Tornado (comics)

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Publication information
PublisherIPC Magazines
FormatOngoing series
Genrewar, detective, horror, science fiction
Publication dateMarch – August 1979
No. of issues22
Main character(s)Blackhawk
Victor Drago
Wolfie Smith
Captain Klep
Creative team
Written byTom Tully, Gerry Finley-Day
Artist(s)Vincente Vaño, Massimo Belardinelli, Alfonso Azpiri
Editor(s)"Big E" (Kelvin Gosnell
Dave Hunt)

Tornado was a short-lived weekly British comic magazine published for 22 issues by IPC Magazines between March 1979[1] and August 1979. After the cancellations of the Starlord and Action titles, IPC launched Tornado as a way to use up stories already commissioned for the other titles. Originally to be called Heroes,[2] like Action it was a mixed title featuring war, detective, horror, and science fiction stories. Its first editor was Kelvin Gosnell, who was followed by Dave Hunt.[3] Tornado was printed on the same low quality newsprint stock used by 2000 AD and also had five stories of four to six pages per issue. The title also had a "superpowered" editor, like Tharg, "Big E," who was portrayed in photo-strips by Dave Gibbons.


Main stories were:

  • "The Mind of Wolfie Smith" written by Tom Tully, with art by Vincente Vaño, was the story of a young boy whose telepathic and telekinetic powers suddenly emerge, leading him to become a runaway.
  • "Angry Planet" written by Alan Hebden, with art by Massimo Belardinelli, was set in the late 21st century on a Mars that had been made habitable by humans. The story told of the struggle of the first generation of genetic 'martians' to free themselves from exploitation by Earth.
  • "Wagner's Walk" was a World War II story much in the Action style as the hero is an escaped German POW fleeing the Red Army.
  • "Blackhawk", written by Gerry Finley-Day with art by Alfonso Azpiri, was the story of a Nubian galley slave named Hawk, who rescues his ship from pirates. Granted his freedom and a commission as a Centurion, Hawk forms his own legion out of other slaves who are then treated as a type of "Dirty Dozen".
  • "Victor Drago" was a pseudonymous revival of Sexton Blake, IPC's long-running fearless detective, written by Bill Henry with art by Mike Dorey.
  • "The Lawless Touch" was about a thief called Jonny Lawless who is recruited to work for a secret agency.


Tornado was merged with 2000 AD (at the time titled 2000 AD and Starlord, from a previous merger) with the latter's 127th issue. The only characters to transfer were Blackhawk, Wolfie Smith, and Captain Klep, the star of a one-page comedy strip. Both Blackhawk and Wolfie Smith had their storylines considerably modified to more closely fit the sci-fi tone of 2000 AD. Blackhawk was kidnapped by aliens and forced to compete in an outer space gladiators' arena, and Wolfie Smith was menaced by an ancient force under a stone circle. By September 1980, 2000 AD had finished presenting stories with the Tornado characters, and the last issue titled 2000 AD and Tornado was #177, dated 13 September 1980, which contained the last episode of "Wolfie Smith".

Tornado made a small cameo appearance in the Judge Dredd story Citizen Sump.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tornado #1
  2. ^ The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast (21 February 2018). "Kelvin Gosnell - Part One". Rebellion. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  3. ^ 2000 AD #2111, 12 December 2018, pp. 30–31
  4. ^ John Wagner (w), Colin MacNeil (a), Tom Frame (let). Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files v35,: 278 (May 2020), Rebellion, ISBN 9781781087602

External links[edit]