Thursday, August 6, 2015

Would You Rather...? Human Torch Fashions


Doug: Getting in tune with the rest of the team, or homage to Jim Hammond? How do you like your Human Torch? Personally, I was a big fan of the red uni. It definitely harkened back to another time, but also came in an era when Medusa never switched to the standard-issue, unstable molecule driven Fantastic Four costume.

Would you rather see the Human Torch in a red suit or blue suit?







18 comments:

MattComix said...

Blue because the fun is watching Johnny Storm become the Human Torch. In blue he looks like part of the team and it makes it that much sweeter when he transforms which usually is rendered as red anyway creating a nice contrast between his two modes.

david_b said...

I enjoyed the '70s red suit. It was just a cool alternative to see in the then-current FF issues, compared to the MGC Kirby reprints. There was a fresh vibrancy to Johnny's red suit, along with Medusa's purple theme.

Yes arguably, the FF's best years had matching blue outfits.., but for us kids in the '70s..? The red suit looked a bit radical and ultra-cool. I understood the reasons for bringing back the blue, but by the same token, I was sorry to see it go.

Humanbelly said...

Matt's point about visual contrast w/ the transformation is a good one-- something I hadn't considered at all. Nice art-director type of thing, very valid.

But still--- I did kinda like the fact that Johnny's red togs gave him a much-needed sense of individuality and were kind of a shorthand for personal growth. Was this around the time he changed his haircut, too? "Torchy! You look BEEE-YOOO-TIFUL!!" Heh-heh-heh. . .

This may border on heretical, but the one-union-suit-for-all (except Ben) look was never, ever something I was deeply in love with-- even back to FF's Silver Age origins. And of the few standard outfits they've donned over the decades, I think John Byrne's was probably my favorite, design-wise. I much, much prefer a design of individual uniforms organized around a central visual theme (like the pop-art X-Men of the late 60's, f'rinstance). And it was rather nice to see the FF going this route for the brief period that Medusa was on the team. Lordy, her original Inhumans "uniform" was just about the ugliest thing ever. With both her and Sue during those early years, you wondered how so much attention could be paid to their Stunning Beauty when they were perpetually dressed in something akin to snug hazmat suits. . . (and Medusa with a huge mask, to boot).

Part of the appeal with Johnny's red uniform is also that it was from a time when the writers were making a nice effort to grow him up a bit-- which was something I really did like a lot. Sadly, many "back to basics" writers over the years since made it a point to perpetually reverse any growth he achieved during a previous writer's tenure. . .

HB

William said...

I prefer the blue, because the Fantastic Four was always the one team that consistently wore a "uniform". The X-Men did it for quite a while as well, but they eventually gave it up in favor of individual looks. So, that made the FF unique among Marvel teams.

More than any other super team, the FF has always been the most tight knit unit, and he blue uniforms are a big part of their mythology. So, when Johnny decided to adopt his own personal look, it just didn't seem right to me. It would be like if one guy in an army platoon decided to wear purple instead of green. It just wouldn't work.

MattComix said...

William brings up a good point. I think for me the FF's unified look gave them visual distinction from other superhero teams and fit in with the idea of them as a family (not to mention that they're a little more challengers of the unknown shall we say than costumed crimefighters or an assemblage of gods.)It helped them to not blend together with the Justice League or the Avengers.

The FF had a uniform look *until they used their powers*. The obvious exception to this is Ben but that's part of the point with him. He can't turn his power off so he's stuck with it 24/7. But I liked that in a standard group shot they look very unified and then in a more action oriented group shot you got Johnny flamed on, Sue in her invisible form (visible to us the audience of course), Reed stretching and naturally Ben clobbering.

Ewan said...

The classic blue is great, but I love alternate costumes in general and thought the red suit looked awesome. Same with Medusa (and loved her stint on the team). I kind of like them going back and forth with the classic blue (both as a team and individually, just another way to mix things up). Like I loved Byrne's color scheme in the 80's too, but after awhile it was good to see them go back to basics.

