Fantastic Four Retro Collection: Human Torch review

Fiery and hot-headed, the Human Torch can burn through just about any adversity with a smile.

This one is for all the people who were disappointed in the Walgreens Human Torch because Hasbro tried to suggest his costume underneath the flames. This is a classic '80s/'90s Human Torch, the way John Byrne drew him: a bright red body with vertical black lines to create depth in the otherwise-illuminated form.

Like the Fantastic Four Legends Series 1 Johnny Storm, this one uses the larger superarticulated body, but he gets the flaming forearms and hands seen on several figures, and the backpack of flame from Walgreens. there are alternate (non-fiery) fists, and those energy swirls in orange. Since there's already fire on his arms, why not put them on his legs instead? The swirls and shoulder piece are translucent, but the flames on the arms and head have to be painted, so the colors don't match.

The head comes from the Walgreens release as well, though it looks different since it's done in translucent red plastic instead of orange. We will say there's a big missed opportunity here, though: yes, this is Johnny Storm, sold in a Fantastic Four themed series, but if they'd included a second head, with no (or just minimal) features, this same figure could be a stand-in for Jim Hammond, the original 1930s Human Torch, because he was often drawn fairly faceless. One extra head would have given fans an excuse to buy a second figure!

And maybe even a third, because there's a version of Johnny available exclusively through Hasbro Pulse that sees him flamed-off and wearing the team uniform. ­­­He's got all the same fire pieces, but the head from the 2020 mass market toy. He's sold in the same throwback packaging, a big blister card designed to reference the '90s cartoon toyline, but the character art has been redone to show Johnny rather than the Torch. And though you may already have enough Humans Torch in your collection, you might have been tempted to get both these versions, if you'd been able to claim this clear red one was pals with Captain America and Namor in World War II.


Human Torch | Invisible Woman | Thing | Mr. Fantastic

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