The Red Tornado Saga: Chapter 28
From Cliffside Park, New Jersey, Lana Lang of GBS News, reports on a deadly tornado.
Good lord! The sky!
By creating another cyclone in the center of the first, then whirling in the opposite direction, Reddy is able to stop the storm.
Afterwards, “John Smith” meets Kathy for a date, but she seems to be questioning their relationship…
After a movie, John is attacked by robots, so he changes into Red Tornado to draw them away from the innocents. At the conclusion of the battle…
That night, Lana Lang returns to the airwaves with the suggestion that Red Tornado caused the storm earlier that day. Suddenly, Superman’s voice summons him outside…
After Reddy flies away, Wonder Woman asks, “What were we just doing?” Batman replies, “There was – something…” Then John Stewart casually ends the conversation, “Oh, well – if it’s important, it’ll come back to us!”
Meanwhile, we learn that the machine built to transmit a frequency that’s continually preventing The Construct from becoming conscious again has failed and he is manipulating them all!
It’s 6:00 A.M. – and we’d be hard-pressed to call it a good morning – with the metropolitan area recovering from one of the worst storms it has ever seen.
Superman “borrows” a skywriter’s equipment to display a message in the sky to Red Tornado:
However, Superman doesn’t need his assistance and proceeds to dismantle Reddy.
The Construct is pleased – his plans go well – and his world takes on a rosier glow!
T.O. Morrrow, Justice League foe and creator of Red Tornado, realizes what is happening, but is unsure what to do next.
Meanwhile, Reddy has reassembled himself and wrestles with mixed messages. For example, his instinct is to save children from a fire, but reputation earns him no gratitude:
Machines don’t feel – machines don’t have souls! You’re evil, that’s what you are!
The ultimate insult comes when Reddy bursts into the orphanage to see Traya:
And it's too much for him to handle:
This causes The Construct to proclaim victory.
Kathy realizes that T.O. Morrow could help her find Red Tornado. At the airport, she learns that The Construct is causing people to do their jobs like machines. (Hey, it means she gets a free flight and rental car!)
Upon her arrival, Kathy learns that Morrow is building a “quantum field separator” to generate an energy matrix that can trap and isolate The Construct. However, Morrow is taken over by the villain and Kathy goes on the run trying to escape technology…
She has to climb a mountain to do it, but she finally finds Reddy:
You want the whole world to like you? Is that it? That’s ridiculous, John. Nobody gets total acceptance!
I do. I am complete unto myself. The only approval that matters to me is my own.
And what about love? Have you passed beyond that, too?
A machine is incapable of love – or any other feeling.
Her persistent logic eventually prevails and, for the first time, Red Tornado feels his soul meld with his body.
There are more than eight million stories in this city. All of them are over. Three days ago, The Construct took control of all the machines in the world, then he began taking over the humans.
The Construct transforms into a giant robot to fight Red Tornado:
I’m not only fighting The Construct’s robot form! He can turn the whole town against me, if he likes!
Still hiding in the Colorado mountains, Kathy Sutton remains the last independent mind in the world… until a piece of The Construct finds her.
Reddy invites The Construct inside himself, but it’s too soon for the villain to declare itself the winner. The humanity inside Red Tornado ultimately defeat him!
And it ultimately gives pause to Kathy’s trepidation about their relationship.
There’s so much to choose from – so many experiences out there I’ve missed – and I want to try then all – find out what it means to be truly human.
The series ends with John Smith contemplating changing his name because, “John Smith is so ordinary.”
In the “Red Tornado” text section at the back of Red Tornado #1, writer Kurt Busiek states:
This mini-series is going to change the Red Tornado’s life to such a degree that any story that features Reddy done after the mini-series will be drastically different from any such story before it.
Here’s what else was on sale the week that Red Tornado #1 hit the stands:
Here’s what annuals and specials were advertised when Red Tornado #2 was published:
Depending on your opinion, this was either good news or bad news:
Without a letters column, Kurt Busiek uses the two Red Tornado text pages to write about comics fanzines, with information about Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyers’ Guide, Comics Collector, Comics Interview, The Comics Journal, and The Comic Reader.
In Red Tornado #3, Kathy prepares to meet T.O. Morrow with a nice nod to Raiders of the Lost Ark:
Kurt Busiek uses the Red Tornado text page in #3 to explain how important it is for readers to provide feedback for the books they’re reading:
Sales figures can tell us whether a comic book is doing well or not, but they can’t tell us why.
He provides examples of The Sword of the Atom and Shadow of the Hawkman both receiving “Specials” after the success of their mini-series. The verdict was yet to be received for Red Tornado; however, history tells us that it must not have shared the same success.
In the Guest Meanwhile… column, Rick Stasi wishes DC Comics a happy birthday and shares this fun memory of a letters column in Justice League of America that chose actors who would portray JLA members if there was ever a feature film:
Rock Hudson as Superman, Lloyd Bridges as Aquaman, Robert Taylor as Batman! Little did we know that the sixties and seventies would see Adams West, Lynda Carter, and Chris Reeve don their action garb.
Red Tornado #4 includes a terrific ad for a comic featuring a favorite character, and subject of an earlier series on this blog, Metamorpho:
Speaking of favorites, how can this location not be a reference to my beloved Dark Shadows?
Finally, Red Tornado #4 has a letters column. After some mixed reviews, editor Alan Gold shares news about Reddy’s next appearance:
And that’s where our series will conclude next week…