Johnny Storm, the youngest child of scientist Franklin Storm, failed to inherit the genius shared by his father and older sister, Sue. Educated through public schooling, Johnny attended high school at P.S. 440. He spent his formative years at the Baxter Building labs; but despite his access to its high-tech resources, he rebelliously resisted taking advantage of this opportunity to learn.
Johnny attended the test of Reed Richards' Nevada desert N-Zone teleportation device and was transported by its malfunction to France. Waking in a hospital bed there, he briefly burst into flame with no harm to himself.After being taken to the Baxter Building, he continually inadvertently burst into flame, slowly learning to control his combustion by reciting "Flame On" and "Flame Off." When the Baxter Building was attacked by Arthur Molekevic's genetically constructed monster, Johnny accidentally burned through a window and fell from the skyscraper, discovering he could fly while aflame.
Alone among the foursome, Johnny dreamed about using his powers to be a super-hero like the Ultimates; however, his father insisted Johnny finish high school, which he was coerced into attending. He registered at a school in Queens, and made friends quickly, meeting Liz Allen, Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker, among others. When Johnny accidentally caught fire at a beach bonfire, he fled, returning only to ask Liz to meet with him so he could explain. Though Allen didn't show, Spider-Man did, and the two talked before cooperating to save people trapped in a burning building. Johnny's spirit was renewed by Spider-Man's contention that the drawbacks of super-powers are outweighed by the good they could do, and he shared with Spider-Man the name he would use when the team went public: the Human Torch. The Fantastic Four were forced to go public while battling the alien Nihil on the Las Vegas Sunset Strip; Johnny has since reveled in fame and the Fantastic Four's adventures.
Through the course of his super-human career, Johnny has tangled with the great Gah-Lak-Tus entity and fought the mighty Thanos, but has yet to find his comfort with a steady girlfriend. Feeling let down by previous dates, Johhny returns to Midtown High and asks the young Liz Allan to have a date with him. She finally accepts and during the date, Liz reveals her true self as she spontaneously combusts around her startled friends, letting the secret out that she is now a Firestar