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Commander Benson

Subj: Re: Reaping the Wild Wind
Posted: Sat May 03, 2008 at 03:11:18 pm CDT (Viewed 3 times)
Reply Subj: Reaping the Wild Wind
Posted: Fri May 02, 2008 at 10:05:51 am CDT (Viewed 5 times)

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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."

"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

So in your "informed" opinion, do you think there was any relationship between the creation of the characters mentioned here? Or do you think it was all just a coincidence?

And I say this not to start a Marvel is ripping off DC thread or anything, but with the understanding that both companies borrowed heavily from each other in those days. I find it hard to believe that it is just a coincidence that just a few months after the JLA get their android member, that the Avengers get one as well. But I guess it is possible.

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