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SuperFriends Comic Book Character
Red Tornado
Red Tornado 1.JPG
Real name: Red Tornado
AKA: John Smith
Species: Artificial Lifeform
Sentient Being
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-1A
Hair: None
Eyes: Green
Height: 6'1
Weight: 325 lbs
Relatives: T.O. Morrow (creator/father)
Kathy Sutton (wife)
Traya Sutton (daughter)
Occupation: Superhero
Base: Happy Harbor, Rhode Island
Greenwich Village, NYC
Affiliations: Justice League of America
Abilities: Air and wind manipulation
Voiced/Played: ???[1]

Justice League of America Team Member

Red Tornado's Secret Identity: John Smith.
Image from Justice League of America, #106 (July/August_1973).

The Red Tornado's original appearance from Justice League of America, #105 (April, 1973).

The Red Tornado in his upgraded appearance. A Christmas gift from the JLA. Appearance from The SuperFriends, #8 (November 1977).

Red Tornado is an android superhero and a member of the Justice League. The Red Tornado was formed with the merger of two entities: an android body created by supervillain scientist T. O. Morrow and the Tornado Champion.

Background Information

In the parallel-universe of Earth-One, earthman Adam Strange confronted planet Rann's conqueror, Ulthoon of Xalthor (and his tornado weapon) and defeated him.[2]

After that defeat, it was revealed that 'Ulthoon' was really a mental-projection of the Tornado Tyrant. This being, after observing how 'good' always triumphs over 'evil', contemplates the nature of 'good vs. evil'. He envisions a scenario where good in the form of the Tornado Champion (a mental-projection of his good side) fights the Tornado Tyrant (a mental-projection of his evil side). He creates his own planet earth as the battle-ground, and with the help of the Justice League (also a mental-projection), is able to triumph over evil and banish his evil side - and thus ultimately decided that 'good' was the 'superior force'.[3]

After this extended self imposed ‘personal-exile’ to a replicated Earth, the Tornado Champion decides to go Earth-Two where no one knows him in order to find a new identity as a hero. It encounters T.O. Morrow, the supervillain from Earth-One who is creating an android to use against the Justice Society of America. Morrow, attempting to dupe the JSA, gives the android Ma Hunkels,[4] memory. The Tornado Champion decided to assume control of the robotic form and enters the android's body. The merging had an unexpected side effect, and the Tornado Champion's memory was erased. Red Tornado thus seemed to be a new life-form.[5]

Soon the Red Torndao appears at a meeting of the JSA HQ, where Black Canary, Flash, Starman, Hourman and Dr. Fate are present. The Red Tornado is surprised that they don’t recognize him. Doctor Fate conjures forth an image of the original Red Tornado (aka "Ma" Hunkel). The Red Tornado insists that they are one and the same. To prove his membership, the Red Tornado reveals his knowledge of the secret identities of the team. At the same time, the Red Tornado realizes that he has no knowledge of his own identity. His first adventure with the JSA involves his creator, T.O. Morrow. This villain scientist is from Earth-One, who defected to Earth-Two. Unbeknownst to Red Torando, his creator designed him to infiltrate the JSA and the JLA. In this first adventure, T.O. Morrow renders the Red Tornado permanently disabled (or so he believes) and heads to Earth-One. The Red Tornado, however, is not dead. The Red Tornado hones in on Morrow's location, tracking him back to Earth-One, and the Secret Sanctuary of the JLA. Morrow’s real objective is to incite a war between the populaces of Earth-One and Earth-Two. The Red Tornado goes after Morrow, and soon learns that not only was he created by Morrow but that he was created to be a weapon against the two hero teams. He then aids in the defeat of Marrow and is subsequently offered membership in the JLA.[6]

About a year later, the Red Tornado finds himself back on Earth-One. He is warning the JLA, that Earth-Two may be gone. Before he left, the 'living-star' Aquarius used his powers to erase the Earth-Two dimension. However, the quick thinking Dr. Fate manages to erect a 'mystical-sphere' protecting the JSA, police detective Larry Lance (Black Canary's husband) and the Red Tornado from being destroyed. They send Red Tornado to Earth-One to get the JLA for help, leaving the rest of the JSA and Aquarius in a deadlock. The JLA, realizing that these events happened two weeks ago, may be too late to save their comrades and the Earth-Two universe. The JLA rushes to save their parallel-world comrades. They find themselves in Doctor Fate's bubble. Aquarius uses mind-controlled to force the JSA to do battle against the JLA, but his hold over them is broken when Larry Lance sacrifices himself to save Black Canary. The JLA tricks Aquarius into entering an 'antimatter universe', where he is destroyed. Before the JLA departs, Black Canary tells them she has nothing left to live for on Earth-Two now that her husband is dead and asks to go with the JLA. She is welcomed with open arms by Superman.[7]

