Today on the company's Source blog they announced a new Red Tornado miniseries, written by Kevin VanHook (most recently of Oracle: The Cure and Superman and Batman Vs. Vampires and Werewolves) and drawn by Jose Luis (whose work I'm unfamiliar with). Red Tornado is, of course, the android hero that nobody in the whole world really likes at all, a character who played a prominent role in Brad Meltzer's relaunched Justice League of America, which has shed a huge chunk of its readers since Meltzer left. The last member of that cast to get a solo miniseries years after the relaunch was Vixen, and that sold extremely poorly (Unlike Red Tornado, Vixen was still on the team at the time too; he's apparently back to being a former member). Black Lightning: Year One sold awful as well, although perhaps that's not apples-to-apples, as his story was set in the past. But using those as examples, DC can't reasonably expect this sell 35,000 copies per issue. They're probably looking at the 19,000-34,000 range. Is that enough to justify a miniseries?
I mean, I guess it must be, or they wouldn't be bothering, but this just seems like such a weird move give the fact that just this week they launched their new "co-feature" program of back-ups. Why not run this as a back-up in JLoA? Sure, it will drive some readers away from that title, but at this point, the only people still reading JLoA—which is about to enter a holding pattern, time-killing run by Len Wein until an inevitable post-Blackest Night reboot—are going to be hardcore, completeist fans anyway.
Anyway, what will the book be about? The Source blog says it "will shed new light on the true origins of the stalwart JLA member/android." Everything you know about the Red Tornado—which is either nothing, or so much confused gibberish it amounts to nothing—is wrong! Seriously, have you ever tried untangling this guy's origin(s) story? At this point, I think I've read them all, but he was one of the many who got screwed in the back-story department during the Crisis on Infinite Earths multiverse collapse, and thus its been revised and re-revised and re-re-revised an oh God, I'm having flashbacks—robot that wants to be human, Tornado Tyrant, Tornado Champion, air elemental, argh!
Anyway, there will be a Red Tornado miniseries for some reason. I hope there's much less crying and sophomoric metaphors than there was in Meltzer's JLoA. I haven't read any of VanHook's books yet—still waiting for the library to get that S&BvV&W's trade—but it can't be any worse than Meltzer's take on the character.