Robot 6

Alex Ross and Mike Carey reignite the original Human Torch

From the cover of "The Torch" #1, by Alex Ross

From the cover of "The Torch" #1, by Alex Ross

Alex Ross and Mike Carey will team up for a miniseries starring the original Human Torch, the android who debuted back in Marvel Comics #1.

The announcement was made yesterday on G4 by “Fresh Ink” host Blair Butler, who said The Torch “promises to return this Golden Age hero to prominence in the modern Marvel Universe.” The book is being packaged by Dynamite Entertainment.

According to Butler, Ross will provide the concept and the covers for the eight-issue miniseries, which is part of Marvel’s 70th-anniversary celebration. The Torch #1 is set to debut in September.

Created in 1939 by Carl Burgos, the Human Torch was, along with Captain America and The Sub-Mariner, one of Marvel/Timely’s most prominent superheroes until he faded into obscurity in the 1950s.

Although the character’s name and powers were reused for Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, the original Torch didn’t reappear until 1966. He returned to some prominence in the 1970s series The Invaders, where he starred with Captain America, Sub-Mariner and other World War II heroes, and in the late 1980s/early ’90s in Avengers West Coast.

The Human Torch had a key role in 1994’s Marvels, by Kurt Busiek and Ross, and, much more recently, in the short-lived New Invaders and the Ross-conceived Avengers/Invaders miniseries. Ed Brubaker also has featured the Torch, and his one-time sidekick Toro, in flashback sequences in Captain America.

The character’s modern-day incarnation — not to be confused with the time-displaced one that appeared in Avengers/Invaders — was destroyed in 2005 in New Invaders.

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I thought that years ago they should just call Jim the Torch. He’s not human and it sounds so much better that the Original Human Torch.

I’m sorry but Alex Ross is yet another example of an artist who’s much better at visual art than writing. The other prominent example being Mike Mignola (no, Hellboy is not as good as everyone seems to think it is).

“Justice” by Alex Ross was pretty boring. “Kingdom Come” is much better – (written by Mark Waid)

actually, yes, hellboy *is* as good as everyone says it is; sorry that you have to be wrong!

Great news! I saw the fresh ink segment of G4’s Attack of the Show and freaked.

Devyn Rodriguez

May 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm

@ J. Jonah
Hellboy is as amazing as everyone seems to think it is to me personally, because Mignola doesn’t even have to work on a Hellboy title for it to be awesome. I’m curious as to why you think Hellboy is overrated.

I do agree on your point that Alex Ross is a better as an artist than a writer, but Mike Carey is a solid writer. I doubt that if Ross is not doing interiors that his influence will really be felt as much as you think.

Until we get an interior artist we really won’t know how the book will feel visually.

Sorry, it should be The Human Torch.

The FF go by their real names more than anything else.
It doesn’t matter if he isn’t a flesh and blood “human”.
Didn’t John Byrne already create a character called “The Torch” in the 90’s?

I have always dug Jim Hammond and I will buy the book but I would like it better for marvel’s FIRST superhero to go by his original codename.

Matthew Stockfarleysolomonburger

May 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Is Ross drawing this or just doing a few interiors and all the covers? Recently, he hardly ever draws an issue from start to finish.

Kevin Melrose

May 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm

He’s not drawing interiors.

I´m out. After Avengers/Invaders with no Ross on art, It´s not for me.

Actually, Gladiator X, that was the Torch of Liberty, from Byrne’s Danger Unlimited.

I don’t care if they just call him ‘the Torch’, Marvel’s first hero or not, just as long as we don’t end up having two Human Torches flying around. I know it’s an irrational pet peeve, but I hate it when multiple characters with the same moniker operate simultaneously – that’s the type of DC malarkey I don’t want muddling my Marvel.

