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Red Tornado is an android created by Professor T.O. Morrow and inhabited by the air elemental known as Ulthoon.

Pre-Crisis

In the beginning there were two tornado entities that originated from the planet Rann in the Earth-One universe. These were the good and evil personalities of the air elemental Ulthoon. Ulthoon confronted Rann's adopted champion, Adam Strange, and was subsequently defeated twice, the second time with the help of the Justice League. Following that defeat, Ulthoon contemplated the nature of good and evil, and decided that good was the superior force. Since the evil personality still wanted a say in things, Ulthoon split into two entities, the Tornado Champion and the the Tornado Tyrant. The Tornado Champion decided it needed to fight evil, even when it was its other self. It imitated the entire Justice League and attacked the Tyrant, but was 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. When the Tornado Champion learned that the android was called Red Tornado, it couldn't resist the urge to assume control of the android and become a hero. There was a short-circuit during the merging and the Tornado Champion's memory was erased. The Red Tornado android awoke as a new life-form.

Believing itself to be the original JSA associate by the same name, Red Tornado visited JSA headquarters and announced its return to active duty. The JSA of course did not not recognize the android, but allowed the Tornado to accompany them to prevent 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 and uncovered 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 to Earth-one and contacted 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, defeated Aquarius and returned 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, but 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 energy weapon shaped like a hand that threatened to crush 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. The SSV helped the other heroes created a weapon that would destroy the Iron Hand's device. The Crimson Avenger's partner Wing died using the device years ago, and whoever used this one to destroy the hand would also die. Red Tornado took the device and destroyed the hand while the other heroes argued over who would go. Red Tornado was seemingly destroyed by the resulting explosion, but survived and was catapulted to the Earth-One universe. His body was repaired, and he eventually joined the Justice League, where he finally found 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. He was later reassembled once more under the control of the Construct in a plot against the League. After he defeated the Construct and regained control, he decided to take a human secret identity as John Smith. He met Kathy Sutton at the employment agency where she worked and they became close. He later adopted Traya, an orphan from the Middle Eastern nation of Bialya 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. A conflict with the latter Morrow caused the Tornado's android shell to rupture, 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.

Post-Crisis

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Tornado Champion was again separated from his android host body, becoming an air elemental by the Anti-Monitor. The Anti-Monitor used 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 newfound 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. During this time he joined the Leymen, and experienced major malfunctions. As his body malfunctions grew worse, he nearly lost his humanity. Over time, 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 advisor 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, Kathy allowed Red Tornado regular visitations and contact. Over time, he resumed his John Smith identity and re-established their romantic relationship.

Infinite Crisis and 52

Main article: Infinite Crisis

Red Tornado was one of the heroes recruited by Donna Troy to fight against the menace in space during Infinite Crisis. Red Tornado was destroyed 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 was still alive and said "It's coming! 52! 52!" The message meant that, prior to his destruction, Red Tornado 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.[1] The head ended up in the auto shop of mechanic Johnny Warrawa, who built a new body for it from junkyard scraps.[2] Although malfunctioning, Red Tornado fought against a group of Intergang enforcers trying to evict a tribe of Aborigines from their shanty town. He was destroyed with only his head remaining; someone used the head in a contemporary art sculpture.[3] T.O. Morrow later bought the head in an Internet auction. He wanted to discover its secrets, but Rip Hunter came for it. He combined it with his Time Bubble to navigate safely into the restored universe.[4][5]

One Year Later

Green Lantern was able to gather all of Red Tornado's parts and the Justice League had him fully repaired by Will Magnus.[6] 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.

While learning to be "human", John sensed something was wrong. His hand would not stop shaking hand.[7] John attempted to confront Deadman at Boston Brand's grave; the Phantom Stranger appeared and informed him of the impostor who had tricked John into switching 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. After battling multiple Tornado androids (Ivo created the as security guards), they learned that the mastermind behind stealing Red Tornado's body was an uncommonly intelligent Solomon Grundy. Grundy used Vixen's stolen totem and Amazo programming to gain Ivo's immortality. Ivo helped because he wanted to die as much as Grundy wanted to live. The plan was for Grundy to use the Red Tornado shell as armor so that he would never die again. Unfortunately, the body woke up too soon thanks to the Amazo chip inside it. It thought it was John Smith and took off to claim Kathy and Traya. Black Canary, Green Lantern and Red Arrow left to join the rest of the League to fight Amazo. Red Tornado tried to join them, but Grundy kept him behind.

Grundy revealed that by having John transferred into a human body, he was locked in and could die permanently if Grundy killed him. Grundy also caused the body Red Tornado took to be weak- the hand tremors that John experienced were just the beginning. John fought, but his powers began to wane as he grew weaker. TO demoralize him, Grundy tore off Red Tornado's arm and swallowed it. With his last bit of strength, Red Tornado accelerated his whirlwinds to hurricane force and snapped Grundy in half.

The League defeated Amazo and came back to help John, who was dying. He asked Kathy to have the League put him into one of the defeated android bodies. Zatanna lifted the spell trapping his soul, thus allowing Red Tornado to again be able to inhabit this android shell upon "death".[8] Although he was offered the chance to keep the various enhancements implanted by Ivo, Red Tornado got rid of them, joining the Justice League of America with his usual array of powers.

Red Tornado lost this body almost immediately, as there was a trace of Amazo programming still there. The League destroyed the body and this time put his soul into the League computer until they could build him a better body, free of bugs. He proposed to Kathy while in the computer and she accepted. After the League successfully fought another Amazo iteration (this one concealed in his true body), they repaired Red Tornado's body yet and put him back inside. He immediately took a leave of absence, presumably to marry Kathy and spend time with her and Traya.

Powers

  • 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.

Weaknesses

  • 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."

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Footnotes



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