Episode 20: Cold War heats up with the Human Torch (Strange Tales #101) -- October 1962

  
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the news of another Human Torch (who must be Johnny Storm), and perhaps more importantly, how a Russian submarine was spying off the East Coast.

In this issue:

Johnny Storm moves to the town of Glenville with his sister, Sue Storm. He convinces himself that no one will put it together that Johnny Storm, brother of the Invisible Girl, is not Johnny Storm, the Human Torch and a teammate of his sister’s in the Fantastic Four. Oh, Johnny.

Meanwhile, someone in a green and yellow costume who calls himself the Destroyer decides to, well, destroy the amusement park that is nearing completion in the small town of Glenville. The Destroyer sends a ransom-style note to the publisher of the Glenville newspaper demanding the town cease construction of the amusement park. The publisher ignores the warning, and the next day, a man who decided to wear a suit on a roller coaster is in grave danger as the track his cart is riding on breaks mid-ride. Fortunately, Johnny Storm happens to see the tragedy unfold. He quickly flames on and flies into action as the Human Torch (seriously, how is Johnny convincing himself no one knows he is the Torch?) and rescues the suit clad stranger from certain death.

More notes are sent to the publisher of the town paper, and they continue to be ignored by the publisher. True to his word, the Destroyer causes the foundation of another roller coaster to fracture, and Johnny Storm again leaps into action to save the day.

Clearly frustrated that he cannot live up to his name, the Destroyer issues a challenge in the local paper to the Human Torch. The Thing shows up and gives a terrible pep talk to his young teammate. Undettered, the Human Torch confronts the Destroyer, who easily defeats the Torch by dousing his flame. Johnny narrowly escapes, and he investigates further. He flies to the top of the roller coaster and sees a Russian submarine off the coast. He forces the sub to breach, and the Russian spies are arrested. Johnny figures out that the Destroyer is in league with the Russians and confronts him. The Destroyer is revealed to be none other than the publisher of the local paper, who was trying to keep the amusement park from being finished because it would interfere with his ability to smuggle information to the Russian spies off the coast, as the latest roller coaster was high enough to see the sub off the coast. The publisher, as the Destroyer, was sending threatening notes to his own newspaper to prevent the roller coaster from being completed.

And with that, the Human Torch, who everyone has to know is Johnny Storm, has defended American democracy.

Assumed before the next episode:

The West is reeling from the news that the USSR had a spy submarine off the East Coast.

This episode takes place:

After the public has learned of the USSR spy mission off the East Coast, and have learned that they have Johnny Storm to thank for protecting their country.