- "You're looking for Frankenstein's monster. You should be looking for Dr. Frankenstein."
- "Morrow is still controlling it."
- —Maxwell Lord to Alex Danvers on Red Tornado[src]
Red Tornado was a $1 billion investment by the United States Army, taking over 11 years of research and development. The android was intended to be a failsafe against rogue Kryptonians, such as Superman and Supergirl.
Tested against Supergirl
In late 2015, Red Tornado was activated by T.O. Morrow when General Sam Lane asked Supergirl to fight it, to test the android's capabilities. The next day, both Red Tornado and Supergirl battled. Though Red Tornado was initially winning the fight, Supergirl soon gained the upper hand and caused internal system damage to Red Tornado, dismembering its arm in the process. As a result, Red Tornado's emergency self-preservation function was activated and the android escaped.
The next day, still under the control of Morrow, Red Tornado confronted Sam, Lucy Lane, and James Olsen, pushing Lucy into a table with a gust of wind. As Red Tornado attempted to attack Sam, Supergirl intervened. The android then created a tornado as a diversion to escape.
The Superfriends were able to draw Red Tornado out with a projection of General Lane. The android attempted to attack the hologram before being shot in the back by Supergirl. Another duel between the two ensued. Red Tornado managed to overpower and keep Supergirl in a chokehold until Alex Danvers killed T.O. Morrow, breaking his control over the android. However, Red Tornado had gained sentience and pushed Supergirl back with a gust of wind. As the android advanced towards her, Supergirl fired a powerful blast of heat vision onto Red Tornado, eventually causing it to explode. In the aftermath of the battle, however, Supergirl had exhausted her solar energy through her heat vision and temporarily lost her abilities.
- Aerokinesis: As a combat android, Red Tornado was designed to be able manipulate the air around him.
- Air blasts: Red Tornado was capable of creating highly concentrated blasts of wind.
- Tornado creation: Red Tornado could create creating destructive tornadoes powerful enough to devastate an entire city.
- Propelled flight: Red Tornado was capable of flight by channeling cyclone winds through the lower part of his body.
- Stealth mode: Red Tornado had a stealth mode operative in which he was 100% undetectable, even by Supergirl herself; this was due to the fact that he was made out of lead.
- Missile projection: Red Tornado could fire missiles from its hand, which were able to stun Supergirl while exploding against her, though they could not damage her.
- Extreme durability: Red Tornado was able to sustain multiple hits from Supergirl without malfunctioning, though it was eventually damaged by her and escaped. Red Tornado even withstood her heat vision for a time before being overloaded by its energy and exploding.
- Super strength: Red Tornado has inhuman strength that allows it to fight a Kryptonian on almost equal grounds, to the point where it could almost overpower and kill one, as it seemed to come close to killing Supergirl with a chokehold.
Adventures of Supergirl
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, the android Red Tornado was originally created as an enemy to the Justice League, though he eventually redeemed himself, not only adopting a human alter ego, that of "John Smith", but also becoming a member of the team. He is the second character to carry the "Red Tornado" moniker, as the first was a woman named Abigail "Ma" Hunkel.