Real Name: Molto

Identity/Class: Human variant race (Lava Men)

Occupation: Warrior

Group Membership: Lava Men

Affiliations: Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Thor (Odinson);
worshiper of Cha'sa'dra;
agent of Basallo (king of the Lava Men);
former pawn of Loki

Enemies: Jinku

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Lava Man

Base of Operations: Realm of the Lava Men, Subterranea

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#97/1 (October, 1963)

Powers/Abilities: Molto had above average conventional powers of a Lava Man, including superhuman strength (Class 10), durability, and an immunity to heat. He was able to generate intense heat, and project ash or lava, which could rapidly solidify into volcanic rock.

Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 350 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Inapplicable

History: (Journey into Mystery I#97/1) - Molto was the supreme warrior for the subterranean race known as the Lava Men (see comments); he was sent to the surface world to investigate, but was spellbound by Loki's sorcery. Molto emerged from an island volcano and began to wreak havoc, generating fires wherever he traveled. Eventually he made his way to New York City, where he encountered Thor. After a struggle, Molto covered himself with volcanic rock in an effort to smash Thor, but the thunder god generated a powerful whirlwind which sent Molto to another volcano and submerged him in it. Thor sealed the volcano, and Molto returned to Subterranea. Having recovered from Loki's manipulation, Molto informed the king of the Lava Men that the people of the surface-world were peaceful and no threat to them.

(Avengers I#5) - A short time later, an explosion from deep within the earth rocked the realm of the Lava Men, as the Living Rock forced its way into it. The Lava Men learned the hard way that the Living Rock would generate explosive force when struck, and that it would continue to grow in size until it exploded. Jinku, the witch doctor of the Lava Men, counseled the king to build a machine to drive the Living Rock to the surface-world, where it would destroy the surface of the planet instead. Despite Molto's protests, the king agreed and followed Jinku's recommendations. This brought the Lava Men into a conflict with the Avengers, which ended when the Avengers duped the Hulk into striking the Living Rock in the one spot that would destroy it. With the threat over, the Lava Men returned to Subterranea.

(Marvel Team-Up I#26) - Some time later, Jinku had a vision in his dreams promising to lead his people to conquest--unbeknownst to Jinku, this dream was actually caused by They Who Wield Power for their own purposes. Nonetheless, Jinku convinced the king to steal the Mole Man's volcano-activating machine from the Moloids. The machine lacked a power source, and Jinku sought to obtain Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor, as that source. To this end, Jinku ranted of his plans to destroy humanity in front of Molto, who he knew would inform Thor and cause him to investigate. As Molto made his way to the surface, Jinku followed and blasted him, mortally wounding Molto, but not killing him instantly. Molto made his way to the surface world, where he encountered the Human Torch, whom he initially mistook for an agent of Jinku, but then convinced him to summon Thor; after relating his story to Thor, Molto died, crumbling into dust.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Additional and improved images by Ron Fredricks.

See Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#7 for further details on the Lava Men.

Clarifications: Molto should not be confused with:

images: (without ads)
Journey into Mystery I#97, cover (Main Image - Molto)
Journey into Mystery I#97/1, p10, pan3 (Headshot -Molto)

Marvel Team-Up I#26, p9, pan1 (Molto dies; Human Torch (Storm), Thor)

Marvel Team-Up I#26, p10, pan3 (Molto's body crumbles to dust)

Journey into Mystery I#97/1 (October, 1963) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters)
Avengers I#5 (May, 1964)
- Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Paul Reinman (inks), Sam Rosen (letters)
Marvel Team-Up I#26 (October, 1974) - Len
Wein (writer), Jim Mooney (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks), Glynis Wein (colors), Dave Hunt (letters), Roy Thomas (editor)

First Posted: 09/08/2001 (?)
Last updated: 07/23/2004

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Special Thanks to for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters