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Human Torch

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Two down, two to go.

Flame on! Johnny Storm suits up to command the heat as the scorching hot hero, The Human Torch!

Well, that's better than the mildly confusing text his sister got, but again, he doesn't "suit up" to control anything: his powers work no matter what he's wearing. If anything, he suits up to restrict his ability to command heat - unstable molecules can burn and not be destroyed. Also, it's more likely that Reed would need to build him a suit to tone down his powers if they somehow got out of control than one that let him burn more brightly. He's always all "don't set the world's entire oxygen supply on fire at once, Johnny." "Don't vaporize steel beams, Johnny." "You're killing people, Johnny." Mr. Fantastic: always such a total killjoy!

Human Torch gets the medium body, although they might have been able to get away with the skinnier Spidey one - Johnny's nickname isn't "matchstick" only because of the fire stuff. Of course, if this body can work for a teenager called "Slim," then it's fine here, too. We do get some new pieces on it, however: the shins, forearms, feet, and one pair of hands have been molded with built-in flames, and the entire thing is molded from translucent orange plastic. Lookin' good! The ankle joints are a little bit loose on my figure - not enough that I'm bothered to the point of trying to find a second one, but enough that I have to be mindful of how I pose him.

The head is also new. But you could have probably guessed that even without seeing the figure, because who/what else could they possibly have gotten away with using? [Archangel with an add-on head-flame? --ed.] His hair is sculpted as fire, which works much better here than it did the last time Hasbro tried something like that.

Now, let's talk paint. As mentioned, the figure is cast from semi-translucent orange plastic, but that's not the end of the story. Not all oranges are created equal, because different parts of the toy end up different colors. Rustin touched on this in his Spoils, and when I got the figure, I initially agreed with him. But then, it clicked: this isn't a mistake, it's intentional! Look at the toy; really look at it. Consider the color spread. The majority of the body is one color, yes? Then the shins/feet are darker, and the face is lighter. Are you getting it? These are not three separate versions of one shade, they're three separate shades! The body is his costume; the face is lighter because it's his skin; the shins are darker because they're his boots. Look at his waist, he has a painted belt that's almost the same color. If you look at the forearms and neck, those have been painted darker, too. Hasbro didn't make a mistake shading this toy, they tried to do something new to create Johnny's FF costume while still having him be flamed-on. No, it doesn't work perfectly (or else we wouldn't have been confused by it in the first place), but we're not going to fault them for making an effort, especially when the alternative is 2009's "Creamsicle" Johnny. His molded flames get yellow airbrushing, his eyes and eyebrows are painted, and he gets the ④ logo on his chest.

The figure has two sets of hands: one with flames, the other without. On the flaming hands, the right is a fist, while the left is open wider, with the fingers spread slightly. The other hands are both fists. Why bother including those? So he can use the included fire accessories! Big fireballs that fit over his hands! They come from the X-Men Legends Sunfire, which I think we're reviewing in... two weeks, maybe? They're molded from the same orange as his face, and get yellow paint at the tips. Plus, he has a new flame piece that plugs into his backpack hole, making his shoulders even hotter than they were.

This is two Walgreens exclusives in a row that have featured the Fantastic Four, and they've already announced a Mr. Fantastic is on his way, as well. No word on how/if they're also going to do The Thing, but they have to, right? You can't release three-fourths of the team and call it a day. Anyway. Even understanding what they were going for with the multi-colored Human Torch, I'd still prefer him to be all one shade; maybe they'll reuse these molds for a Jim Hammond Human Torch figure, and that can serve as an FF stand-in.

-- 11/13/17

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