Human Torch Exists In The MCU (But Not The Fantastic 4 Version)

Technically, the Human Torch already exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – just not the Fantastic Four‘s version (yet). Along with Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, the Invisible Woman/Susan Storm, and The Thing/Benjamin J. Grimm, the Human Torch aka Johnny Storm is on his way to the MCU. The rights to the Fantastic Four were finally acquired by Marvel Studios after Disney’s purchase of Fox, which means Marvel’s First Family will be in the same universe as the Avengers in the next few years.

There has already been a tease of the Fantastic Four’s arrival: Spider-Man: Far From Home contained a sign outside the former Avengers Tower with a countdown that read: “We Can’t Wait to Show You What Comes Next,” along with the numbers, “1-2-3-?” Of course, perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Fantastic Four’s arrival into the MCU for fans is being able to see the heroes done properly. Under Fox’s banner, the Fantastic Four have starred in three live-action movies but none of them hit the mark with moviegoers or hardcore Marvel fans. As for the Human Torch, the youngest member of the Fantastic Four has been played by two different actors, Chris Evans in director Tim Story’s cartoony Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and Michael B. Jordan in Josh Trank’s grittier Fant4stic (2015). Both Evans and Jordan have graduated to the MCU – as Captain America and Erik Killmonger respectively – leaving the role of Johnny Storm open for someone brand new.

Related: Marvel’s Original Human Torch Is Different From Fantastic Four’s

However, the Human Torch was already glimpsed at in the MCU about 80 years before Johnny Storm’s pending MCU debut because the original Human Torch was an Easter egg in Captain America: The First Avenger. When Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) meet their dates and visit the 1943 Stark World Exposition of Tomorrow in Queen, New York, they drop by the Modern Marvels Pavillion to see Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) demonstrate his faulty flying car. In their zeal to get a look at the handsome billionaire inventor, Steve, Bucky, and their dates pass right by an exhibit called Dr. Phineas Horton Presents The Synthetic Man, with a humanoid figure wearing red encased in a glass tube. The Synthetic Man is an Easter egg nodding to the original Human Torch aka Jim Hammond, Marvel’s first flaming hero.

One of the first Marvel superheroes from the comic book company’s Golden Age, the original Human Torch was an android built by Professor Phineas T. Horton in 1939. The first Torch became a member of the Nazi-smashing superhero squad called the Invaders alongside Captain America, Bucky, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, and he also acquired a similarly flame-powered sidekick named Toro. The Human Torch also had a legendary rivalry with the Sub-Mariner, and they battled all over New York City in the 1940s. In 1961, Stan Lee revived the Human Torch concept when he and Jack Kirby invented the Fantastic Four, making the young Johnny Storm Marvel’s new fiery hero – but Johnny was technically the third Human Torch in the Marvel Universe after the original and Toro.

The inclusion of the original Human Torch in Captain America: The First Avenger was a clever and subtle reference to the fact that Chris Evans was the movies’ original Human Torch. However, Dr. Horton’s Synthetic Man wasn’t seen again in the MCU outside of this brief appearance – not even in Agent Carter, which is set in the same era – so it’s unclear if the Synthetic Man actually did have the power to burst into flame as the Human Torch. Still, the original Human Torch’s existence was one of the MCU’s earliest references to the “bigger universe” Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) told Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) about in Iron Man. Soon, Johnny Storm’s Human Torch will “Flame on!” in the MCU and perhaps he could even face his predecessor, the Original Human Torch, one day.

Next: Predicting Marvel’s NEW Phase 4 Slate Through To 2023

2019-12-05 01:12:19

John Orquiola

Marvel’s Original Human Torch is Different Than Fantastic Four’s

With the Fantastic Four set to join the MCU, fans may be surprised to know that an earlier version of one of their members – The Human Torch – has already made a cameo in a Marvel movie. This Torch is not Johnny Storm, portrayed by both Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan in previous Fantastic Four movies, but an android named Jim Hammond.

