The Story: "Secret of Genesis" by Gerry Conway, George Perez, and John Beatty. Continued from last issue, the JLA was searching for Red Tornado, who is now under the mental control of his creator, T.O. Morrow.
As Morrow threatens to dismantle creation in order to find out what makes him different, he doesn't realize that one of the JLA has found him--the King of the Seven Seas, Aquaman!
Aquaman waits outside, listening, until he hears Tomorrow threaten his friend Reddy. This spurs Aquaman to make his move, in a brilliantly executed sequence by George Perez:
Unfortunately, T.O. Morrow still has his all-powerful sceptre, and he blasts Aquaman, encasing him in ice and sending him hurtling into the ocean. He then uses it to transport he and Reddy away.
Meanwhile, the JLA are back at Reddy's house, having not been able to find him. The Flash thinks this has got to be the work of Morrow, and goes to check on him, currently in a Central City jail, in another sequence perfectly laid out and timed by Perez:
The light moment is interrupted by Green Lantern, who shows them the imprisoned Aquaman!
Back at his mountain retreat, Morrow dissects Reddy, when a blinding light starts eminating from Reddy's body, overcoming him and knocking him out.
At the JLA satellite, Wonder Woman is in Sick Bay, trying to free Aquaman from his prison. The rest of the JLAers are nervously watching, and Firestorm shoots his mouth off, betting there's no way Aquaman is still alive. The Flash takes him aside to disabuse him of that notion:
Wonder Woman manages to free Aquaman, who is conscious long enough to tell them that the culprit behind all this is, in fact, T.O. Morrow.
Morrow wakes up from the explosion at his lab to find himself in the clutches of the JLA, who seem mighty pissed. Morrow gets off a shot with that annoying sceptre of his, but its no help when he is confronted by a giant, sentient tornado!
This tornado creature---the Tornado Tyrant--is something the JLA has faced before, way back in JLA #17. It makes short work of the JLA, knocking them all out, leaving only a scared out his wits Firestorm.
Before he can try and attack it himself, he is stopped by a tiny, man-sized tornado, who explains that he and the Tyrant are two halves of the same being, who fought the JLA so long ago:
And it was he (they?) who chose to inhabit the android body of Red Tornado when it was created. Firestorm realizes this means that Reddy is actually alive, and possesses a soul!
The tornado asks Firestorm to use his powers to fuse it and the Tyrant back together, and back into the Red Tornado. That means the tornado will lose all of its self-knowledge, and resume "being" the Red Tornado, but it says that is a small price to pay to have a purpose in life.
Firestorm does this (with the Tyrant being none too happy about it), and finds a dazed, confused Red Tornado in the aftermath. Firestorm decides not to tell Reddy what he knows, thinking Reddy deserves a chance for a life of his own.
Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Red Tornado, Firestorm
Notable Moments: I loved this second part as much as I did the first--it has so many nice character moments, plus plenty of superhero derring-do.
And while Aquaman's plan ends up not being very well executed, its still cool he got this moment to himself, superbly told by Perez. I also love the flashbacks to the old 60s JLA as drawn by Perez, they look utterly charming to me.
This issue also had a 16-page preview (one of many DC did around this time) of All-Star Squadron, which quickly became one of my favorite comics. The best fifty cents I ever spent.