Unofficial Biography RED TORNADO [Abigail Mathilda 'Ma' Hunkel]
 Created by Sheldon Mayer

Red Tornado

Personal Data

Real Name: Abigail Mathilda 'Ma' Hunkel
Occupation: JSA Museum curator, formerly housewife, grocer, newspaperwoman
Marital Status: Widowed
Known Relatives: "Hunk" Hunkel (husband, first name unknown; deceased); Huey Hunkel (son), Amelia "Sisty" Hunkel (daughter); Gus and Herman Hunkel (brothers-in-law); Felix Hunkel (nephew); Mortimer "Dinky" Jibbet (son-in-law)
Base of Operation: New York City
Group Affiliation: Honorary member of the Justice Society of America; member of the All-Star Squadron (by default)
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Eyes: Black
Hair: Brown (now white)
First Appearance: (as Ma Hunkel): All-American Comics #3 (June 1939)
(as Red Tornado I): All-American Comics #20 (November 1940)

Profile written by John Cencullo




  Housewife Abigail "Ma" Hunkel donned a saucepan and long underwear to fight crime as the Red Tornado. She attempted to join the Justice Society during their first meeting, but ripped her pants on the way in and had to leave. Later, she had to go into a witness protection program, from which she recently emerged to became the curator of the JSA Museum.


  In late Summer of 1940, Gus Hunkel hits a 100-to-1 shot at the track. His winnings are used to help his sister-in-law Abigail "Ma" Hunkel to buy Schultz's Grocery. Shortly after, some racketeers make the mistake of trying to collect "protection money" from the burly Mrs. Hunkel. She musses them up, causing them to flee in their car. The criminals are not aware that Hunkel's young daughter Sisty and her small friend Dinky Jibbet have locked themselves in the rumble seat. The racketeers later discover the children and hold them in the swanky gambling house of their boss, Tubbs Torponi.

  Realizing that the kids are gone, the Hunkels and the Jibbets go to Police Headquarters and ask Police Chief Gilhooley for help. Ma Hunkel tells Gilhooley that she knows it was Torponi's gang that kidnapped the kids. The Chief explains that the police have investigated Torponi and found him to be clean. When Ma insists that he be arrested, the Chief says that Torponi is a pretty powerful man in politics and that they will need evidence to arrest him. Ma realizes the Chief is afraid to act and the two families leave.

  While driving home in the back seat of the Jibbet's car, Ma Hunkel continues on to her son Huey and his friend "Scribbly" Jibbet about the cops not raiding Torponi's gambling joints. Scribbly says that if the Green Lantern was on the job, they'd have the kids back already. Huey agrees. Ma Hunkel is unfamiliar with Green Lantern, so the kids explain that he fights crime after putting on a mysterious costume so he won't be recognized. This starts the wheels turning in Ma Hunkel's head.

  After they arrive at the Jibbet house, Ma Hunkel asks the kids more questions about Green Lantern. They tell her that no one suspects him, and when he gets mad enough about an injustice he goes into action. Ma walks off deep in thought, leaving the boys to wonder what had happened to distract her.

  Elsewhere, the kidnappers are being terrorised by Sisty and Dinky. The kids run wild around the gambling house, thwarting the criminals' attempts to grab them. Eventually, Torponi catches them and calls for his gang, but is then hit from behind by a bottle. When the gang reaches the room, they find a strangely clad mystery man standing over their defeated boss. The hero and the kids finish off the stunned criminals. The mysterious stranger calls Police Chief Gilhooley and tells him to come pick up the kidnappers of Sisty and Dinky at Tubbs Torponi's place. When the Chief asks who he is speaking to, the mystery man replies ... the Red Tornado! The hero leaves the kids armed with bottles, then flees before the cops arrive.

  Soon after, Mrs. Jibbet receives a call from the police that the children have been rescued. Scribbly runs over to the Hunkel house to tell them the good news. Huey tells Scribbly that his mother took a walk two hours earlier and hasn't returned. Mrs. Jibbet arrives with the kids, who begin telling the story of how they were saved by the Red Tornado. Ma Hunkel enters, sees the kids, and asks about the excitement. She smiles as they describe their adventures with the mystery man. Mrs. Jibbet says the Police Chief never mentioned a mystery man, claiming to have rescued the children single-handedly. Ma, who is secretly the Red Tornado, is furious that the Chief has stolen her credit. She tells the families that she is going for another walk.

  Soon after, the Chief brags to the press about his "heroics" and proclaims that talk of the Red Tornado is nonsense. Suddenly, the Red Tornado smashes through the window, confronting him. The Chief tells the mystery man that "he" is under arrest for breaking in, but the Red Tornado tells the Chief to shut up. Ma introduces herself to the newspaper men as the Red Tornado, the true rescuer of the kids from the Torponi gang. When policemen arrive to arrest "him", the hero ploughs through them and escapes. The next day, all the local papers headline the debut of the neighbourhood's new protector, the Red Tornado.

  The Red Tornado later showed up at the first meeting of the Justice Society, but made a hasty retreat due to an embarrassing accident to her costume, causing her to miss her only chance to join the group. A few months after her debut, the Red Tornado took on a pair of sidekicks, dubbed the Cyclone Kids. The general public is unaware that the Red Tornado is a woman.

Powers and Weapons

  The Red Tornado has no special abilities. She relies solely on her large size and her skills as a scrapper to battle neighbourhood crime.

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