Episode 116: Power Laws (Strange Tales #119) -- March 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss the new New York City law that bans “Flaming On” within the city limits. Can the city make a law targeting a single person, in this case, the Human Torch? Is a municipality the right level of government to regulate superpowers? How is regulating superpowers different from regulating weapons? Is “Flaming On” the equivalent of a flame thrower?
In this issue:
The Rabble Rouser, “a man with a powerful voice and a talented tongue”, whips New York City into a frenzy against the Human Torch and his alleged irresponsible use of his powers. The Rouser secretly uses his will-sapping wand to warp minds to his point of view. This leads to the city enacting a by-law preventing the Torch from flaming on without written permission of the Mayor. The Torch now out of the way, the Rabble Rouser continues working on his plan to use a sub-surface boring machine to capture a foreign dignitary, which he does. The Mayor gives the Torch permission to flame on, defeat the Rabble Rouser, and rescue the foreign dignitary. The Torch then destroys the Rouser’s wand, and all is back to normal for our young hero, as the Mayor rescinds the city ordinance targeted at him.
This episode takes place:
After the Torch has rescued the foreign dignitary.
Assumed before the next episode:
People are likely appalled to find that the Mayor enacted a law which sought to restrict the actions of a single person.