Sunday, August 23, 2009

Niles Caulder and Red Tornado

There are some characters who have always seemed like natural shoe-ins for DP membership in my book. For whatever reason though, it just isn't possible for many of these characters to make the leap.

We've already touched on some of the times Aquaman interacted with the DP. Fans of any incarnation - especially Arcudi's and Byrne's versions - understand how logical a fit Metamorpho would be. Power Girl seemed to stop by quite a bit. One character who really seems like a natural fit to me is Red Tornado.

Here's the most recent connection from the current Justice League of America series, specifically issue #22. After his body was compromised, Red Tornado is stored in the JLA computer systems. Issue #22 features an all-star cast of characters brought together in an attempt to place Red Tornado in a new body. In his own words,
Today, several of the smartest men in the world will attempt to move the set of programs and data that constitute my sense of self into a new artificial body.

The first one Reddy mentions is Niles Caulder, the DP's beloved (ahem) Chief. Caulder shows up again a time or two in JLA, but never really says much. The fact that he's called upon - not to mention the current base of operations for the DP on Oolong Island (remember T. O. Morrow was there in 52) and there you have a connection drawn between Red Tornado and the Doom Patrol.

Remember a few months back when we did the Crisis on Earth-Blog? In another attempt to generate some interest across the internet, the Irredeemable Shag has organized another crossover. What is this fabulous new crossover you ask? Well, this post is a major hint. Check back Tuesday, just be sure to do so before the internet cracks in half.


  1. Great post! I love when the Chief is used in other books for his brainpower. He's one of the most brilliant guys in the DC Universe. He should be shown respect by the whole DCU gang more often.

    Looking forward to Tuesday!

    The Irredeemable Shag

  2. Given Reddy's penchant for being disassembled, I'd say he fits. But two robot-y guys on one team? What is this, the Metal Men?

  3. Omigodomigodomigodomigod...I'm sorry I rambled on in the bonus post (previous), but another commentor was unfamiliar with Crazy Jane and I gave him/her a capsule of her entrance and exit from DP. The thing is, to do that I had to remember big chunks of the Morrison period and THAT is why it suddenly hit me. The REAL reason (maybe) that Giffen wants to bring back the Red Tornado. What Caulder wants is... the results of his greatest experiment.
    1) After Crisis (1986) the JLA's history was rewritten, including the origin of the Happy Harbor, RI headquarters. In SECRET ORIGINS#46 (12/89), Flash (Barry) learns the mountain is alive. "It's a silica macrochip, J'onn... everything that's happened here is coded into the stone [...] vibrations trigger the lattice and play back the images...". The author? Grant Morrison.
    2) The JLA abandon the mountain for the satellite and later for the JLI embassies.
    3) DP#14 (11/88): While the third phase of the DP is still based in Kansas, they meet a girl named Dorothy with a lot of imaginary friends (get it?). After the Annual, The Chief reveals to the group that he is still alive in DP#15 (12/88).
    4) The events of "Invasion!" leave the group shattered. The Kansas DP HQ was destroyed by alien spacecraft, so Caulder decides to relocate to... Happy Harbor. And beef up the team membership with... Dorothy. DP#19(2/89)
    5) Monsieur Mallah and The Brain find and invade the mountain HQ. Mistaking a self-aware robot body for Cliff, they battle until the robot self-destructs, damaging a portion of the HQ. DP#34(7/90)
    6) The group eventually move their living quarters onto Danny the street while Caulder stays behind. DP#35(8/90)-#37(10/90)
    7) Rebis discovers his Think Tank. DP#46(8/91)
    8) During the Giffen-plotted "Breakdowns", the JLA and JLE lose their UN charter and embassies. Both teams get the same idea and temporarily relocate to... Happy Harbor. Ted, Ralph and Wally decide to check on the 'squatters' and Caulder angrily confronts them in a cameo. JLE#32 (11/91)
    9) Caulder murders Joshua Clay to keep his experiment secret but his own head is torn off by the Candlemaker. DP#57(7/92)
    10) A secret government agency sends operatives to the mountain who blow a hole in the side. Caulder's head (still alive because it's saturated by nanomachines) relocates the group to Violet Valley. DP#64(3/93)-#66(5/93)
    11) In 1998 the long abandoned Happy Harbor location is filled by Young Justice and... RED TORNADO. That place was probably still crawling with Caulder's molecule-sized self-replicating nanomachines and lots of spare robot parts. Caulder's probably betting he'll find remnants of his experiment in Red Tornado's body or even his consciousness.
    Hope that's not too wordy. I posted the yakkity-yak version on LJ as pblfsda. If anyone tries to find it and can't, could you comment here? Thanks.


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