See Also: Vandal Savage
Shortly after the Soviet super-speed trio Red Trinity defected to the U.S. and opened a business as Kapitalist Kouriers, a rash of hyperspeed robberies began taking place. When one of the Kouriers was himself attacked by two hyperspeed hijackers on foot, an associate of the man who had hired him, mob boss Nick Bassalgia, decided to contact the Flash for assistance.
The thefts were being carried out by addicts of a new drug called Velocity 9. By speeding up the metabolism, it gave the user superspeed near that of sound for brief periods of time. It also caused massive dehydration, rapid aging, severe exhaustion...and instant, intense addiction. Vandal Savage, producer of the drug, began recruiting people suffering from a condition called Rubinstein-Barre syndrome (“yuppie disease”) who were bored with their otherwise successful lives. His intent was to recruit and addict those who actually ran society—stockbrokers, lawyers, etc.—control them through the supply of the drug, and through them control New York City.
Bassalgia, meanwhile, had recruited a somewhat naive Dr. Bortz to work on synthesizing his own supply of Velocity 9. Before he could succeed, Savage moved to take over his heroin distribution network. Together, they captured the Flash and injected him with Velocity 9, canceling out his powers. Bortz, forced to inject Wally with another dose, instead injected Savage, who ran away at superspeed and disappeared for some time.
Although the supply of Velocity 9 dried up immediately, the problem remained for months as junkies with isolated supplies and those who somehow managed to slow down the rapid aging continued to pose a threat. Eventually, the problem faded into the background...
...Until a rash of super-speed petty theft hit the streets of New York. This time aimed at teenagers, Savage had begun distribution of a new variant, Velocity 10. Rather than the advanced aging caused by the original variety, Velocity 10’s major withdrawal effect is to cause different parts of the body to metabolize at different rates. Savage’s goals this time around remained unclear, though it may have been be connected with a campaign to disrupt the Titans.
Deathstroke recently found a way to produce Velocity 9 without the side effects, and has been supplying it to Inertia.Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Flash #12–14 (May–July 1988): “Velocity 9,” “Savage Vandalism,” and “Wipe Out,” Mike Baron
- Flash #15, 16–17 (August–November 1988): “Hitting Bottom” and “The Adventures of Speed McGee,” William Messner-Loebs
- Flash #37 (April 1990): “Channels of Love—and Fear!,” William Messner-Loebs
- Flash #44 (November 1990): “Balance Sheet,” William Messner-Loebs
- Flash Annual #11 (1998): “Haunts,” Brian Augustyn
- The Titans #7–8 (September–October 1999): “Need for Speed,” Devin Grayson
- The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #7 (February 2007): “Speedquest Chapter 1: Angel City,” Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo