The original Human Torch possesses the mental ability to control ambient heat energy and the physical ability to envelop his entire body or portions of his body with fiery plasma without harm to himself. (Plasma is a super-heated matter that exists in the atmosphere of stars).
Ordinarily, when aflame, the Human Torch is enveloped by a low intensity flame of low level plasma (reddish, approximately 780 Fahrenheit), which ranges from 1 to 5 inches from his body. He can, however, generate much higher levels and flames about himself. The Torch refers to his highest, hottest levels of plasma that he can create as his "nova flame." The exact temperatures that his "nova flame" can attain are not known.
At an average rate of expenditure of energy, the Torch can stay aflame for about 16.8 hours. In his younger days, he could only maintain his flame for much briefer periods, and sometimes exhausted it while in combat. He cannot maintain his "nova flame" for as long a time as he can maintain his ordinary flame. The Torch can release all of his body's stored energy in one intense, omnidirectional "nova-burst," which can reach about 1,000,000 F, and which is similar to the heat-pulse of a nuclear warhead detonation, with an are of total devastation of about 900 feet in diameter. (The Torch has claimed that he can destroy a small moon with his nova-burst.) This violent discharge uses his entire reserve of energy (except for the necessary to keep him alive) at once, entirely exhausting his flame power. He generally requires at least 12 hours to recover entirely from such a feat.
The Human Torch can generate shapes composed of fire from any point on his body. (He usually employs his hands to "sculpt" the flames.) He can form fire into long streams, spheres, or even more complex shapes like letters in skywriting. These flames-objects will only remain their shapes as long as he concentrates upon them. The objects will only burn about 3 minutes before expiring unless the Torch continues to infuse them with energy. The temperature of these fiery projections is generally around 2,800 F (near the melting point of iron).
The Human Torch's plasma has a high hydrogen content, and is surrounded by an exuded cloud of mono-atomic hydrogen atoms. This hot cloud provides sufficient positive buoyancy for him to float. With mental stimulation of his flame, he can provide enough lift to carry 180 pounds. By forming a jet from his feet, directed behind him, he can achieve speeds up to at least 140 miles per hour.
The Human Torch has the ability to mentally control the ambient heat energy within his immediate environment, even when he himself is not aflame. He can reduce objects' temperatures (if they are in a normal range for existing on Earth's surface) to about 30 F, raise them to several hundred degrees, or extinguish open flames. His radius of influence is about 80 feet. The heat energy he takes from the environment is absorbed into his own body. If he takes in a critical amount while he is not aflame, he will become aflame. There are unknown limits to the amount of flame he can absorb into his own body harmlessly while he is himself aflame. He has been shown interfering with the thermal gradients of heat seeker missiles so he could cause them to change direction.
The Human Torch's flame is supported by the presence of oxygen, and thus is extinguished in low air pressure or a vacuum. The Torch's flame can be extinguished by smothering materials, such as water, sand, fire-fighting foam, and heat-resistant blankets, unless his flame is at such an intensity that it immediately vaporizes such materials on contact. If hit with small amounts of water, up to about five gallons, the Torch can turn it to steam with relatively little effort. More water than that could extinguish his flame at its normal level, and he would have to wait until he could evaporate the residual moisture before re-ignition.
The Torch's light output is mostly in the infrared and infrared region of the spectrum, and is invisible to the unaided eye. Less that 10% of his total power output is in the visible portion of the spectrum. Thus, the Torch, when aflame, is dimmer than one would expect of so powerful an energy source.
The Human Torch is unaffected by heat and flames, including his own, even when part of him is aflame and the rest of him is not. His flesh cannot be scalded or burned by any heat source whose level is below that of his maximum output. The original Human Torch can telekinetically control not only flames and flame objects that he himself creates, but also flames he did not create. Before he had mastered his flame control ability, the Torch yelled at the flames to gain control.
The Human Torch possesses the normal human strength of a man in his middle twenties who engages in moderate regular exercise (however as an android he may of had slightly higher strength and/or endurance).