Tornado (comics)

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Tornado was a short-lived weekly British comic book 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. Like Action it was a mixed title featuring War, Detective, Horror and Science Fiction stories. Tornado was printed on the low quality newsprint stock used by 2000 AD and also had five stories of 5 to 6 pages per issue. The title also had a 'superpowered' editor, like Tharg, 'Big E' who was portrayed in photo-strips by a rather portly Dave Gibbons. The real editor was Kelvin Gosnell.[2]


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 WW2 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 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.


Tornado was merged with 2000 AD (at the time titled 2000AD 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.


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