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Human Torch Comics Vol 1 23

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Appearing in "The Amazing Swindle"Edit

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Villains:

  • Ernest Parker

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Synopsis for "The Amazing Swindle"Edit

The Human Torch and Toro are called to the office of leading economist Professor Marshall who asks the two heroes to help locate his missing secretary Ernest Packer. He explains that the last time he saw Packer he had gotten a call, mentioning something about "Blue Grotto" before fleeing. The Professor leaves the two heroes to his investigation so he can take a flight out to Central City for a lecture he will be giving that night. Searching Packer's room, they find no evidence and when they go to question Marshall some more, they find that he has apparently already left.

Rushing to the airport to see him, they are prevented from boarding his plane by some heavies hired as a body guard. The duo force themselves aboard the plane however Marshall is rude to them and has them ejected from the plane. One of the heavies knocks the two heroes out with a crowbar and tosses them out of the plane and leave. When the Torch and Toro recover, they find the plane is gone and head to Central City. They pass by two signs one advertising the Blue Grotto Apartments, and one advertising Professor Marshall's lecture at the Town Hall. The two heroes go to the location of the lecture to find that it has been cancelled at the last moment, much to the chagrin of the people hoping to see it.

The Torch and Toro then go to Blue Grotto, where they overhear gunshots as they pass one of the buildings. They enter the building and find a dead man in one of the rooms and are knocked out by the killer with a potted plant. When they revive, the police arrive and searching the body they find that the dead man is Fred Greene who was apparently robbed. They learn from the police that he only other people in the apartment complex are the woman who called the police and Martin Waldo. They pay a visit to Waldo, who denies hearing anything as he was listening to loud music. However, the Torch noticed a smudge of dirt that came from the potted plant on Waldo's pant leg, and after the police leave to get someone to collect the body they make another visit to Waldo.

When Waldo answers the door, he invites them in and the two heroes are quickly jumped and bound in asbestos lined bags to suffocate. Before they leave, they mention that the Professor is doing a lecture at Club Sixty and leave. With their air running out the Torch manages to manoeuvre over to the light switch and flick it on and off alerting the police who free them. They arrive at Club Sixty where they witness Professor Marshall giving a lecture telling those gathered that inflation will drive down the value of money and that hey should all invest in Amongaconda Silver. Realizing that it's a swindle, the Torch confronts "Marshall" who flees the scene. Following him to the backstage area, the Torch is surprised to find two Marshall's one holding them at gun point and another tied to a chair. However, the Torch quickly subdues "Marshall" and unmasks him as Ernest Pecker. With the gang rounded up, Professor Marshall puts on his scheduled lecture, telling people to invest in the government to boost the economy and help create jobs that benefit everyone.

Appearing in "Firebug Terror"Edit

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Villains:

  • Jay Kelsey

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Synopsis for "Firebug Terror"Edit

At their apartment, the Human Torch and Toro overhear a news bulletin about a warehouse fire at the Hi-Grade Import Company, allegedly set by the night watchman John Drake a convicted arsonist. The Torch and Toro rush to the scene of the crime just as fire fighters have put out the blaze, but the warehouse and his contents have been burned to the ground. At the scene they find the remnants of a rag douse in kerosene. However, they are met at the scene by John Drake's daughter Louise who claims that her father is innocent of his crimes.

The Torch and Toro decide to investigate further, paying a visit to the owner of the company, Jay Kelsey who tells them that he lost a $125,000 shipment of silk that he bought the day before the fire. When Torch asks why Kelsey hired a convicted arsonist, which Kelsey turns to their H.R. person Adams, who tells them that he was given a forged letter of recommendation and was not informed of his past conviction. Going back to look for Drake, they spot his daughter and learn that she is also looking out for her father and learn that her father liked to hang out in Batter Park. As they talk, they are unaware that they are being watched by two thugs who wish to stop them from snooping further.

The Torch and Toro return to the office of Jay Kelsey and enter in on him discussing the details of the insurance with an agent who asks he provide receipts for the silk shipment. The Torch and Toro agree to go and collect the receipts for them. Along the way they spot police outside the Drake house and learn that Louise was forced into a car by two men while they were gone. The Torch and Toro continue to the shipping company and when they arrive, they decide to check out if one of the trucks on the lot was the one that delivered the silk. They are attacked by some of the workers who believe they are snooping. The owner comes out as the two heroes finish trouncing their attackers and tells them it was a mix up and turns over the receipts. As they leave, they are watched by some men who hope that the two heroes do not mess up their plans. Along the way back to Jay Kelsey's office they spot another fire and help the police catch John Drake, who admits to the fires and asks to be arrested.

As they are leaving the Torch wonders why Drake gave himself up so easily. They then spot one of the shipping trucks and that it has some damage. When they try to inquire the driver tells them that he got into an accident the day before and to butt out. The Torch and Toro then go to police headquarters where they learn that the accident actually happened at 10:30 near the warehouse after the supposed last delivery of the day. Going to the area of the accident they find an apparently abandoned warehouse, but inside they find the silk that was supposedly destroyed in the fire. The Torch and Toro are attacked by a gang and are doused in fire retardant foam and left to be crushed in an elevator shaft, the two manage to shut down the elevator by shooting a pebble at the switch and break free. They then round up the criminals clearing Drake's name.

