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The Red Tornado Saga: Chapter 24

Although he wrote an Elongated Man story in Justice League of America #182, Paul Kupperberg wrote his one and only full team story in Justice League of America #217, and it’s a throwback to classic JLA with the team dividing into sub-teams to battle a threat.


In this case, a rainbow-colored beam bursts from the bottom of the ocean near Atlantis, turning three humans into elemental beings. Hawkman and Red Tornado go to Midway City to fight "Air":

These two heroes, as well as the sub-teams of Firestorm, Zatanna, and Elongated Man ("Earth"), and Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman ("Water") are defeated. However, they all join forces and go undersea to Atlantis to defeat the sorcerer Daanuth.


League members battle “a mob of monstrous megaliths” that have invaded the JLA satellite.

As Elongated Man is knocked into space, gasping for air, his wife, Sue Dibney, wakes him. It was a dream… a dream observed by Doctor Destiny, desperately searching for a cure for his “cursed affliction.” He blames the inability to dream that has reduced him to a “skeletal husk” on the Justice League.


Meanwhile, Commissioner James Gordon reports to the Justice League that Doctor Destiny has escaped his cell at Arkham Asylum. The League splits into teams to search for the villain. When Zatanna believes she’s located him, she transports herself, Red Tornado, and Elongated Man to…

As Elongated Man is reminded of his nightmare…

...surely, the most awesome confederation of super-powered beings ever assembled in a single cause…

When Brainiac attacks Earth, Superman calls the Justice League of America and the Teen Titans for an assist.

Reddy gets no spotlight, but he’s right there with his team the entire time.


Professor Ivo releases super-powered androids that kidnap Black Canary, among other physically fit humans. It’s no surprise the Green Arrow gets a little hot about it…

Perhaps Green Arrow was right… perhaps these beings are merely machines. But then, am I not also just a machine? Perhaps I can communicate with them, where others have failed.

Nice idea, Reddy, but I guess not. It takes Aquaman destroying Ivo’s power source to provide the team with the edge they need to defeat him. With a title like, “The Price of Humanity,” I had a pretty good idea the nature of Red Tornado would play a factor:



Initially, I was only vaguely familiar with the name "Frank Chiaramonte" when I saw this announcement in Justice League of America #217. Then I learned his first inking job at Marvel was Werewolf by Night #1 in 1972. He moved to DC with Action Comics #475 in 1977 and was with them until his final job on New Adventures of Superboy #51 in 1983. Rest in peace...

Next week: "Crisis in the Thunderbolt Dimension" and more...

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