Black Adam will introduce the world to Cyclone, a character with deeper comic roots than you may realize.
Maxine Hunkel’s comic history is a bit complicated. Although she was created in 2006, the first Cyclone was introduced in 1996. However, her history extends well into the Golden Age. The first character to use the surname Hunkel was her grandmother, Abigail “Ma” Hunkel, who first appeared in 1939’s All American Comics #3. A year later, she would get a superhero name and become the original Red Tornado. That’s where things get interesting.
In a tale that is pure comic book trope, Maxine was doused with nanobots – which has become the technological equivalent of magic in sci-fi – by a mad scientist. He happened to be the same doctor who created the Red Tornado android. His name? T.O. Morrow, as in “tomorrow.” Get it?
Those nanobots would grant Maxine superpowers. Similar to Marvel’s Storm, Maxine discovered she could control the wind, which she used to create tornadoes and fly. Thus she earned the name, Cyclone.
Modern fans know the more popular iteration of the character, who is a male android. However, their paths would intersect in 1968’s JLA #64. In this issue, the Tornado Tyrant was programmed with Ma Hunkel’s memories. This gave rise to the Red Tornado, which would also influence the creation of Cyclone almost 30 years later.
While a 9.8 may cost you $2k or more, you can downgrade to a 9.0 for about $200.
Although she was not quite the same character, the first time Cyclone appeared was in 1996’s Kingdom Come #2. Of course, this was an alternate reality story with religious overtones and a cast of older superheroes. When Superman recruits his new JLA, we meet Cyclone for the first time.
For $120, you can have a 9.8 to call your own.
Eleven years after Kingdom Come, Cyclone made her return to DC Comics. This time, she was given an alter ego, Maxine Hunkel, which was a callback to her predecessor, Ma Hunkel. Instead of joining the JLA, she would suit up for the new iteration of the JSA.
Along with Maxine, the issue also featured the debuts of Wildcat’s son, Tomcat, and Liberty Belle. Even better, you can own a graded 9.8 for $98 on average.
Whenever Alex Ross is involved, you know it’s going to be a thing of beauty. He did not disappoint on the cover of JSA #3. If Cyclone proves to be a hit with fans, this could become a hot issue. It is an exquisite piece of art from the master himself, Alex Ross. The only 9.8 to sell online last year went for $104.50, so it won’t break your budget.
IT’S A TWISTER
Since Cyclone will be part of Black Adam, does that mean Red Tornado could be on the way? It’s hard to say what direction the DCEU is going, especially with the Discovery executives now calling the shots at WarnerMedia. With the DC HBO Max projects proving successful, both Cyclone and Red Tornado could find their way onto a series in the future.