Appearing in "Jekyll-Hyde Murders"Edit

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Synopsis for "Jekyll-Hyde Murders"Edit

A killer strangles a woman to death on the streets. Moments later, Edmund Kenyon puts on a stellar performance in a play about "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde", attending in the audience are the Human Torch and Toro. The two heroes go back stage to meet the cast where they meet Edmund and his bride-to-be Laura Lang. Laura tells them that the constant performance in the role is a strain on Edmund. As they talk, one of the stage lights comes loose and comes crashing down. Although the Torch pulls Edmund out of the path, one of crank handles breaks off and strikes Edmund's head. Edmund shakes off the injury and decides to walk home alone.

After leaving Laura, Edmund suddenly succumbs to his injuries after hearing a loud crash, and hearing the voice of "Mr. Hyde" answers his demands to kill and strangles a woman to death. The next morning, the Human Torch and Toro are asked to come to police headquarters to help investigate the strangulations of 2 men and a woman that happened the night before. There, the police suggest that they likely suspect is a man named Harry Greg who had threatened to kill the female victim for turning him down for a date. The Torch doesn't believe it likely but decides to check out Greg's apartment anyway. There they find a the receipt for a train ticket on the New York/Ontario line and decide to head to Grand Central Station to find Greg. Meanwhile, Edmund Kenyon awakens to a radio report about the murders and realizing what he has done decides to flee town.

At the train station, the Torch and Toro are present when the police nab Harry Greg and take him back to police headquarters. There, the Torch and Toro run into Kenyon who tells them that he is going to his hometown in Springville for a brief vacation. The Torch, confides in Toro that he still does not believe that Greg was the killer. As Kenyon leaves, a trunk falls to the ground causing a loud crash, causing him to change into a Mr. Hyde persona. Kenyon then jumps off the train and goes to a local diner and strangles the owner to death. At the scene of the crime, the Torch and Toro find a ticket stub to Springville making the Torch realize the Kenyon is really the killer. While back in the city, Kenyon returns to his home and confesses to Laura that he is the killer.

Succumbing to his illness again, Kenyon is about to drop Laura off the balcony of their apartment when the Torch and Toro arrive and save her from a fatal fall. When Kenyon tries to get the Torch while he is pulling Laura to safety, Toro tosses a fireball at Kenyon, causing him to fall off the building to his death.

Appearing in "Politicians in Crime"Edit

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Villains:

  • Hardrock Construction Companies
  • Crooked city officials

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Synopsis for "Politicians in Crime"Edit

In Centertown, the Sub-Mariner meets with Dr. Whiting's office where he asks Namor to help boost support for a Cancer clinic and boost awareness so that when the city councillors meet they will appropriate money to the hospitals construction over other building contracts. Seeing the noble cause, the Sub-Mariner agrees to take on the task. However, as the campaign to boost public support is on the rise the owner of the Hard-Rock Construction Company reads about a lecture about the benefits of the Cancer centre and orders his men to go there and ruin their credibility so that his company can win the funding from the city.

During the lecture, the speech from Dr. Whiting is interrupted by a rabble rouser who suggests that Whiting is using the centre to gain a fortune in radium for his own personal gain and then starts throwing eggs. When Namor steps in to stop the interruption a fire starts causing everyone to flee in a panic, injuring many in the resulting stampede. In the aftermath, Namor suspects one of the construction companies might be involved. The following day, the Sub-Mariner pays a visit to city hall and petitions the councillors there to support the construction of the Cancer centre. The councillors appear to be amicable and in support of the centre and ask Namor to leave while they conduct their business. However when Namor leaves, they get on the phone with the owner of the Hard-Rock Construction Company and ask him to do something about Namor's snooping. Meanwhile, Namor meets with the mayor who does not believe in Cancer and tells him that he believes that air and exercise will cure everything. At the same time, Dr. Whiting is captured by some thugs and is given a double injection of Sodium Somytal, a potent hypnotic serum, and forced to write a letter admitting that he is intending to personally gain from the construction of the clinic.

The letter is then turned over to the press, who turn out a special edition immediately. When confronted by reporters about the "confession", Namor tells them that there must be some kind of set up, but they are not convinced since it appears that Whiting "blew town" after the confession. After the newspaper men leave, Namor is confronted by an elderly woman who is in tears who's husband died of cancer because he did not get treatment fast enough and begs Namor to try whatever he can to get the clinic built so others don't have to suffer like her husband did. Namor agrees to do what he can and decides to get to the bottom of things.

Namor goes back to city hall where he overhears the city councillors talking about how they awarded a contract to the Hard-Rock Construction Company, because their bid was the cheapest one. Finding this suspicious, especially given that the councillor's initially supported the Cancer centre, Namor swims to the Hard-Rock Construction Company to check things out. There he forces his way into the office and finds records that show that not only was the bid neglecting the cost of materials, but that the company and city councillors would profit from the contract he is confronted by the owner and his men who hold Whiting at gun point. Before Namor can do anything he is knocked out from behind.

Both Whiting and Namor are tied up in chains in front of a vat that is used to make tar, that will kill them once it overflows. They then leave the two men to their fate. With a piece of metal, Namor manages to burst open a pipe that brings water to the cement mixer, the liquid revitalizing his strength and allowing him to free himself and Whiting before certain doom. Getting a confession out of the Hard-Rock Company's owner, Namor calls the authorities and then rounds up the councillors, punching out the mayor for putting his own personal gain ahead of the well being of his citizens.

A year later, Namor returns to Center Town where the Cancer centre has been completed and the people are benefiting from the treatment. Whiting thanks Namor for supporting his cause.

NotesEdit

  • No special notes.


TriviaEdit

  • No trivia.


See AlsoEdit


  • None.


  • None.
  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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