Cyclone

Created by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross & Dale Eaglesham

NAME + ALIASES:
Maxine Hunkel

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Huey Hunkel (father), Abigail Mathilda "Ma" Hunkel (Red Tornado I, grandmother), Amelia "Sisty" Hunkel & Mortimer "Dinky" Jibbet (the Cyclone Kids, aunt & uncle)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice Society of America, JSA All-Stars

FIRST APPEARANCE:
As Maxine: Justice Society of America v.3 #1 (Feb. 2007)
As Cyclone: Justice Society of America v.3 #3 (Apr. 2007)

History

Maxine Hunkel is the granddaughter of Ma Hunkel, aka the original Red Tornado. Maxine's parentage has never been confirmed, but she was said to be Sisty Hunkel's niece, so she is presumed to be the daughter of Huey Hunkel.

Recruited. From Justice Society of America v.3 #1 (2007); art by Dale Eaglesham and Art Thibert.
Meeting her predecessor, the Red Tornado. From Justice Society of America v.3 #5 (2007); art by Fernando Pasarin.
Ma Hunkel and Cyclone. From Justice Society of America #38 (2009); art by Jerry Ordway.

At the age of six, Maxine was kidnapped by T.O. Morrow, the creator of the android Red Tornado. Morrow was attempting to lure the Red Tornado, (Justice Society of America v.3 #5) and introduced nanites into the girl's body, which left her with the ability to create cyclonic winds. Maxine had already enrolled at Harvard when the Justice Society reassembled with a new mission to train so-called "legacy heroes." She was recruited by Power Girl and Mister Terrific and joined a bevy of new heroes at the new JSA headquarters. (#1) The new heroine took the name Cyclone and designed a costume with nods to the witch in The Wizard of Oz (even a pointy hat). (#3)

Not long after entering the hero business, she had the opportunity to meet her "super-sibling," the android Red Tornado, who recalled their first meeting. (#5)

Maxine's social—if overly chatty—nature endeared her to her teammates. Even the most hardened among them, the Superman from Earth-22 confided everything about his tragic past. (JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman) Under unrevealed circumstances, she acquired a pet monkey with small wings, whom she named Frankie (after Frank L. Baum). She was fast friends with Stargirl, and there were some romantic sparks between she and Damage, (#17) though it was another teammate who truly captured her heart. At first Maxine found King Chimera a bit creepy. It didn't help that the boy was aloof and fell immediately under suspicion for being a traitor. (#29-31)

This period of the Justice Society's history was one of great growth and the team split in two. Cyclone chose to join the new offshoot, called the JSA All-Stars, which made its headquarters in upstate New York. In closer quarters with King, the chemistry between them intensified. (JSA All-Stars #1)

Cyclone and King Chimera. From JSA-All Stars #1 (2010); art by Freddie Williams II.

Maxine didn't know that King was dealing with the guilt over his last girlfriend's death. He was drawn to her but refrained from acting on his feelings. On a mission to South America, Maxine was slashed by a tiger and King jumped to her aid. (#8) Anna Fortune teleported them to the safety of a hospital, (#9) and when Cyclone woke up, her power levels sailed off the charts and she destroyed an entire hospital floor. (#10) She returned to action more powerful than before but her powers quickly faded to nothing. (#11)

She chose to focus on her studies at Harvard, where she'd always struggled to fit in. Her identity was public knowledge and the other students often regarded her with fear and disdain. There she met a boy named Tim, who befriended but secretly delved into her research. He solved the problem of her missing powers and injected himself with nanites that had empowered her. Meanwhile, Maxine stumbled into a myriad of doppelgängers who all congregated in her dorm room. (#12) The JSA's artificial intelligence, Roxy, was called to examine the situation and concluded that the nanites inside Maxine considered her to be their "world." When Maxine was injured, the nanites responded with self-preservation and made copies—explorers—that invaded and empowered similar-looking girls. The solution was to coax her original nanites, which were now inside Tim, back into Maxine. Roxy restored the other girls to normal, but noted in an aside to Power Girl that Maxine's own bone structure had been altered slightly. They chose not to tell Maxine. When King Chimera returned from a mission in space, he finally gave in to his feelings for her. (#13)

Cyclone and Roxy solve her power problem. From JSA-All Stars #13 (2010); art by Howard Porter and Art Thibert.

The two JSA teams eventually re-merged and Cyclone remained an active member. (Justice Society of America v.3 #52)

Maxine also adopted a small monkey that was captured in one of Gog's teleportals from Africa. She named him Frankie. (#15, )

Notes

Maxine is one of several Justice Society members modeled after heroes that first appeared in Kingdom Come. Maxine resembles Red Tornado III, who first appeared in #2. The Kingdom Come Annotations point out that the trading card set as the "fire-haired, wind-manipulating successor to the mantle," and that the hardcover Revelations supplement wrote:

"As an afterthought to having already developed the concept of the windstorm body of Tornado, I realized that the name would work well on a female version (much as it did for the original), with red, flowing hair along with wind-manipulating powers. The appearance of her costume as metal bands swirling about her suggests that she can twist more than just the wind with her powers."

Starman, Red Tornado III, Superman, Northwind, Green Lantern, Red Robin, Phobos, Brainiac's Daughter. From Kingdom Come #2 (1996); art by Alex Ross.

Red Tornado III seen again as part of a "Red Tornado family," including a futuristic version of the original. From Kingdom Come #2 (left) and #3 (1996); art by Alex Ross.

Justice Society of America v.3 #3 (Apr. 2007) was issued with an alternate cover depicting Cyclone, painted by Alex Ross.

+ Powers

Ma Hunkel had no superhuman powers. She relied solely on her large size and the occasional kitchen implement to fight crime.

The Cyclone Kids had no special abilities. They were street-smart, and cunning scrappers in the battle against neighborhood crime.

Cyclone is empowered by the presence of nanites in her body. She has the ability to create powerful whirlwinds that allow her—and a dozen others—to fly. She can use air currents to manipulate the path of sound waves.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

  • JSA #55-85

» SERIES:

  • Justice Society of America v.2 (2007–11)
  • JSA All-Stars, 18 issues (2010–11)