Joshua Clay was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of five children. His parents struggled to keep their family together in the middle of what was at that time one of the worst slums in the country. At sixteen, Clay joined a street gang called the Stompers, and eventually, as a result, wound up being given a choice between prison and service in the United States Military. Clay chose the army and was trained as a combat medic and shipped off to combat.
Less than a month before the end of his tour, Clay witnessed the attempted massacre of an entire village of non-combatants by his sergeant, Ben Krullen. Horrified, Clay unconsciously triggered his powers, blasting Krullen, apparently killing him. The stress of this discovery led Clay to go AWOL and fled the country, eventually returning to the U.S. Clay spent the next ten years living as a fugitive.
Arani Caulder tracked down Clay and enlisted him as a member of the new Doom Patrol. Clay stayed active within this incarnation of the Doom Patrol for a year before it disbanded due to internal dissent. Swearing off superheroics, Clay used his underworld connections to secure a new identity for himself as Jonathan Carmichael, M.D. Due to years of private study and his previous military training, he easily passed his New York medical board examination. As Carmichael, using funds borrowed from a local loan shark, he purchased a small Park Avenue medical practice and lived a quiet, respectable life treating rich hypochondriacs. Robotman tracked Clay down. Due to Steele's threat to reveal Clay's true identity to the medical board, he reluctantly returned to superheroics. He again retired from active service to become the team's physician.
Clay remained with the Doom Patrol after the return of its original leader, Niles Caulder, but became increasingly concerned by Caulder's attitude and actions. In fact, unknown to the Patrol, Caulder was insane and plotting to gain power for himself. Wrongly convinced that Clay was a danger to his plans, Caulder eventually shot him dead.
- Kinetic Energy Projection: Clay can generate and radiate powerful blasts from his hands which are able to melt steel. Tempest can control his blasts' volume and intensity to the extent that he can ignite the head of a match from twenty feet away.
- Flight: Properly focused and controlled, his energies allow Tempest to propel himself through the air at 90 miles per hour.
- Military Protocol: Trained as a combat medic by the U.S. Army.
- Medicine: He becomes a licensed physician before becoming a superhero.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): With both his military training and experience he's learned to fight well enough to keep toe-to-toe with most minor thugs and criminals.
- 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.
- Two years after Clay's death, a man named Martin Ellis, who looked like the Steve Lightle rendition of Clay, woke from a seven year coma with an active metagene. In combat with Captain Atom, Ellis exhibited the same powers as Clay. Ellis reunited with his wife Yvonne at the end of the story. This was his only appearance.
- 80 Appearances of Joshua Clay (New Earth)
- 15 Images featuring Joshua Clay (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Joshua Clay (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Joshua Clay (New Earth)
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Doom Patrol member