Friday, January 28, 2011

Video Fridays: THE HUMAN TORCH

Continuing our weekly feature "Video Fridays"...
With the death of Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch II, let's take a look at several of his various media incarnations...
He first appeared in the 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon...

I included this because it's the only vid with the seldom-used opening narration!
BTW: the voice of Galactus is Ted Cassidy (Lurch from the The Addams Family tv series.) and The Silver Surfer is Vic Perrin (the Control Voice/narrator of the original Outer Limits.)

He also "apperared" on several lp albums including Golden Records "Amazing Spider-Man #1", "Fantastic Four #1" (Note: the most bizarre thing about these records is all the sound effects in the story were actually spoken with an echo effect.
So, when the cosmic rays hit the spacecraft, you hear an actor saying "RAK-TAK-TAK!"),

 and the Power Records book and record series including "The Way it Began".
BTW, the voice of the Human Torch / Mole Man / narrator is Peter Fernandez, the voice of the 1960s Speed Racer!

His next "appearance" was audio-only when Bill Murray (SNL, GhostBusters, Groundhog Day, etc.) portrayed him on a 1975 13-episode radio series modeled after the dramatic shows of the 1930s-50s!
Click here for the Fantastic Four: "Menace of the Mole Man" radio show mp3
or if you want "visuals" with your radio show...

Johnny did not appear in the 1978 FF animated series, replaced by Herbie the Robot (The Jar Jar Binks of FF history)..
Jack Kirby's original model sheet for H.E.R.B.I.E.
BTW, Johnny was replaced because The Human Torch was optioned for a live-action tv pilot which never got beyond Development Hell, not because the network thought kids would immolate themselves imitating him!

And finally, the trailer for the low-budget 1994 Roger Corman movie version starring Jay Underwood as Johnny! (The music is from Battle Beyond the Stars!)

BONUS: the ONE scene of Johnny in action as the Human Torch!

Interestingly, his animated form seems based on the Fleisher Brothers Superman from "The Mad Scientist" (the very first cartoon)!

BTW, I'll be wearing this to the memorial ceremony...

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