Toro (Thomas Raymond)

Thomas “Toro” RaymondToro


A Look Back on Historical Marvel Tales with Alan Gratz


A Look Back on Historical Marvel Tales with Alan Gratz

The author of 'Captain America: The Ghost Army' shares his favorite Marvel comics that deal with the complexities of history.



Fred Raymond, a young man in the employ of Professor T. Horton (creator of the Human Torch) was expert on flame proofing who was conducting experiments with asbestos. Longtime exposure to asbestos ruined Raymond’s health and he left Horton’s employ. Soon afterwards Raymond married Nora Jones, a scientist who was herself seriously ill from overexposure to radium in her experiments. They honeymooned in Mexico and nine months later their son Thomas was born. They nicknamed him “Toro” in memory of the bullfights they had seen on their honeymoon. As Thomas grew into boyhood, his parents realized that they would probably die from their illnesses before he became an adult. However, they discovered that Thomas was immune to fire and Nora theorized that he was a mutant.

One day costumed criminal named Asbestos Lady and her gang invaded Raymond’s home. The Asbestos Lady utilized fire in her crimes, protecting herself with asbestos and intended to force Raymond to develop new means by which she could use asbestos in crime. Human Torch (Jim Hammond) had been watching the Raymond’s home, suspecting that the Asbestos Lady would contact such a noted authority on asbestos, broke in and captured the gang. The Asbestos Lady, however, escaped. The Torch learned about Thomas’ immunity to fire from him parents, and decided to keep watch over the Raymond’s, both to protect them from the Asbestos Lady and to monitor Thomas’ development. Soon afterwards, Fred Raymond learned that his wife had only few more weeks to live. He kept the news from her and instead hurriedly arranged a vacation trip for the family, which would be Nora’s last. They embarked on the trip by train, but the Asbestos Lady, obsessed with making up for her failure to capture Raymond, had a huge tree trunk placed on the tracks. The train hit the trunk and was derailed and wrecked. Fred and Nora Raymond died when the train burst into flames, but Thomas escaped. A married team of circus fire-eaters, Tom and Ellie Alexander, were driving by and saw Thomas rushing into the flames unharmed to try to find his parents. Moved by both sympathy for the orphan’s plight and by the realization that he would prove a boon to their act, the Alexander’s decided to take him under their wing.

But week’s later news reports began to spread about the amazing boy fire-eater and his immunity to flame. Human Torch and the Asbestos Lady simultaneously realized who Toro was and each set to find him. The Human Torch capture the Asbestos Lady and her gang and then headed for the circus where Toro was performing. As the Torch approached Toro, his presence caused Toro to burst into flame like the Torch himself, but while remaining unharmed. The Torch realized that Toro had the same powers that he himself did. The Torch became Toro’s legal guardian and trained Toro in the use of his powers. They later became a crime fighting team.

When the United States entered World War II, Torch and Toro became founding members of the Invaders. Toro remained with the Invaders for the length of the war, expect when he was serving with the Kid Commandos. Toro was present when the Human Torch killed Adolph Hitler. After the war Toro and the Torch continued with the Invaders under its new name, the All-Winners Squad.

In 1949 criminals paralyzed the Torch and Toro with a spray of “solution X-R” which they had obtained from the Soviet Union. The criminals left Toro behind, believing him to be no real threat without his mentor and buried the Torch in the Nevada desert. Toro retired from crime fighting upon recovering. In December 1953, an atomic bomb test released the Torch, who resumed his partnership with Toro for two more years. But the Torch discovered that the radiation he had absorbed from the bomb blast was causing him to malfunction. He bid farewell to Toro and flew to the desert, where the drained his power supply by going nova. Toro eventually realized that the Torch had “died” and so Toro retired from crime fighting once again. He got married and led a normal life in relative obscurity.

Years later, the Mad Thinker found and reactivated the Torch and forced him to try to destroy the Fantastic Four. The Torch was deactivated, supposedly permanently, in the course of the battle, although he would later be reprogrammed and rebuilt to be the Vision. Funeral services were announced for the Torch and Thomas Raymond decided to attend. The Mad Thinker confronted Raymond outside the cemetery and drugged him. When Toro awoke, the drug had given him partial amnesia and the Mad Thinker convinced him that he was the Human Torch. Moreover, the Thinker had fastened a collar around Toro’s neck through which he could induce enough pain to force Toro to act as his servant. However, in a battle between Toro and the Sub-Mariner, the collar was damaged so that it could not hurt him and Toro joined forces with the Sub-Mariner against the Thinker. During ensuing events Toro’s full memory returned. Enraged at the Thinker for enslaving and brainwashing him Toro attacked the Thinker, who was escaping in a aircraft. Toro entered the ship’s rocket tubes and used his own power to propel it towards the Thinker’s pacific island laboratory, where the ship crashed and exploded. The Thinker escaped trough a teleportation device, but Toro was destroyed in the crash.


(as Invader) 5'4", (as adult) 5’11’


(as Invader) 115lbs, (as adult) 170 lbs.





Universe, Other Aliases, Education, Identity, Known Relatives
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

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