Joshua Clay

Joshua Clay (Tempest) is a fictional character, a member of the superhero team Doom Patrol in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Paul Kupperberg and Joe Staton,[1] he first appears as the hero Tempest in Showcase #94 (August 1977).[2]

Tempest in flight, art by James Fry
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceShowcase #94 (August 1977)
Created byPaul Kupperberg
Joe Staton
In-story information
Alter egoJoshua Clay
Team affiliationsDoom Patrol
Black Lantern Corps
Notable aliasesJonathan Carmichael, Tempest
AbilitiesKinetic energy blasts, flight

Joshua Clay appeared in his first live adaptation on the first season of the Doom Patrol television series for DC Universe played by Alimi Ballard.

Fictional character biographyEdit

Early yearsEdit

A member of the second Doom Patrol, Joshua Clay is the first DC Comics hero to use the name Tempest. Along with Captain Comet, he is one of the few DC Comics heroes initially identified as a mutant.

Joshua Clay was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of five children. His parents struggled to keep their family together in the middle of what was at that time one of the worst slums in the country. At sixteen, Joshua joined a street gang called the Stompers, and eventually, as a result, wound up being given a choice between prison and service in the United States military. Joshua chose the army and was trained as a combat medic and shipped off to Vietnam.[2]

Less than a month before the end of his tour, Joshua witnessed the attempted massacre of an entire village of Vietnamese non-combatants by his sergeant. Horrified, Joshua unconsciously triggered his powers, blasting the noncom, apparently killing the man. The stress of this discovery led Clay to go AWOL and flee the country, eventually returning to the U.S. Clay spent the next ten years living as a fugitive.[3] The sergeant eventually becomes Reactron, a repeated foe of the Doom Patrol.


Arani Caulder tracks down Joshua Clay and enlists him as a member of the new Doom Patrol.[4] Clay stays active within this incarnation of the Doom Patrol for a year before it disbands due to internal dissent. Swearing off superheroics, Clay uses his underworld connections to secure a new identity for himself as Jonathan Carmichael, M.D. Due to years of private study and his previous military training, he easily passes his New York medical board examination. As Carmichael, using funds borrowed from a local loan shark, he purchases a small Park Avenue medical practice and lives a quiet, respectable life treating rich hypochondriacs until Robotman tracks Clay down. Due to Steele's threat to reveal Clay's true identity to the medical board, he reluctantly returns to superheroics.[5] He again retires from active service during the Grant Morrison scripted period to become the team's physician.[6]

Joshua Clay is murdered by a temporarily deranged Niles Caulder in Doom Patrol (vol. 2) #55 (May 1992). This is after Joshua discovers the Chief's plan to ravage the world with a genetic weapon in the hopes of ultimately creating an improved society.[7] Dorothy Spinner, upon finding his body, allowed the demonic Candlemaker out into the real world on the condition it bring Joshua back to life. It does so, and then immediately kills him again.

Blackest NightEdit

Joshua Clay was reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps in Doom Patrol (Vol. 5) #4, and attacks Elasti-Girl. His powers seem to have changed, as he is seen controlling the weather, creating tornados and lightning.

The New 52Edit

In 2011, "The New 52" rebooted the DC Universe. Tempest first appears in along with Negative Woman and Celsius being watched by Grid. Then he was mentioned in conversation by Scorch and Karma, then presumably killed off by Johnny Quick and Atomica.[8] Lex Luthor tells Chief that Tempest and Celsius have faked their deaths to escape from him and from the Doom Patrol.[9]


  • Two years after Joshua Clay's death, in Doom Patrol (vol. 2) #55, a man named Martin Ellis, who looks like the Steve Lightle rendition of Joshua Clay, wakes from a seven-year coma with an active metagene. In combat with Captain Atom, Ellis exhibits the same powers as Joshua Clay. Ellis reunites with his wife Yvonne at the end of the story. This was his only appearance.[10]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Kinetic energy blast, art by James Fry
  • Joshua Clay can generate and radiate powerful blasts from his hands, able to melt steel.
  • Tempest can control his blasts' volume and intensity to the extent that he can ignite the head of a match from twenty feet away.
  • Properly focused and controlled, his energies allow Tempest to propel himself through the air at 90 miles per hour.[10]
  • Trained as a combat medic by the U.S. Army, he later becomes a licensed physician.

Other versionsEdit

Earth OneEdit

In Teen Titans: Earth One continuity, Clay is a member of S.T.A.R. Labs, which in this version are the main antagonistic force behind the creation of the Titans. [11]

In other mediaEdit

Joshua Clay appears in the sixth episode of the Doom Patrol television series played by Alimi Ballard. This version was a member of the original Doom Patrol until they disbanded after their defeat at the hands of Mr. Nobody. He has since become the caregiver of Mento, Celsius and Lodestone.


  1. ^ Browning, Michael (July 2013). "The Doom Patrol Interviews: Paul Kupperberg". Back Issue! (65): 42–45.
  2. ^ a b Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Clay, Joshua", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 84, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  3. ^ Secret Origins Annual #1
  4. ^ Showcase #94 (August/September 1977)
  5. ^ Doom Patrol (vol. 2) #1 (October 1987)
  6. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008), "Doom Patrol", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 61–63, ISBN 978-0-7566-4122-1, OCLC 213309015
  7. ^ Review of Doom Patrol (vol. 2) #55
  8. ^ Justice League Vol. 2 #24. DC Comics.
  9. ^ Justice League Vol. 2 #34. DC Comics.
  10. ^ a b Justice League Quarterly #17 (Winter 1994), "The Sleeper Awakens", written by Charlie Bracey, drawn by Carlos Franco
  11. ^ Teen Titans: Earth One Vol 1 #1

External linksEdit