The Torch, formerly the Human Torch
Jim appears human from a visual perspective. He stands at 5’10’’ with his body having an athletic build. His skin appears white, with two baby blue eyes, and a short cut hairstyle that is straw blond in color. Thanks to his Horton Cells, all injuries or wounds can be easily repaired, leaving his skin blemish free. When in his civilian guise, Jim wears plain t-shirts, sweaters, or jackets, all of simple design and color. On his lower half is usually jeans or dress pants, and dress or running shoes, depending on what he has going on any given day.
When in his hero guise, Jim wears a red bodysuit that is flame proof, with a gold belt, arm bracelet and collar. When his powers are activated, Jim is completely engulfed in flames, his features barely visible from behind the inferno.
Despite being an artificial human, Jim has much more humanity than some other people. Since his creation, Jim was effectively a child in an adult body. As such he was easily manipulated and often believed people by default. This optimism of youth led to Jim wanting to be a hero. But the atrocities of World War II led to Jim having to grow up. While he entered the war with wide eyes, by the end they were tired eyes.
Upon being revived in modern day, Jim has questioned where he actually belongs. He is a man out of time, an Android, and a superhero. Because of this, Jim often feels like an outcast, attempting to latch onto something. At one point that thing was the V-Battalion, but now it’s the Avengers.
When actually connecting with people, Jim is easy to get along with, being friendly and of good spirit. While he can make friends pretty easily, Jim has a much harder time with romantic relationships. He has only had a few, though he still idolizes his first with his teammate Spitfire.
Jim is a synthetic human, close enough to a regular human that he has all the same weaknesses. His skin can be pierced, his bones broken, or receive head trauma. However as a synthetic being, Jim can be easily repaired if a person knows what they are doing and have access to Horton Cells.
An unforeseen aspect of his creation was that he gained the ability to gather the oxygen around himself and ignite it, surrounding himself in flames. When in this state Jim can control the temperature in his immediate area, can fire blasts of flame, and even fly. These flames abide by the rules of normal flames, so water, lack of oxygen or flame retardants can extinguish them. Using these flames also draws on Jim’s internal body energy. He can only maintain the flame form for a few hours before they will turn off automatically. After that he can’t use them for a while until his energy recharges.
It is unknown if Jim can technically die. As long as some piece of him exists, he can be rebuilt using Horton Cells. However, he may not be the same person in this new build, raising the question if this is a new identity.
Jim is well read, familiar with classical literature. He also is skilled as a mechanic and pilot, always having a way with machines. Years of fighting in the war has left Jim a capable combatant, being personally trained by Captain America. As part of some side studying, Jim has begun to learn how to code as he wants to better understand machines. Jim is also an avid fisherman.
Created as an artificial man, Jim Hammond would start out as a mindless being on fire. After being manipulated by a mobster into committing crimes, Jim would develop morals and learn to control his powers, becoming the hero the Human Torch. He would then become a police officer and clash with the villain Namor. When America joined the war, Jim was made a part of the superhero team the Invaders. He would work with the team for the duration of the war, meeting both his love Spitfire, and his adopted son Toro.
After a botched attempt to kill Hitler, Jim was left in a deactivated state. He would remain in this mode for several decades, before his body was stolen by AIM and the Mad Thinker. The villain revived Jim, minus his memories, only for an elderly Toro to come and rescue him. Once his memories were restored, Jim and Toro would capture the Mad Thinker, but Toro would be injured. Jim would give him a blood transfusion that returned his youth.
Jim, now going by the Torch, would explore the modern world, before joining the V-Battalion. This society of Nazi hunters would be a good fit for Jim as he became a mentor to another Android named Tara. But Tara would be revealed to be a double agent when Hydra was revealed, destroying the V-Battalion before Jim put her down.
Jim would temporarily leave the hero life, moving to a small town. He had a nice few months there before he was dragged into a bout of insanity for Namor. The remaining Invaders would defeat Namor, after which Captain America offered Jim a position in the Avengers organization. Jim would almost immediately accept.
It was in 1939 that brilliant scientist Professor Phineas T. Horton perfected what he called Horton Cells, a synthetic material that perfectly replicated human life. Using these cells, Horton created an Android, a synthetic being. But as soon as it was activated, the Android burst into flames. Horton would douse the flames and deactivate the Android. He would try to turn it on several more times, but always with the same result. Thinking him a failure, Horton sealed the Android in a tube. But there was a leak in the tube, allowing oxygen in which activated the Android.
