Public Domain Super Heroes

Human Torch

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The Human Torch

Real Name

Jim Hammond

First Appearance

Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939)

Original Publisher

Timely Comics

Created by

Carl Burgos


One day, Professor Horton held a press conference to display his newest creation: The world's first android. However, when the media saw that the android could be set on fire and could not control the flames, they demanded it be destroyed. Not wanting to do so, the Professor placed the android in a glass tank surrounded by concrete in the hopes of one day discovering how the flames could be controlled.

Some time later, an explosion was heard and the android, now called the Human Torch, was gone. Running across two get-rich-quick schemers, they attempted to sell the android for a profit but, couldn't find a buyer. A battle ensued and the schemers were killed.

The Human Torch then displayed to the authorities that he could control his flames and promptly told of the schemers plans. The court ruled the android could be left in the care of the Professor. However, once they were home, the Professor also expressed an interest in making money off his flame power resulting in the Human Torch to realize that humans would only continue to use him for their selfish purposes and escaped through the ceiling to be free.

Powers and Abilities

  • The Human Torch could completely engulf himself in flames, making himself lighter than air and giving him the ability to fly. He could also created flame balls that he could throw.

Golden Age Public Domain Appearances

  • Human Torch Comics #1-33
  • Marvel Comics #1
  • Marvel Mystery Comics #2


  • Although Marvel Mystery Comics #2 was renewed, it was done so in 1977 with the renewal date needing to be within 1969. This is the same for the Human Torch Comics until issue #34 which was renewed. By the time of renewal, the work (and its characters) had already fallen into the public domain. Regardless, Marvel Comics #1 has still not been renewed to this day.
  • Not to be confused with the other Marvel Comics character of the same name who is a member of the Fantastic Four and NOT public domain.
    • Although the Human Torch meeting the Sub-Mariner in Marvel Mystery Comics #8 (June 1940) is commonly believed to be the first crossover in American comic books, MLJ's teaming up of the Wizard and the Shield in Top-Notch Comics #5 came out the month prior (May 1940).

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