Tag Archives: Johnny Quick

Magic Speed Formula: Mort Meskin’s Johnny Quick

Created by Mort Weisinger and debuting in More Fun Comics #71 (1941, less than two years after Flash Comics #1), Johnny Quick and his “3X2(9YZ)4A” speed formula enjoyed a 13-year run between More Fun and Adventure Comics. He even outlasted the Jay Garrick Flash, staying in publication in solo stories through 1954. A speedster who occasionally took to the skies, his secret ID of Johnny Chambers was a newsreel photographer.

More Fun 094-11

Between 1941 and 1948, the artist behind the majority of Johnny Quick’s adventures was Mort Meskin. Sometimes listed as Mort Morton, Jr., Meskin is credited on 57 Johnny Quick stories, according to DCIndexes.com. DC reprinted six of those stories between three issues of the 1956-1985 Flash series, a separate Flash 100-Page Giant, an issue of Most Dangerous Villains, and a 2001 “Millennium Edition” reprint of More Fun #101.

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A Brief History of Jesse Quick

Justice League of America #46 variant cover by Francis Manapul featuring Jesse Quick/Liberty BelleJesse Quick first appeared in a 1992 revival of the Justice Society of America. It only lasted a year or so, but it introduced Jesse Chambers, a college student who inherited powers from her superhero parents: Johnny Quick, a speedster who used the spoken formula “3X2(9YZ)4A” to unlock his power, and the super-strong Liberty Belle.

Her parents had split up over super-heroics — her mother wanted nothing more to do with them, but her father wouldn’t give it up — and Jesse found the idea fascinating enough to write a dissertation on the subject. It was inevitable that she’d be called into action alongside her father.

Jesse Quick got on well with Flash Wally West at first, but they had a falling out over his keeping secrets. As she became more active as a hero, they continued to be allies, but it would be hard to call them friends.

A workaholic, Jesse took over her father’s business after his death.  She and her mother eventually reconciled, and she even took on the Liberty Belle identity for a while when she lost her speed. She met Rick Tyler (Hourman) through the new Justice Society of America, and they married.

Jesse has not yet appeared in the post-Flashpoint DC Universe, though she did appear as the Flash in the Ame-Comi Girls universe.

All-Star Squadron #65 Justice Society of America #8 (Liberty Belle II)

Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle

Johnny Quick was created in 1941 in response to the Flash’s success. Jay Garrick was owned by All-American Comics at the time, published through DC, and DC wanted a speedster their owned outright.  Debuting in More Fun Comics, Johnny Chambers’ gimmick was the spoken formula which unlocked his super-speed.

World War II heroine Liberty Belle debuted in 1942. She was an American athlete who escaped occupied France by swimming the English Channel and used her new fame to support the war effort and fight Nazi saboteurs on the home front.

Both characters vanished in the late 1940s, and neither was revamped when DC began rebooting their old characters in the 1950s and 1960s.  They eventually came back in the 1980s series All-Star Squadron, which followed the adventures of DC’s WW2 heroes and established a romance between the two of them. These stories initially took place on Earth-Two, but when DC combined their multiverse into a single continuity in 1986, they were re-set in the new, combined history.

Side Note: The Crime Syndicate

DC kept the “Johnny Quick” name alive in the 1960s by using the name for the Earth-3 evil version of the Flash. The Crime Syndicate of America has featured a Johnny Quick in all of its incarnations since then, including the animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and the New 52/Forever Evil version.

Covers via the Grand Comics Database.

DC Collectibles New 52 Forever Evil Johnny Quick Action Figure Revealed!

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Hey Speed Readers,

Yesterday DC Collectibles gave us a “top secret” look at the main villains in their Forever Evil crossover coming up; The New 52 versions of the Crime Syndicate of America of Earth 3. More notably, Johnny Quick:

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High Speed Hauntings: 4 Ghost Stories Featuring the Flash

Flash Annual #11: Ghosts - Cover

Ghost stories seem a natural fit with some superheroes. Not so with the Flash. An origin based in science, scientifically trained alter-egos, villains who use technology. Even the “magician” villain, Abra Kadabra, is more of a techno-mage, using highly advanced future technology to carry out transformations that seem like magic to our experience. The closest the Flash mythos gets to the supernatural is the metaphysical nature of the speed force, and even that is described in terms of energy and the nature of space-time.

So it makes sense that for 1998’s “Ghosts” annuals, the Flash story would feature not a traditional ghost, but one tied to the speed force: Johnny Quick, who had vanished into the speed force two years earlier during Dead Heat.

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DCUC Crime Syndicate Johnny Quick First Look

The Fwoosh has the first look at Johnny Quick, The Crime Syndicate of Amerika’s own evil speedster who exists as a alternate Earth counterpart to our own Barry Allen, The Flash. There was also a version of Johnny that was an alternate and twisted version of Wally West but this design is clearly based on the Silver Age version of the sinister speedster. The figure will be released in a Walmart Exclusive Five pack that also includes the other four members of the CSA from various time periods; Johnny and Power Ring are from the Silver Age, Ultraman and Owlman are based on more modern renditions of the characters and Super Woman has a nice mix of everything. While I initially thought the different styles and looks wouldn’t mesh as well together I was mistaken:

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Toy Fair 2011 Flash News!

Wow, wow, wow! Some great stuff coming out of Toy Fair this year for the Flash. Mattel had quite a few new Flash related items to show off while DC Direct really had nothing new that we hadn’t already seen. The following pics below are courtesy of Toynewsi.com.

I was most looking forward to the Young Justice and JLU news because of the rumored upcoming releases and they didn’t disappoint. Well almost didn’t but we will get to that later.

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