After a few JLA / JSA cross-universe collaborations,[8] the Red Tornado has a final mission with the JSA. In this cross-universe adventure, to alleviate the potential doom, the Red Tornado takes the Nebula Rod into orbit. It detonates, killing him.[9]

A year after the Red Tornadoes apparent death, he shows up as a mysterious stranger who saved several JLA members. The Elongated Man has just been inducted into the JLA replacing resigning member, Martian Manhunter. He is leading his first mission, which isn’t turning out so well. Apparently, the Red Tornado did not die in the explosion. Instead, it tore a hole in the dimensional barrier and hurled him into the Earth-One dimension. Unconscious and with temporary memory loss, the Red Tornado was discovered by a blind sculptor, who nursed the Red Tornado back to health. The sculptor also carved a true face into the Red Tornado's formerly featureless visage. Attempting to return to Earth-Two, the Red Tornado found that the energies absorbed from the Nebula Rod prevented him from piercing the dimensional barrier. After hearing the red Tornadoes story, Superman, surprisingly decides to offer him membership. After a brief debate, they move to induct him. He acceptsand eventually takes the secret identity as of "John Smith" in an attempt to assimilate himself into human society. With his new identity, he seeks employment. He meets Kathy Sutton at the employment agency where she worked and they became close. Unbeknownst to the Red Tornado, Morrow had implanted a device which will kill the JLA when Red Tornado first uses his JLA signaling device. To make this happen, Morrow's men commit crimes, but the JLA members deduce the scheme, and fake their own demise in order to trap him. As they take him into custody, the 28 days Morrow set for the scheme to pass elapse, and Morrow, inexplicably fades out of existence.[10]

The JLA and JSA test their new trans-matter cube which should allow them to travel between their parallel Earths. Red Tornado, desiring to return to his home world of Earth-Two stows away, but his presence causes the JLA and JSA to go to Earth-X (a world in which Nazi Germany won World War II). The two superhero teams meet a third - the Freedom Fighters. Learning that Nazi Germany rules the world with mind-control devices, they destroy one.[11] Three more devices are located and destroyed, but a fourth cannot be found. As the JSA and JLA come under Nazi control and begin to attack the Freedom Fighters, Red Tornado (immune to the device's effects) finds and destroys the fourth device.[12]

Over the next few years, Red Tornado has a number of adventures with the Justice League: Red Tornado accidentally frees alien supervillain Eclipso from imprisonment inside Bruce Gordon and is damaged in the ensuing explosion.[13] On his next adventure, the JLA's old nemesis the 'Key' threatens to destroy St. Louis, Missouri. The JLA must run a gauntlet of traps to reach his bomb, although Red Tornado is apparently killed in one of the snares the Phantom Stranger saves him. As a Christmas gift, the JLA gives Red Tornado a new, more-colorful costume.[14] Red Tornado is apparently killed again a few years later, when Nekron gives the JLA an extreme fear of death which causes them to disband.[15] Nekron then threatens to destroy Midway City with a solar flare, and then orders Hawkman to try to halt the flare. A tthe same time, the Guardians of the Universe contact the JLA and tasks them with stopping Nekron. The Red Tornado, seizing an opportunity to stop Nekron for good, disguises himself as the Hawkman, sacrificing his own existence to stop the solar prominence, and save Midway City. Hawkman and Wonder Woman (who is immune to Nekron's fear-inducing power) now have time to evacuate the city, and Nekron is defeated with an overdose of intense fear.[16]

The Red Tornado later saved young Traya an orphan from the Middle Eastern nation of Bialya and a villain calling himself Major Macabre. Red Tornado later introduced the girl to his partner Kathy, who adopted her. Together they formed a makeshift family.[17]

Continuity from Justice League of America, #146 (September 1977)

About a year later, a JL villain composed of radio and other electromagnetic waves, the Construct[18] is apparently defeated by the Atom.[19] The Construct however, remains alive and takes up residence in the 'Injustice Gang' satellite. It reorganizes the Injustice Gang, and so the JLA defeats them and destroys the satellite but they are unaware that Construct controlled the supervillains.[20]

