Sorry, Human Torch fans: The iconic Marvel Comics character is no more. The Torch, aka Johnny Storm, died in issue No. 587 of the Fantastic Four comic book, released today. The high-profile death comes 50 years after the Fantastic Four's debut, as part of an epic storyline that will see the end of the series with issue 588. "There won't be an issue 589," says a Marvel executive. "Beyond that, we're not ready to say exactly what we're doing."
The Fantastic Four were formed in August 1961, four normal people transformed by cosmic radiation into Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing, and the Human Torch. Of course, death in comic books is rarely permanent, and other members of the team have been thought dead in the past. But Marvel's chief creative officer tells the AP what is important is not the Human Torch's death, but how the story is told: "I can assure you that it's going to be very, very interesting and not what anyone expects."