The 'Fantastic Four' member who dies is...
January 25th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

The 'Fantastic Four' member who dies is...

[WARNING! Major spoilers here – Do not read if you don't want to know what happens in "Fantastic Four" #587.]

"Everything has led to this moment," "Fantastic Four" writer Jonathan Hickman told CNN in December about the impending death of a member of the classic comic book superhero team.

The biggest mystery and the best-kept secret in the world of comics over the past few months has been revealed: Johnny Storm, better known as the Human Torch, dies in issue #587, released in stores a day early on Tuesday.

The Johnny Storm version of the character (a "Human Torch" actually goes back to 1939 for Marvel) is nearly a half-century old, and the literally hot-headed hero was portrayed on-screen by Chris Evans in two "Fantastic Four" movies (Evans will be playing Captain America in this summer's big-budget adaptation of that character).

“The death of the Human Torch is the first major move in this incredibly exciting evolution of the legendary Fantastic Four franchise and a necessary part of the larger story we will be telling featuring the beloved characters moving forward," Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort said in a press release Tuesday.

"Johnny was, in simplistic terms, the ‘id’ of the team. He represented the child-like, more innocent view of the world," Hickman said on Marvel's website. "He stood in direct contrast to the world ‘as it really is.’ Now, with him gone, and with everything underlined by Reed [Richard]’s vision of ‘how the world should be,’ his demise both heightens the need for that future to come to pass as well as leaves it in doubt."

Brevoort hinted at the team's future in December: "What we're actually doing is completely transmogrifying the 'FF' as a thing. At the end of this story, there won't even be a book called 'Fantastic Four' anymore; there will be something new that will be interesting and exciting. Out of this moment, a new thing will be born." (A book called "FF" is scheduled for release in March.)

Indeed, Hickman confirmed that the next issue of "Fantastic Four" in February will be the last one, but "This is not an ending."

What do you think of this development, and this particular member of the Fantastic Four leaving this mortal coil (and do you think he'll return one day, as is comic book tradition)? Share your view below.

Filed under: Books

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. new release novel

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    September 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dimple Avallone

    Yeah, I saw that on their website. So I wouldn't go by that. But it was nice to hear the teeny tiny bit of admission that the left isn't perfect and correct 100% of the time. It just made my heart flutter! )

    December 14, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. andrew sy

    i hate it!!! it won't be fantastic 4 anymore it will be the loser 3 with out torch!!!

    October 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LG

    Hello guys,

    The comic book where a ff character dies finally comes to germany next week, so I decided to read about who actually died.

    I agree with most of you, it's really nothing special to kill a main character – who wasn't dead already?

    I also stopped reading Spider-Man after OMD, and stopped buying other Marvel comics. There are a few I have bought but haven't read yet, like Secret Invasion and Dark Reign. Are they any good?

    Also I was lost in the many parts and tie-ins of Infinite Crisis at DC comics and stopped reading there, too.

    Why have they always make those big crossovers...

    September 10, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. PJD

    I stopped reading DC during crisis of infinite earths, and I abhorr and burn new copies of marvel comics friends give me during and post-civil war.

    Its not jjust the messages that changed so much, its the characters that have been made so untrue to themselves and who they developed. Every new hot shot coming into Marvel or DC has to show THEIR Batman or Spiderman or whatever and negate whatever tradtions are there because THEIR vision is so much better.

    Hearing the current Batman director and producers talk with disdain on other Batman works due to the inclusion of characters that do not fit in 'their' vision of the 'real' Batman are contributing factors.

    These characters have been given life, and hung around this long due to them being original. I find Reeds saving of Galacticus, well, out of character with a flimsy explanation. And yes Johnny will be back, just as all the other characters will be. The worst resurrection hasn't been mentioned however, and those were Colossus and Psylocke. Talk about never really explained and 'whatever'!

    Just as the Avengers need to really be replaced by the Next Avengers and not the completely out of character trash we keep getting. (I've read Simon, Wonder Man for years and this new stuff ain't him- its some nimrod writing another character just to further his agenda and wanting a name brand.). Even the movies have been infected with this crap like the monetarily lucrative but totally defective plot level X3.

    And why will this continue? Because some folks are so lame and so much apologists for the Heros or Comics or Labels that they once liked that they will keep buying it even when its totally lame $H!T. And they'll talk about how moving and well written these issues and this relaunch is, when its just someones way of being 'relevant' by being 'dark'. Cause Dark is always relevant even when even for comics implausibly executed.

    I read these FF issues cause my curiousity got the better of me, and I wish I hadn't. Not cause a hero I once liked died, but because it was done not in a dramatic way, but in a form of bad melodrama, really bad melodrama, with hokey premises and just plain poor plot design not meant to be good, but to get to the some grand vision that future readers will have to deal with.

    Screw FF, Screw "One More Day", Screw Civil War (and its really cheap devaluing especially of the New Warriors, who acted more like X-Static than themselves), Screw Crisis of Infinite Earth and its 'reboots' and screw all you damn rebooters in comic land.