A few months later, the JLA battles an evil sorcerer called 'Count Crystal' who summons the demon, Azgore. In exchange for power, Count Crystal promises Azgore the souls of the JLA. Azgore gives Count Crystal until the end of the night to provide the souls, lest he forfeit his own. Count Crystal appears aboard the JL Satellite HQ. He uses his magic to murder Superman, the JLA member on monitor duty. Four of our heroes are enjoying a night out together: Dinah Lance, Oliver Queen, Carter and Shiera Hall.[21] While out, Shiera had expressed her desire to be granted membership in the JLA as the Hawkgirl. The team's by-laws, however, forbid members from duplicating abilities. As they make their way home, a distress signal is sent out, from the satellite headquarters by the Phantom Stranger. He summons Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl to a séance-like ritual in the hope of returning the Man of Steel to life. As they retrieve Superman's spirit from an extradimensional realm known as the Carnival of Souls the Crystal tries to stop them, killing Hawkman. As the demon, Azgore seeks to consume Superman and Hawkman, the Stranger intervenes. The demon, furious at its failure to feast on Superman, appears and turns on Crystal, destroying him. The Stranger seizes the moment of the Count's demise to return himself, Superman, and Hawkman to life. All appears well, when suddenly, the Red Tornado appears.[22]

The Red Tornado has seemingly been restored to life. While most of the JLA are thrilled to see the Red Tornado, Superman has doubts. The Phantom Stranger mystically probes the Red Tornado's consciousness, but his findings are inconclusive. When Superman tests him, the Red Torando attacks his comrades. Apparently when the Injustice Gang’s satellite blew up, the Construct flees into the nearest android body – the orbiting remains of Red Tornado! Hawkman and Hawkgirl are able to deactivate the Red Tornado. The consciousness animating the Red Tornado's body departs, leaving behind a lifeless shell. While they realize that the Construct has inhabited the Red Tornado, they are unsure if the consciousness remains. As they discuss the next course of action, Hawkman threatens to resign from the team, unless the Hawkgirl is granted membership. The Stranger suggests tabling the discussion until the current crisis has been dealt with. They split into two teams to mount their investigation. Regrouping, the heroes discover the Construct's hide-away, but the villain escapes them by transferring its mind elsewhere. The Red Tornado is reactivated, but is unable to convince the members that he is now truly in control of his actions. He is able to track the Construct through the mental link established by its domination over him. Finally, the Red Tornado battles the Construct, will-against-will, and the machine-intelligence is destroyed in its attempt to subjugate the android's mind. Wonder Woman ensures that this destruction of the Construct is permanent by using a piece of Amazon technology. Red Tornado then is reinstated as a member, and Hawkgirl is granted membership in the JLA.[23]

Continuity from SuperFriends Comic Book, issue #7, issue #8, issue 9 (November 1977)

Shortly after this surprising revelation, the Red Tornado teams up with Tuatara (of New Zealand) to defuse one of Grax's bombs. Grax, Superman’s old enemy, has scattered 12 deadly bombs throughout the Earth – one on the six visible continents, one on an unseen continent, and one on an inhabited island. The first four bombs are set to go off in less than an hour. If they fail to go off, the next five will be activated 26 minutes later. Then the final three, 47 minutes after that. The first group will destroy the people’s memory of the past. The second group will wipe everyone’s mind blank ... so they wouldn’t even know enough to eat. We don’t know what the last group of three will do. Their efforts and the efforts of the rest of the JLAers and international heroes, thwarts the evil genius’ plan.[24]

Powers and Abilities

Red Tornado's Android Body:

  • 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 350mph from each arm. His winds are said to level a building in seconds.
  • 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.
  • Invisibility: On occasion, Red Tornado used his high-velocity movement to render himself invisible to unaided human vision.
  • Deflection: Also is able to deflect approaching objects with ease.
  • 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.
  • Tornado Creation: can create tornadoes and twisters with destructive winds. An F5 tornado has winds of about 315 mph----His cyclone-force winds can be projected at over 350 mph from each arm.
  • Resurrection: After death, Red Tornado's soul is able to return to his robot shell within 24 hours as long as his body is able to function.
  • Superhuman Strength
  • Invulnerability: Has been seen surviving the blast of a missile.
  • Superhuman Equilibrium: With the use of gyroscopes and stabilizers inside his robotic body, Red Tornado's balance is so good that he can balance on a single toe for three days.
  • Computerized Brain: As a robot with a computerized brain, he retains a "photographic memory". In addition he is able to run full-diagnostic scans to see what is going on inside his body. Able to download specs of different buildings and use them for tactical purposes. To Red Tornado's knowledge, his computerized brain has a few hundred million terabytes of memory.
  • Regeneration: His body has a self-repair function which enables him to fully repair himself given enough time depending on how damaged he has become.
  • Self-Sustenance: As a robot he doesn't require food, water, air, or sleep but has his own power supply to keep him alive and functioning. As an android he must regenerate and restore his power.


