Thursday, July 26, 2007

MARVEL VS. DC: Best Synthetic Teammate

In DC's Corner: The Red Tornado

Red Tornado was originally a sentient cyclone from Rann known as the Tornado Tyrant. If Rann had more sentient weather patterns, those Thanagarian punks wouldn't stand a chance. He fought extraterrestrial sperm donor Adam Strange, but after observing Strange and the Justice League of America, it changed it's name to the Tornado Champion to be a force for good (except part of him split off to remain the Tyrant). The T. Champion then came to Earth and possessed an android body created by the awesomely named T.O. Morrow. He rebelled at his creator(?), well, guy who captured his essence and decided to join the JLA.

An underappreciated member of the Justice League(really, tornado based powers are extremely useful in most atmosphere based situations), Reddie(ugh) has the distinction of being Most Likely to Blow Up. His Who's Who entry alone had three instances of spontaneous robotic combustion and he spent 52 as a disembodied head. Though he did manage to get married to Kathy Sutton and adopted that crazy looking kid in the picture above, Traya, under the alias John Smith, he managed to spend time in limbo on the D-list team Primal Force without anyone looking for him. It was until he was found by Young Justice in the JLA's cave like a piece of old furniture that Sutton and Traya were reunited with their favorite superhero. He has now rejoined the Justice League after a bout of humanity.

In Marvel's Corner: The Vision

Originally thought to be the synthozoid Human Torch, Vision was created when evil robot Ultron recreated the design of the Human Torch and infused it with the power to change it's density, flight, superstrength and a laser jewel, as well as the mind patterns of Simon Williams, Wonder Man. Vision broke free of Ultron's control and was invited to join the Avengers. While serving, his emotions developed and he fell in love with fellow Avenger, Scarlet Witch. They were married soon after, and had twin sons, who turned out to be not real, considering he's basically a robot. The realization that her sons were just pieces of Master Pandemonium's missing soul, sent Scarlet Witch into the beginnings of a breakdown(one of many).

After being influenced by the Titan supercomputer ISAAC into taking over the world's computers, Vision was captured by the government, dissected and put back together with none of his emotions. This was the final straw that caused Scarlet Witch to lose her mind and rejoin her father, Magneto. Even though Scarlet Witch came back to her senses, Vision and Scarlet Witch's marriage was done due to his lack of emotion. He only regained his emotions after being transferred into the body of an alternate universe's Vision by an alternate universe version of Black Knight called Proctor. Emotions and, as the alternate Vision pointed out, functioning genitalia.

After Heroes Reborn, Vision decided it would be best if Scarlet Witch be allowed to live her own life and pursue her connection with Simon, who she brought back from the dead. Vision then started dating Ms. Marvel(then known as Warbird), and might have reconnected with Scarlet Witch, if he hadn't belched up Ultrons and was ripped asunder in Avengers Disassembled. He was wrote off as unsalvageable after that but his programming was downloaded into the Young Avenger Iron Lad's psychokinetic armor, bringing him back to action, except younger(?). Well, free of the previous Vision's experiences.

Who Wins?

I know a lot of people have a problem with Red Tornado; that he may be a lame character and really doesn't deserve to be in the JLA. But after his time mentoring Young Justice, I think people have been giving him a bad rap. Then again, when your biggest storyline is the dreadful, poorly thoughtout The Tornado's Path, well, there just might be something the naysayers get that I fully haven't. Vision, on the other hand, had a synthetic body with working junk.

Whereas Red Tornado seemed to lament his inability to feel truly human, Vision had no problem, really, connecting with humanity, until his first reconstruction. He even choose a name with some personality(Victor Shade) instead of a con man stand-by like John Smith. And when Vision does his half solid arm phase through someone's chest, it's always cool, unlike that inexplicable arrow on RT's head.



Andrew said...

I love Young Vizh.

The "old" (as in, "adult" more ways than one) one had his moments, particularly when said moments were drawn by people like Neal Adams. I never reeeeeally liked the "old" one a huge deal, but it seems all it took was a new, teenage-shaped body to make me a real fan of the guy(/thing). Funny how a robot can seem young and "fresh" as a character just through a slight body-shape-change and by having him hang around a group of real teenagers instead of adult heroes. Plus the way he was brought back gave basically all the smarts and superhero experience without any of the vaguely world-weary gravitas that he has had since at the very latest the launch of Busiek/Perez's Heroes Reborn Avengers. Like he's the same character but with his tiresome emotional baggage logically and believably excised. Perfect.

I can't say I know much about Red Tornado to tell the truth (only read 3-4 stories featuring him), but as far as costumes go....well, let's just say I'm still a Vision fan.

Siskoid said...

Another easy one. The Red Tornado has always sucked except maybe as a punchline in the JLU cartoon.

Though they screwed up Viz eventually, and he never really felt parented to Wonder Man, did he, he's still a way-cool 70s-80s Avenger.

As for the mystery of Reddy's arrow: this old post of mine might have an answer.

Scipio said...

Gotta agree with you on this one, Jonnie.

Gyuss Baaltar said...

But what about Red Tornado vs. Aaron Stack?

Jon Hex said...


I went easy on Reddie(ugh) by using Vish. I throw Aaron "Primitive Fleshbags" Stack into the contest and I would only need one sentence:
Read Nextwave.