Marvel Super-Heroes #16 (GA Human Torch)
Issue(s): Marvel Super-Heroes #16 (GA Human Torch story only)
And i have to tell you... i know they weren't doing LSD back in 1954, which makes coming up with this thing all the more impressive.
He's the Unhuman, and he's sent (via parachute!) by Comrade X of the Red Planet. It's not too late for Marvel to bring back the Red Planet concept. A whole planet run by 1950s era Communists. Maybe colonized by the Soviets right after World War II. Think of how this could help with the sliding timescale concept. All those characters with origins tied to the Soviet Union, like Black Widow and the Soviet Super-Soldiers? They aren't really 70 years old. They just parachuted in from the Red Planet.
Anyway, unfortunately, this story doesn't explore the Red Planet concept at all. Instead, the Human Torch and Toro can't penetrate the Unhuman's fireproof hide, and Toro is injured in battle.
The Torch takes Toro to a doctor, and he isn't sure if he should stay with his sidekick or go back and fight the monster, but he doesn't have to choose because the monster comes to him. He takes it out with a vial of chloroform (and leaves the clean-up for the police).
After the fight, Toro receives a blood infusion from the Torch, which is what gave Spitfire her powers in the Invaders, so who knows what effect it has on the poor boy.
You have to love the insane degree of destruction that occurs in this issue.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe says that, "Avengers Index#7 confirms on page 20 that yes, the Unhuman story immediately preceded the flashback in Avengers I#134/AWC#42/Saga#4 where the Torch burned himself out." So I have this placed as the Golden Age Human Torch's last appearance. You might also want to check out their wild theory that the Unhuman is really a Deviant, but i prefer the literal interpretation that he's a monster parachuted in by alien Communists.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: Human Torch #8
This story was originally done for an issue of Human Torch, but the book got cancelled first. One other story intended for that cancelled issue was used in a 1950s Sub-Mariner, and I think a 3rd Torch story for that issue just plain vanished.
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