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FF2THE HUMAN TORCH

Johnny Storm, The Human Torch, star of comic books, radio dramas, television cartoons, major motion pictures... and an all-new video made by me, Robby Reed, author of this article and creator of this blog, starring SNL's Bill Murray as the voice of the Human Torch!

Before we get to my little video, let's take a brief look at a few OTHER portrayals of the Human Torch, beginning with the sequel to the first Fantastic Four movie, this one subtitled "Rise of the Silver Surfer."

Have you seen this? It was directed by Tim Story and written by Don Payne, and in Robby's humble opinion, it's one of the BEST, most faithful comic book movies ever made. If you're FF 57a Fantastic Four fan, you absolutely must see "Rise of the Silver Surfer," because to my mind, it's an FF fan's dream movie. And if you're a Human Torch fan even more so, because, like the first Fantastic Four film, this one is a great showcase for Johnny.

It's an adaptation of the first appearance of the Surfer from FF #48 (March 1966), combined with the unforgettable storyline by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby where Dr. Doom steals the Silver Surfer's powers, from FF # 57-60 (Dec. 1966-March 67). The second FF film manages to pack it ALL into a fun and exciting 92 minutes.

The movie will be available October 2nd on DVD in two versions, a standard edition and a two-disc, "power cosmic" edition. Pictured below are Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) with Jessica Alba (who herself can GET HOT - go NEAR-NOVA - or NOVA), Michael Chiklis, and Ioan Gruffudd in several stills and a cool
Chinese poster for "Rise of the S ilver Surfer," which has made almost $280 million to date.
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Jessica Alba
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Michael Chikilis Chris Evans
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BONUS! STILLS FROM DELETED SCENES!
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JOHNNY IN THE "FANTASTIC STORE"
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JOHNNY AND BEN IN "WEDDING MONTAGE"
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Fantastic Four - "Rise of the Silver Surfer"
Buy the movie: Standard Edition or Power Cosmic Edition
HUMAN TORCH Q&A - Text by Stan Lee, Art by Jack Kirby
Human Torch Q&A
BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN/QUINTON FLYNN/JACK FLOUNDERS
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Green - FlynnThe Torch also appeared in a Fantastic Four an imated series that was part of 1994's “Marvel Action Hour,” which co-starred Iron Man (scenes pictured above). In the show’s first season Johnny was voiced by former "Beverly Hills 90210" nerd BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN, and in the second season by QUINTON FLYNN. Other voicers included Beau Weaver as Reed Richards, Lori Alan as Sue, and Chuck McCann as Ben.

Prior to this show, the FF were originally animated in the 1967 series “Hanna-Barbera's World of Super Adventure” (scenes pictured below). The FF portion of this series, which featured highly entertaining adaptations of the FF comic stories, ran 20 episodes. It starred JACK FLOUNDERS as Johnny, Gerald Mohr as Reed, Jo Ann Pflug as Sue, and Paul Frees as Ben.
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JAY UNDERWOOD
Jay UnderwoodOnly other person played a non-animated, real live-ish Human Torch: actor JAY UNDERWOOD, who portrayed Johnny in Roger Corman's disasterous 1994 "Fantastic Four." (This movie was discussed in detail and reviewed way back in DIAL B for BLOG #23.) The Torch "flames-on" only once in this ashcan, Torchgrade-Z flick, and when he does he suddenly turns into a cartoon (see still on left).

Jay Underwood (shown right) survived dyeing his hair blonde to play Johnny in this dreadful, never-released film, and went on to star in episodes of X-Files, E.R., Star Trek: Voyager, and West Wing. He recently appeared as a policeman in the feature film "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" (2004), where, presumably, his right hand did not spontaneously ignite, as seen in the FF scenes below. Jay Underwood
BILL MURRAY

The Fantastic Four Radio Show debuted in 1975. The series featured stories adapted almost verbatim from the comics, and each BILL MURRAYepisode was just five minutes long. Stan Lee did the narration, and Bill Murray provided the voice of the Human Torch. Reed was played by Bob Maxwell, Sue by Cynthia Adler, and Ben was voiced by Jim Pappas.

Another former Saturday Night Live star, the late John Belushi, was considered for the role of the Thing, but Belushi was not chosen because Murray and Belushi were doing work for National Lampoon, and producer Peter Lewis did not want the show to seem like a National Lampoon spin-off. Pictured: shots of Bill Murray from his SNL days.
Bill Murray
The Fantastic Four Radio Show cost $47,000 to produce and only earned $22,000, leading to its cancellation after just 13 episodes. Bill Murray, of course, went on to star in dozens of hit films, including Ghost Busters (1984), What About Bob? (1991), Groundhog Day (1993), Lost in Translation (2003) and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004).
ROBBY'S VIDEO VAULT
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New feature! From now on, the last Friday in every month is VIDEO VAULT day! Robby cracks open his collection to share ultra-rare or unseen videos with you, the reader!

This is not "Gee, look what I found on YouTube that someone else posted!" this is more like, "Wow! Robby created an incredible NEW video that brought me back to my childhood and gave me a few precious minutes of Silver Age joy!"

To kick off this new feature, we present an all-new adaptation of Fantastic Four #4, aka "the one where Johnny finds the Sub-Mariner in a flop house," using the o ld FF radio show as an audio track! I chose this episode to adapt because it contains the biggest role for Bill Murray as the voice of Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch.

The comic book, of course, was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and was originally published by Marvel in (gasp) May 1963.

To watch the video, either use the "YouTube" screen below, or click on this link to download the entire video as a Quicktime file (42 MB large); the video is 8.5 minutes long. OK reader, here we go... FLAME ON!
Human Torch!
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