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Human Torch Comics Vol 1 17

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Appearing in "The Ghostly Horror"Edit

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Synopsis for "The Ghostly Horror"Edit

At a Georgia State penitentiary all seems quiet for the night. Much to the surprise of the prison guards, "Ghosty" Terrill has received a letter for the first time in his 10 years in prison. Left to his privacy, Terrill soaks the letter in water to reveal a secret message hidden in it advising him that his men on the outside intend to break him out when they get the signal.

The following morning while out doing work in the prison yard, Terrill feigns a back injury and is taken to the infirmary. Meanwhile, the Human Torch and Toro are rushing to the prison after receiving an underworld tip on Terrill's planned breakout. While the warden attempts to assuage the two heroes into believing that the prison is escape proof, a guard visits Ghosty in the infirmary and hands him a suit to wear. When the guard leads him out, Ghost strangles him to death to eliminate any potential stooling and is spotted fleeing.

Hearing the escape siren, the Torch and Toro race after Ghosty, but he manages to flee the scene by boat. Unable to find any trace of Ghosty, the Torch and Toro meet up with the chief of the FBI who has asked the two heroes to help guard a train shipment of gold originating from Hawaii that is to be transported to Fort Knox. While they prepare to shove off, Ghosty and his men attack the engineers of the train and kill them, taking their place.

When the train pulls out of the station, the Torch and Toro follow and are surprised when they notice the two engineers uncoupling the passenger car filled with FBI agents that is accompanying the gold shipment. With the FBI agents lives in danger, the Torch and Toro are forced to break off their chase to save them from derailing. Continuing their pursuit of the stolen train, the Torch and Toro find a fork in the tracks which lead them to a hidden tunnel that was once used by the Atlas Copper Company.

Spotting an abandoned shack, the Torch and Toro race toward it but find themselves caught in fire proof plastic which Ghostly and his men quickly seal up with glue in order to prevent the heroes from escaping. Then, Ghostly places them inside a giant smelter to while they make a break for Mexico with the stolen money. Inside the smelter, the Torch and Toro manage to free themselves when the incredible heat causes to glue to come loose. They go after Ghostly and his gang just as they are loading up dynamite. When Ghostly threatens to toss a box of TNT at the heroes, the Torch tosses a fireball at the crate causing it to explode, killing Ghostly. With his gang turned over to the authorities, the Torch and Toro are thanked by the FBI for stopping Ghostly Terrill.

Appearing in "The Skulking Killer"Edit

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  • Mister Hampton

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Synopsis for "The Skulking Killer"Edit

Jules Lanier, a counter espionage agent posing as county clerk, is rushing to authorities with some information when he is suddenly struck down by a hit-and-run driver. Later, the same car is parked near a rail bridge where it's occupants have set up explosives. When an army supply train is about to pass by, they set off the explosives causing a horrible train wreck. When the story hits the presses, the Human Torch is more interested in the hit and run of Jules Lanier. The story reads that a woman named Mary Brian was arrested in connection with the hit-and-run. When Toro asks why, the Torch explains his counter espionage role, and suspects that Jules might have known something about the train wreck, hence why he was killed.

Going to the scene of the train wreck, they find evidence of an explosion, and tire track which to much to the Torch's suspicions matches the vehicle that was involved in the hit and run. The Torch and Toro then race to the prison to question the girl. They arrive there just as Mary refuses to cooperate with her lawyer, Mr. Hampton. Toro recognizes Hampton as a corporate lawyer who has strong connections with city hall. They learn that Hampton only took the case because the Brian's are family friends. Going to question Mary, the Torch deduces that she is taking blame for the killing of Lanier to protect someone but she will not say who. Her boyfriend, who is an American soldier, speaks to the two heroes in private telling them that she is likely protecting her brother.

The Torch and Toro then race to the Brian family home where they confront Frederick Brain about the killing. However, Frederick has nothing to say and so the two heroes decide to hide out and see where he goes after. They follow Frederick to a nearby abandoned garage. Sneaking upstairs to the office area, the Torch and Toro listen in and hear Fred talking to someone. The man he is speaking with admits that he deliberately killed the counterspy and that he was hired by the Japanese to sabotage the train. When the Torch and Toro hear a gun shot, they burst into the room but the shooter has escaped. Before Fred can tell the Torch who the killer is, he dies.

However, despite having no clues, the Torch deduces that the man behind the series of events is really Mr. Hampton and so they rush to his estate. When the Torch and Toro confront him, he admits to the murder but activates a secret button calling his men. The thugs get the drop on the two flaming heroes and they are soon tied up in fire proof straight jackets and then locked into a room that is being pumped with gas to die while Hampton and his men leave to blow up a troop train. The Torch manages to free Toro from his jacket by pulling at the straight jacket with his teeth.

