Friday, April 26, 2013

W: The Whizzer!



is for Whizzer.

Yeah, yeah...laugh if you want, but it's still better than "Elongated Man"...right?

Anyway....The Whizzer...aka Robert Frank...debuted in USA Comics #1 (August, 1941), published by the precursor to Marvel Comics, Timely Comics. Created by artist Al Avison, rumor has it that Stan Lee, himself, was the writer who came up with the character, but that has never been confirmed. 

The Whizzer was featured in solo stories for the first half of the 1940s then, in 1946, was made part of The All Winner's Squad.



Now onto The Whizzer's origin. You'll probably be glad to note that he was not a scientist and radiation also wasn't involved in Frank getting his powers. No, he got his powers from being bitten by a cobra while on a trip with his father (who was a scientist). Well, he didn't get his powers from the cobra bite itself, but from the transfusion of mongoose blood his father gave him to try to save his life. 

Yes...I said... 'mongoose blood'.

Mongoose blood to combat cobra venom.....makes sense, right? What? You've never seen Riki Tiki Tavi??

Later on, in the 70s, his origin was amended (retconned) a bit to say that the mongoose blood triggered his latent mutant abilities, which accounted for his super speed. Personally, I think the straight mongoose blood is a more fun origin tale. 

Robert discovers that he can now run up to 100 mph and his reflexes have become super human. He decides to go out and fight crime, joining The All Winner's Squad. During the characters revival in the 1970s, he was also (retro continuity-ed, retconned) attributed to joining The Invaders as well as The Liberty Legion. (you do remember them from "L", right?)

I like to think of it as 'recycling'

Frank married Miss America and the couple settled down, giving up the superhero business after WWII. They had a son who....well, that's a story for another post, I think... :)



36 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

I can't believe, with War Machine as an option, that you went with the Whizzer. He was one of those kids that got picked on for his name.

And, no, it's not better than Elongated Man.

Mark Means said...

@Andrew: Heh, well War Machine is a big Hollywood star now, so he doesn't need my press. It's folks like the poor Whizzer here, that I have to look out for :)

Dee said...

Oh my. Mongoose blood. You were right when you told me that there have been weirder origins than chemicals or radiation!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Mongoose are all around Jamaica. I've heard the name but never knew Whizzer's story. Thanks for sharing and a son huh? Somehow I don't think he grew up to be a social worker.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Now I'm wondering who their son is. Hopefully, Miss America helped choose his name!

Julie

Nick Wilford said...

He got around a bit between those superhero teams. He was very fast, so that explains it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mongoose blood - that is original. When I hear Whizzer though, I don't think of speed.

jaybird said...

Noooo! The Whizzer? Come on. I think it's a tie for worst super hero name ever with Elongated Man. Sorry, someone like me is just too immature to read either of their names without laughing like Beavis and Butthead. Huh huh, he said, "Whizzer."

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Nice to hear he settled down and got married.

And I loved Riki Tiki Tavi.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

A bit of an unfortunate name, but the mongoose story is different.

John Wiswell said...

My only exposure to him was on the 90's Spider-Man cartoon. Even Spidey was dubious about ol' Whizzer's name.

John at The Bathroom Monologues

Jeremy [Retro] said...

i am still snickering... if only i could stop... first great laugh of the day. he needs a theme song.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Still laughing, and then I read the other comments, and I laughed even more. Poor guy.
Somehow he overcame his name and married Miss America so at least he had that . . . hopefully she didn't get called Mrs. Whizzer. (sorry, I went there)
Mongoose bloods is hysterical and awesome at the same time . . .the writer must have liked Riki Tiki Tavi. :)

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Well, you know that name tickled me so much I immediately felt that this day was off to a happier start than expected.

His powers induced by the cobra bite and the mongoose blood transfusion made me wonder what that artist had been smoking. :-)

The Capillary said...

Really? I know you said we could laugh at the name "The Whizzer" but I can't help but be confused. What kind of connotation did "Whizzer" have when he was created to make him socially acceptable?

sunday visitor said...

Awesome Post! Whizzer what a name. The Cobra bite reminded me of Spiderman but then my illusions were shattered that he got his powers due to mongoose blood transfusuion :(

Allison said...

haha. I did laugh inside. I admit.

Allison (Geek Banter)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Sounds somewhat logical, hehe, my kids loved Rikki Tikki Tavi. Though, have to giggle when I think of Franks alias, Whizzer...

LD Masterson said...

I'm not sure which was worse for this poor fellow - his name or the mongoose blood origin. Oy.

Manzanita said...

Yeah, I like the Mongoose Blood one. Whizzer is something like the Flash, right? So Miss America had a baby. There goes her figure!!!!

