Tornado No 16: Calling the crew of the ‘Adolf Hitler’… this is your fuhrer speaking. In minutes you will drop the Behemoth bomb and London will disappear from the Earth!!!

Ian Kennedy gets drafted in to provide this week’s It’s Your Turn cover – and you know what that means – aircraft! This is a curious double-fuselaged plane (joined by a third wing in between) called the ‘Adolf Hitler’. I think I have seen designs for airplanes like this but I don’t know if they ever got off the ground. As before, just about everything you need to know is in the picture (plane called Adolf Hitler being hailed over the radio by the fuhrer just before it’s about to drop a Behemoth bomb on London) and I couldn’t see a half-page story improving it.

The Big Editorial has the usual reader’s letters about paramilitary organisations across the country, though also reveals that the Tornado Summer Special is available – so I’d better dig a copy of that out (pretty sure I have one) before I read my next weekly Tornado.

Big E missed a trick by having Ian Kennedy draw the cover but not draw The Lawless Touch: The Tornado (though we get Tufnell’s words illustrated by John Cooper, so I can’t complain). The tank they encounter at the end of the previous episode turns out to be on their side, nominally, though as they can’t communicate with them it’s still a threat to them, until Lawless drops in a nerve gas grenade. In scenes reminiscent of the announcer in Harlem Heroes who called all the Russians ‘Boris’, Lawless hails a local taxi driver, who he calls ‘Abdul’. Lawless and the snooty pilot manage to find the hangar (presumably) containing the stolen Tornado fighter but are discovered before they can gain access.

The Mind of Wolfie Smith by Tom Tully and Vañó continues, mid-robbery. Using a touch of telekinesis as well as physical reflexes, Wolfie incapacitates the erstwhile robber though – as previously – scarpers when the person he rescued is about to call the police. The other patron of the cafe follows him and reveals both of his names – the stage name Mystico and his other name Denton Gosnell (reference to editor and script droid Kelvin Gosnell there). It looks like Wolfie is headed for show-business next.

Victor Drago’s Black Museum of Villains: Billy the Kid. There’s not too much to say about this – as with previous instalments, it’s a condensed history lesson in two pages, not unlike the early Tornado True Tales – and even though they had more space to breathe, they were still rushed.

The Angry Planet: Hebden and Belardinelli has Mars Inc embarrassed that the explosion they were using as a pretext to capture the Marshie’s hasn’t happened, and determine to create one – not least because if Markham hasn’t been destroyed by ancient and unknown powers then there’s a risk that he now controls ancient and unknown powers. The powers in question are mainly passive so can’t do anything to stop a thousand megaton explosion – they have ten minutes to live, unless they think of something next week…

Blackhawk by Day and Azpiri shows the Hawk acting like a sheepdog to the waterfowl on the Thames in an attempt to disguise disturbances on the surface caused by Blackhawk and his men swimming underwater. They manage to escape, though one female Briton works out that their escape must have something to do with the hawk and wildfowl she saw on the waters. As this is the only female Briton we’ve met in the attack on London, I’m going to assume she’s Boadicea. Next week: Chariots of death! – so maybe if it is Boadicea we’ll get to see her again.

Wagner’s Walk by M White and M Wright. Wagner and Carl make it to the border – they’ve escaped Russia! But the story is not over yet, for unbeknownst to them, von Hilder has survived the ambulance crash, though knownst to them he follows them across the border, earning the enmity of both the Russian and Chinese forces. Wagner and Carl capture von Hilder for the truck he’s driving, though the trio are under attack by aerial pursuit (wondered what had happened there – we were promised something similar weeks ago).

The Billy Preston Report: Billy meets the Fire-Fighters. As with the ambulance article from a few months earlier, it’s all in the title. Pretty handy, King’s Reach Tower being around the corner from the London Ambulance HQ and just downriver from the London Fire Brigade HQ. Will he fit in a visit to Scotland Yard before Tornado merges with 2000AD and Starlord?

Victor Drago and the China-Town Terror! by Pepper and Dorey. Did I mention that last episode Lin Fang confiscated all of Drago’s equipment but then returned the things that weren’t weapons? And then proceeded to try to kill Drago and Spencer by locking them in a metal box and throwing it in the Thames? Well, I have now. This makes no sense – why give them back their possessions if you’re going to kill them? Anyway, due to this, Drago uses a saw disguised as a pen to allow the two to escape. Carter from the Metropolitan Police turns up to help out, though serves to allow Lin Fang to escape. Reading between the lines, somebody must have decided that Drago needed a Moriarty substitute, and Lin Fang gets the job.

Captain Klep finishes the issue, as usual. Angus and Alley tell a tale involving a stolen violin and some 1920s-style gangsters (with machine guns in violin cases).

Grailpage: Belardinelli provides some of his best Tornado work to date in Sto-Loma’s recounting of the history of his race – replete with dinosaurs and spaceships with shapes reminiscent of the Millenium Falcon and the Speedo Ghost (not invented yet).

Grailquote: Alan Hebden, Hugo Kray: “It’ll be a public relations disaster… unless an explosion occurs! We need an explosion! See to it!”


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