Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Defenders and Red Tornado



I liked the designation of Non-Team for The Defenders in the early years of the title.  It really fit - this was not a group of heroes that had regular meetings, assignments or monitor duty.  They didn't even have a formal headquarters, they just hung out at Dr. Strange's place.  Thrown together more by circumstance than choice, they were as likely to be battling each other as an outside force.  These non-traditional aspects made the group unpredictable, and fun to read about.

16 comments:

Simreeve said...

Unpredictable and fun enough that I think they'd work well in a team-up with the first Red Tornado, too...
Please?

Failing that, how about having her meet Howard the Duck?
^_^

TJW said...

Okay, I know that I'm about to go pretty far off topic, but your mention of monitor duty reminded me of how during the satellite era of the Justice League they would talk about and occasionally show members on monitor duty. They were vague about how long monitor duty lasted, but it is safe to assume that someone was on duty 24/7. Also, no one other than active JLA members were ever shown pulling monitor duty. When you consider that during that time there were at most 14 or 15 active members, monitor duty must have come around pretty dang often! This must have been quite a burden on any JLA member who had a job... or a life! And can you imagine Batman telling Commissioner Gordon that stopping the Joker's latest murder spree will have to wait because he's got monitor duty!? Maybe the Defenders had the right idea!

Cary Comic said...

@TJW: that was certainly Aquaman's rationalization for founding the Justice League of Detroit! Because the individual lives of the founding members had seemingly become more important than the League as a whole!* Thereby leading to an initial victory for the 2nd White Martian invasion by Commander Blanx.

That, in turn, is why I think the new JLD (Justice League Dark) is so refreshing. No mandatory monitor duty! Just plain old responding to whatever supernatural evil rears its ugly head.


*Though, to be fair, the reason why Superman, Batman, and WW were missing from the League's counter-offensive was due to being teleported to another planet being attacked (i.i.r.c.) by Despero!

Glenn Host said...

Pretty sure monitor duty was not sitting there watching screen all the time but being on call in satellite being woken up or called from lab/gym if necessary by computer.

Now I am a big Red Tornado fan, especially when it was done by Dillin and Giordano, but I do not recognize this appearance. I do not remember Ernie Colon drawing the Tornado.

C.C. said...

For Gleen, I think this image if from his Who's Who #19 cover.

I don't recognize the Defenders image nor the woman appearing with them. I assume it's Valkyrie?

As for the JLA monitor duty,if I remember correctly several different times it showed the various members doing various things like Black Canary training Firestorm shortly after he joined (the Starro two parter?) & a card game with Supes, Bats (!?!), Reddy, Ralph & the Hawks so they weren't always glued to a monitor (Traya's debut Xmas tale).

They also has a repair shop for gadgets & Reddy so they were improving their arrows & utility belt weapons up there as well. I recall Aquaman being seen in their pool (naturally he'd have to have contact with water every hour up there) & the Dharlu flashback tale showed various other rooms during that mission.

I believe they were on 24 hour monitor duty but Firestorm probably took more MD in the summer months while school was out. Flash & the Atom probably cornered the weekends with their routine jobs. Supes probably did some phone calls, typing up stories & research while on monitor duty. With so speedsters on the team (Supes, WW, Flash, Reddy & GL), the satellite was easily cleaned, cases filed & recipes cooked so hobbies were done often.

Anonymous said...

MY guess, re: the cover?

Yandroth has gained mind-control of Reddy via his Tornado Tyrant aspect.

Jay Johnson said...

CC: Yes, that's Valkyrie, in her second costume: Marvel had been getting grief about the boob cups in her original costume so they decided to have her borrow one of Power Girl's.

Also: non-members occasionally shared or did Monitor Duty: Oberon during the JLI era, and of course Sue Dibny being assaulted by Dr. Light while on Monitor Duty was a major plot point of the Identity Crisis.

TJW said...

