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Commander Benson

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Subj: Reaping the Wild Wind
Posted: Fri May 02, 2008 at 10:05:51 am CDT (Viewed 5 times)
Reply Subj: Red Tornado question
Posted: Fri May 02, 2008 at 01:08:16 am CDT

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> > # The Red Tornado died originally didn't he? Was he created to die, and then brought back?
> Yeah, in his first appearance, basically.

Was the Red Tornado created to be similar to Wonder Man and Vision over at Marvel? I know the Wonder Man and Vision origins (and they appear to be a little simpler) but I don't really know about the Red Tornado's origin. The time frame here is Wonder Man (1964), Red Tornado (August 1968), and Vision (October 1968). I know that there was a lot of "copying" at both companies back in those days, so it wouldn't be completely unheard of.

Wonder Man was created to by a bad guy to join the Avengers and spy on them. He later chooses to die instead of betraying the team.

Vision was created by a bad guy, rebels against him to join the Avengers. He was created from the robotic body of a golden age superhero, and given the brain patterns of the dead Wonder Man.

"The Red Tornado died originally didn't he? Was he created to die, and then brought back?"

"Yeah, in his first appearance, basically."

"Wonder Man was created to by a bad guy to join the Avengers and spy on them. He later chooses to die instead of betraying the team."

I WASN'T GOING to comment on the Silver-Age Red Tornado's first appearance, since it didn't seem to be a matter of importance. But now that, it seems, an inexact parallel is being drawn between the Red Tornado and Marvel's Wonder Man, I think I better step in.

Clearly, there are many distinct parallels between the Red Tornado and the Vision. This is unmistakeable. As for the plotline that introduced the Tornado to the DC universe, true, there is some similarity to the one that established Wonder Man in the Marvel universe, in that both characters were created, in a fashion, by villains to infiltrate teams of super-heroes and pave the way to the groups' destructions.

But that's pretty much where the similarity ends. Wonder Man knew he was a mole planted in the Avengers to destroy them. Granted, he was compelled to do so by Baron Zemo's threat of withholding the cure for his fatal condition, but still, Wonder Man knew what he was doing. The Red Tornado, on the other hand, genuinely believed himself to be a super-hero and was genuinely mystified at not knowing who he was or where he had come from. His upending of the JLA and JSA was inadvertent (based on probabilities calculated by villain T. O. Morrow's futuristic computer).

But the biggest deviation is that the Red Tornado did not die at the end of his first appearance.

The Tornado debuted in the annual JLA/JSA team-up of 1968, in "The Stormy Return of the Red Tornado", from JLA # 64 (Aug., 1968). When villain T. O. Morrow sends his android troops on a robbery on Earth-Two, the Tornado's unrequested participation in the Justice Society's response results in the accidental near-deaths of almost the entire membership (as Morrow had planned).

In the second part, "T. O. Morrow Kills the Justice League--Today", from JLA # 65 (Sep., 1968), the Red Tornado heads over to Earth-One to recruit the Justice League's help, and due to his interference, very nearly does in that super-group, as well. (Again, as Morrow had expected.) The Tornado manages to redeem himself in the climax, putting paid to the threat of Morrow. He then returns to Earth-Two and revives the near-dead JSA members with one of Morrow's own devices.

The Red Tornado survives the experience intact. In the last two panels, the JSA votes to admit him as a member, but the Tornado does not express whether he accepts admission.

Hope this helps.

Commander Benson

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