He’s scratching his cheek, but I don’t think his cheek can itch. It’s probably an affectation.

Achilles would be a real pain in the ass as a grappler. There are certainly beings who can simple muscle him off, no matter how good of a lock he gets, but short of someone exceptionally strong, there’s no real way to shake him. Wrenching his pinky or thumb back won’t hurt him, you can’t poke him in the eye or kick him in the nuts. Well, you can, but it won’t help.

Of course, the fact that he is so potentially effective as a grappler is something Maxima has encouraged him to pursue. She was keen to impress upon him that drawing fire, while useful, is an underutilization of his abilities. He counter-suggested grappling people while clutching live grenades, as a sort of non-suicide bomber, at which point Maxima referred him to Doctor Frost.

“I meant flashbangs?”

I wonder when the last time the Human Torch was choked out. Sure, high level villains like Apocalypse or Darkseid could throttle him with little effort, but they don’t strike me as grapplers. Besides the high tier antagonists, anyone fire based could swing it. Maybe a Sand Guy. Or an Ice Guy. Or an energy absorber or power negator or someone with Nemesis or Asbestos Man. Okay, come to think of it, he probably gets strangled every other comic.

But you get my point. Someone like the Human Torch or Acid Man or Thorn Gal or Cherenkov Radiation Lass probably aren’t prepared for someone to put them in an arm bar.

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