    Marvel was better for its "Giant Size X-men", New Mutants, (first series), Power Pack, Fallen Angels, hell, the introduction of Bishop, Cable, even the first Excalbur. It's been diminshed by the House of M, Civil War, and other character shattering experiences leaving one feeling "bleh" as another one dies.

    I don't even care if they bring him back. They should just kill off all the FF and leave them dead. And the butchering of the Avengers, they need to let that name die too. If they want a new team, fine, Days of Future Past it or something and let Franklin lead a team with Rachel Summers.

    Time to kill Cyclops too, cause damn they turned that character from a prig into someone Andrew Dice Clay would be proud of.

    Just end it all. Please? Esp so I dont have to hear about it on Yahoos front page.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Saxman1219

    The problem was that they never let Johnny grow up. He was always a combination of Dennis the Menace and James Dean; always making rookie mistakes, always the hothead, and never showing any signs of maturing.That made him the most expendable (only because Sue was married to Reed and kept him grounded). And what was that thing he had for redheads (Crystal, Frankie, even Medusa for a brief time; didn't he know Black Bolt woulda broke him in two)? The one feature that made him somewhat essential was his flame power, which complimented the other powers on the team so well. But since there's always the original Human Torch and his kid sidekick Toro to revive as well, I doubt seriously that we'll be short a "Human Torch" for too long.

    February 21, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. daddy

    Human Torch was my favorite but at least Spiderman is a dope replacement. wouldn't mind the Thing dying off soon. Hulk what uuuup

    February 21, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. cowboy

    By the way, I used to encourage my kids to read comics as a pleasant form of entertainment with values I could endorse. Now I would rather they stay away from the negative outlooks and cynical visions displayed by these "heroes." No wonder your readership is down.

    February 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cowboy

    Marvel has clearly lost its way by trying to be "relevant". Don't you guys get it? You can't recapture the past by reinventing your characters. Instead, why don't you do the hard work of allowing your characters to age gracefully and as in real life, introduce new characters into the mix and allow a new generation to come of age with their own heroes? Art imitates life. right? We live, have children, make new friends and life is more precious and exciting because of it. We don't continually try to capture lightening in a bottle by divorcing our mates, cloning ourselves, dying only to be resurrected again and having our space time continuim reversed by the latest super hocus pocus so we can be fresh and interesting again. Please, where is the next Stan Lee who is willing to create something new without ratting around the old recycle bin?

    February 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. holtram

    Why kill any of them – this is BS. Just a publicity ploy, bad as JK Rowling killing half the characters in Harry Potter. It was totally unnecessary and ruins the entire series for me.

    Marvel you are clueless, think of your audience and not your "eternal vision". This is a comic book superhero for Chris sake, think about that and who follows them before you make such an asinine maneuver.

    February 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kurly

    Biggest surprise I found in this article is, they still print comic books, Really?? With the internet and everything, comic books, really?? Thought this would be spoilers for the next movie or something interesting. Don't bother posting replys to this, I won't be back to look for them.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. SpeedDemon

    This is why Disney is a virus, they make eveything they buy suck and pander to the lowest common denominator. Regardless of why they chose to kill off the most interesting/cool member of the FF, it is dumb and will backfire from a marketing standpoint. Kill off Reed or the Invisible Woman, they aren't fan favorites but will have people interested enough to by the comic and see why. Killing the damn cool guy that is on fire is bad PR imo.

    January 31, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jimi

    The Invisible Girl is an ALIEN?...too funny.....I stopped reading Marvel in the 80's, now I'm glad I did...

    January 28, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Travis

    Of COURSE he's coming back! Anyone who has ever read comic books knows that a so-called death (especially in the Marvel Universe) is just a overly-dramatic marketing ploy. No one is going to fall for this. Why is this even a story?

    January 28, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. wharcraff

    Poor Johnny, Can't catch a break. He gets pummelled to inches within his life during CIVIL WAR and then gets killed off when everyone else is doing something mundane. At least you went out in style.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jeff

    The Human Torch will come back to life like Captain Marvel, Captain America and Marvel Girl. Comic books are like soap operas.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  17. squidbilly

    Good luck with that. You're going to kill off the most popular character? Questionable to say the least. This is just like what DC did when they tried to kill off Superman. It just doesn't happen. It's like the X-Men without Wolverine. Granted, the X-Men started off that way, but they didn't really come of age until the smart mouthed, short dude with a chip on his shoulder showed up. Likewise, I don't see anyone really caring about the Fantastic 4 without the cool, quirky character that seems to be what makes Marvel popular. I guess thing "Thing" will have to make fun of himself now.

    January 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego (With A Black Man)

    I thought the thing would finally be put out of his misery and who still reads comic books? Buncha goobers&nerds is right! Get out of your mother's basement and go get a life!

