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The Red Tornado Saga: Chapter 20


Look closely on the splash page or you’ll miss Red Tornado. Although he’s present as League members board the "transmatter" cube, he doesn’t join them and misses yet another annual meeting of the JLA and the JSA.

 

Brave & the Bold #172 is a team-up between Batman and Firestorm. However, in a flashback taking place on board the JLA satellite, Firestorm asks if one of them ever started acting crazy, would they have to be kicked out of the Justice League. Red Tornado says it depends on the circumstance…

 

Red Tornado and Wonder Woman take Traya and Kathy on a picnic. When recalling how she met Reddy (Justice League of America #107), Kathy mentions he was more of a stranger than she knew at the time. Wonder Woman asks, “Because he is an android?”

Now I understand why Red Tornado invited me on this excursion…! He wanted to show me — and through me, the others in the League —that he’s found a purpose! Kathy Sutton, and the girl, Traya, give meaning to his existence.

From the lake shore, they notice a giant starfish upset a rowboat. They attack…

Temporarily waylaid, the two heroes arrived bruised and beaten on the JLA satellite. By the end of the issue, Starro the Conqueror is completely controlling everyone in New York City.

 
Right now it appears that every man and woman in Manhattan is under Starro’s control — mindless slaves…
—and the success or failure of my mission — will be in my hands alone!

Reddy flies to one of the major power stations supplying electricity to all of the East Coast.

Just before the last of his strengths gives out, he heaves himself toward a massive circuit board doing the only thing he can to disrupt the power supply in an act that a human would call the ultimate self-sacrifice.

With a crackling “brrrzzzak” sound, Reddy cuts the power, disabling Starro, and saving the day.

 

Red Tornado arrives late to a meeting of the Justice League…

Superman is able to stun him, but Flash stops him…

Then, each of Reddy’s parts self-destruct, sending Batman and Flash to the infirmary.

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Other League members speculate that the “master” to whom Reddy referred must be T.O. Morrow, but they also believe he is dead. Then, inexplicably, Red Tornado appears and produces another devastating attack. Flash says:

I could swear I saw Reddy blown to bits… but that must have been an hallucination!

Indeed, it is Morrow, and his two recreations based on Red Tornado have failed to destroy the Justice League because of a flaw in Reddy’s original design. Therefore, his next step is to abduct Reddy.

Holding him captive, Morrow tells Reddy:

You deserve to know the truth, considering what I’m planning for you…

He continues to recap his previous demise. However, when he disappeared in front of the JLA, he was actually thrust out of his reality onto an alien world in some other plane of existence.

Unknown to me, there was another T.O. Morrow… the Future Man

(see last week's post)

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It seems that when I created you, some outside force jammed the computer’s circuitry…

 
Obviously, there’s something unique about you, Robot. I intend to find out what makes you unique — even if it means dismantling you.

In the Rocky Mountains…

Meanwhile, Aquaman has discovered the whereabouts of Morrow and Reddy. When the team arrives in the Rockies, Morrow confesses there’s a pretty good possibility that Reddy has been destroyed.

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Suddenly, they’re attacked by the Tornado Tyrant (see Mystery in Space #61 and Justice League of America #17.) With most of the team down for the count, Firestorm hears something…

The Tornado Champion explains that he began his existence on the planet Rann, where his evil nature was dominant. After battling Adam Strange, he learned that good is stronger than evil, and that good must always triumph. Traveling light years from earth and modeling a new kind of earth, he forgot his evil nature; however, it ultimately broke away from him and became the more ferocious Tornado Tyrant. With a desire to become a real super-hero the Tornado Champion travel to Earth-2…

My presence in the robot caused a short-circuit in the computer that was controlling its creation… The feedback from that short circuit destroyed my memory… and I became for intents and purposes, a new being known as… the Red Tornado.

Firestorm uses his molecule-rearranging powers to merge the two Tornados, leaving behind one who is both of them, yet neither. Reddy has no memory of what just happened, but Firestorm vows never to tell him or anyone else about it or his true origin.

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Notes

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So there's more to Red Tornado than meets the eye... a little piece of his origin of which we were unaware. While we ponder the significance, my only other comment this week is that I absolutely love the cover of Justice League of America #190, by Brian Bolland and Anthony Tollin!

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The same art was used on a "recent" comic book short box of which I own one, but now think I need to buy ten more:


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