I have no problem with the word ORIGINAL because Jim Hammond is and forever shall be the 1st and one of the greatest Marvel heroes ever EVER ! EVERRRRRR!!!!!
Mike Mignola is a great writer and artist and comic book creator and he in the short period he’s been in the biz is alrready an ICON !!! Kirby, Buscema , Wood , Simonson , Mignola you name it he belongs there.
However the TORCH is a cool sounding flaming fire guy super hero name.

space rhinoceros

May 28, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Hellboy is my bible. I like MIke Carey. Meh to Ross, Project superpowers and Avengers/Invaders have both been soft.

I have not picked one Alex Ross progect in the last few years because I am not a sucker. Ross keep doing these half-ass progects given to average artists or guys that draw in a too much different than him. What’s the point selling something to fans with covers in a certain way when they’re not going to get what is promised?

The only thing that has succeeded was Astro City. But the rest has been a waste of time. At least give me some painting job for the interior like a Dan Brereton could do. Or Glen Fabry.

Actually, Frank, anyone who buys anything from Marvel or DC these days IS a sucker. How anyone could possibly think that any of those continuity-obsessive fanboy rags are even worth the paper they’re printed on is beyond me. And furthermore, for companies that are so in love with their own idiotic continuity, it’s amazing how often they violate it. For example, how can they do ANY stories about the original Human Torch when it was CLEARLY established in an Avengers series in the seventies that the Torch’s android body was transformed by Ultron into The Vision? The original Torch forever ceased to exist at that time. So here we have the problem with all this continuity: it’s a self-defeating crutch for bad writers–in other words, ALL the writers currently working for the big two. If Alex Ross or anyone else just did a stand-alone adventure of the Human Torch set in the 1940s, it would probably be a reasonably good comic; but if they’re going to try to tie this in with the current, moronic “Marvel Universe”, I’m sure it’ll be just as big a bunch of garbage as everything else they publish.

On the continuity point…yeah you have a point. But it was re-written that The Visions body is not the actual Torch body but one based on the original. The Visions android body was built by Ultron using the original schematics for the Torch. Sounds cool made a good story and a cool character came from it.
It was also established that The Original Captain America had stripes on his uniform that went all the way around his tunic while in the current Avengers/Invaders series his costume does not have those stripes all the way around. The Psycho Cap…the one who will make a comeback in July was the one who wore the half assed costume throughout the fifties.
In summation…this all makes very interesting reading for comic book readers like myself who know pretty much everything about everything.
But I like the idea of a TORCH series and I like the idea that Psycho Cap is coming back. So lets keep doing what we love…reading and B.S’ing about comics


Thanks. I wasn’t sure as I hadn’t read that book in a long time.

I too am not fond of having two characters with the same name and powers running around either.(Kinda why I don’t buy much DC but that’s neither here nor there)

Johnny Storm should just go by his real name plus the way they draw him nowadays, they hardly look alike anymore so I think it could work in this situation.

I’m glad this character’s coming back!

All i can say,is it’s about time they finally brought him back again! This time, I hope it’s to stay.

I’d like to see him rejoin the Avengers instead of the V-Battalion.


The rumors are true…and Marvel in an effort to beat the mill to the punch is releasing the new CAPTAIN AMERICA storyline early. The Psycho Cap is going to have a new purpose in life…he is going to dedicate his life to being exactly like his HERO and namesake Steve Rogers and is going to adopt the mantle of the sentinel of liberty of his own volition once again..only this time he is going to be altruistic and reserved and more like the good ol’ CAP we know and love…why? Because Steve Rogers the first would have done it that way. I am going to love this new storyline. Can’t wait for the psychological ramifications on our new and confused , new , old , new CAP !

Marvel changed gears and released it early. To squash the web rumors

Kevin Melrose

June 17, 2009 at 9:33 am

Uh …

Clay Burchett

June 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I don’t know why people make such a big goddamn deal out of such small shit…..most of this shit is written a year or more in advance. This Torch series was written and set to release in 1999. Big point……they’re comic books…..continuity is awesome and important for long standing character development, but if they find a loophole (Vision being built from “schematics based on” the Torch) and exploit it for an awesome new series…which this one was, then so what?? I LOVED THIS COMIC!!! I love Ross and a writer and he is top 3 best artist of ALL TIME.

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