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Human Torch Comics Vol 1 26

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Appearing in "Her Diary of Terror"Edit

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Synopsis for "Her Diary of Terror"Edit

The Human Torch and Toro are called by stock broker Robert Newell and his wife Jane. The two heroes pay the couple a visit and they tell them that they were present when actress Helen Hale had died. Hale was a popular actress working for J.B. Norris who eventually disappeared from the public. The Newells tell the two heroes that they had befriended her and that she wished to get revenge against those who double crossed her and tells them that these people are named in her diary and that her son Edward will come back and get revenge on her behalf. They were given a photo of Edward just as Helen died and they took the diary. They go on to explain how one night Edward had broken into their home and stole the diary.

Without any more information, the Human Torch and Toro leave for police headquarters. Along the way they witness a car crash and rush to the scene. They find that he driver had been killed before the crash and find a page of Helen's diary. It identifies the man as George Grimes who she blames for taking her beauty when he got them into a car accident years in 1920. Reporting into police headquarters, they receive a message apparently written by George Hale informing them that two more people will die: one by poison, the other by knife.

With no other clues, the Torch and Toro decide to pay a visit to J.B. Norris the theater promoter that worked with Helen while she was still alive. As they are on their way, a man sneaks up to Norris and stabs him in the back. When the Torch and Toro arrive, they find Norris dead and another page of Helen's diary blaming Norris for stabbing her in the back after her accident. Searching around Norris' office for clues they find a letter concerning Hale written by John Makin.

As they meet with Makin and tell him of the threat on their lives, his maid prepares tea for them. As her back is turned, the killer pours poison into Makin's tea and flees the scene. The killer is chased by the two flaming heroes, but the Torch orders Toro to go back and prevent Makin from being poisoned. The Torch then tries to apprehend the killer but is doused with a water hose and knocked out. As the killer ties up the Torch, Jane Newell arrives to help him escape. While back at Makin's house, Toro just barely managed to prevent Makin from drinking the poisoned tea. Rushing back to the Torch, Toro goes after a false flare signal and is also doused with water and knocked out.

When the two heroes come to, they are in the killers hideout and placed in an air tight glass cube to suffocate to death. The killer reveals himself to be Robert Newell, wearing a mask to resemble "George". He explains that he made a fortune selling phony stocks to his victims and then used the Hale diary as a cover for their murders. They leave the Torch and Toro to suffocate while they plan their murder of Gene Eltridge. The Torch and Toro manage to free themselves by toppling the cube into a knife on a shelf and use it to cut themselves free. They then quickly round up Robert and his wife and turn them over to the authorities. Talking to the chief of police they learn that the Newells will end up getting the electric chair for their crimes.

Appearing in "One of Us Is a Killer"Edit

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Synopsis for "One of Us Is a Killer"Edit

The Human Torch and Toro are in their apartment when the Torch receives a panicked phone call from Ralph Mortimer who tells him that someone is trying to kill him. Ralph is about to explain who the killer is when he is shot over the phone, only revealing the killers last name to be Jordan. They rush to Mortimer's house and find a framed photo of a girl named Tina Grace and an address book. They look inside the book and find that there are three Jordan's named in the book: Jack, Lee and Arnold.

They go to the home of Jack Jordan and tell him of the murder of Ralph Mortimer. Jack tells them that he knows Mortimer through his brother Lee who who had business dealings with Ralph. Jack tells them that Lee could not have killed Mortimer, but their cousin Arnold -- a chemist -- is the most likely one since he and Mortimer did not get along. The Torch still wants to question Lee, and confirms with Jack that Lee owns two properties a house in Manor Lodge and an apartment in the city. He tells the two heroes that he saw Lee earlier that day and he is in his apartment. They arrive at Lee's apartment and find a stack of psychology bills and books on psychology in his book shelf, but not trace of Lee so they decide to go to his beach house to search for him there.

When they arrive at Manor Lodge, they find a jittery Lee Jordan who denies killing Ralph Mortimer, explaining that he had bad business dealings with Mortimer in the past, he also suggests that Arnold is the only one capable of killing Mortimer and that he just left for his home in Oceandale. The Torch and Toro tell Lee to stay put and as they leave the Torch finds a gun in a potted plant. When Lee sees the gun he believes that Arnold is trying to frame him and orders his attack dogs to attack the two heroes. The Torch and Toro flame on, frightening the dogs away and chase after Lee. However Lee tricks them into entering a large meat freezer and traps them inside. Unable to flame completely on in the cold, the Torch breaks the pipes that carry ammonia to keep the freezer cool and then ignites the gas with a fireball, causing an explosion that frees them from their death trap.

They rush to Arnold's house in Oceandale, but as they arrive the house suddenly explodes. Searching the wreckage they find a body that is wearing Arnold Jordan's watch. Among the wreckage they also find a photo of the same Grace girl as at Mortimer's office. They also find a letter that explains that Grace had left Jordan for Mortimer and Arnold went berserk. They are soon met by towns people and the sheriff who saw a man running from the house before the explosion. The Torch and Toro assist the local authorities in tracking the man down. The man apparently kills himself when they chase him to a cliff and the man jumps off. However, the two heroes find a cave entrance and follow the tunnel which leads them to the killer who they find to be Jack Jordan. When Jordan grabs the sheriff and uses him as a hostage, Toro trips him up from behind allowing the Torch to capture him.