    January 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  19. nightcrawler

    x-men is 1000000000000000000000 times better than ff anyday!!!!!!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  20. Smilin' S

    He's not dead Comic world. God (Jack Kirby) himself has already proclaimed so when the Thing died and FF3 had to go to Heaven to get Ben. Who the Hell in his right mind would agrue with the King? See ya next year Johnny!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  21. Lawmarkus

    This reminds me why I stopped collecting a few years ago. If you can't write a good story, just kill off a major character, split up couples, or simply rewrite history so the couple were never together. At least I have my 10,000 back issues to re-read from when comics were great.

    January 26, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  22. Audie Murphy

    Thanks Quesada for more Marvel crap. When I was a kid I remember my father wanted me to read comics, he knew that they would reinforce the morals and values I was taught. He was a classic DC guy, Superman/Batman stuff, but when he read how Spider-Man had to deal with paying the rent while doing his thing, the X-Men taught tolerance over bigotry and the FF showed that family stays together through everything; he was impressed. Now you have Spider-Man making a deal with the devil so the writers can make him young and single again, Marvel's Civil War series was a leftist dream teaching our kids that authoritative government control, loss of civil liberties and murder are ok if it's done by smart well meaning leaders since you can't take responsibility for yourself and now we have another sensationalist move. I wish Marvel would leave the gimmicks to late night TV but either way just do the old timers one thing at least, leave off the classic moniker on your new FF book, because it won't be Stan Lee's and it won't be "The Worlds Greatest Comic Magazine".

    January 26, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • spider funk

      I would have to agree with you. Marvel and the quality of the staff (editors, writers, etc) has considerably gone down. Stan Lee must be rolling in his grave...oh wait he must be rolling in his bed. oink!

      February 3, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Donalyn

      It's a real pleasure to read such fun and also intelligent conversation! Audie Murphy, a post as insightful and articulate as yours needs a wider impact than just this board – I hope people recognize the depth and importance of your insight! Reading the standard news feed posts has left me wondering if anyone out there still had a fully functioning, independent brain – you folks have given me back a little faith!

      February 17, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  23. sfbert

    If he actually stays dead and they deal with it, then it could be a good thing. Sadly He will be back in a year.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  24. Carnage

    I thought the thing would die. The guy can't even have a normal relationship and is virtually useless with Sue Richards around. They could have replaced Reed with one of his smart kids anyway

    January 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Beautiful Vixen! I'm I still on planet earth? Umm maybe tomorrow I will run into the the big rock man whatever his name is or one of the x-men. Oh goody I can't wait!

    January 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  26. GMan

    Killing classic comic characters is lowdown sensationalism, making a few quick bucks from the hooplah at the cost of losing the faith of your fans. I don't buy Superman any more since his 'death' and Captain America's demise made me sadly walk away from a whole raft of Marvel comics- It's just not fun anymore when they do things like that to cherished characters. This is a 'suit' type decision, any real aficionado of the genre will say what I did: "Shame, shame, shame."

    January 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adri

      wow, you nailed my feelings exactly! The comic can't survive being runs by execs; it needs core writers with fresher ideas than EARTH #3489445354745353-a!

      February 3, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  27. Bud

    I'm still waiting for PlastiMan, Aquaman or The Blackhawks. Why haven't any of those surfaced???

    January 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  28. cheefsfury


    January 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  29. rjmcready

    The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.

    January 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Anthony

    What's the big deal? They're going to bring him back! Nobody in comics REALLY dies. Look at Reed, Look at Dr. Doom, Captain America, Superman. It 's the same old story in a differnt magazine.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  31. YOUBRO


    January 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Daniel Xavier

    People said Sue was going to die. In the comics she was the wife of reed richards and was a really big character. In the old comics reed always bossed her around, and if she died he wouldnt have to. I wanted reed to die ecause hes the one who olds the team together and pushes them to try and not be ashamed. Since Johnny died who is going to bother Thing. No wise crack jokes or anything. the team will be bland, no fun. The Teenage image, and a popular icon,Johnny Storm being dead in the comics will be really bad news. He changed the marvel comics universe since he was not a sidekick but was part of the team. If johnny dies will Robin die in DC comics, hope so beacuse DC comics s@#!!

    January 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheefsfury


      January 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D.

      Robin already died. In the late 80's.

      January 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  33. B=Dog

    Oh NO!!! The Human Torch died?? 7 f'kn nerds just jumped off a bridge lol

    January 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Alex

    I must admit, I too was hoping it would be Reed Richards, solely because it would drastically change the entire dynamic of the group. Even when Johnny was beaten into a coma during the Civil War, I really didn't care. But seeing the split of Sue (who was really an alien, thank you Marvel for confusing me) and Reed was much more of a shock to the system. Seeing this? I sit there going, "Yeah, okay, so Johnny long before he returns?"

    January 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Ben

    Reed Richards should have died. Galactus was starving to death and Reed saved him, because he felt Galactus was too important to let him die. Galactus has wiped out a lot planets and killed a lot of people since than issue. By the way, I would not shed too many tears for Johnny Storm, considering how many superheros have died and come back (Superman, Captain American, Bucky Barnes). Johnny Storm might be back sooner or later.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  36. cheefsfury


    January 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |

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