Escaping his tube, the Android would go on a rampage, before being taken in by Anthony Sardo, a local mobster in New York City. Sardo would convince the Android to commit crimes for him. The Android would comply as it began to learn things. Eventually the Android developed morals and confronted Sardo, killing the mobster. Also during this period, the Android would learn to turn his flames on and off.
Professor Horton would track down the Android and apologize to him. Deciding to help him, Horton would create a new identity for the Android, named Jim Hammond. Using this name, Jim would become a regular member of society. He would befriend his neighbors the Raymond family, and become a police officer. Jim would keep a low profile until the Atlantean mutant Namor attacked New York. Jim would battle him to a standstill, the media dubbing him the Human Torch.
When America ended up joining the war, President Roosevelt had Jim join the Invaders, a team of powered individuals meant for fighting the Nazi’s most devious creations. Alongside Captain America and former enemy Namor, Jim would soon meet Hydra, the Nazi’s secret science division.
Following up a lead on Nazis in New York, Jim would run into the Raymond’s son Thomas working at a circus. Apparently his parents had died in a train wreck right as he was developing mutant fire powers, so he had nowhere to go but use his powers as a sideshow. Jim would then adopt Thomas, having him join the Invaders under the name Toro.
Many others would join the Invaders over the course of the war. A notable one was Jacquelin Falsworth, sister of team member Union Jack. After being bit by a Nazi vampire, she would receive a blood transfusion from Jim. This saved her life, but the mixture of the bite and the Horton cells gave her powers, allowing her to join the Invaders as Spitfire.
Jim would initiate a relationship with Spitfire, his first true one. Jim and the Invaders would continue to fight the Nazis until the disappearance of team leader Captain America and his sidekick Bucky. After that the Invaders fell apart. Namor would go back to Atlantis, while Spitfire and her brother were recalled to England.
This left just Jim and Toro, who continued with the push to Berlin. They had orders to kill Hitler who was sequestered in a bunker. But the Fuhrer had a guard squad of powered individuals, including Master Man and Warrior Woman. It’s not exactly clear what happened exactly in the bunker, but it left Hitler dead and Jim deactivated.
Jim’s body would be returned to the United States and placed in a facility of the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Jim would lie there deactivated for several decades. That was until the terrorist group known as AIM broke in and stole everything. Jim’s body would end up in the hands of the Mad Thinker, who wished to use his Horton Cells to make a weapon.
But AIM would itself be raided by SHIELD, and Jim recovered. Now reactivated but lacking memory, SHIELD would bring in former agent Thomas Raymond, aka Toro. The former partner of Jim would help him regain his memories. The two would then depart for the secret city of New Berlin, where the Mad Thinker was working with Nazi remnants to make an army of Horton Cell beings.
Jim and Toro would defeat the Mad Thinker and his creation, the Inhuman Torch, but Toro would be injured. Once again giving someone his blood, Toro was healed and had his youth restored. The two then returned to SHIELD, Jim turning down an offer to join the organization.
Jim would then take some time to rediscover this new world. He would learn that there was another hero using the name the Human Torch, so he shortened it to just the Torch. In his travels he would meet the V-Battalion, a society made up of heroes from World War II who just hunted Nazis. Jim would join up, meeting once again some former members of the Invaders. He would also take a young synthetic being named Tara under his wing.
Then the reveal of Hydra controlling SHIELD happened. Suddenly secret Hydra cells activated all over the world, targeting all superheroes. This included Tara, who had a secret Hydra program inside her. She destroyed the V-Battalion base, and killed its leader Citizen V. With no other option, Jim put her down.
Depressed, Jim left the superhero life. Moving to Blaketon, Illinois, Jim started a new life as a mechanic. Jim would live there for several months until he was attacked by Atlantean forces. Jim would be rescued by Captain America, who revealed that Namor had gone crazy due to psychic tampering done by Professor X. The remaining members of the Invaders would unite to save Namor from himself.
Once that crisis was over, Captain America offered Jim a place in the new Avengers organization he was founding. Not being able to say no to Steve, Jim accepted, uprooting from Blaketon to a room in Avengers Mansion.
Sample Story lines:
- There is a new Citizen V that is trying to rebuild the V-Battalion. Who are they and what are their motives?
- Tara seemingly comes back from the dead as an envoy for a society of synthetic beings. Will Jim join his fellow Androids?
- Upon learning of how Jim’s blood can heal people, various organizations try to get a sample. Anyone with Horton Cells is targeted, including Toro and Jim’s former love Spitfire!
This version of the Torch is mostly inspired by the Earth-616 version, but I’ve changed some things up along the way. I’ve mix and matched events from the comics, changing up the order. Jim text color hex code is #DE301D.