I'm not sure how people got the idea that I thought monitor duty consisted of staring at a screen. My point is that it is crazy to think that fifteen or (often) fewer people--most of whom were already quite busy leading double lives--would have the time to maintain 24/7 monitor duty even if they were multitasking.

I'll admit that its kind of silly that I can't suspend my disbelieve on this when I CAN suspend my disbelieve regarding flying aliens, an Amazon princess, power ring wielding intergalactic policemen and a disgruntled millionaire who fights crime dressed as a bat.

I mean, it's a silly thing to argue about.

On the other hand, if you factor in the Phantom Stranger....

Jay Johnson said...

TJW: Over the years, the League (and the Avengers over in the MU) have gone back and forth between being a social club for heroes and being a top level professional hero organization. Kurt Busiek, in particular, has made a point about how much support staff an organization like that needs, in some of his Avengers run and a few Honor Guard stories in Astro City. But the only time I can recall the League acknowledging they have a support staff was on the JL Unlimited cartoon, on their version of the Watchtower satellite.

TJW said...

Jay Johnson,

My original post was specifically about the pre-Detroit, satellite era JLA. But, yes, I do remember the support staff shown in the JL Unlimited cartoon. The JLU is my all-time favorite version of the JL.

Paul Schilling said...

CC: The Defenders came from the splash page of Defenders #3 "Four Against the Gods"

Paul Schilling said...

Too finish the statement Red Tornado did come from the cover of the Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #19.

Anonymous said...

Simreeve referred to the original Red Tornado, Ma Hunkel. I only ever remember seeing her in a reprint of the Silver Age story, "The Stormy Return of the Red Tornado" which, I seem to remember, eventually led to the John Smith Red Tornado joining the JLA. in that story, Dr. Fate conjured up an image of Ma Hunkel as the JSA contemplated who the Tornado really was.

Does anyone remember reading the original Golden Age stories with Ma Hunkel?

Cary Comic said...

I never heard of her until I came across a two-page pin-up spread of the entire JSA. And, if memory serves, that was in a genuine Silver Age JLA 100-Page Spectacular ("Still Only $1.00")!

Jay Johnson said...

IIRC, Ma Hunkel never had a strip of her own, but was a supporting character in the Scribbly strip (a humor strip about a boy cartoonist). I'm not sure if DC ever reprinted any of those strips, but I know they reprinted (in one of the 100-pagers) the JSA story that had a page with Ma's Tornado in it. The post-war JSA was chasing a criminal gang into a neighborhood and found a couple of them that Ma had whacked with her frying pan. They made her an "honorary" member on the spot.

Simreeve said...

Back in the 'Secret Sanctuary' ['cave'] days, didn't Snapper Carr help with monitor duty as well? And maybe even have some friends who'd call in reports, like Rick Jones' friends [over at Marvel] calling in about the Hulk's location?

Anonymous said...
"Simreeve referred to the original Red Tornado, Ma Hunkel. I only ever remember seeing her in a reprint of the Silver Age story, "The Stormy Return of the Red Tornado" which, I seem to remember, eventually led to the John Smith Red Tornado joining the JLA. in that story, Dr. Fate conjured up an image of Ma Hunkel as the JSA contemplated who the Tornado really was.
Does anyone remember reading the original Golden Age stories with Ma Hunkel?"
My own introduction to her, other than just in a JSA/JLA teams' pin-up or in house adverts, was through a short story that appeared in one issue of the 1980s' 'Secret Origins' series (although it wasn't her origin...). Later on, she was pulled out of retirement (and the witness-protection program) shortly before Infinite Crisis to run the JSA's headquarters for them.


Jay Johnson said...
"The post-war JSA was chasing a criminal gang into a neighborhood and found a couple of them that Ma had whacked with her frying pan. They made her an "honorary" member on the spot."
And they'd already met back briefly during the JSA's very first formal meeting, in All-Star Comics #3 [Winter 1940]: She sneaked into the hotel suite where they were gathering, through a window, but suffered a costume malfunction in the process and embarrassedly backed out again...
^_^

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