2017 Geek-A-Long: Red Tornado

Red Tornado, a member of the Justice League, is usually viewed as an emotionally distant android, but that wasn’t how the superhero started out. Red Tornado was originally the comic relief and a human woman named Ma Hunkel. She made her debut in the Golden Age of comics in 1939 as a superhero parody. She donned longjohns and put a sauce pan on her head to fight crime on the streets of New York. As Red Tornado, she was often mistaken for as a man, which was fine with her as it helped her maintain her secret identity. Ma Hunkel as Red Tornado was the first cross dressing superhero.

In 1968, Ma Hunkel was replaced by the android that most of us picture when Red Tornado comes up in conversation.

Side Bar: If you’re not familiar with Red Tornado at all, he is a prominent side character in Young Justice, who basically acts as their emotionally distant den mother. It’s a great introduction to him and they eventually delve into his origins.

Anyway, they relaunched Red Tornado during the Silver Age as an android created by Professor T.O. Morrow. Adorable name, right? Two air elementals, Ulthoon the Tornado Tyrant and the Tornado Champion, took control of the android body and used him as a weapon against the Justice League. Eventually, Red Tornado overcame them with a new sense of morality and became a hero out of his own right.

Like most superheros, Red Tornado’s origin story has changed a few times, and to my knowledge he isn’t even in the New 52. But, his powers remain relatively the same. He’s a highly-intelligent android with super strength, improved durability, and capable of creating bursts of cyclone-force winds, which give him flight.

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Red Tornado pattern here. Instructions and charts for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to Instagram your squares at us @lattesandllamasyarn with the hashtag #geekalong!

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.

~ Jac

“Observation: Santa is not supposed to behave in this manner. [Later that episode.] Was your child frightened by the false Santa Claus machines?” -Red Tornado in Batman: The Brave and the Bold Invasion of the Secret Santas 

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