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Red Tornado is an android created by Professor T.O. Morrow. The air elementals known as Ulthoon the Tornado Tyrant and the Tornado Champion took control of the Red Tornado's android body and used him as a weapon against the Justice League and Justice Society of America. However, the Red Tornado overcame the experience with a new sense of morality and became a hero out of his own right.
In the beginning there were two tornado entities that originated from the planet Rann in the Earth-One universe. This being, originally one entity, confronted Rann's adopted champion, Adam Strange, and was subsequently defeated. Following that defeat, the being contemplated the nature of good and evil, and decided that good was the superior force. The good side called itself the Tornado Champion; the evil side, the Tornado Tyrant. Confronting the Tyrant, the Tornado Champion was easily defeated. Disheartened, the Tornado Champion lured the Tyrant to Earth, where the Tyrant was defeated by the real Justice League of America. The Tornado Champion decided that there was little satisfaction in being an imitation, and journeyed to Earth-Two in an attempt to find a new identity.
The Tornado Champion came upon the criminal T. O. Morrow, who was creating an android with which to infiltrate and defeat the Justice Society of America. The Tornado Champion decided to assume control of the robotic form. The merging had an unexpected side effect, however: the Tornado Champion's memory was erased. Thus, the Red Tornado android apparently became a new life-form.
Believing itself to be the original JSA associate, Red Tornado visited JSA headquarters and announced its return to active duty. The JSA, not recognizing the android, was incredulous but allowed the Tornado to accompany them to defeat a theft at a nearby museum. Through a series of mishaps choreographed by Morrow, Red Tornado seemingly killed the JSA members. Red Tornado then tracked Morrow to his lair and seemingly defeated him. When the remaining JSAers arrived to investigate, a booby-trapped weapon felled them all. Morrow then traveled to Earth-One, where he defeated the JLA as he had the JSA before them. Red Tornado, recovered from his previous injuries, followed Morrow and revived the JLA. The JLA and the android then defeated Morrow, uncovering a method to revive the JSA back on Earth-Two. Morrow confessed that Red Tornado was his android construct, but the JSA still admitted him as a member in good standing.
When the mad Star-God Aquarius attacked Earth-Two, many JSA members were captured and sealed in a magical bubble as Aquarius phased Earth-Two out of existence. Red Tornado escaped, reaching Earth-one and contacting the JLA. The JLA disregarded the android to tend to their own affairs, ultimately hearing him out two weeks later. When they realized the JSA's dilemma, the JLA members quickly journeyed to the Earth-Two universe, defeating Aquarius and returning Earth-Two to normal.
Red Tornado often felt he was an outsider in the JSA, and that he was not appreciated as a sentient, independent organism. When he stumbled across the Creators monitoring Earth-Two, he sought to impress his colleagues by defeating the aliens single-handedly. Instead, Red Tornado was captured and used as a conduit to bring Earth-One and Earth-Two together. The JSA defeated the Creators and rescued Red Tornado; however, his easy defeat and manipulation left Red Tornado more dejected than ever.
During the 100th meeting of the Justice League of America, the JLA was summoned to Earth-Two to assist the JSA in defeating the Iron Hand, a sworn foe of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The Iron Hand had created an orbiting weapon, shaped like a hand, that threatened Earth-Two. Doctor Fate summoned a being known as the Oracle, who informed them of the Iron Hand's last defeat, which cost the life of one of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The JLA and JSA split into teams and rescued the members of the SSV, who had been scattered throughout time, and with their help created a weapon that would destroy the Iron Hand's device. The delivery of the device to its necessary location was a suicide mission, one which Red Tornado secretly took while the other heroes were engaged in dealing with the Iron Hand and debating over who would go. In the resulting explosion, Red Tornado was believed to be destroyed. Red Tornado survived, however, and was catapulted to the Earth-One universe, where he ultimately became a member of the Justice League of America. In the JLA, Red Tornado finally found a measure of acceptance.
However, the Tornado's adventures with the League caused him to repeatedly be destroyed, such as when he sacrificed himself to help defeat the alien villain Nekron, and was later reassembled once more under the control of the Construct in a plot against the League, which the android managed to overcome. While a member of the Justice League, the Red Tornado developed a human alter ego appearance, that of John Smith, and formed an attachment with a woman named Kathy Sutton. In addition, he adopted an orphan from the Middle Eastern nation of Bialya named Traya, and they formed a makeshift family. He formed friendships with his teammates, particularly new recruit Firestorm.
