Bless the ever-loving hearts of career-comic book writers because - as inventive and colorful as these cats can be in their creation of limitless worlds of wonder - they’re also a tetch predictable.
So when Alan Moore revitalized the fully functional but slightly lachrymose Swamp Thing character, in part by making him an “Earth Elemental”, the other editors and writers heard that and naturally went “Oh, like the classical four elements of antiquity, got it, we’ll make more of those.”
|What happens when you press his "eject disc" button.|
Naturally, it was revealed that perpetual blank slate The Red Tornado wasn’t just an android evacuee from a parallel earth who’d housed battling alien tornado people inside his head, he was also THE AIR ELEMENTAL – and he was MAD! Mad at humans who’d polluted the air! Mad because wait why is he mad? Why would an “air elemental” care if there were other gases in the air, is he just really committed to the principle of a nitrogen-rich oxygen mix with trace amounts of argon and neon? Would he really get pissed off about extra methane and carbon dioxide in the air? It’s not like the "air elemental" is the same thing as an "earth elemental" which is a kingdom of actually living things - the air is just chemicals going all the way up to the troposphere, right? Basically Red Tornado what I’m saying is shut up and relax.
After Red Tornado was reinvented as the air elemental, he got into a slugfest with the water elemental and the fire elemental (Firestorm, briefly) and Swamp Thing unfortunately because the boundaries hadn’t yet been set up around the Vertigo properties, and I dunno man I like John Ostrander but what the hell.
With the Red Tornado now tacking another Summer job to his extensive CV of rapid career changes, he also took the opportunity – during this time period – to join a couple of new groups, the first of which being PRIMAL FORCE!
|Is this air elemental bukkake?|
Focusing on the Leymen - a group of magical superheroes who were so awkwardly motivated to fight supernatural evil that you sort of wonder why they were doing it - the book was written by Steven Seagle (star of thrillers like On Deadly Ground and Hard To Kill). I've previously read where Seagle has said that he’s uncomfortable writing superhero books and doesn’t really know how, which he mentions every time he writes a superhero book. So go back to House of Mystery, man, I liked House of Mystery...
In Primal Force, Tornado was reduced to a hollow shell of rattling parts - he's still an air elemental but one of the first things he does on the team is to shove a young woman to the ground, so I guess he’s a heroic one?
|I never get tired of the robot-with-tits|
or the superhero pieta. It's a two-fer!
After Primal Force, Red Tornado was unwisely allowed to oversee the welfare of underage children in the team Young Justice, which is a good idea because he was built by a homicidal madman and has an evil tornado living in him. Was Charles Manson too busy?
It was sometime after this that we were introduced to the “Red Tornado Family”, being Red Inferno, Red Torpedo, Red Volcano, Red Foxx and Red Buttons ... because what we were clamoring for was more Red Tornadoes.
And now, a preview of the next installment featuring the New 52's awesome reinvention of the Red Tornado:
CASEFILE OF THE CLOCKWORK FUCKUP PART 5:
A robot with tits.
Oh, no, wait, that was the whole thing.