The Passing Of The Torch

This is a eulogy for a fictional comic book character Johnny Storm: The Human Torch, a member of the Fantastic Four. In Issue 587 he passed away and those events prompted the following. Yes I know he’s a fictional character. Yes I can tell the difference between real life and comic book world. But as any avid reader will tell you a death of a major character, one you’ve emotionally invested in is devastating. Good writing does that.

You did what you did, what you always do so often without thanks. You saved our earth, our universe and countless other planets, universes, parallel dimensions nobly, boldly and often without thanks. And even if it’s too late I am saying thank you, right here, right now, if only so is recorded.

I am grateful for your courage, your sacrifices and your willingness to stand up for us against perils we could not even fathom much less victoriously engage.

These are the examples and traits we, the living, the remaining must value–no must implement–into our daily lives.  Standing up for those who cannot do so on their own, summoning courage when fear threatens to overwhelm and shining a profound light to combat the ugliness of darkness.

Hope is our birthright. One that must be claimed, almost daily it seems. Your life was a reminder of that heritage; the home of hope for our hearts.

Passing Of The Torch

You were not just past of a family; you were part of my family.

I always enjoyed your confrontations with Spider-Man. The bickering of brothers, far more alike than either was willing to acknowledge, taking the easier road by focusing on your differences.

Your squabbles with Ben–another brother–were always amusing yet transparently clothed in subtle language of love.

Reed was a brother in law but really he was more like a Father in law. True it’s clear to see how he was a father figure for you but Johnny, your sense of play fueled Reed’s scientific curiosity. Your whimsy, though not always appreciated (timing is after all everything!), was infectious and necessary to combat the magnitude of danger exploration provokes.

Sue loses a brother, today. How contrary your powers were…she often feeling slighted and invisible, you loud and proud, determined to burn bright. Her task is harder…not just  negotiating with the consuming grief of losing a brother but ensuring her children remember their virtuous uncle Johnny. Their lives, a fitting living tribute to a fallen family member.

For now we part. In confidence that I am a better person for having known you. In respect for all you have accomplished. In awe of the example you set…and the standard we’re forced to rise up to. And in sorrow for our loss.

No death is final. There is heaven or reincarnation or you will live on in our hearts and similar other sentiments. Just as fate put you on that rocket that give you those powers, just as destiny chose to take you from us today there is a strong chance…we shall meet again.

Until then…Flame On!

Passing Of The Torch


Also published on Medium.

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