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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Red Tornado is Totally Emo

I'll get into it in a little more detail when I do the weekly review post tomorrow night, but as you may well know, Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes's new Justice League of America #1 hit the stands today, and in case you haven't been able to pick it up, allow me to hip you the facts, buster: There's a lot of Red Tornado in it. In fact, I'd say that he's pretty much the focus of the book.

This was not a good idea.

Bold statement, I know. But seriously, I hate the Red Tornado. Admittedly, I'm not exactly an expert on the guy or anything--I haven't read the Kurt Busiek mini-series and the non-stop awful puns of Young Justice killed my interest in that book long before he ever showed up as a mentor, a concept that I like a lot in theory--but there's a reason that I haven't gone out and read up on him, and that is this:

Red Tornado is totally emo.

Seriously, in pretty much every story I've read about that guy--mostly silver-age JLA/JSA team-ups--he does absolutely nothing but stand around whining, occasionally taking a break from humming along with Morrissey to completely screw up whenever it's time to actually go fight villains. He indulges in more self-pity than the entire early-90s X-Men lineup, and all without the benefit of stabbing someone with the focused totality of his windy powers.

And for once, I'm actually not exaggerating. Well, not that much, anyway. Here, see for yourself:

And of course, this:

Which is inevitably followed by this:

See what I mean? Not exactly the guy I want out there battling the Star Conqueror or a telepathic man-eating gorilla with the fate of the world on the line.

To be fair, though, I may be a little too hard on the Red Tornado. So, in the spirit of giving him a fair shake, I'm going to do what the Justice League actually does in the comic, and put it to a vote.

How about it, Leaguers?

Well. That settles that.

BONUS FEATURE: Red Tornado: Emo Badass?

Okay, okay, so there is one instance of Red Tornado not being a total little girl: That one time that he punched Hitler in the face.

Even better, that's not just Hitler... it's Robot Hitler. And even I am forced to admit that that, my friends, is pretty awesome.


Blogger Mark Hale said...

"Punching robot Hitler." Now there's a euphemism in demand of a definition.

... it'll probably just be "masturbation," like everything else.

8/24/2006 12:37 AM

Anonymous Martin Allen said...

Devon of Se7en Hells had halfway convinced me the Tornado was cool, given his propensity for exploding all over the place...


...but now that I see what a big whiner-baby he is, I just hope he blows up soon.

8/24/2006 12:59 AM

Blogger McGone said...

"Superman thinks I'll serve the JLA better if I do monitor duty, huh? Fine! But I'm totally going to crank Dashboard Confessional from the satellite's speakers!"

And then lots of sobbing.


God, I'm not exactly a crush-a-beer-can-on-my-forehead kind of guy, but I actually really want to kick RT's ass after this post.

Word verification: biztosyi
That would be the short-circuiting sound you hear from Red Tornado's tears frying his motherboard after he listens to any Morrissey album.

8/24/2006 1:17 AM

Blogger Earth-2 Leigh said...

I'd like to see Red Tornado v. Emo Hitler in an Emo-off. I'm pretty sure that doesn't involve punching, though.

8/24/2006 2:40 AM

Anonymous jim treacher said...

Wait wait wait, you're saying Meltzer had a bad idea? Brad Meltzer? An idea that isn't good? I need to process this.

Hey, I wonder if Douglas Adams was a Red Tornado fan?

8/24/2006 3:35 AM

Anonymous Siskoid said...

Red Tornado does indeed suck.

I remember well Justice League of America Annual #2 where Aquaman disbands the JLA (rock on Aquaman!). When Firestorm asks him to reconsider, Arthur says ok, on the condition that the JLAers live in the HQ, are always on call and train constantly. Stormy can't possibly sacrifice his life like that and leaves dejected.

Same for Green Arrow and Black Canary. They have lives.

And Red Tornado leaves with them. (...) The only reason I can see for this is that he, himself, realized that he sucked too much to stick around EVEN if he had no life. He didn't even deserve to be in a League that has Vibe and Gypsy!

He sooooo wants to be the Silver Surfer, but...

8/24/2006 8:59 AM

Blogger Diamondrock said...

To be fair, Red Tornado leaving because has a life *does* make sense. I mean, the guy's got a wife and kid, after all...

8/24/2006 9:11 AM

Blogger googum said...

Ah, but you're forgetting Red Tornado Job #1: Get blown up to make the villain look bad-ass, or get blown up in a heroic sacrifice on the last page. And, hell, that's about it. No one cares about Reddy's family or hobbies or feelings: they want robot blood!

8/24/2006 10:15 AM

Blogger Brandon said...

Next time he gets blown up(and we all know it'll happen) somebody should just gut the robot shell, repaint the thing and make some bitchin' armor out of it.

8/24/2006 10:41 AM

Anonymous Red Tornado said...

"Well, okay. I'll stay behind and sit in the closet with my stapler and not bother anything, but...I'm going to burn the building down."

8/24/2006 10:49 AM

Anonymous SanctumSanctorumComix said...



I used to have little paperback reprints of some Justice League comics (actually...I think I still have them).

ANyway, he always seemed kinda..useless.

But these weren't tales of him blundering all the time.
He actually seemed kinda efficient in these tales (mostly because he could operate in the vacuum of space and all) and he didn't blow up once.

But, he seemed to be a rip-off of THE VISION.

Now, all these years later I find that RED TORNADO came FIRST by 2 months!

He was in J.L.A. # 64 - AUGUST 1968
Vision 1st showed in Avengers # 57 - OCTOBER 1968.