Later at police headquarters Jack confesses: Jack explains that he was an actor that worked at the same theatre as Ralph. He discovered that Ralph was responsible for a costly backstage theft and blackmailed Ralph to keep his mouth shut. When Ralph showed signs of cracking, Jack used his current position as a real estate agent and his acting abilities to create the phony identities of "Lee" and "Arnold" Jordan and then killed Ralph hoping to pin it on one of his imaginary relatives and get away with the murder. With the caper ended, Jack is still proud that he still managed to carry out the greatest performance of his life as he is being led away by police.

Appearing in "The Ghost of Shadow Manor"Edit

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Synopsis for "The Ghost of Shadow Manor"Edit

Willis James is on his death bed and tells his surviving relatives that he will leave his fortune. Embittered that his family hoped for this day, he vows that he will return to his home Shadow Manner. After Willis dies, his family is called by the lawyer for a reading of his will, which stipulates that the fortune will be split among each family member that successfully spends the night in Shadow Manner and that if anyone should die during the evening their share would be distributed among the others.

Remembering the haunting words of her uncle, Kay James sends a telegram to the Human Torch and Toro asking them to come and act as protection for her and her other family members. When the two heroes arrive, they are introduced to Kay's cousins George (a chemist) and Roy (a globe trotter). As they enter the house, they hear what appears to be the voice of their dead Uncle Willis proclaiming that the Torch and Toro cannot save them. Telling the heroes that heir uncle was placed in the family crypt below, the Torch and Toro rush down to the basement and find that the coffin containing Willis' body is empty. They suddenly hear Roy scream and rush to his aid. They are confronted by a robed man who knocks them out with a barrel and flees the scene. When the Torch and Toro check Roy they find him dead by strangulation.

In order to insure that Kay and George are safe, the Torch and Toro have them locked in their rooms while they search for the killer. Hearing George moaning from outside, the Torch and Toro rush outside and find a ghostly image around the garden fountain. They also find George's body, also dead. Kay suddenly rushes to them and shows them a note apparently written by Willis threatening to kill George.

Leaving Toro to guard Kay, the Torch returns to the fountain and finds that it pushes aside to reveal a flight of stairs. Going down, he is knocked out by two hooded men. One the men reveals himself to be Roy, who faked his death. He explains that he and his accomplice planned to kill both Kay and George in order to inherit the money. Roy learned how to forge Willis' hand writing while his friend learned to imitate his uncles voice. He then shows the Torch a locket that Kay had dropped and he rigged with a poisoned pin to killer her and intends to leave it out for her to find it. He then leaves the Torch tied up with asbestos rope.

However, he has left he Torch near a drum of oil, which the hero causes to explode, freeing himself. He then prevents Kay from putting on the poisoned locket and captures Roy and his accomplice. Later at police headquarters the Torch explains the entire plot to Kay.

Appearing in "The Fatal Curse of the Sea Witch"Edit

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Synopsis for "The Fatal Curse of the Sea Witch"Edit

Betty Dean is aboard the "Sea Witch" to do an article about deep sea diving, inviting her friend the Sub-Mariner along with her. When she and another diver go down into the water they find the shipwrecked "Albatross" which was carrying a large supply of ivory. Before they can report this back to the crew of the Sea Witch, their air and communication is suddenly cut off. On the surface, Gallery -- the sailor operating the equipment -- tells Namor that something is wrong prompting the hero to dive into the water. Namor manages to pull both Betty and Bailey out of the water, but Bailey has died.

They captain records the incident in his log book and decides to return the Sea Witch to shore. However, when they get there Gallery does not want Captain Moody to get the log book to Ship's Officials. When they pull to shore, Gallery causes a crane carrying a heavy crate to slam into Captain Moody, killing him instantly. When Namor checks his body, Gallery tells them that he will bring the log book to the Ship's Officials. Namor suspects murder and tells Betty to go write her article while he goes after Gallery. Betty disobeys Namor's orders, returning to the ship to search for clues.

Gallery notices that the Sub-Mariner is tailing him and knocks the hero out. When Namor revives, he goes to the Ship's Officials and talks to the manager there. When he learns that Gallery never turned over the log book for the Sea Witch, he swims off to the Mariner Hotel to hunt for the killer. Meanwhile, Betty continues her search of the ship and finds evidence that shows that Gallery was responsible for cutting off her air earlier. Gallery walks in on her and locks her in a room aboard the ship, telling her that he will be back to killer her after he gets his gear.

At the Mariner Hotel, Namor enters Gallery's room and finds the log book. However, Gallery returns and nabs it, holding Namor at gun point. However, before he can shoot, Betty -- having broken out of her prison through the ships port-hole, which Gallery neglected to lock -- knocks the gun out of his hand. However, during the struggle Betty trips up Namor and Gallery manages to escape with the pages of the log book that implicate him in Bailey's death.

Betty makes up for this bad move by showing Namor how to read what was written in the log book by darkening the impressions on the following blank page and learn that Captain Moody suspected Gallery of killing Bailey. Finally telling Namor about the Albatross, Namor realizes that Gallery is after the ivory on board and dives into the water to chase the Sea Witch. Betty takes a cab, and they both arrive at the Sea Witch at he same time. Gallery and his crew easily subdue the pair and tie them up, leaving them in the kitchen pantry while they go to recover the Albatross. Weakened from a lack of water, Namor's strength is revitalized when Betty knocks over a bag of baking soda into a barrel of pickles, causing the brine to foam up and douse the hero, revitalizing him. Namor, with the help of Betty, then rounds up Gallery and his men and turn them over to the authorities.

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Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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