Red Tornado II

NAME + ALIASES:
Ulthoon the Tornado Tyrant, Tornado Champion, John Smith

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Kathy Sutton (wife), Traya (adoptive daughter)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice Society of America, Justice League of America, The Leymen, Young Justice, "Justice League of Air"

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Tornado Tyrant: Mystery in Space #61 (Aug. 1960).
Tornado Champion:
Justice League of America #193 (Aug. 1981)
Red Tornado II:
Justice League of America #64 (Aug. 1968)
As John Smith:
Justice League of America #106 (July 1973)

History

The Red Tornado was an android constructed by the diabolical T.O. Morrow as part of a far-reaching scheme to destroy the Justice League of America. (Justice League of America #64-65) After his defeat by the Flash and Green Lantern, Morrow transported himself to Earth-Two. (Flash #143) Using his Humaniztron machine, he tried and failed to craft productive crimes, until the device told him to build an android called the Red Tornado. This creation would have its great knowledge of the Justice Society and could infiltrate their ranks. (#64)

What neither Morrow nor the Tornado knew was that just after its creation, the artifical body was occupied by two alien entities: the Tornado Champion and Ulthoon, the Tornado Tyrant of Rann. Their presences short-circuited the new android's memory circuits and transformed it into a sentient creature; they provided the android's conscience, but lost their own uniqueness and memories. (#193)

Thus gaining free will, the Red Tornado wanted nothing to do with Morrow's criminal scheme. Still, it believed that it was the embodiment of the original Red Tornado — Ma Hunkel. Though his appearance was dramatically different (not to mention his "gender"), he displayed knowledge of the JSA's members. When they removed his mask, it revealed a blank face. The team received a summons for help and the Red Tornado joined them on the case, eager to prove his worth. What they found were more faceless minions committing a spate of crimes. Eventually all the members of the JSA fell. The Red Tornado followed a signal back to his maker, T.O. Morrow. (#64)

The Tornado followed Morrow back to Earth-One, where he attacked the Justice League as well. Together they brought down T.O. Morrow and acquired the means to revive the JSA as well. In gratitude, the Justice Society offered him membership in the group (their first non-Golden Age member). The Tornado was honored but he wanted more. Morrow had purposely created him without a human face, but somehow the android was driven by the desire for a human life: a personality, emotions, and a sense of home. (#65)

When the JSA was attacked by the mad alien energy being, Aquarius, the Red Tornado escaped to try and summon the Justice League. (#73)

Several months later, the Red Tornado encountered the Justice League once again, and this time, he seemingly sacrificed his life to help the heroes defeat the villainous Iron Hand. (#102) A few weeks later, however, the Leaguers discovered that the Red Tornado had actually survived the Iron Hand affair and invited him to join the JLA after he helped them defeat his creator, T.O. Morrow, once again. (#106) The Red Tornado then remained with the Justice League until he again seemingly sacrificed his life, this time while battling the alien Nekron. (#129)

A few months later, the Red Tornado was recreated by the Construct, a villain composed of sentient radio waves, and was used against his former teammates, although the Red Tornado eventually broke free from the Construct's control and single-handedly defeated the menace. (#146)

When the Red Tornado first began his career, he often found himself confused by human emotions. He also suffered from doubts about his own self-worth, believing he was inferior to humans. But during one of his Justice League adventures, he discovered the true extent of his nature. The Tornado Champion and Tornado Tyrant were temporarily released from the Red Tornado's android shell during yet another encounter with T.O. Morrow, though the Tornado was eventually reintegrated into a single being by the young hero, Firestorm. (#192-193) The Red Tornado remained a member until Aquaman disbanded the original League after the alien invasion. (Annual #2)

Shortly after joining the JLA, he assumed the guise of John Smith, found a job as a laboratory technician for Dr. Bruce (Eclipso) Gordon, and made attempts at living a human life. He also began an romantic relationship with a woman named Kathy Sutton. (#106) The couple became the guardians of a young Quraci orphan named Traya. (#152)

He once again succumbed to the death urge and sacrificed himself to an explosion while fighting the alien Nekron. (#129) The remnants of his body that were found indicate that it was destroyed in the explosion. The JLA made no attempt to salvage and rebuild the android but eventually rounded him up and made a memorial to him in their Souvenir Room. But he returned to sentience again (#145) and remained with the JLA until Aquaman disbanded it. (JLA Annual #2) He also encountered the evil Construct again on his own. (Red Tornado #1-4)

The Tornado became estranged from them for a time; his android shell was destroyed during the Crisis, (Crisis #8) but this didn't keep him down for long. It seems that the Anti-Monitor's tampering had the effect of transforming the Red Tornado into a powerful elemental force. In this form, the Red Tornado encountered Justice Leaguer Captain Atom and the Swamp Thing, (Captain Atom #16-17) and became involved in the Elemental War, where he joined forces with Naiad, the newly-created water elemental. (Firestorm #90-93) At the end of this conflict, Firestorm created a new android shell for him. He recently approached Captain Atom and Firestorm for assistance in stabilizing his new form. (Captain Atom #38)