Even in today's FF, I thought the white Future Foundation suits looked cool, and the recent red suits in the James Robinson run look really snazzy to me as well.

But yeah, the Johnny red suit to me was a great one, lots of cool and fun redesigns in the 70's.

Anonymous said...

I vote blue. But...how come these uniforms don't burn up...and how can they stretch so far...and how do they turn invisible...???

Tom

Colin Jones said...

Because they are made of unstable molecules, Tom. Bruce Banner needs to wear trousers made of the same material.

J.A. Morris said...

I'm with the "blue" crowd, the team uniform was one the things that made the FF special.

I enjoyed the "negative" costumes that Byrne gave them in the 80s. But I always thought it was somewhat silly that they "had to" wear them. I'm pretty sure they had more than one uniform for each of them, why not get one of those out of storage?

Humanbelly said...

Ah-hahahaha! That's a fine point, J.A.!
It's like they mistakenly washed all of the NegZone uniforms in hot water with the old, unchanged ones. . . and subsequently EVERYTHING got Negative Zone all over it. . .

I'm betting it was Ben's day to do laundry. . .

(Or actually-- Reed's! Remember what a horrific chauvinist boor he was in the earliest days of the group? Remember Sue cooking dinner for everyone, wearing a little lacy apron over her uniform??)

HB

Redartz said...

I'm right on the fence on this issue! The blue suits really do emphasize the close nature of the group, and they shout "Fantastic Four" the way Peter Parker's red-and-blues scream "Spider-Man". Note that I also loved Spidey's black costume, just as Johnny's reds appealed to me. As others have noted, the red suit worked along with Medusa's purple, as part of those great individualist 70's...and at least Johnny didn't sport a bell-bottom uniform!

Anonymous said...

Blue...why mess with a classic look?

Mike Wilson

The Prowler said...

I would definitely go "Blue" if I had the option. To me, the FF should be blue.

And to answer Mike Wilson's question "why mess with a classic look?" I think the answer would be: No matter what variant of the classic FF blue you went with, when Sue's holding a big gun, you have to hooker heels and neo-bondage accessories or it just doesn't look right. Bring on the big jackets!!!!


(I never done good things
I never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue,
Want an axe to break the ice
Wanna come down right now)

Anonymous said...

I dunno guys, personally while I can see the merit of having an official blue team uniform, like Doug I kinda like the Torch's red outfit. It's an homage to the first torch and somehow Johnny just looks cooler in it. I for one believe like HB that one can have an individualistic costume which can still be a team uniform, like the pop art X-men costumes he mentioned.


- Mike 'until Hulk wears yellow pants' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Rip Jagger said...

Red for me. It's more...well...torchy!

Rip Off

Dougie said...

I only saw the red uniform in colour in one issue ( the infamous "Reed-has-a-hand- instead -of- a -foot" Buckler/Makhizmo story. This was the time ('73-'75) when only a tiny handful of colour Marvels were available in West Central Scotland.

So, perhaps since I have no attachment to the red uniform, I prefer Johnny in blue. Or black. Also, he has no real connection to the original Torch so why mimic him?

Kenn Dunn said...

I'm with MattComix, above! Johnny's powers already gave him an individual look, while the blue visually attached him to the rest of the team when "normal". (Also, the shorts made Medusa less regal, and diminished her stature. All in all, not a great period for the team.)

Humanbelly said...

*splutter-splutter-splut-sppffffft*

Not. . . not a great period for the team-???

Oh, Kenn, Kenn, Kenn--! For many of us living through it from month to month, the entire Franklin-lobotomy/Sue-Reed Split Up plotline was one of the most traumatic, agonizing, and hotly-discussed in-story events ever-! Second only, of course, to Gwen's death. Ohh, it was hard, yes-- and difficult-- but it was riveting!

(Although, in context, you're actually quite right. Not a happy time at all for Marvel's first family, to be sure.)

HB (defendin' his youthful passions!)

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