  • Fail-Safe: Their is a fail-safe device in Red Tornado's neck. When struck there with enough force he will shut down.
  • Death Wish: Red Tornado has expressed a particular willingness to sacrifice himself for others; this is believed to be the subconscious desires of the tornado-beings within him to free themselves.
  • Android Body: Red Tornado may have an extremely resilient body, but it is in no way invulnerable.
  • Reprogramming: Red Tornado is susceptible to being mechanically reprogrammed as well as controlled.

Justice League Team Members




  • The Red Tornado never appeared on the series. He only appeared in the comic book.
  • The Silver Age Red Tornado is the second incarnation[25] and was created by Gardner Fox and Dick Dillin.
  • His first appearance was in Justice League of America, Vol. 1 #64[26] (August 1968).

External Links

Appearances in Other Media

Red Tornado DCAU.png Red Tornado Red Tornado was a member of the Justice League after the Thanagarian invasion.

This version of Red Tornado is based on the Justice League Unlimited animated series produced for the Cartoon Network from 2004-2006.
- For more on Red Tornado see article at 'DCAU'


  1. There was a voice actor that provided his voice in the Super Powers video series, but at this time the actor is unknown.
  2. As revealed in Mystery in Space, #61 (August 1960).
  3. Origin of the 'Tornado Champion' from Justice League of America, #17 (February 1963). This origin is also retconned in Justice League of America, #193 (August 1981).
  4. Abigail Mathilda "Ma" Hunkel was the original Golden Age Red Tornado. She is a working mother whose costume consists of longjohns and a cooking pot on her head. She adopts the identity of the Red Tornado to fight local criminals in her New York City neighborhood, inspired by her son's admiration for the superhero Green Lantern. She first appeared in All-American Publications' All-American Comics, #3 (June 1939), and became the first 'Red Tornado' in All-American Comics, #20 (Nov. 1940).
  5. This part of the origin is retconned in Justice League of America, #193 (August 1981). In this retconn, the Tornado Champion tells JLA member Firestorm that it alone traveled to Earth in 1963 to "recreate" its failed battle against the Tornado Tyrant. After learning how to defeat its evil half it returned to the replica Earth, defeated its evil half and banished it "forever".
  6. As revealed in Justice League of America, #64 - #65 (Aug. – Sept., 1968).
  7. As revealed in Justice League of America, #73 - #74 (Aug.- Sept., 1969).
  8. As revealed in Justice League of America, #82 (August 1970).
  9. As revealed in Justice League of America, #100 - #102 (1972) and Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., #9 (April 2000).
  10. As revealed in Justice League of America, #106 (July, 1973).
  11. As revealed in Justice League of America, #107 (October, 1973).
  12. As revealed in Justice League of America, #108 (November,1973).
  13. As revealed in Justice League of America, #109 (February 1974).
  14. As revealed in Justice League of America, #110 (March 1974).
  15. As revealed in Justice League of America, #128 (March 1976).
  16. As revealed in Justice League of America, #129 (April, 1976).
  17. As revealed in Justice League of America, #152 (March, 1978).
  18. For more on the Construct go to the DC Database
  19. As revealed in Justice League of America, #142 (May, 1977).
  20. As revealed in Justice League of America, #143 (June, 1977).
  21. Their earth aliases.
  22. As revealed in Justice League of America, #145 (August 1977).
  23. As revealed in Justice League of America, #146 (September 1977). E. Nelson Bridwell, writer of SuperFriends Comic Book, Issue #8 refers the Red Tornado's appearance back to the events of Justice League of America, #146.
  24. While this story is recorded in the SuperFriends ComicBook, issues #7, #8, and #10, Red Tornado's adventure is only recorded in SuperFriends, #8 (November, 1977).
  25. The 1st incarnation (of Earth-Two) was a short elderly lady, known 'Ma' Hunkel. She became the cooking, pot-wearing crime fighter, known as the Red Tornado. She was a member of the Justice Society of America and curator of the JSA museum.
  26. Go to the DC Database for more on Justice League of America, Vol. 1 #64 (August 1968)
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