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Since the introduction of the Flash in 1940, the speedster has become a superhero archetype. However, some speedsters are deliberate homages to the original.


Quasar #17

In the Marvel universe, a being known as The Runner arrived on Earth. He was of a race known as the Elders, immortals who dedicate their lives to one purpose and one alone—in his case, “the thrill of the body in motion.” He explained that he sought the fastest beings in the universe to compete in a great cosmic race, and had heard that Earth boasted a number of speedsters. He contacted each of them in turn, asking them to take part in a race to determine who was fastest from their world. The winner would then go on to join in the greater race he was organizing.

Arrival They arrived at the starting coordinates: Quicksilver, The Whizzer, Captain Marvel, Speed Demon, Black Racer, Super Sabre, and Quasar’s friend Makkari. The Runner arranged for a course that would lead to the moon, simulating Earth-normal gravity and atmosphere and warping through space to account for the relative motion of the moon...and they were off!

Buried Alien? Shortly into the race, an energy surge hit the course at its first warp junction, which the last runner had already passed. A blond man in the remains of a red and yellow outfit appeared, amnesiac, but with a strong desire to run. As the contestants slowly began to drop out of exhaustion, the newcomer raced past them all, eventually winning the race with ease. The Runner, upon congratulating him, asked his name. “I’m not sure,” he said. “Buried Alien...something like that.” At that, the Runner took him to compete in the Galactic Marathon, explaining that speed was now his home (Quasar #17, 1990).

Fast Forward

Fastforward By the time the Galactic Marathon was held, “Buried Alien” had designed himself a costume and taken the name Fast-Forward. After intense training, Makkari petitioned to join the race—and actually won—only to discover he had become permanently stuck at hyper-speed. Fast-Forward agreed to help him find a cure, and Makkari agreed to help him return to his own universe. The two of them set off for parts unknown, much to the annoyance of the Runner (Quasar #58, 1994).

One last adventure before becoming one with the Speed Force? Or simply an echo of a great hero from another world?

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Primary Sources

  • “Reborn to Run” - Quasar #17 (December 1990), Mark Gruenwald
  • “Distant Running” - Quasar #58 (May 1994), Mark Gruenwald

Art

  • Buried Alien: Quasar #17 (December 1990) - Mike Manley
  • Fast Forward: Quasar #58 (May 1994) - John Heebink and Aaron McClellan

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