Golden Age Showcase: The Whizzer

So after writing an article on the original Human Torch last week I did some more research into the superhero group he joined during WW2: The All Winners Squad.  I discovered that he had a team mate who had the most rediculous names in all of comics (and that is saying something) and what is possibly the greatest origin story ever written.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you: The Whizzer


Origin and career:

The Whizzer’s real name was Robert Frank.  Created in 1941 by artist Al Avison (and an un credited writer who may have have been Stan Lee) Robert gained the powers of super speed during a trip to Africa with his father.  When Robert was bitten by a cobra his father decided that the best way to save him, and I swear I’m not making this up, was to inject him with mongoose blood.


Not only did this save his life but it also gave Robert super speed, because comic book logic in the 1940’s did not give a damn about anything.

Robert decided to adopt the name “The Whizzer” and become a costumed crime fighter.


While his career as a solo costumed crime fighter was somewhat limited his true time to shine happened during WW2.  While battling a Nazi spy ring Robert Frank heard a radio broadcast from fellow hero Bucky Barns (yes, the one from Captain America) calling for a gathering of superheroes to kick some Nazi butt.  The Whizzer thought it would be a great idea and decided to join.  During this time he also met a fellow costumed hero named Miss America and they fell in love.


At the start of the war the two heroes were part of a group called Liberty Legion that stayed behind in America to combat Nazi spies and would eventually head over to Europe to fight in the super hero group The Invaders, which would continue to exist after the war as the All Winners Squadron.


After the war ended the All Winners Squadron was disbanded and the Whizzer and Miss America were married as Robert Frank and Madeline Joyce.  In 1949 the two began working as security agents for a top secret nuclear project that wound up being sabotaged by a former enemy of the All Winners Squadron and one of the first nuclear themed super villains, Isbisa.


While the attack did not kill the two, the former Miss Liberty was pregnant at the time of the attack and when the baby was born it was dangerously radioactive.  After naming the boy Robert Frank Jr. the baby was placed in stasis in order to try to cure the child of his radiation poisoning.

After this incident Robert and Madeline decided to retire from the superhero life and travel the world.  However, all would not end well and while traveling Madeline would later die giving birth to a still born child who was even more radioactive than the first.  In his grief, Robert became a vagrant and wandered the Earth grief stricken and alone.

So what happened?

After a couple of decades as a homeless man the Whizzer was thrust back into the superhero life with the reemergence of his first son who had been placed in stasis years ago.  After the Avengers unearthed his son’s stasis pod the boy broke out and named himself “Nuklo”


The radiation had mutated Robert Frank Jr.’s body to gigantic proportions and his massive strength, coupled with the years of isolation, caused him to lash out at the Avengers.  The Whizzer was able to stop his son but suffered a massive heart attack in the process.

Robert Frank was hospitalized for many months while his son was turned over to the U.S Army.  During this time Robert Frank Sr. became a depressed alcoholic.  During this time he met the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who he thought were the second children his wife had given birth to before she died.


Sadly this wasn’t the case and when The Whizzer recovered he was forced into retirement and placed into the care of Tony Stark.

After making a full recovery the Whizzer fought to gain custody of his son.  While this was going on his old nemesis Ibisba came out of hiding to fight the Whizzer one more time.  The fight killed the two super powered beings but wound up curing Robert Jr. of his condition allowing him to live a normal life.

While the Whizzer had one of the most unfortunate super hero names in comic book history and was a perfect example of Golden Age silliness there is no doubt that he was still a hero who did his job bravely and nobly.

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