Red Tornado is one of those characters I go hot and cold on. Loved him in the Satellite era of the JLA. Then he disappeared. Young Justice (the comic) brought him back in an interesting way. Apparently he started out as a plot to destroy the Justice Society. And joined the JLA before I met the team. The most recent JLA comic featured him heavily in the beginning.
Yet his most enduring quality is that he gets blown up on a regular basis. Way back in JLoA 102 he was blown up sacrificing himself. Luthor dismantled him in the current JLA comic. Amazo blew him up on JLU. Even in Batman Brave and Bold. Starro’s ‘herald’, the Faceless Hunter, blows him up because he cannot be mind controlled. But he always comes back. I think it is his ability to come back that makes him such a target for destruction.
When Alex Ross played fast and loose with the JLA membership and Grant Morrison showed us why certain people belonged on the team (both of them adding in Plastic Man as an example), I realized it was OK to take off the rose colored glasses and re-examine the Justice League membership on my own terms. One of them that did not measure up for a while was Red Tornado.
This led to me not buying RT in either DC Direct or Brave and Bold or DCUC. I recently decided I wanted him in my JLA and picked up the DC Direct Alex Ross version. I like it very much. Yesterday I found the BBB Total Armor basic figures and added that Red Tornado to my collection as well. And here you have him.
Like all basic figures, Red Tornado comes with only one (1) accessory. That is not very many to Snap and Connect with. I continue to find this single accessory model to be odd considering that the typical figure has 9 snap and connect locations – shoulders, elbows, knees, bottom of the feet, and back. The back of the package (above), in fact, suggests that you use parts from a deluxe figure and a vehicle to armor up your basic Red Tornado figure. I think we can do better. And we will.
I find it interesting that Mattel took out a hole in Red Tornado’s cape so you can connect accessories to the hole in his back. The cloth cape is also a bit of a mystery itself as typically cloth and plastic items are sourced from different vendors. My only issue with BBB Red Tornado is that being a re-issue in a segment re-branded as Total Armor, he feels un-armored. In this day when we have multiple Iron Men and even a Batman in this line that appear to be vac-metalized, why can’t Reddy get a shiny coat? I know, then he would not fit in with the look of the rest of the line. But I think Red Tornado would look cool with some metal looking parts.
That leaves just one thing to do. Go crazy with a ton of accessories inspired by the new figure, its new accessory, and my mood. Without further ado, may I present my first attempt at Ultimate Batman Brave and Bold Red Tornado: