This is “Provide Some Answers,” which is a feature where long unresolved plot points are eventually resolved.
Justice League of America #106, by Len Wein, Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano, is rightly regarded as a Justice League classic. It is the issue where Red Tornado, now trapped on Earth-1, is offered a spot on the Justice League. He accepts, but what he doesn’t know is that his creator, Professor T.O. Morrow, has planned a trap in Red Tornado’s Justice League signaling device. As soon as he presses it, it will send a signal to the other devices that will emit a frequency that will kill anyone with a Justice League signal device receiver.
WHY is Morrow doing this? Well, he was at his lab when his computer came out with the following prediction…
Yes, the “cosmic balance” will shift and either Morrow or the League will cease to exist. What the what? What does that mean, the cosmic balance will shift? That doesn’t make any sense! However, the computer said it, so Morrow had to then come up with his plan.
Anyhow, Red Tornado is also trying to assimilate into human life (Morrow made him a human face) and he meets a job counselor, Kathy, and they fall in love. This bit is why this issue is so well-regarded. The Red Tornado/Kathy relationship is excellent…
Most of the issue is Red Tornado finding problems (as Morrow is intentionally sending bad guys to his location) and seeing that instead of getting the chance to signal his teammates, they instead are already there, as they are shadowing him. He thinks it is because they don’t trust him (after all, he DID fight them in his first appearance, as he was created by Morrow to attack them). They keep on saying, no, no, they’re just lending a hand.
Finally, Tornado’s signal device is used and it seems like the League are all killed, but nope, they faked their deaths. Superman discovered the rogue device right away and burned it away. They decided to just wait a bit to see if Morrow had any other failsafes that they didn’t know about. When they were satisfied that he didn’t, they then faked their deaths and then surprised Morrow.
They were the ones to be surprised, though, when Morrow begins to freak out…and then vanishes!
That’s just bonkers. By the way, why was he so sure that HE was the one who was going to vanish? But either way, it’s just nuts.
The issue ends with Red Tornado delivering a line that was so cheesy that the rest of the League probably should have voted him out while he was gone.
Okay, so now YEARS later, in Justice League of America #192, Gerry Conway resolved this weird open plot by bringing T.O. Morrow back and explain that a malfunction in his computer (later discovered to have been caused by the Tornado Tyrant) formed the faulty prediction and since the computer believed it could not be wrong, it got rid of Morrow ITSELF so that its prediction could come true (but obviously, he eventually came back)…
JLA #192 and 193 are filled with lots of other continuity stuff, but I’ll get to them at some point in the future in some column (most likely Abandoned an’ Foresaked)
Thanks to reader Don B. for filling me in on the long-resolved aspect of this story!
If anyone else has a long-resolved plotline, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I might feature it in a future column!
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