Appearing way back in 1939’s Marvel Comics #1, the original Human Torch holds the distinction of being the very first Marvel superhero – preceding even Captain America. Yet while the original Human Torch has made a huge impact on both past and current Marvel Comics, casual fans may have never heard of him – so let’s take a look at this character’s origin and some of his most pivotal moments.

Related: Chris Evans Jokes About Captain America & Human Torch Buddy Film

Created in 1939 by writer-artist Carl Burgos for Timely Comics – the company that would one day become Marvel Comics – the original Human Torch is a human-like android created by Professor Phineas T. Horton. When Horton discovers the android bursts into flames when exposed to oxygen, he seals it in an airtight capsule and buries the synthetic man. But the Torch escapes, develops a conscience, and soon gains control over his flames, letting him subdue criminals. Later issues of Marvel Comics (eventually retitled Marvel Mystery Comics) show the Torch adopting a human name, Jim Hammond, and even getting a job as a police officer.

The Human Torch may have been the first superhero featured in Marvel Comics #1, but he wasn’t the only one. In the same issue, writer-artist Bill Everett introduced Namor the Sub-Mariner, an aquatic superhero considered to be Marvel Comics’ first mutant. The Human Torch and Sub-Mariner initially appeared in separate stories, but in Marvel Mystery Comics #8, Burgos and Everett had their heroes fight each other in a three-part saga. By doing this, Burgos and Everett created a popular trope of superheroes battling each other. They also established these characters lived in a shared universe, which would come to define Marvel Comics and the MCU. Eventually, the Torch and Namor made up and joined with Captain America and other Timely heroes to form the superhero team the Invaders. And as the United States entered World War II, these early Marvel heroes also fought in fictional battles against the Axis powers.

When Batman’s teenage sidekick Robin proved popular with readers at National (later DC) Comics, Timely Comics decided to use the same tactic, by giving both Captain America and the Human Torch sidekicks. Captain America partnered with teenager Bucky Barnes (who would become the Winter Soldier decades later). The Human Torch, on the other hand, gained a partner in Thomas Raymond, a human boy codenamed Toro who somehow had the same flame powers he did. Later writers would explain this by first stating Toro was a mutant who got his powers from the radiation his parents were exposed to while working for the Torch’s creator Phineas Horton. Other writers claimed Toro had absorbed the artificial cells of the original Human Torch, giving him identical powers. Ironically, this makes the Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm the third Marvel superhero with Human Torch powers!

While Marvel Comics frequently references real-life events (such as the Vietnam War and 9-11) in its comics, one Human Torch story puts a shocking twist on a well-known historical event. In What If? #4 Vol. 1, a story set in the mainstream Marvel Universe reveals that in the final days of the war the Human Torch burned Adolf Hitler alive when the Nazi leader attempts to kill the Torch and his partner with a bomb.

Enraged that he went out in such an undignified manner, Hitler uses his last breath to order an underling to lie and tell the world he committed suicide. Deciding this would be a fitting story to let the world rebuild, the Human Torch allows the deception to continue.

The Human Torch’s comic book was cancelled when superheroes went out of fashion in the post-World War II years, and later stories reveal his android body was deactivated after the war. However, when the Silver Age of Comics began in the 1960s, the original Human Torch made a comeback. In Fantastic Four Annual #4 (1963), the Torch’s android body is revived by the villainous Mad Thinker. Rendered amnesic, the Torch battles the Fantastic Four (and his successor Johnny Storm), but turns against the Thinker when he tries to kill the Fantastic Four, leading the Thinker’s computer Quasimodo to kill him.

Being an android, Jim Hammond eventually recovers years later and teams up with his partners Captain America and Namor the Sub-Mariner. He joins the Avengers West Coast and meets other World War II allies, including the British speedster Spitfire (who gained her powers in the 1940s from a blood transfusion given to her by the Human Torch). In Namor #12, Hammond reveals his android blood has additional powers when a second transfusion not only heals a now-elderly Spitfire of a bullet wound, but also regresses her into a sixteen-year-old girl.

