Classification: Terrestrial technology

Creator: Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards)

User/Possessors: Crystal, Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mr. Fantastic, Quicksilver, Thing (Ben Grimm)

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#66 (September, 1967)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: By absorbing the radiant energy patterns left by living things as they moved through a particular space, the Heat-Image Tracer could pick up the heat impressions left behind by recent past events, and thus capture and record them with a temporal lens; after recording, it could then project and replay the events. Its performance was limited by an unspecified time-period, and it could only be successfully used before the heat waves dissipated.

Initially, the Heat-Image Tracer only projected two-dimensional moving images on a screen, but it had apparently been modified later to project moving three-dimensional holographic images.

(Fantastic Four I#66) - When Alicia Masters went missing, Mr. Fantastic used his Heat-Image Tracer in her apartment to discover what had happened to her. With the heat-images he was able to capture, he created a recording that depicted her abduction at the hands of Jerome Hamilton, a member of the Enclave. Shortly afterward, Mr. Fantastic was able to use the recording to produce an enlarged photo of Hamilton's "Space Warper" bracelet, which allowed him to replicate that device.

   Later, using the completed duplicate bracelet, Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, and the Thing transported themselves to the Enclave's Citadel of Science/Beehive base via the Transfer Grid, where they rescued Alicia.

(Marvel Super-Heroes III#11/3) - After Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers)'s boyfriend Michael Barnett was murdered by Mystique, she requested Iron Man's help in investigating the incident at the crime scene. Iron Man borrowed the Heat-Image Tracer from the Fantastic Four, and with it, he summoned up the holographic images of Barnett's death.

(Inhumans IV#2) - The Human Torch, Thing, Quicksilver and Crystal used a probe version of the Heat-Image Tracer in an attempt to discern how the Inhumans' home of Attilan had disappeared from the Himalayas, but the device was unable to pick up a visual (see comments).

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Joe Sinnott.

My guess is that the Heat-Image Tracer was unable to produce a visual of Attilan because of the cold environment in the Himalayas, where the heat waves of the missing city quickly dissipated.

And earlier, Mr. Hyde built a Time-Reversal Ray, which basically had the same function. -- Ron Fredricks

Thanks to Ron Fredricks for the new images.

Profile by Prime Eternal

The Heat-Image Tracer should not be confused with:

images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#66, p16, pan1 (Heat-Image Tracer; Mr. Fantastic, Thing (foreground), Invisible Girl (background))
Marvel Super-Heroes III#11/3, p1, pan1 (Heat-Image Tracer; Iron Man, Ms. Marvel (background))

Fantastic Four I#66 (September, 1967) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (writer/pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Artie Simek (letters)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#11/3 (October, 1992) - Chris Claremont, Simon Furman (writers), Mike Vosburg, Mike Gustovich (artists), Rob Tokar (editor)
Inhumans IV#2 (July, 2000) - Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Marin (writers), Jose Ladronn (artist), Mark Powers (editor)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First Posted: 01/23/2006
Last Updated: 07/02/2022

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