Eventually, T.O. Morrow returned as two individual personas, the Future Man (with a hyper-advanced brain providing him with psionic abilities) and a replica of the original T.O. Morrow body, this one equipped with an advanced battle suit. It is unknown how there were two T.O. Morrows except perhaps the original Morrow from Earth-Two and the one later found on Earth-One (when Red Tornado reappeared) may have merged when they both ceased to exist following their confrontations with their two superhero team enemies. A conflict with the latter Morrow caused the Tornado's android shell to rupture, and at this point the above origin of the Tornado Champion/Tyrant's merging with the android body was revealed. Red Tornado soon regained his body and gained renewed confidence in now knowing he was truly a sentient being. This would not last for long, as tragedy would soon strike once more.
During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Tornado Champion was again separated from his android host body, becoming an air elemental due to the Anti-Monitor utilizing him as a weapon against the combined might of both the Justice League and Society.
After the Crisis, the Red Tornado/Tornado Champion retained his air elemental status, and became the personification of a force of nature along with Swamp Thing (as an earth elemental) and Firestorm (as a fire elemental). The Red Tornado, like the Swamp Thing, used his new found responsibilities to act as a protector and advocate of nature.
Air pollution had an adverse effect on the Red Tornado/Tornado Champion, driving him half-mad and into conflict with Firestorm in The Elemental War. Eventually, Captain Atom and Firestorm calmed him, and Firestorm manufactured a new body shell for Red Tornado. It appears this new body was imperfect, as the Red Tornado began to experience serious malfunctions. His humanity was almost lost, and his physical appearance became more and more damaged, dirty and clearly not right. During a period of near-total malfunction, Red Tornado had been a member of the Leymen. During this period, he would experience odd jerks and spasms as he moved, and malfunctioning gears and mechanisms clanging together could be heard coming from within the android's body. He also could only speak in a halting, emotionless, mechanical monotone. During the course of his association with the Leymen, the original Red Tornado personality began to re-emerge, and slowly, his emotions and humanity as well.
Upon re-establishing his abilities to move properly and communicate, the Red Tornado re-established his connections with the Justice League and the regular super hero community. He served as an adviser for Young Justice, and as an auxiliary member of the JLA. During this period, he attempted to renew his relationship with his former girlfriend Kathy Sutton and Traya. While he did not succeed in fully reuniting with Sutton, his adopted daughter, Traya, has readily accepted the Red Tornado into her life, regardless of his appearance or state of repair. Because of Traya's attachment for the Red Tornado, Sutton allows Red Tornado regular visitations and contact. He has not, however, returned to his John Smith identity, instead acting as Traya's adoptive father in his superheroic/robotic identity.
Infinite Crisis and 52
Red Tornado was one of the heroes recruited by Donna Troy to fight against the menace in space during Infinite Crisis. After the Crisis, the Red Tornado was believed to have sacrificed himself but in reality he was utterly destroyed, hit by a stray Zeta Beam signal. Posthumously, a Red Tornado speaker embedded in Mal Duncan's chest replayed a warning message for his comrades that he is still alive and stating "It's coming! 52! 52!" The message was meant that prior to his destruction, Red Tornado had witnessed the rebirth of the multiverse.
Red Tornado's torso ended up in the Australian Outback, where it was found by a small group of Aborigines. The head ended up in the auto shop of mechanic Johnny Warrawa, who built a new body for it from junkyard scraps. Although malfunctioning, Red Tornado was set against a group of Intergang enforcers evicting a tribe of Aborigines from their shanty town, but is severely destroyed with only his head remaining, which was then used in a contemporary art sculpture. Red Tornado's head was later bought from an Internet auction by T.O. Morrow, who was hoping to discover its secrets, and ultimately became Rip Hunter's possession and was combined with Hunter's Time Bubble to navigate safely into the restored universe.
One Year Later
Green Lantern was able to gather all of Red Tornado's parts and fully repaired by Will Magnus. His soul, however, was convinced by Felix Faust, posing as Deadman, to enter the body of a recently deceased copy of the villain Multiplex and experience life as a real human. He retained his powers in this new body as John Smith, and returned home to a joyful Kathy and Traya.
