Fantastic Four 587: Casualty

Jonathan Hickman discusses the death in Marvel’s first family WARNING SPOILER Who Dies.

Fantastic Four 587 Cover

The tragic saga of “Three” has come to an end in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #587—and The Human Torch has fallen. John Storm sacrificed himself so that his niece and nephew as well as his best friend, The Thing, could escape the Negative Zone. “Day one, word one,” he says of when he became aware of Johnny’s imminent demise. “When [Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing and FANTASTIC FOUR editor] Tom [Brevoort] asked me to pitch the book, and then later on when I gave him my detailed arc-by-arc, issue-by-issue breakdown, this was always there. I think if you go back and read all the [issues] I’ve done up to this point you can kind of see how it has led to this.” “Johnny was, in simplistic terms, the ‘id’ of the team,” he explains. “He represented the child-like, more innocent view of the world. He stood in direct contrast to the world ‘as it really is.’ Now, with him gone, and with everything underlined by Reed’s vision of ‘how the world should be,’ his demise both heightens the need for that future to come to pass as well as leaves it in doubt.”

“Jack [Kirby] and Stan [Lee] created these characters; if I didn’t feel like I had a responsible story to tell—one told with great effort, craft and possessing a book-specific ‘moral’ center—I would have pitched this and, honestly, it wouldn’t have made it through the room during the creative retreats,” says Hickman. “I thought [Johnny’s sacrifice] should be noble, self-sacrificing and most of all I thought it should be heroic,” he continues. “I think Johnny was most certainly all of those things.” “The next issue of FANTASTIC FOUR, the last one, #558, follows the rest of the team through the month following Johnny’s death,” previews the writer. “Lots of things happen in that issue that not only cover how each of the family members are being affected, but also hints at the massive events right around the corner. “This is not an ending.”

These are the words of Jonathan Hickman about the death of Johnny Storm. I guess we all die but superheroes are special because sometimes they come back, this is our only hope for the youngest member of the Fantastic Four to be in comics again. Johnny was impulsive and enjoyed being the Human Torch and was always optimistic about his chances to survive but it was time to fight to the death.  Like the rest of the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch gained his powers on a spacecraft bombarded by cosmic rays. He can engulf his entire body in flames, is able to fly, can absorb fire harmlessly into his own body, and can control any nearby fire by sheer force of will. “Flame on!”, which the Torch customarily shouts when activating his full-body flame effect, has become his catchphrase. It is his last words before he dies.

He is brash and impetuous when compared to his beautiful and compassionate sister, Susan Storm, his sensible brother-in-law, Mister Fantastic, and the grumbling Thing. He was colorful in what he did and did things with flare and confidence. But he gave his life for family and preserved the lives of those he loved. I don’t know if it was a good idea to get rid of Johnny I guess time will tell and as Hickman says “This is not an ending.” They will have to go a long way to justify his death in Marvel’s first family and super group. I know there are mixed feeling out there and some don’t like it at all. Please tell me what you think good or back lets talk. Speak up comic faithful stay tuned for more. 🙁 Walt

FF 587
Who Dies?

2 Thoughts to “Fantastic Four 587: Casualty”

  1. To me The Fantastic Four is the ultimate center of the Marvel Universe and killing of The Human Torch is a move that will majorly affect the story lines to come where ever Marvel goes with this. I have been reading FF now for years and when i first heard that one of them would die it shattered me. I am literally floored to see Johnny gone. But what destroys me inside is the iconic 4 symbol replaced with a disturbing 3 symbol. Not good at all. I just hope when they bring him back (which they obviously will) it will be something big to justify killing him off. The only good thing i can say is i’m glad it wasn’t The Thing. That would have literally killed me.

  2. The FF was my very first comic book back in the late 60s when I was just a small boy and has remained my fav since. I am very disappointed in the comic book industry’s preoccupation with killing characters. There’s nothing original these days about it. It’s a boring marketing ploy to build market share. I wish Marvel and DC would just steer clear of the killing of characters and focus on character development and penning great stories that keep the characters fresh and relevant.
    At this point, Captain American has been ‘killed’, now Johnny? Over at DC they’re mopping up the mess bad writers have made killing off characters over the years in their “Blackest Night/Brightest Day”.

    Please bring Johnny back and avoid the killing…

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