Whenever the Human Torch would prevent a crime, television broadcaster Ted Braddock would comment on how reckless the Fantastic Four member would act and accused him of showboating. After watching one of Braddock's segments, Johnny went to the television station to try to change Ted's mind to no avail.
When The Eel stole an atomic device, panic spread the community of Glenville for fear of the device being set off accidentally. The Human Torch responded by going in search of the criminal. The Eel threatened to set the device off at the local veterans' center. Johnny intercepted the device and flew into the atmosphere to contain the atomic blast, saving the veterans' center but severely injuring himself.
Ted Braddock soon went on air to retract his statements regarding the Human Torch as he not only saved the veterans' center but the life of his son, Dan, who was a patient there. Braddock reported on Johnny's failing health after absorbing the blast and was in tears when he announced the hero's life was hanging by a thread. Braddock soon announced that Johnny was recovering due to the help of Reed Richards. Days later, Braddock sent Johnny a brand new color television as a make-up present.