Monday, June 3, 2013

Red Tornado: Case-Files of the Clockwork Fuck-Up Part 1

As part of the 30 Days project, I’ll be reviving Gone&Forgotten for a short article every day throughout the month. It’s June 3, and today it’s…

Oh my god, yes, many.

It’s a real testament to how fundamentally boring a character the Red Tornado is that DC Comics has made zee-ro efforts to integrate him into their new universe (most recently referred to, according to this internal memo I’ve secured from their California offices, as “The NuEW DDDCCCC5IFTY2U2XXX CODE RED EXTREME BLACK BLIZZARD GRAPE FLAVOR” and then what appears to be a drawing of a lightning bolt throwing the horns as it fellates a behelmeted gecko doing sick ollies on a skateboard made of a boner. TM DC Entertainment 2013).

Then again, what do you do with a Red Tornado? The robotic rendition of this Golden Age comedy character is currently celebrating more than fifty years of failing to connect with readers on any substantive level. He’s as laughably uninteresting as Aquaman, but lacks the high visibility. His basic lack-of-personality is so literally programmed into his character that he’s practically the only superhero to have guest-starred on the recent Batman:Brave and the Bold cartoon and not develop a vocal following.

Heck, you can’t even Geoff Johnsify the guy by flushing his current incarnation and relaunching him as his more-popular Silver Age persona because the Red Tornado has never been popular in the first place. Some guys, even a bomber jacket and a dead mom aren’t gonna do him any favors.

Consider what they’ve tried with him so far …

V1.0 – By This Twirling Priapism Betrayed!

Tornado debuted in Justice League of America #64, September 1968, decked out in a red-and-purple ensemble that resembled nothing less than an alarming tumescence. Between the bloody-and-ruddy palette and his robotically slick, nearly-featureless form, Red Tornado truly looked like the kind of erection the television commercials tell you ought to be brought to a doctor’s attention if they last more than four hours. I got like five more of these dick jokes, but let’s leave it at this: He looked like Charles Bukowski’s cock.

Remove the penis mask and there's another penis.
The Tornado was the invention of brilliant super-villain T.O.Morrow (known in Mexican reprints as “M.A. Ñana”), acting on the advice of an eerily prescient super-computer which advocated building an eager but incompetent super-android as the shortest step to a successful super-crime wave, or at least victory in key states like Ohio and Florida. To the super-computer’s credit, it basically works – Red Tornado invites himself to veteran super-team The Justice Society’s weekly clambake and, using his amazing power of “Not being very good at anything” manages to accidentally kill every member of the team. He drops Black Canary to her death, fatally slaps Starman with a tornado-based pimphand, hides the Flash’s heart pills, tricks the Atom into eating Pop Rocks and drinking a Coke – it’s a slaughter!

The Red Tornado’s awesome powers of incompetence continue to kill and revive the super-heroes of two worlds until the random flipping of binary switches results in the villain being defeated and at least no one the readers cared about still being dead. A win, a big win for justice!

To be continued...


Michael Hoskin said...

Red Tornado : even Primal Force won't invite him to their class reunions.

Red Tornado : even Geoff "ram every tenuously-connected JSAer down the audience's throat" Johns wouldn't use him in JSA.

Red Tornado : still has fewer fans than the hefty woman wearing a pot.

Anony*Mouse said...

What do you do with a Red Tornado?
Ear-lie in the morning!
Dress her in a stockpot, and call it a costume
Ear-lie in the morning!
Put her in the fight, and Al Pratt will seem effective
Ear-lie in the morning!

-Excerpt from one of Earth-Two's most well known sea shanties

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