Monday, March 4, 2013

CBR Red Tornado


It's been far too long since I last reviewed a DC Comics book.
So without further ado, I give you.... RED TORNADO!!

Comic title: Red Tornado: Family Reunion
Art by José Luis & J.P. Mayer
Written by Kevin VanHook

Published by DC Comics
From 2010
Lineup JLA, Red Tornado
Format: Trade Paperback which collects the mini-series Red Tornado #1-6.

Red Tornado's always been a beloved member of the Justice League of America.
He's had several adventures with the League over the years.. but he's also been so rarely featured as a main character.
Often relegated either as token "Martian Manhunter"-alike when the Martian wasn't himself available or as antagonist when big storylines required it.

Here's is chance to shine!
After the events of Final Crisis - a big epic storyline that rocked through the DC Universe - Red Tornado was given a mini-series which would reveal more of his origins and introduce him a "family" of sorts....

He may be a machine, but Red Tornado's a true hero at heart.
He was originally created by the evil scientist T.O. Morrow, an antagonist of Dr. William Magnus.
Red Tornado was an advanced robot, equipped with the usual super advanced A.I. and able to manipulate the wind to his advantage.

But Tornado was able to override T.O. Morrow override his own programming and since then the sentient machine has always fought for good.

Lately, he's been living with a woman who's named Kathy.
To fit in the world of humans he came up with the human alias of John Smith - yeah, it's not that brilliant, but hey! It works just fine!
He even adopted a little orphan girl from the (fictional DCU) country of Bialya named Traya.
(all this is chronicled in the series from the 90s Young Justice)

All was find and dandy until on a recovery mission Red Tornado found the body of another weapon from T.O. Morrow... his dormant sister!

The story follows then our mechanical hero as he encounters other members of this newfound family.
Morrow was not only the creator of the Tomorrow Woman and Red Tornado..but apparently he also built a Red Inferno, Red Torpedo and Red Volcano!

What will happen now?
They might cause troubles between Tornado and his wife & daughter!
And these robots might be too dangerous to let live. They are weapons capable of mass destruction!

Kevin VanHook's story explores Red Tornado's origins and the way his robot appearance his accepted in this pretty fun tale.
He's a pretty good writer, it's a shame he has done so little work in comics.
He has done some films as well.

Jose Luis' artwork is very clean, slick and modern. His robots might appear "too human", but in the context of this comic I thought it worked nicely.

After being destroyed, blown up, and reconstructed so many times in the past, it was great to see this fan favorite "obscure" DC character get some recognition.

Overall, a pretty nice mini story.
It didn't had much impact in the DC Universe back then but got some shout outs and mentions here and there. (most recently in the cartoon series Young Justice)

If you like more underrated characters or just want a break from the usual popular faces of DC (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc.), it's a pretty nice self-contained little book by DC.
I like the connection to the earlier Young Justice series.
Also it was great to see Vixen guest start a bit at some point.

Fun little book without much pretensions.

I give it:
  2 / 3 Plastic-trophies!

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