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

So funny! Wasn't whiz a term for peeing back then? Like the twists the creators put in their characters. They seem just as clueless and real as all of us at times, don't they? Writer’s Mark

mshatch said...

my turn to snicker - I couldn't help picturing this superhero who always has to take a whiz. And I don't know, it's kind of a toss up between him and elongated man. Maybe they should team up :)

S.P. Bowers said...

The Whizzer? Honestly, I think it's worse than Elongated man.

Julie Flanders said...

LOL yeah, this is a really unfortunate name. I think it might be worse than Elongated Man. Poor Whizzer.

Lisa said...

Now I think this one takes the cake on a name. I mean really? The Whizzer? I remember you writing about him earlier on and thought it a silly name! At least he was a do-gooder and had a happy home life... Nowadays super heroes can't be happy for any length of time. I wish they didn't always have to follow that story line. Gets old after awhile.

Morgan Katz said...

WOW... what an interesting name!!

Robin said...

Mongoose blood makes perfect sense given that mongooses kill cobras. I like the theory that mongoose blood mixed with the guy's own blood caused a reaction that plugged into his latent abilities. That is cool. Way better than radiation. Have I mentioned that I am tired of radiation yet? If not, well...

The Whizzer and Miss America... that is awesome. I love a Romance. Now I want to know who their kid is and how he/she turned out. I can't believe this challenge is going to end and I am just going to be In The Dark. Huh.

John Gray said...

Love the yellow. Top

Cynthia said...

I like your version of the mongoose blood instilling super powers.

Mark Means said...

@Dee: And that's not even the strangest one out there :)

@Sheena: You're absolutely right...he didn't grow up to be a social worker. Let's just say he had a 'glowing' personality :)

@Julie: Well his name was Robert Jr., but he also had...another name... -cue mysterious music- muahaha

@Nick: Haha...very true!

@Alex: That and I don't think it helped that his costume was yellow, either.. :D

@jaybird: lol, hey give the guy a break...it was a different time, back then :P

@Diane: Same here! :)

@Susan: I agree...even for back then, it was pretty original.

@John: I'm sure we both know that Spidey could have had a field day with that one :)

@Jeremy: Hmmm...not sure what an appropriate theme song for him would be. I'll have to think on that one...

@Tyrean: Heh, yeah it might have been his only bragging point..."Yeah, make fun of my name, will ya...I don't care..I married Miss America!"

@Lee: Well, at least he brought a little joy to your day and, back then, who knows? :)

@Capillary: I think, back then, it just meant 'something fast'...as in, "he just whizzed by"...I'm guessing.

@sunday visitor: Thanks for stopping by and, yeah, if it would have been a radioactive mongoose, the creator would have been quite a bit ahead of his time :)

@Allison: LOL...it's o.k, I'm sure he wouldn't mind :)

@Cathrina: Heh, maybe that's why Marvel sort of phased him out? Who knows? :)

@LD: It's looking like general consensus is saying the name :D

@Manzanita: Nah, she had that super metabolism that made her snap back into shape, probably :)

@Nancy: I'm not sure if it meant that back then, or not...I'd have to look that one up :)

@mshatch: Now that'd be a team up I'd like to see!

@S.P: It's pretty close, I'll grant you :)

@Julie: Well, he was older and could take it better, I'm sure :)

@Lisa: I agree...though I think the fans demand a certain amount of drama. Sort of like a soap opera.. :)

@Morgan: That's the nicest thing anyone's said about his name, so far :D

@Robin: LOL...O.k, o.k...I won't keep you in suspense. A little about Robert Jr. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuklo

@John: Heh, like I said, probably not the best color to pick with that name, but... :)



Ella said...

I love his costume! Name well times change as does language~
Miss America-wow! Now that is a story~ lol
I kinda like that big blue W(my last name is Wilson) ;D
Nicely done~

Andrew Leon said...

You're certainly correct when you say you have to watch out for him. Especially any sudden spins he makes.

Mark Means said...

@Ella: Haha, thank you! :) Maybe you can make a yellow sweater with a blue "W" on it? If you do, you have to take a pic of it :D

@Andrew: LOL...very true...especially if you don't have an umbrella handy!

~Brandy~ said...

I really don't know a lot about present comic book super heroes, never mind classic ones! Cool info!

Cheers from Brandy at http://brandysbustlings.blogspot.ca/

Yolanda Renee said...

Whizzer and in yellow too, sorry that's just funny!

Really enjoy learning about all these super heroes.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - well Whizzer adds another dimension to Kipling's Riki Tiki Tavi .. a transfusion of Mongoose blood to make you faster - I think I need some of that ..

I do love the cartoons - so cleverly drawn .. cheers Hilary

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