Unfortunately, this would not last. While learning to be "human", John sensed something was wrong by the way his shaking hand. While attempting to confront Deadman at Boston Brand's grave, the Phantom Stranger appeared and informed him of the impostor who had made John switch bodies and to follow his fate. Following Magnus' signal, Red Tornado stumbled upon Professor Ivo's hideout, along with Black Canary, Green Lantern and Arsenal, who had also been tracking Red Tornado's stolen shell. Eventually, it was revealed that the conspirator behind stealing Red Tornado's body was Solomon Grundy. Hoping to gain, with Ivo's help, Grundy used Vixen's stolen totem and Amazo programming to gain immortality. The assembled heroes, along with others, left to stop the runaway Amazo/Red Tornado android, who think itself to be John Smith, goes to see John's family, Grundy kept human Red Tornado behind in an attempt to kill him.
Grundy revealed that with his body uninhabitable, he can just use it as armor. Also, by having John transferring into a human body, he was locked in and wouldn't take over it himself if Grundy killed him. During the losing battle with Grundy, Grundy tore off Red Tornado's arm and swallowed it. With his last bit of strength, Red Tornado accelerated his whirlwinds with enough force to snap a tree in half and also snap Grundy in two himself.
Slowly dying, he asked his wife to quickly rebuild the Red Tornado android and allow him to return. Zatanna lifted the spell trapping his soul thus allowing Red Tornado to again be able to inhabit his android shell upon "death". Although he was offered to keep the various enhancement planted by Ivo, Red Tornado divested himself of all augmentation, joining the Justice League of America with his usual array of powers. However, since the return to his robotic body, Red Tornado has begun behaving out of sorts, even losing control of his powers at one point and nearly killing Red Arrow.
- Aerokinesis: Red Tornado's true form was a powerful entity composed purely of violent wind forces. His android form channeled these forces through his arms and legs to produce bursts of cyclone-force winds and high speed forward velocity.
- Air Blasts: Can project his whirlwinds at over 350 mph from each arm. His winds are said to level a building in seconds.
- Deflection: Also is able to deflect approaching objects with ease.
- Flight: By channeling these cyclone-force winds through the lower part of his body, he can fly at incredible speeds or hover in one place.
- Force Field: able to circulate the high force winds around himself or an extended area to protect himself and/or others from attacks and flying debris.
- Invisibility: On occasion, Red Tornado used his high-velocity movement to render himself invisible to unaided human vision.
- Tornado Creation: He can create tornadoes and twisters with destructive winds.
- Android Body: Red Tornado's body has been enhanced and improved upon over the years and serves to be made of the same material as other robots like Amazo.
- Computerized Brain: Tornado's brain processes at a rate as fast as multiple computers.
- Enhanced Senses: One of his brain's processes allows him to enhanced his audio and visual sensors.
- Resurrection: If Tornado's body is somehow destroyed he can reinstate his 'soul' into a new body.
- Self-Sustenance: Tornado, as a robot, doesn't need to eat, sleep or even recharge. He can survive in space and underwater without an issue.
- Superhuman Strength: As a robot, Tornado is super-humanly strong.
- Superhuman Durability: Tornado has an incredibly durable body, he has survived multiple gunshots, tornado pressure and blows from superhuman opponents.
- Computerized Brain: Tornado's brain processes at a rate as fast as multiple computers.
- Vulnerability to Fail-Safe: There is a fail-safe device in RT's neck. When struck there with enough force he will shut down.
- Vulnerability to Reprogramming: Red Tornado is susceptible to being mechanically reprogrammed as well as controlled. Numerous times he has been altered in order to destroy the JSA or the JLA.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- One quarter of the Anti-Life Equation was stored somewhere within the shell of Red Tornado. The other quarters are apparently held by Earth's other three Elementals, Naiad, Swamp Thing, and Firestorm.
- Red Tornado is also known as Tornado Tyrant of Rann, Tornado Man Dreaming.
- Red Tornado may have an extremely resilient body, but it is in no way invulnerable. He has been broken many times before, and can no doubt be broken again.
- During the Lightning Saga, Wildfire of the Legion of Super-Heroes revealed that his containment suit was built out of the Red Tornado's robotic shell. Whether this is true or not has yet to be confirmed. Before returning to the future, Wildfire cryptically says to Red Tornado "Fight what's inside you, John. Fight it."
- 399 Appearances of Red Tornado (New Earth)
- 57 Images featuring Red Tornado (New Earth)
- 7 Quotations by or about Red Tornado (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Red Tornado (New Earth)
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
Justice Society of America member
Young Justice member