Marvel’s weirdest superhero origin belongs to his version of the Flash
Superspeed’s hero The Whizzer has the strangest origin in comics, but his first story contains a lot of elements that would become iconic for other heroes.
Superhero origins weren’t always as important as they were in the MCU era, and Marvel’s equivalent to super fast Sparkle – Robert Frank, the unfortunately named Whizzer – has one of the strangest comics ever engaged in. Most famous MCU fan for a cameo appearance on Netflix Jessica jones, played by Jay Klaitz, the Whizzer is a hero of the “golden age” of comics – a time before interconnectivity and continuity were such pressing concerns for comic book fans.
Despite this, Whizzer has remained present in Marvel Comics. Countless time travel stories have recalled Whizzer’s days on the wartime Invaders team alongside Captain America, and he’s even been revealed to be the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch before. many returns concerning their parentage. Introduced in American Comics # 1 by Al Avison and a writer whose identity has sadly been lost in time, Robert “Bob” Frank acts as his father’s physician assistant when the two are charged with murder and forced to leave the country. The framing itself is a truly odd event, but nothing about Whizzer’s origin is stranger than the source of his powers.
American Comics # 1 begins with Bob near death from a fever. Bob’s father performs a blood transfusion, but is unable to obtain sufficient supplies to help Bob recover. The doctor’s spell is interrupted when a snake rears up to attack Bob, who is only saved by a mongoose that attacks the snake, outwitting the predator with its top speed. Seeing that the mongoose is injured, Bob’s father has a brain wave, drawing blood from the animal and injecting it into Bob before dying from the tension of the experience.
Many of the moments in this sequence are funny to the modern eye. First, that direct infusion of mongoose blood doesn’t contain any mysterious sci-fi elements to help it stand the test of time, like the mysterious fumes or chemicals that created different versions of DC’s Flash, and secondly that Bob at once gain in super speed. Less blatantly, there’s the fact that Bob’s dad apparently knows this will be the case, telling Bob, “You are going to be different from other men, son – you have the blood of a mongoose – the fastest animal in the world – in you. You are going to be a regular whistler,” before collapsing.
In those early days of what would become the Marvel Universe, it is apparently known to science that mongoose blood confers super speed, and yet Whizzer is still able to come home and become a hero with powers indeed. unique. Small details add to the odd story, such as Bob’s dad apparently realizing the mongoose has the blood he needs because he sees she’s injured, and the gangster Granno tricking the doctor into trying to save her. victim just so he could push him during the operation and then threaten to say he killed the man on purpose unless he left the country.
Later stories would add new details to Whizzer’s origin in an attempt to downplay the importance of mongoose blood, insisting that the transfusion only triggered its pre-existing mutant potential. Interestingly, Whizzer’s origin contains elements that are now iconic for other heroes – like Spider-Man, Whizzer’s powers come from his appropriating the properties of an animal through his blood, and as Captain America, he is portrayed as a thin, sickly man transformed into a superhuman through medical experimentation. Unlike other heroes of the same era, Whizzer is rarely seen in modern comics, his unfortunate name making him more difficult to update than some of his contemporaries. Yet Marvel is the equivalent of Sparkle is not a forgotten hero, and his origin – strange as it is – was part of an early testing ground of ideas that would lead to countless iconic heroes, though Whizzer is not among them.
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