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NEW YORK — Fifty years after cosmic rays transformed him into a man ablaze, Marvel Entertainment has extinguished the Human Torch’s flame and his life, too, as the pop culture purveyor of super heroes and villains embarks on an ambitious story line that ends the Fantastic Four.
In the newest issue of one of the company’s longest-running comic books, Johnny Storm’s life is taken amid a massive battle that writer Jonathan Hickman has been scripting for a year-and-a-half. Illustrator Steve Epting did the art.
While Marvel has made no secret that a member of the quartet, which was introduced in August 1961, would die, exactly who among the group would fall has been a closely held secret, until the release Tuesday of issue No. 587.
It’s the Human Torch, leaving teammates Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman and the Thing to pick up the pieces and move forward.
Hickman, along with his editor, Tom Brevoort, have been unsurprisingly mum on what the future may hold for the characters, but one thing is certain, the end is nigh for the Fantastic Four next month.
Brevoort, senior vice president for publishing at Marvel told The Associated Press that “588 is the final issue of the Fantastic Four. Beyond that, we’re not ready to say exactly what we’re doing. There won’t be an issue 589.”
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