In the comic book, Johnny is very young when he loses his parents (his mother in a car crash, his father to depression). As a teenager, he becomes an expert mechanic. He joins Reed's expedition while still in high school. After discovering his powers, he calls himself The Human Torch as a tribute to a World War II superhero by the same name (ironically, the original Human Torch wasn't human at all -- he was an android). Johnny can turn his entire body into flames, shoot flames and fireballs from his hands, fly and even superheat his body to nova levels, though this usually leaves him drained of power. Johnny is mischievous and a prankster. His victim of choice tends to be Ben Grimm, but he's been known to pull tricks on other heroes as well, most notably Spider-Man.