On March 8th, the world’s coolest (and snarkiest) detective is back! Jessica Jones returns for a second season of Marvel mishaps on your Netflix service. It’s been a couple of years since Jess flew solo on her own show and who knows what’s coming for her this time around. For the next few weeks, I’ll be dropping knowledge on this superhero turned private dick to get you ready. Join me and find out more reasons why Jessica is just that damn cool.
In the first season of Jessica Jones, deep dives were made into Marvel Comics continuity. Characters such as Patsy Walker and Nuke were added to the main cast and given new origins. The choice of characters were surprising as neither had a previous connection to Jones in he pages of the comics. What’s fantastic is that both were welcome additions to the series. This season, the team behind the Netflix show have done it again, pulling an obscure character out of the funny books and onto the small screen: The Whizzer!
“Who the hell is The Whizzer?”
That’s an excellent question. Robert Frank, a.k.a. The Whizzer, was a character from the golden age of comics. He made his first appearance back in 1941 in issue #1 of USA Comics. He continued to pop up in Marvel comics throughout the years, right up to the modern era. Just to be clear, his power has nothing to do with taking a whiz. No, The Whizzer has superhuman speed. While his appearance in the Jessica Jones series is VERY different from his comic book counterpart, I thought it would be fun to share a few entertaining facts about THE WHIZZER!
He got his Powers from Mongoose Blood
Robert Frank (that’s Whizzy’s real name) was traveling with his father, scientist Emil Frank, in Cameroon when he was bitten by a cobra. A mongoose appeared shortly after and killed the cobra but was severely wounded in the encounter. Remembering an “old wives’ tale”, Dr. Frank took the mongoose’s blood and injected it into his son to save his life. The ordeal took a great deal out of Emil and he had a heart attack. But Robert was fine. In fact, thanks to his unbeknownst mutant physiology, he gained super speed from the mongoose blood.
So instead of becoming a scientist like his father, Robert jumped on the bandwagon and joined in on that new crazy trend that was sweeping the nation and became a costumed crime fighter. That kind of makes sense. What doesn’t make sense was the decision to call himself the Whizzer and dress in bright yellow. He was new to the superhero game. We all make mistakes, I guess.
He Was a Member of the Liberty Legion
During WWII, Whizzer did what many crime fighters did: fought the Nazis. Of course he did. Everybody did. They were the biggest bad guys around! Around this time, Captain America and the Invaders were captured and brainwashed by the Red Skull. Skull sent the Invaders to destroy a defense plant in New York State. Bucky, who slipped by the Nazis (I guess they didn’t see the kid as much of a threat), broadcast over the local radio to get the attention of the home grown heroes in the area.
Whizzer, along with his new associate (and future wife) Miss America, answered the call. They joined Bucky’s gang and stopped the mind-messed Invaders. They also freed them from the Skull’s clutches. After this adventure, Whizzer, Miss America and the rest of the local heroes decided to stick together as the super team Liberty Legion. Whiz and MA would also join the All-Winners Squad after the war. The Squad didn’t last long. I think it might have to do with the cheesy name.
He Lost His Memory for Twenty Years!
The years following the war were not good to Robert Frank. He and his wife became civilians and got jobs working a secret government nuclear facility. As comic stories go, a horrible revenge plot subjected the Franks to massive amounts of radiation. This lead to his first son, Robert Jr., to emit massive amounts of radioactivity when he was born. He needed to be placed in suspended animation to save himself and others. The government would oversee Robert Jr.’s chamber as Whizzer and Miss America would travel the world. Miss America would get pregnant again but die while giving birth to a still born in the citadel on the fabled Wundergore Mountain.
Not being able to handle his wife’s death, Whizzy ran off and was not seen again for over two decades. During that time, Whizzy became a bum on the streets and suffered from amnesia. Eventually, upon hearing about the exploits of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch (whom he thought might be his children), he came to remember what the hell happened to him and returned to being a crime fighter. But not before he could have a misunderstanding with the Avengers which led to another one of those classic hero vs. hero fights. Good times.
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are NOT his kids
So if you read the column above, something seems a miss, doesn’t it? Why the hell did Whizzer think that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were his kids? Didn’t his wife die giving birth to ONE child? At the time, Whizzy didn’t know this. Bova, the cow/woman midwife (Wundergore is WEIRD!), told Whizzer that his wife gave birth to a pair of orphaned twins that were delivered around the same time. Whizzer was so distraught about the death of his wife, he ran off and left them there. It wouldn’t be until his death (at the hands of his real son, Nuklo) that the truth would be revealed.
So on top of having a terrible name and a bad fashion sense, Robert Frank is also a deadbeat dad to kids that aren’t even his. We used to let “heroes” get away with A LOT.
His Clone was Killed by Deadpool
So Whizzer may have died in the pages of Vision and the Scarlet Witch #2, but that wouldn’t be the only time he bought it. Technically, it was actually a clone of him that died the second time. In the late 90s, in a free issue of Deadpool that came packaged with a copy of Wizard Magazine (remember Wizard, kids?), the villainous Armin Zola created a clone army of deceased third string heroes and villains. Deadpool would go on to kill all of them by the end of the issue. One of the guys to buy it was Whizzer, but not before Deadpool could take a number of shots at his name and outfit.
One of the other clones to be killed off would be Captain America’s wily sidekick, Bucky. It would be revealed 6 years later that Bucky was still alive as The Winter Soldier. This story by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting took a sidekick that no one really cared for and reinvented him into a fan favourite character that is now a major part of the Marvel movie franchise. Does The Whizzer have a chance at being revitalized in the same fashion? Probably not. (Sorry, Whizzy.)
So that’s it for this week. Will there be any other obscure Marvel characters showing up this season? We’ll find out soon enough. Be sure to check back here for my review of Season 2 of Jessica Jones next week.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 drops on Netflix on March 8th.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!