(Obviously I'm NOT counting the WWII "Vision" - that was a different character)

But they BOTH have the SAME origin and purpose:

R.T created by T.O.Morrow to Infiltrate the JLA.

Vision created by Ultron to do the same (sorta - if by infiltrate you mean sneak in and kill 'em).

They both were given false brainpatters.

R.T. from some other Tornado-guys from Rann(?) and Vision the brainpatterns of WonderMan.

BOTH of them are freakin' WHINER babies, but Vision never blew up (he was TAKEN APART, but that's not the same).

Vision had NO emotions and (with the exception of Quicksilver) was ACCEPTED by his teammates.

Tornade HAD emotions and was ostricized (maybe the emotions made him into a whiner that no one could stand).

I always WANTED to like Red Tornado.
I really did.

His costume was kinda cool, but the stupid spinning-ass power made no sense to me.
Even as a mop-top kid.

I dunno... now I hate them BOTH.

Of course, for MY money, I was a fan of Byrne's Emotionless, colorless, odorless, nekkid Dr. Manhattan rip-off Vision. At least until J.B. left the book and Vision became a whiner again.


8/24/2006 11:30 AM

Blogger Kevin said...

"Somewhere in this wide, wide world there has to be a place for me."
Yeesh it sounds like the Red Tornado is about to break out into song in some bad Disney movie.

8/24/2006 12:11 PM

Anonymous Thrilltone said...

"Why didn't you put me in your top 8?"

Fierce emo-props for that piece of alt text, chief.

8/24/2006 12:14 PM

Anonymous Siskoid said...

"To be fair, Red Tornado leaving because has a life *does* make sense. I mean, the guy's got a wife and kid, after all..."

Ahh, yes, you're right. But can you blame for forgetting?

8/24/2006 2:34 PM

Anonymous Christopher said...

Whenever I see this guy, literally the only thing i can think about is some housewife saying,

"He's cleaning that floor like a Red Tornado!"

I can't be the only person who does that, can I?

8/24/2006 4:06 PM

Blogger Bill Reed said...

Red Tornado is like a kinda-sucky version of the Vision. Lame.

And it's Meltzer, so... it's only going to go downhill from here.

8/24/2006 9:45 PM

Anonymous Moose N Squirrel said...

Vision had NO emotions

This isn't true. Vision had emotions up until he was disassembled and bleached during Byrne's run. Hence the whole "marrying the Scarlet Witch and siring her pretend babies" thing.

He also never whined nearly as much as Red Tornado. Hell, Vision didn't even whine as much as Spider-Man. Given that his job description was "inhuman loner outcast," he kept a remarkably stiff upper lip.

8/24/2006 10:23 PM

Blogger Steven said...

Given that his job description was "inhuman loner outcast,"

He's a Marvel superhero. Aren't they all "inhuman loner outcasts" of one kind or another?

8/24/2006 10:40 PM

Anonymous Mark Engblom said...

Hah! Great recap of Red Tornado's whiney history! DC was never that good at aping Marvel's moping wizardry, and Reddy proves it.

Anyone recall when the Red Tornado was revealed to be the host for "The Tornado Champion"...a sentient tornado the JLA met during the Silver Age?

Yes...I said a "sentient tornado".

8/24/2006 11:02 PM

Blogger Matthew E said...

I remember it very well. If I'm right, that was the issue of the JLA that had a preview for an upcoming new series: All-Star Squadron!

8/24/2006 11:46 PM

Blogger notintheface said...

Anyone recall when the Red Tornado was revealed to be the host for "The Tornado Champion"...a sentient tornado the JLA met during the Silver Age?

I do!

Justice League of America#193 "Secrets of Genesis".

If you want to see an example of an emo-free badass Red Tornado, try to find an old copy of DC COMICS PRESENTS#5 from 1979. Here Reddy singlehandedly plows through an entire army of Weaponers of Qward, the same guys who had just taken out Superman the issue before. Of course, it was by Paul Levitz, who was NEVER a regular JLA writer.


8/25/2006 12:01 AM

Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

When I see Red Tornado flying around, I can't help but wonder how he makes that tornado come out of his lower half.

The old "Super Powers" figure of RT had a great idea: his body below the waist spun around 360 degrees, real fast. That's actually kind of rad.

Picture, if you will, that every time RT flies, it's because his lower body is spinning really fast. Legs a'flailin', boots a'twirlin', Red Tornado spazzes out for justice!

Until he gets blown apart again.

8/25/2006 10:16 AM

Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

Ah ha! Here's the figure! With those spinny legs, I'm sure he could be a hit at the emo dance clubs.

"Look at how I dance! Nobody understands me! I ache inside! Nobody knows how much I suffer every time I get blown apart by a supervillain!"

8/25/2006 10:23 AM

Blogger Matthew E said...

The old "Super Powers" figure of RT had a great idea: his body below the waist spun around 360 degrees, real fast. That's actually kind of rad.

Picture, if you will, that every time RT flies, it's because his lower body is spinning really fast. Legs a'flailin', boots a'twirlin', Red Tornado spazzes out for justice!

Like Michael Flatley. Are we sure Reddy's creator isn't really named T. O'Morrow?

8/25/2006 11:12 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

I actually had that figure as a kid, and I think it might be one of the reasons I don't think Red Tornado makes any frigg'n sense.

8/25/2006 5:30 PM

Anonymous Gordon said...

Here, I don't actually consider it is likely to have effect.

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