While the original Human Torch remains mostly in the shadow of his more famous Fantastic Four-namesake, comic book creators kept finding ways to honor him. In the aftermath of the first Marvel superhero Civil War, all superpowered Americans were required to enlist in superhuman training camp. The camp ended up being named Camp Hammond after the Torch (who was temporarily dead again at the time). The camp erected a statue of the Torch, with the inscription, “Jim Hammond: The Human Torch. First of the Marvels. He Showed Us That Heroes Can Be Made.”

One of the weirdest stories of the original Human Torch is his strange relationship with the Avenger’s android member the Vision. The Vision of the MCU has a fairly straightforward origin in Avengers: Age of Ultron – he’s an android built by the villainous Ultron and given the mind of Iron Man’s AI Jarvis. However, the Vision’s origin in the comics is much more complicated. Like the movie, the comic version of Vision is an android who turns against his creator Ultron to aid the Avengers. However, the Avengers are led to believe Ultron used the remains of the original Human Torch to build the Vision’s body while the Vision’s mind came from the brain patterns of another Avenger – Wonder Man. This theory is seemingly debunked in Avengers West Coast #50 when the Vision examines the Human Torch’s grave and the Scarlet Witch accidentally resurrects the android. The Avengers later hypothesize that the Vision was made of the Torch’s “spare parts.”

It only got stranger from there. In Avengers Forever #8, the Avengers discovered the time-traveling villain Immortus traveled to a point after the Human Torch died following his battle with the Fantastic Four and used a “Forever Crystal” to split the Torch’s timeline in two – allowing one version of the Torch to be rebuilt by Ultron into the Vision while the other one remained inert until the Avengers reactivated him years later. Thus, in the comics at least, the Human Torch and the Vision are time lost versions of the same artificial being. Considering the Vision married the Scarlet Witch and fathered children with her (who may or may not be real), the Human Torch’s relationship to this extended family is likely even more convoluted.

Despite these bizarre stories, the constant inclusion of the original Human Torch in Marvel mythology shows that many comic creators have a soft spot for the android and constantly want to acknowledge the first Marvel superhero. Apparently, this reverence also extends to the MCU, as the Human Torch has already appeared briefly in Captain America: The First Avenger. In the scene where Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes attend the World Exposition of Tomorrow, the camera pans across the exhibition hall, briefly highlighting an airtight capsule with a mannequin dressed in the Human Torch’s signature red costume inside. The sign above advertises it as “Phineas Horton Presents The Synthetic Man.”

Could this be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s original Human Torch? Did he ever achieve consciousness and fight alongside the MCU’s Captain America in World War II? While the filmmakers kept the scene intentionally vague, with an MCU version of the Fantastic Four in the works, the pieces are in place for an even greater homage to Marvel’s first hero – the original Human Torch.

Next: 10 Actors Who Could Play The Human Torch in the MCU

2019-10-22 03:10:49

Michael Jung

10 Actors Who Could Play Human Torch In The MCU | ScreenRant

While the MCU is already packed with iconic heroes, more are on the way. As we all know, thanks to Disney’s purchase of Fox, several of the biggest Marvel characters will soon get to join the MCU, including Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four.

RELATED: 10 Actors Who Could Play Mister Fantastic In The MCU

Fans are obviously excited by the prospect of Marvel doing justice to this famous super team and seeing those characters join the MCU family. One of the most exciting additions in Johnny Storm aka Human Torch. Johnny is often seen as a cocky, adventurous younger member of the group. He has been previously portrayed by Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan, so it will be exciting to see who’s next. Here are some of the actors we want as Human Torch in the MCU.

10 O’Shea Jackson Jr

O’Shea Jackson Jr. exploded onto the scene with his amazing performance in Straight Outta Compton where he played his father and rap pioneer, Ice Cube. Jackson was a compelling and commanding performance in that film. Proving that wasn’t a fluke, he’s also had funny supporting roles in Ingrid Goes West and Long Shot.

Jackson seems to have what it takes to play the arrogant yet talented Johnny Storm. He is able to handle the necessary comedy for the role and has shown to be a fantastic addition to any ensemble.

9 Ansel Elgort

Ansel Elgort is fast becoming one of the hottest young stars in Hollywood which means its only a matter of time before he plays a superhero. While he got his start in young adult films like The Fault in Your Stars and Divergent, he showed his action movie chops in the starring role of Baby Driver.

