Base of Operations: State University
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #181 (October 1952)
In her college days, Joanie Swift worked as a secretary for State University. One day, while reading aloud a sheet of equations, she accidentally spoke Johnny Quick’s speed formula, 3X2(9YZ)4A. After melting the typewriter, she eagerly began exploring her powers. She put together together a costume based on the more famous speedster and introduced herself to him as his new partner. She accidentally released a number of rare animals while testing her abilities, so her first “case” was working with the more experienced hero to collect them. Johnny, disliking the competition, tried to discourage her, but nothing dimmed her enthusiasm until she came face-to-face with her phobia: mice!
Before she had a chance to determine which formula had given her speed for a day, Johnny Quick retyped the list.Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Adventure Comics #181* (October 1952) - Paul Norris
- Adventure Comics #181* (October 1952): “Joanie Swift, Queen of Speed!” The Editors’ Round Table
* Reprinted in World’s Finest #198 (November 1970)
“Joanie Swift, Queen of Speed!” bears some similarities to two later Flash stories: “The Girl From the Super-Fast Dimension!” (1952) and “How to Prevent a Flash” (1977). In each case, the male protagonist comes into conflict with a woman who has gained the same powers and wants to help out. But while Joanie Swift’s story is outright sexist—Johnny really doesn’t want competition from a woman—the Flash’s motivation in his stories is (at least on the surface) simple caution. This type of story had played out by the 1990s, though, as first Lady Flash and later Jesse Quick became the Flash’s allies without objections.
It should be worth noting that Joanie Swift is the only person aside from Johnny Quick and his daughter to speak the formula and gain both speed and flight. Wally West used the formula once, and while it sped him up to the point where time moved imperceptibly, he was not able to fly.