Recently on another board, a silver age fan posted a cover of the JLA issue where the Red Tornado debuted.

From somewhere back in the recesses of my memory banks, I dredged up that there had  been a controversey or at least a discussion about The Vision AND the Red Tornado having too similar of backgrounds and missions to have been a coincidence.


Not knowing where Roy Thomas may have drawn his inspiration from, and not knowing who were drinking buddies with whom back then, I could easily fall prey to the suspicion that either somebody at one company spilled the beans to somebody at the other....OR, that some guys got drunk together and brainstormed a similar story and then both went back home to create it.

It wouldn't be the first or last time that DC and Marvel both shared a story without knowing it...or that two creators collaborated to produce thinly veiled version of each other's characters bouncing from one title to the other.

In just a few years, this would be the basis of the infamous Rutland Hallowing Parade issues that ran parallel in Marvel's Avengers or Dr. Strange and DC's title as well.


Could this have been the genesis of the idea?  Or is it all wet?
What say you, oh Mr.s S.A.?    Any DC historians who can answer on behalf of Mr. Red Tornado?

The Vision's background I am familiar with.  How similar or different is it from Mr. Tom Terrific, er, Red Tornado?

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I never heard Junior's origin before.

There was some Unexplained Mysteries like show in the 70s that said a priest or rabbi claimed he had found the Ark but wouldn't allow anyone to look at it to prove it was real.

An early Simpsons episode had Ned Flanders saved from a gunshot because he said luckily he always wore a piece of the True Cross under his shirt. There's an untold story there on how Ned found it.  
Richard Willis said:

Philip Portelli said:

But even with Hitler possessing the Spear of Destiny (and Tojo with the Holy Grail), what was stopping the Flash, Starman, Hourman and the others from "invading" Germany?

Ron M. said:

Did Mussolini ever get his hands on anything like that? Did the Crown of Thorns or the Ark of the Covenent ever show up anywhere? Or were they afraid Spielberg might sue if the Ark turned up?

I hadn't previously heard of Roy Thomas' retcon. If you recall, the Ark in the Indiana Jones movie didn't serve the Nazis. Why would they think it would? I don't get why the Holy Grail would serve evil. The Spear and the Crown of Thorns, maybe, since they were used against Jesus.

Junior's origin can be found on Comic Books Plus. Whiz Comics#25.

Ron M. said:

An early Simpsons episode had Ned Flanders saved from a gunshot because he said luckily he always wore a piece of the True Cross under his shirt. There's an untold story there on how Ned found it.

I don't remember if I've seen that one. It's really tongue in cheek because there used to be (still is?) a big business selling supposed relics like this. I think there have been enough fragments of the True Cross sold to build several housing developments.

That kind of business was really bad in the 70s and 80s. I remember two different companies swearing they'd found and reprinted the Necromonicon (one version had stories about Ra and Osiris I remember) and then there was the hoax about a scientist finding out there used to be 13 signs of the Zodiac. It's long gone, but the local library used to have a copy of his book on the long lost Arachne the Spider sign. Another library in the 80s had two books by Charles Fort. I returned them to the library then attempted to check them out again. The card catalog said both had been removed from the libary right after I returned them. Perhaps someone working there looked through them when they came in and decided books like that shouldn't be at their library?

Philip Portelli said:

Superman's vulnerability to magic was second only to his weakness to kryptonite as a means of incapacitating him. But when was it mentioned first in the comics?

Looked it up in Fleisher's The Great Superman Book. In Superman #14 in 1942, Superman was paralyzed by a spell from the wizard Akthar, but was able to break free by a mighty act of concentration. Through most of the '40s, he seemed to be pretty resistant to magic. But in #66 in 1950, the magic water of the Fountain of Youth turned Superman into a baby. In 1958, a magic totem robbed him of his powers, and in 1961, Mr. Mxyzptlk's magic sneezing powder caused him to destroy a solar system (!). From then on, it was pretty much accepted that magic was one of his vulnerabilities.
Gerry Conway (IIRC) tried to explain it away in a late 1970s JLA, but the explanation didn't make much sense. It had something to do with the Homo Magi race that Zatanna's mother belonged to. Most Earth people have some Homo Magi DNA in their genes, giving us all the potential to control and/or resist magical forces to varying degrees. But there were no Homo Magi on Krypton, so Kryptonians had no resistance to magic. I never understood how that explained anything. If anything, it's an explanation of why magic shouldn't affect Earth people; but it does affect Earth people, so I'm lost.

Being vulnerable to magic doesn't explain why the Spear of Destiny affected him either. According to that story any Allied soldiers without the Homo Magi DNA would be turned into Hitler's slaves once they got near Germany.

I think Superman's magic weakness was sometimes interpreted pre-Crisis as his being more vulnerable to magic than other heroes, but I can't think of a good example of this. The explanation story appeared in DC Comics Presents #18 and was by Conway and Dick Dillin, the JLA team at the time.

Edit: There's an example in Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #245. Superboy and three of the other LSHers are hiding from Mordru, and Mordru casts a "reveal yourselves" spell to cause their minds to give away their location. Saturn Girl blankets their minds' responses, but Superboy is more powerfully affected and the others have to restrain him to prevent him going to Mordru.

There were stories in the 40s stating Captain Marvel wasn't affected by magic (with of course other stories showing he was, Fawcett didn't seem to grasp the concept of continuity.)


On p.4 I mentioned the theory that Carl Burgos's Iron Skull was supposed to be an android. Since writing that I've read Amazing Man Comics #7, which instead explained him as a man with artificial parts. I reviewed the story here.

Cyborg then. What was Burgos' fascination with artificial (or partly artificial) people?

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