Phineas T. Horton (marvel Comics)

Publication information

Publisher: Marvel Comics
First appearance: Marvel Comics #1 (Oct 1939)
Appearance of Death: Avengers #135 (May, 1975)
Created by: Carl Burgos

In-story information

Alter ego: Phineas Thomas Horton 
Phonetic: fɪ́niəs tí hɔ́rtən
Notable aliases: Thomas Raye, Phineas Horton
Relatives: Unnamed first wife; Unnamed daughter; Doris Horton (Niece), Victoria Anderson (granddaughter), Lanette Raye (second wife); Frankie Raye (Step-Daughter; Deceased)
Affiliations: Human Torch (Android)
Team affiliations:
Enemies: Adam II, Adolf Hitler, Steven Rogers (William Burnside)
Base Of Operations: Mobile


Alignment: Neutral
Identity Secret: Public
Marital Status: Widower
Occupation: Scientist


Gender: Male
Height: 177.8 cm
Weight: 60 kg
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
Unusual Features:


Universe: earth-616 


Phineas T. Horton is a brilliant scientist who's legacy is the creation of the original Human Torch android. Despite creating one of the most legendary heroes of War War II, he would be a man who would live in obscurity due to his obsession of obtaining fame.

Early Career

Horton's earliest recorded appearance was circa 1929 when he moved to the town of Timely, Wisconsin to work for Victor Timely Jr. (who in reality was time traveler Kang the Conquerer). There Horton would use the advanced technology available to him to create a solar gem, which he would utilize to power his creation of synthetic humans, as well as the "Horton Cell" the basic building block of artificial life.
He would later work with Fred Raymond and James Bradley. The former to develop fire proofing methods and the latter create a synthetic body. His research would be secretly funded by the government, however they would pull out helping Horton and Bradley would leave with a prototype they were working on[1].

During the 1939 World's Fair, Horton hope to unveil his newest creation a synthezoid called the "Vision of Tomorrow" before the press. However a flaw would spark due to a problem with its thermogenic cells that dealt with the incredible heat it generated. In the confusion, Kenneth Laumer, as spy for the Nazi's would steal the solar gem from the robot

Human Torch

Weeks after this incident, Horton would unveil his project to the press in New York calling his creation the Human Torch. When he would show the gathered press that his creation would burst into flame when exposed to oxygen, they would publish the story and a combination of public out cry and pressure from the Scientists Guild would force Horton to seal his creation in an airless cylinder sealed in cement[3]. Horton, not wishing to give up on his experiment would have it learn through education tapesuntil a crack in the cement would cause air to leak in[4] and the Torch would free himself[3]. When the Torch would be blamed for destroying a warehouse owned by the Acmen Warehouse Company, Horton would accompany the police in investigating. Witnessing as the Torch gained control of his flame after being exposed to nitroglycerin, Horton would soon learn that the Torch was manipulated by criminal Anthony Sardo. The Torch would be cleared of all charges, and released into Horton's custody. However, when the Torch would learn that Horton only sought fame and fortune he would depart to seek a crime fighting career[3].
By the summer of 1942, Horton was working for the United States government when he was targeted by Adolf Hitler who had the Python broken out of Alcatraz in order to use Horton to either destroy or control the Human Torch. To this end, the Python forced Horton to lead the Torch into a trap in which the hero was trapped in the cylinder he was first created in. Exposing him to the device caused the Torch to become a massive flame creature loyal to the Python. Horton, aided the Sub-Mariner and the Torch's sidekick Toro in stopping the Python and restoring the Torch to normal[5]. In 1943, Horton sought the Torch and Toro's aid in protecting his niece Doris from Nazi spies as she was smuggling a list of the spies names back from Sweden[6].

Horton would convince the Torch to return to working with him after restoring the Torch's skin after it was destroyed battling an Operation: Re-Birth experiment gone wrong. Realizing Horton was still only looking for fame, the Torch would depart, burning down Horton's lab in the process and seemingly killing the scientist, however Horton would survive[citation needed].

Much later, Nazi scientist Sigmund Fell would reverse engineer the solar gem technology stolen by Kenneth Laumer years earlier creating the Gremlins for Nazi Germany. Horton would enlist the aid of the Torch and other wartime heroes into destroying the Gremlins, destroying all but one. Horton would not divulge to the Torch the Gremlins shared linage with him.

Post World War II

Still seeking fame with his inventions, Horton would attempt to create yet another android Adam II. However, this android would prove to be evil and subdue Horton, replacing him with an android duplicate. Adam II would plot to replace politician John F. Kennedy with an android duplicate as part of a bid to take over the world. This plot would be discovered by the Human Torch and his partner Toro who would free Horton and destroy Adam II and his android minions with aid from the newly form All-Winners Squad[8].
Phineas would sire a daughter, who produce a granddaughter Victoria Anderson, although he would not get acquainted with his granddaughter until recent time[9]. The identity of his daughter, and her biological mother remain unrevealed. Whatever the history may be, Horton either divorced, separate or was estranged from this woman as he would soon get into a relationship with Lanette Raye and marry her, taking up the name Thomas Raye. When Lanette would die a year later leaving Phineas would be left to raise her daughter from a previous marriage, Frankie, he would eventually develop alcoholism.

Modern Age

When Frankie was 14, the heroic Fantastic Four revealed themselves publicly and Horton was furious to learn that it's youngest member Johnny Storm took on the mantle of Human Torch, thinking it an insult to the original (who had seemingly perished in the 1950's). He would become determined to create a new Human Torch android, and enlist young Frankie to help him. Taking her to a warehouse where he kept a great amount of his equipment they worked until a chemical was spilled on Frankie giving her the ability to burst into flames. Horrified by this, Horton would hypnotize Frankie into forgetting the incident, develop a fear of fire, and would leave her to raise herself sending money and correspondence as well as a costume that would be absorbed into her skin that was fire proof -- something he also hypnotically made her forget[10].
While in hiding, Horton would learn that one of the Gremlin androids from the war had survived, and would record a message in a solar gem and leave it to his granddaughter Victoria hoping that should he die before the Gremlin became a threat, one of his previous creations could stop it's menace on his behalf[7].

By this time, Horton would be residing in Stamford, Connecticut living near poverty as a simple repair man and delving further into depression and alcoholism. He would be kidnapped by the mad robot Ultron-5 who would seek to force Horton to revive the recovered body of the Human Torch (actually a temporal duplicate created by Immortus). He would rebuild the Torch into a new form, however when he would refuse to reprogram the Torch's mind, Ultron would slay him.


The reprogrammed temporal duplicate of the Human Torch would become the heroic Vision who would become a long standing member of the heroic Avengers. The body of the original Human Torch would be recovered by the West Coast Avengers and continue to operate as a hero for years. Frankie Raye would romance Johnny Storm, remember her abilities and ultimately become a herald of Galactus. Victoria Anderson would end up going to Penn State, and when the Gremlin would target the Vision, she would aid him in destroying it.
The chronal duplicates of the Human Torch were orchestrated by Immortus to guide the Avengers in a way he saw fit. To this end, he also had one of his Space Phantoms pose as Horton after his death to disavow any relation between the Vision and Human Torch[12]. This ruse was not revealed until recent times.

Powers and Abilities



Scientific Brilliance

Professor Horton was a brilliant scientist working in the fields of Genetics and Biochemistry. 


Professor Horton was trained in Hypnosis.

Strength level