at the Thinker for enslaving and brainwashing him, Toro attacked the Thinker, who was escaping in a sky craft. Toro entered the ship's rocket tubes and used his own power to propel it towards the Thinker's Pacific island laboratory, where the ship crashed and exploded. The Thinker escaped through a teleportation device, but Toro was killed in the crash.
Sometime after Toro's death, his wife Ann resurfaced with a man with flame powers who called himself "Mr. Raymond". He was discovered by the Power Pack, but he sought to keep his powers secret. However this man soon disappeared and was never seen again. As a result, the true identity of this man and his connection to Toro has been unexplained.
Toro was one of the WWII-era heroes sent to the future, just before the Secret Invasion, where he would learn of his impending death. After returning to his timeline, he, along with the rest of the Invaders and several Avengers, battled the Red Skull for the Cosmic Cube. After winning the battle, the two teams of Avengers were returned to the present, but not before Bucky wished his friend to life using the Cosmic Cube.
When the Terrigen Mists were scattered around the world, Toro was subjected to Terrigenesis and engulfed in a cocoon. It was now theorized that his powers from the beginning had been the consequence of his recessive Inhuman genes and not from a mutant gene.
After helping the Invaders fight a group of neo-Nazis, Toro was offered by Queen Medusa of the Inhumans a place in Attilan. He gladly accepted the offer and started living there, finally finding a place where he belonged.
Chemical Transformation: After suffering from Terrigenesis, it was revealed Toro has the ability to subconsciously create chemical and elemental transformations in his body and the air next to him. It was initially believed he had the ability of fire generation and control, but this was due to his latent Inhuman gene being activated, and when Toro first saw the Human Torch, he subconsciously duplicated his ability to engulf himself in flames.
While using this ability for most of his life, Toro could control ambient heat energy and the physical ability to envelop his entire body or portions of his body with fiery plasma without harm to himself. Ordinarily, when aflame, Toro was enveloped by a low-intensity flame of low-level plasma (reddish, approximately 780° Fahrenheit) which ranged from one to five inches from his body. He could, however, generate heat and flame of temperatures ranging up to 2500° Fahrenheit. Toro could create shapes composed of fire. These flame objects would only retain their shapes as long as he concentrated upon them. The objects would burn for only about three minutes unless Toro continued to infuse them with energy.
Like his mentor, the original Human Torch, Toro could telekinetically control not only flame objects that he created but also flames he did not create. Toro's plasma had a high hydrogen content and was surrounded by an exuded cloud of mono-atomic hydrogen atoms. This hot cloud provided sufficient buoyancy for him to float. By forming a jet from his feet, directed behind him, while he was in his flaming state, he could fly at speeds up to 150 miles per hour. He could absorb flames into himself without harm within certain undefined limits.
Toro's flame was supported by the presence of oxygen and thus was extinguished in low air pressure or a vacuum. Toro's flame could be extinguished by smothering materials such as water, sand, fire-fighting foam, and heat-resistant blankets unless his flame was at such intensity that it immediately vaporized such materials on contact. If hit with small amounts of water up to about five gallons, Toro could turn it to steam with relatively little effort. More water than that would extinguish his flame at its normal level, and he would have to wait until he could evaporate the residual moisture before re-ignition.
Thomas' light output was mostly in the infrared and far-infrared regions of the spectrum and was invisible to the unaided eye. Therefore, when Toro was aflame, he was dimmer than one would expect of so powerful an energy source. He also developed an immunity to heat and flames, including his own, even when part of him was aflame and the rest was not. His flesh could not be scalded or burned by any heat source whose level was below that of his maximum output of heat.
Toro possessed the normal human strength of a boy/man of his age, height, and build who engaged in moderate regular exercise.
- It has been identified that a number of the wartime tales released to the public during World War II was done in the form of comic books and were often altered to aid in American propaganda to boost American support in the war effort. As such many of the Toro's wartime adventures -- particularly those involving the Young Allies -- may not be factual accounts but rather sensationalized fictionalizations based on true events. How much is true and how much is fabrication has yet to be examined.
- Toro had no origin for decades, apart from being the survivor of a train wreck, undamaged by fire, while his parents died, as depicted in his first appearance in Human Torch Comics #2 (September, 1940).
- Roger Stern (who was undoubtful that others had their own explanations) wanted Toro and his parents to be "secret emissaries of the Inhumans, sent out into the world on a inspection trip". Eventually becoming a Marvel writer, he couldn't go that way, as Roy Thomas made Toro a mutant in Invaders #22 (November, 1977). Considering it a "reasonable enough origin", that eliminated for Stern the need of implementing his idea.
- His origin was later retconned in All-New Invaders #8 (July 23, 2014), in the wake of the Infinity and Inhumanity events, as being a human with a recessive Inhuman gene who had reacted to the Horton Cells when he came in contact with the Human Torch, but underwent further changes activated by a Terrigen Bomb. It remains unknown which of his parents (if not both) were carrying Inhuman lineage in their genetics.
- In his original appearances he was depicted as having blonde hair.
- Toro's exact date of birth is May 6th, 1924.
- 399 Appearances of Thomas Raymond (Earth-616)
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- Character Gallery: Thomas Raymond (Earth-616)
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