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Invaders, The #22: Review

May 1977
Roy Thomas, Frank Robbins

Story Name:

The Fire That Died

Review & Comments

3 stars

Invaders, The #22 Review by (October 29, 2018)

Review: Wordy, overly-detailed, confusing in its going around the same events a couple of times and all unnecessary. Did Toro, the least interesting of the Invaders really need a heavily retconned “true origin”? “Of course” you say, “They had to explain why he was so adversely affected by the Nazi drug.” And I say, Roy Thomas created that problem for himself, having to explain why Toro was hurt by a bullet when he should have melted it. Roy Thomas could have had the kid shot while normal or something, he didn't need to be aflame...Or gasp! Don't tell me Roy came up with the convoluted origin first and came up with the bullet wound and the Nazi drugs to create a pretext for presenting it to us? Yikes!

Comments: Professor Horton, Frederick and Nora Raymond, and the villain Asbestos Lady appear only in flashbacks. Asbestos Lady was an authentic Golden Age foe of the Human Torch's, appearing in CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #63 and HUMAN TORCH COMICS #27. Classic line: “There is still much I wish to learn about the criminal possibilities of asbestos.”


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invaders, The #22 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

After crash landing in the English Channel, the Invaders (Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch, Toro, Spitfire) with Lord Falsworth, Dyna-Mite, and Union Jack are picked up by a British vessel. As they accompany the gravely wounded Toro to London by plane, Spitfire wonders why the Nazi drugs had a stronger effect on Namor and Toro. Torch relates Toro's history, how the boy was a circus fire-eater who spontaneously burst into flame when the Torch passed overhead, leading Torch to adopt him as a sidekick. Torch explains that, like Namor, Toro is only partly human. Spitfire says that everyone knows how Toro come to join the circus: he was in a train wreck where he lost his parents and, discovering that the fire did not hurt him, a fire-eating team adopted him for their act....

Torch fills in the real history of Toro: Torch visited his creator Professor Phineas T. Horton and met fireproofing expert Frederick Raymond, who was ill from exposure to asbestos. Fred married Nora Jones, who was sick from exposure to radium, and they had a son Toro. A villainess named Asbestos Lady wanted to kidnap Fred to aid her in creating a more fireproof arsenal and Human Torch came to the rescue, driving off Lady and her henchmen. He discovered that Toro was a mutant, immune to fire. When Nora was dying, the family went on that fated trip and the train wrecked due to the machinations of Asbestos Lady. Later, when Toro was in the news, Torch and Lady raced to get to him first, Torch defeating the gang in a fight and proceeding to the circus where he caused Toro to flame on. And now Toro might die and it's all Torch's fault....

Frank Robbins
Frank Springer
Phil Rachelson
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)

(Jacqueline Falsworth)

(Thomas Raymond)
Union Jack
Union Jack

(Brian Falsworth)

Plus: Asbestos Lady (Victoria Murdock), Dyna-Mite (Roger Aubrey), Phineas T. Horton, Union Jack (Lord Falsworth).

> Invaders, The: Book info and issue index

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