Kesel, Karl


2 out of 5

(1 book)

The Human Torch (Johnny Storm) - Burn

(Art by Skottie Young, Joe Seung and Pierre-Andre Dery)

Book 7 of the Marvel's Mightiest Heroes series.  In his high school days Johnny Storm hard a fierce rivalry with fellow student Mike Snow which, after Johnny's transformation into the Human Torch, led to Mike being accidentally burned.  Years later Mike, now a New York firefighter, calls in a favour from Johnny to investigate the mysterious and possibly superhuman immolation of a fellow firefighter.

There was a lot of narrative potential in the idea that Johnny, in his early days as a superhero, lost control of his powers and caused a young man terrible burns, an event which they both then covered up for their own reasons.  It had the makings of a 'great power/great responsibility' level of backstory and guilt for the iconic and famously brash character.  Unfortunately this book fails to cash-in on that potential, never really exploring the depth of emotion that this revelation should have had.  In fact, even the guy who was horribly scarred by Johnny's mistake seems pretty okay with it all.

Instead we mostly get a fairly generic tale of a mysterious new supervillain, which includes so many otherwise unrelated fire-based themes that it's almost as if Kesel thought we might forget that fire is the Human Torch's whole deal.

2 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Indiana Jones Omnibus: Volume 2 (here)

The Amalgam Age Of Comics: The Marvel Comics Collection (here)

The Return Of Superman (here)

World Without A Superman (here)


DC Comics (here)

Indiana Jones (here)

Marvel Comics (here)