In 1939, Phineas Horton introduced the world to the first Synthetic Man. Often called an android, he possessed all the attributes of a normal human being composed of flesh, blood, and bone - though the cells that make the man are synthetic, photoelectric 'Horton Cells'. The initial display was a disaster - a flaw causing the Synthetic Man to burst into flames on contact with oxygen resulted in backlash from the public. After a series of protests, Horton was forced to seal the man in a tube and bury him in cement on the order of the President of the United States.
Then, the man escaped.
Gaining the moniker "The Human Torch", what followed was a series of adventures involving mobsters, Martians, and mad scientists, inspiring others to take up colorful aliases and outfits and follow a similar path. His first of several fights with Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, became the first publicly-known battle among superhumans. When not protecting the public from threats both normal and unusual, the Torch took a name - Jim Hammond - and, with the help of a friend, became a police officer.
Along the way he gained a sidekick - Thomas 'Toro' Raymond, a boy with similar fire-based abilities, and, during the Second World War, the two of them became founding members of the Invaders alongside Captain America, James "Bucky" Barnes, and the aforementioned Prince Namor. During his time with the Invaders, the Torch saved the life of Jacqueline Falsworth - who'd been the victim of a vampire attack - with a transfusion of his blood. The combination of vampire bite and synthetic blood, somehow, gave her superhuman speed. Near the end of the war, the Torch killed Adolf Hitler after an attempt to arrest him went south.
Following the war, several of the Invaders - including the second Captain America and Bucky - continued working together as the "All-Winners Squad" for a time, though eventually, they went their separate ways.
By 1955, a series of events involving an atomic bomb enhanced his firey abilities - though also caused him to begin losing control of them. Fearing the idea of becoming the dangerous menace the public had thought he was, he expended all of his energy, burning his way into the ground of the Nevada desert with the aid of Toro, and deactivating himself.
Decades later - following multiple strange events involving the Mad Thinker and the robot Ultron-5, Jim Hammond, the Human Torch was revived by a West Coast offshoot of the Avengers, who he briefly joined before leaving to help run Namor's company Oracle Inc. and the related Heroes for Hire. His time there was short-lived, too, however, when the company was bought out by Stark-Fujikawa.
Now, despite the occasional reunions with the surviving Invaders and their legacies, 'The First of the Marvels' has found himself struggling to find his place in the world, with nearly everyone he's known either dead or tied up in their own affairs, and someone else running around with his name.
And the world doesn't really need two Human Torches.