Synopsis for “The Fire This Time…!”
The story begins with the Human Torch observing a set of flaming footprints that lead to an alleyway. There, he is confronted by a Lava Man named Molto, who attacks Human Torch, under the assumption that he was an assassin sent to kill him. Human Torch is trapped in a cocoon of concrete, which he breaks out of using his fire abilities. He then begins a fight with Molto, but after a few minutes, Molto collapses. He reveals that he is dying. He tells Human Torch about his mission, which is to see Thor and warn him about a plot that could possibly destroy the world.
Meanwhile, in a cab, Dr. Donald Blake is in a taxi on his way to an appointment, when he sees a message to Thor. He gets out of the taxi, runs into an alleyway, and transforms into Thor. He flies to the head of the Statue of Liberty, where Human Torch is with Molto. Molto recounts the Avengers’ victory over Doctor Jinku and his attempt to take over the surface world. He then tells Thor that Jinku had a “vision” and told the ruler about it, and they take over the Mole Man’s follower’s machinery, which will help them control lava. Jinku then also attacks Molto, leaving him for dead. But he returned to the surface to warn Thor. He then hardens and crumbles away into dust in front of Thor and Human Torch.
Thor and Human Torch travel to Hawaii, just in time to rescue the people from the eruption of Mauna Loa. Human Torch cools off the lava by absorbing the heat, bringing him to Nova heat, which he expels into the volcano itself. Thor then summons rain to solidify the lava, and they break through the hardened lava to find the Lava Men and the machine. A battle ensues, which finishes with Jinku knocking out Thor and stunning Human Torch. He reveals that they set up a trap to catch Thor, but he wasn’t expecting Human Torch to come too.
Jinku orders Human Torch to be thrown into a lava pit, apparently killing Human Torch when he doesn’t resurface. Jinku manages to retrieve Thor’s hammer, which is required to power the machine to the point of making all of Earth’s volcanoes erupt. However, Jinku doesn’t realize that when Thor is without his hammer for 60 seconds, he turns back into Dr. Blake and the hammer returns to a walking stick. Jinku is shocked, and Blake grabs the stick and transforms back into Thor. He then fights, hoping to avenge Human Torch and Molto, but Human Torch reappears, this time with an army of Mole Men. The panel after that states the battle was of so much magnitude, it couldn’t be described (it also says that the closest thing to the magnitude is to imagine everyone in Providence, Rhode Island slugging it out with everyone from Boise, Idaho with double the result and the added power of Human Torch and Thor). They obtain victory over the witch doctor, much to his shock. However, the last panel shows a group of mysterious people laughing at Jinku’s words on why his vision failed him.