RELATED: The 10 Best Songs Featured in Baby Driver

Elgort is a fantastic young actor who can probably bring a lot of unexpected depth to Johnny. He can play him as the cocky hero or shake things up as a quieter take on the character.

8 Billy Magnussen

Billy Magnussen is one of those actors who seems to steal scenes in every movie he appears in and it feels like he’s always ready for that big break. Recently appearing in films like Game Night and Aladdin, Magnussen has a wonderful screen presence and is always incredibly entertaining.

Magnussen might be a bit too old for the role, but that kind of depends on how old the other actors will be. But there’s no doubt he would bring so much fun and energy to the role as well as a real intensity when required.

7 Lewis Pullman

Lewis Pullman is one of the newer names on this list but he is already getting a lot of attention. The son of actor Bill Pullman, he has recently appeared in The Strangers: Prey at Night and Bad Times at the El Royale where he stole the show.

Pullman has a bright future ahead of him and getting a role like this could make him a huge star. He could also bring a new quality to the role of a less self-assured Johnny who finds more confidence thanks to his new powers.

6 Lakeith Stanfield

Lakeith Stanfield is one of the most compelling actors working today who seems to have a knack for picking really interesting projects. He is probably best known for his scene-stealing role as Darius in Atlanta and had a starring role in last year’s outstanding Sorry to Bother You.

RELATED: The 10 Best Quotes From Atlanta

Stanfield excels at playing characters who are eccentric and seem to live in their own world. That could be a fun twist to bring to the Johnny Storm character and Stanfield could bring his compelling nature to that role and make it his own.

5 Steven Yeun

Steven Yeun is best known for his role as Glenn in The Walking Dead. He played a young man who gradually became one of the most dependable heroes in the group of survivors. Since leaving the show, Yeun has been appearing in some very interesting roles, including his amazing turn in the Korean film Burning.

Yeun is another actor who might be too old for the part of Johnny, but he could really do some great stuff with the role. He can be funny, charming and heroic all in the same role and it would be great to see him take on a superhero role.

4 Glen Powell

Glen Powell is a rising star in the film world, showing off his immense charisma in a number of very different projects. He was one of the new recruits in Expendables 3, a ladies man in Everybody Wants Some and the romantic lead in Set it Up.

With his upcoming role as one of the cocky fighter pilots in Top Gun: Maverick, Powell seems like he’s being groomed for the role of Johnny Storm. He is excellent as the charming and arrogant guy who you can’t help but root for.

3 Wyatt Russell

Wyatt Russell is another son of Hollywood stars who has quickly made his own name in the business. The son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, he been a fantastic and entertaining performer in several smaller films like Everybody Wants Some, Overlord and an episode of Black Mirror.

RELATED: 10 Things The MCU’s Fantastic Four Reboot Needs

Russell has played the funny goofball and the badass hero to great effect. He also has a charming laid-back quality to him. It could be a fun way to play Johnny Storm as a more easy-going superhero.

2 Lucas Hedges

Lucas Hedges has had an amazing career for a young actor. Not only has he been nominated for an Oscar but he has appeared in five films which have been nominated for Best Picture. He is an incredibly skilled performer able to play funny, charming, threatening, sweet and tragic.

Hedges would be the youngest actor to play Johnny Storm and, like Tom Holland as Spider-Man, he could bring a fun young energy to the superhero genre. He could also bring a lot more depth to the character that has yet to be explored.

1 Joe Keery

Joe Keery is currently one of the most talked-about young actors thanks to his great work on the latest season of Stranger Things. As Steve Harrington, Keery has become one of the best parts of the show as the ever-evolving character.

Steve started the series as the popular kid in school who slowly realized he has a greater responsibility in the world and became a hero willing to do anything to protect his pseudo-family. The role sets Keery up to be the perfect guy to play Johnny Storm in the MCU.

NEXT: Stranger Things: 10 Best Episodes, Ranked

2019-07-15 01:07:08

Colin McCormick