NEW YORK - Marvel Comics is making a bold statement by killing off one of its original comic book superheroes nearly 50 years after his first appearance.
Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, sacrifices himself to the Earth from an army of Negative Zone monsters in Fantastic Four #587 on sale beginning Wednesday.
Series writer Jonathan Hickman decided months ago to kill off one of the superhero team's four core members, which also include Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman.
Hickman wanted to delve into the three remaining members' broken psyches and how they can recover from such a devastating loss.
Marvel revealed issue #588, which follows the team after the death of the Torch, will be the series' finale issue. What happens with the three remaining FF members following their comic’s cancellation has yet to be revealed.
Created by the legendary team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Fantastic Four debuted on newsstands in November 1961 as Marvel Comics' first comic book. The series changed the public's perception on comic superheroes by introducing characters with flaws and having to deal with both villains as well as every day life moments like mail and rent.
All may not be lost for fans of The Human Torch. Many a comic book character has come back from the nether regions.
Original X-Men Jean Grey "died" in 1980 only to return five years later. And in 1992 Superman was "killed" off to come back from over a year later.
Only time will tell if comic book readers will read the words "Flame on!" from the favorite hot-headed hero again.
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