Freed, the two heroes flames after Hampton and his men. With his men being rounded up, Hampton attempts to flee. However he is struck in the face by one of the Torch's fire balls and falls off the rail bridge to his death. With his plan foiled, the Torch and Toro turn his minions over to the authorities and clear Mary's name.

Appearing in "Devil's Double"Edit

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  • Brown

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Synopsis for "Devil's Double"Edit

After doing his time, ex-con Jim Langdon leaves prison. He is surprised to see that his sister Marge has come to pick him up and, in anticipation of his release, was able to find him both a job and a place to live. So touched by this, Jim promises his sister that he is reformed and is going to live straight from now on.

That night a man resembling Jim leaves the Bell Hotel and attempts to rob the Wilson & Shea Jewelers on 5th Avenue just as the shop closes up for the day. Of all the expensive jewels he takes he also takes the priceless Queen Pearl. When another shop keeper walks in on the robbery, the man shoots the clerk in cold blood. On patrol, the Human Torch and Toro hear the shots and chase after the man, but he manages to give them the slip.

Returning to the scene of the crime, the Torch and Toro learn from a police officer on the scene that based on the description provided by the surviving clerk they have arrested Jim Langdon for the crime. Deciding that it is an open-and-shut case, the two heroes head back to their apartment. there they ind Marge Langdon waiting for them and professes her brothers innocence. However, the Torch and Toro are not sold since the stolen loot, minus the Queen Pearl, were found in his room. However, when Marge tells them that she was with her brother the whole night, the Torch and Toro decide to investigate things further.

Racing to the jail where Jim is being held, the Torch recalls that the assailant had a tattoo on his right wrist. Checking Jim's wrist, he finds no tattoo there, making the Torch suspect that Jim has been framed. Flying to the Bell Hotel, they question the man at the front desk who tells them that the only man who has a wrist tattoo in his hotel is a man named Brown, who happens to be Jim's neighbor. When the Torch and Toro attempt to apprehend Brown, he manages to knock them out and flee. When the two heroes revive they find a receipt for a train ticket to Miami. Rushing to the train station, the Torch and Toro spot Brown and are forced to flame off and chase him by foot when their flames panic the crowd. Attempting to flee the Torch and Toro, Brown accidentally runs off the rail platform and is run down by a train. Searching his body they find the missing Queen Pearl and turn it over to the authorities. With this evidence they clear Jim's name.

Appearing in "The Zombie Terror"Edit

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Synopsis for "The Zombie Terror"Edit

The Sub-Mariner is searching along the coast of a New England town to investigate a series of bizarre lightning strikes that seem to be targeting the homes of authority figures in the area. As he is swimming along the coast line another lightning storm strikes a nearby house. Rushing to the blazing home, the Sub-Mariner is too late to save the occupants: an entire dinner party that burned to death. Namor learns from fire-fighter on the scene that the home was owned by Clarence Starrow, a local prosecuting attorney. Confirming his suspicions that there is more going on that meets the eye.

He is soon joined by Betty Dean who has come to cover the story for her newspaper, and he has her take him to the governors residence, as he believe he will be the next target. Rushing into the home, Namor has to use force to get the governor out just as lightning strikes the home. But his rough tactics helped save the life of the governor and his wait staff. By this time, Namor has gotten a good idea where the lightning might be originating from and has Betty drive him to the shore. Diving into the ocean, Namor is then struck by a jolt of lightning. As Betty attempts to drive away from the scene another bolt strikes a nearby cliff causing a rock slide that blocks her path.

Betty is horrified when a deformed man on a motorcycle arrives. He called himself Klug and that he is responsible for the lightning deaths in the area. Taking Betty prisoner, he explains that ten years ago he beat a group of men to death for making fun of his appearance and was sentenced to the electric chair. Surviving, he vowed revenge on the people who put them there, and tells her that he also killed the Sub-Mariner. He takes her to his cave hideout where he shows her a giant dynamo that creates the electrical charge for his lightning guns. Deciding that she shall be his bride, Klug then hooks her up to the machine and turns on the current, telling her a prolonged exposure to the voltage will make her uglier than him.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the ocean, Namor is revived by a number of fish and continues his trek to the location he deduced where the lighting was coming from. Finding a hydro electric generator in an underwater tunnel leading into Klug's hideout, Namor dismantles it, disabling the electrical device above. Namor then knocks out Klug's men and retrieves one of their lightning guns, and in a duel with Klug, wins, his final jolt sending Klug falling to his apparent death. Although Betty is concerned that Klug survived due to the fact he was wearing a rubber suit, Namor dismisses her concerns and returns to the ocean.

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See AlsoEdit


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Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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