Whizzer (Robert Frank)

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The Whizzer is a comic-book character in the Marvel Comics multiverse. He first appeared as a superhero in the 1940s period referred to as the Golden Age of Comic Books.


Contents

Publication history

The first Whizzer (Robert Frank) debuted in USA Comics #1 (Aug. 1941), published by Timely Comics. The character was created by penciller Al Avison and an unnamed writer. One source credits Stan Lee as that writer, but there are no other sources to support the credit. Timely published solo adventures of the Whizzer throughout the first half of the 1940s, then, in 1946, the company then placed the character, along with its other strong characters such as Captain America and Sub-Mariner, into team format stories as part of the All-Winners Squad in the final two issues of All Winners Comics. These were the characters' last appearances during the 1940s.

Roy Thomas reintroduced the Golden Age Whizzer in Giant-Size Avengers #1 (Aug. 1974). Two years later, in The Avengers Annual #6 (Nov. 1976), writer Gerry Conway reinterpreted the character's origin and history so that the "transfusion of mongoose blood" was not the source of the power, but the factor that "triggered a latent mutant ability". Thomas, in the World War II flashback series The Invaders #5-6 (March & May 1976), expanded on the character's wartime career as a sometime-member of the retroactively created superhero team the Invaders. Thomas later additionally made the Whizzer a full-time member of the home-front heroes the Liberty Legion, in Marvel Premiere #29-30 (April & June 1976). Neither team had existed in Timely Comics.

Character biography

The origin of the Golden Age character begins while Robert Frank is on a trip to Africa with his father, Dr. Emil Frank, where Robert is bitten by a cobra. Dr. Frank saves Robert by a transfusion of mongoose blood, and soon discovers that he has developed super-speed. This is later changed in the modern age and it is stated that the mongoose blood simply acts as a catalyst for his mutant physiology. Frank then decides to fight crime and eventually accepts the offer of Invaders member Bucky, who forms the superhero team the Liberty Legion to rescue the other Invaders, who have been brainwashed by the villain the Red Skull. When the Liberty Legion and Invaders eventually disband after World War II, the Whizzer joins the newly-formed All-Winners Squad.

In the modern age the Whizzer reappears as an aging hero who had married fellow superhero Miss America. The Whizzer briefly serves with the Avengers who aid him in controlling his son Nuklo. At the end of this adventure, the Whizzer erroneously believes himself to be the father of the mutant twins Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. After a humbling defeat at the hands of the supervillain Count Nefaria the Whizzer retires, but later returns to fight a final battle against an old war-time foe called Isbisa. The Whizzer dies fighting Isbisa, but his sacrifice enables his son Nuklo to begin a normal life.

Other media

Television

Robert Frank, the Whizzer, was featured in an episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In this version, the Whizzer's powers are the result of an attempt at recreating the process that empowered Captain America.

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