The Human Torch is a Punk Ass Kid

Journey Into Marvel – Part 68

Sue Storm being a 'mom.'

Sue Storm being a ‘mom.’

Extremites, I am once again confused as to why Human Torch is considered not only a hero but one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. He’s a prideful, arrogant, and rude character that has more in common with the villains he is defending humanity from than the heroes that are watching his back.

Sensationalism matchup issues are sometimes just too much. I love sensationalism as much as the next guy but I also love story. This story is a standard of matchup issues.

The Wizard — Stan Lee and Larry Lieber call him “the greatest criminal mastermind in the world”— breaks out of prison Shawshank Redemption style. He skedaddles back to his mansion in the Glenville heights where he outfits the house with a force field that resembles Cellophane. Deep in inside his hideout, the Wizard challenges Torch to meet him in a battle of wits. Johnny answers the call to battle.

How stupid is this kid?

It’s clear this is a trap.

Lo, and behold, when Torch gets there he is poisoned with nerve gas and he looses control of his flame.

But no! Wait.

Sue is at the mansion to pull the same trick on the Wizard they pulled the last time. You know, the whole move some stuff through the air and make it seem like Torch is omnipotent, thing. But the Wizard has a brain, because he’s a genius and all, so he predicts that ol’ Invisible Girl would show up. She’s now trapped.

Extremite, do you see the hubris?

I forgive a lot of Stan Lee’s, and I guess in this case Larry Lieber’s, writing style but am I to believe that Torch and Sue use the same tactic to destroy the Wizard?

How lazy is this?

Or is Stan making a point showing just how arrogant the Fantastic Four is?

Reed and Ben’s cameo at the top of the issue show them eating cake and not even caring that a criminal genius has broken out of prison is issuing challenges on live TV. And the Four are Marvel’s greatest heroes? No wonder they are B-Stream characters now.

They make no sense. They are all conceited characters and deserve no adulation from anyone.

Torch burns some stuff and Wizard is defeated. Sue, once again, is relegated to the role of ‘damsel in distress.’ It all ends like an early Silver Age story should.

This story has lead me to question ‘what is the point of the Human Torch ?’ Why are we supposed to root for a flaming ass?

Johnny is a jerk and he’s not even a likable jerk like, say Tony Stark. He’s just a punk kid. There’s nothing to him but snide comments and an entitled attitude.

You know what really grinds my gears? The Wizard is a good villain. He’s the same as Moleman but way cooler and far more charismatic. His gadgets are hilarious in a 60s way and he deserves better stories. But what can you do hen the flagship character of Marvel is a punk jerky kid?

Until next time, Extremites, I remain: Julian Munds.

Story I Read:The Return of the Wizard!” (Strange Tales #105 Feb. 1963)

Rating: 1 out of 5

Pros: At times the conflict between Johnny and Wizard is pretty exciting. Gadgets are cool.

Cons: Everyone reads like a moronic asshole and no one is likable. There is no depth in this story. Reed and Ben’s cameo is the most ignorant part of the whole thing. Stan Lee and Larry Lieber regurgitate the first wizard plot.

Next Review:The Thunder God and the Thug” (Journey Into Marvel #89 Feb. 1963)

Last Review:The Vengeance of the Scarlet Beetle” (Tales to Astonish #39 Jan 1963)


About Julian Munds

I possess a degree in Theatre and Drama from the University of Toronto. I own my own theatre company called Snobbish Theatre. We focus our work on new versions of classics.

Posted on March 4, 2015, in Comics, Marvel, The Fantastic Four and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. hey,i read your text about doctor strange as an anti hero,but you say a lot of wrong things,like,others superheroes like him live in the shadows like batman,you can’t say he is a anti hero just because he use magic powers,he save the earth 4 times,another superheroes, made much worse atrocities that the strange, as the ant man knocked on the scooter and even the captain america killing, the super man has killed, just because he mentally controlled a girl is not proof antiheroismo, he is considered and called a superhero, if so the zatana or thor which has the power based on magic also would be or the spider man and the x mens that are hated by the population as any villain would also anti heroes, so think about it, you said about selfishness, but the doctor strange learned humility with the ancient one, other heroes as the Human Torch, Spider man, who also has made of selfishness, as top man spider peter wanted to make a girl dying to not be found by octopus, antiheroi and one that does not dry the heroic virtues, stranho is so good doctor as the super man, saving lives, you already read some magazine soil him, he already saved besides civil vario avengers and risked his own sanity to it, so stop to think if you like you request not exist superheroes because no perfect and not even superman.

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