Soon after this, he joined a supernatural group called the Leymen (Primal Force #0; 10.94). When this group disbanded, he laid dormant until he was awakened by the newly formed Young Justice (Young Justice #1) He remained with that group throughout its existence, helping them settle the former JLA headquarters as their "Justice Cave," and serving as their advisor and liaison to the JLA. In this time, he has mended some of his relationship to Kathy and Traya. He turned down a requests to rejoin both the JLA and JSA in favor or remaining with the young heroes. (JLA/JSA Secret Files)

Red Tornado answered the call when the JLA needed backup against the Crime Syndicate. The Syndicate recognized him as an android and thought he'd make a fine "example." Instead, they unleashed the fury of the Tornado Champion. The JLA immediately set about repairing his form. (JLA #112)

52... 52... 52...

When Alexander Luthor wrought another great cosmic Crisis, the Red Tornado was among those heroes to joined Donna Troy to venture into space to investigate a giant rift. (JLA #123) The rift collapsed when Luthor was defeated and all those heroes were sent reeling through space and time. (Infinite Crisis #7)

A week after this, several of those heroes reappeared on Earth, much worse for the wear. The Red Tornado had been ripped apart and his speaking apparatus was now fused to to the chest of the Titan Mal Duncan. Steel revived Mal, who began repeating the Red Tornado's last words: "52." (52 #5)

Meanwhile, much of the Tornado 's android body was found by a young man named Johnny Warrawa in Australia, who began building the Tornado. (#17, 21) Johnny's android was capable of channeling the Tornado spirit, but its construction was poor and it was ultimately collected by Australian authorities. (#28)

The Tornado's creator, T.O. Morrow, investigated reports of Australian weather patterns on television. (#39)

The Tornado's Path

After the Tornado's android shell was recovered, Kathy Sutton asked Will Magnus (creator of the Metal Men) to reassemble her husband. The Tornado Champion's spirit watched on from the astral plane, where he has asked for Deadman's help in returning to the living. Deadman (who was actually Felix Faust in disguise) found a suitable host in the newly deceased body of the villain Multiplex. The transfer was successful — the Tornado was human at last and retained his powers, too! John immediately returned home to Kathy, but their celebration would be short-lived. (Justice League of America v.2 #1)

It turned out that Faust was working for Solomon Grundy. Grundy himself was weary of his own cycle of death and rebirth. He sought to become truly immortal by constructing a new body — one made largely from the Tornado's former parts. He contracted Dr. Impossible to steal the android body from Magnus, and worked with Professor Ivo to enhance its the with a chip from the android Amazo.

It didn't take long for the new Justice League to track the Tornado's body to Ivo's Colorado hideout. There they encountered an army made up of four kinds of Tornados. John's friends quickly dismantled this ambush, (#2-3) but the new Amazo/Tornado was awakened. (#4)

This Amazo beleived that he was John Smith and had the powers of the Justice League. It was disoriented and sought comfort in the most familiar place: with Kathy Sutton. The League moved to protect Kathy but Solomon Grundy held Reddy back, intending to seal both their fates. (#5) Grundy revealed that his intention all along had been to draw the Tornado out of his android body so that he could be killed for good. Trapped in human form, John nearly did perish. But even after having his arm ripped off, the Red Tornado mustered the strength to generate winds that ripped Grundy in half.

Once the JLA disabled the Amazo Tornado, Reddy's spirit once again came to rest in his original body. with the help of Zatanna and the Phantom Stranger. (#6)

Notes

The original Red Tornado was Mathilda Hunkel, a World War II heroine. She now resides with the Justice Society and her granddaughter, Cyclone is a member of the JSA.

+ Powers

The Red Tornado is an android which is inhabited by two powerful sentient air elementals: the Tornado Champion and Tornado Tyrant. He can generate cyclonic winds higher than the speed of the deadliest hurricane (over 400 mph).

His android circuitry allow him to process and contain large amounts of data, and to interact with other machine forms.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

  • 52 #2, 5, 17, 28, 39, 46, 51, 52
  • Infinite Crisis #2
  • JLA #115, 117, 118, 122, 123
  • Justice League of America #64-65, 72-4 82-83, 100, 102, 105-110, 112, 114, 117-119, 121, 127, 129 ... 192-193
  • Justice League of America v.2 #1–25
  • Tangent: Superman's Reign #2
  • Teen Titans v.3 #36
  • Wonder Woman v.1 #218

» SERIES:

  • Red Tornado, 4-issue limited series (1985)
  • Primal Force, 14 issues (1994-95)
  • Young Justice, 55 issues (1998-2003)
  • Red Tornado v.2, 4-issue limited series (2009)