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June 02, 2009

Comments

Mystik Tomato

"The Whizzer: Marking his territory... On crime!"

In other news, you've got mongoose blood in your veins, but you don't call yourself 'The Mongoose?' Or 'Mongoose Man?'

Mark Engblom

"Battling the scourge of crime...and cobras...the world over!"

snell

"...the lamest origin in the 70+ years of superhero comic books"?

Bro, you haven't read nearly enough Golden Age origins. Mongoose blood is a beacon of rationality next to some of the "Golden Age Science" humdingers...

Mark Engblom

You're right, Snell. I may have gotten a bit carried away. However....The Whizzer is at LEAST in the Top Ten (if not the Top Five) of the lamest origins ever.

Pat Curley

One word: Mopee.

But yeah, one wonders how the logic jumped from "a mongoose can kill a cobra" to "maybe the blood of a mongoose will eliminate the cobra poison in my son".

Grumpy

If his origin had involved an injection of, say, anti-matter to combat a cobra bite, it would've been no less wrong. But it would've been way cooler.

But he probably still would've worn a chicken on his head.

Ralph C.

Is a mongoose really that fast of an animal, that it should give the receiver of its blood super-speed?

As for not taking on the name "The Mongoose" or "Mongoose Man"-- Mr. Frank made the right choice. Another thing: if you do call yourself "The Mongoose" or "Mongoose Man", how do you costume yourself without being the target of snickers and guffaws and belly-laughs that the "Whizzer" name would later elicit? How would such a costume look?

Okay, Mark-- time to draw some "The Mongoose"/"Mongoose Man" costume ideas! You up for the challenge???? :-)

David Morefield

I always wonder why the Whizzer's origin is held up as THE gold standard of goofy origins.

Is it the lousy science of a mongoose-to-human blood transfusion? The giggle-inducing quality of the word "mongoose" (it's right up there with "platypus") Or the idea that you can gain another creature's powers from an infusion of their fluids?

If the latter, it always struck me as funny that the Whizzer is the poster boy for dumb superhero concepts, while Spider-Man is one of the biggest success stories in the history of the medium. Even if you add the all-purpose, way overused magic ord "radiation", in the end Peter Parker gets his powers from a spider bite. How is it that's cool but a mongoose transfusion lame?

Chris Mullen

If the latter, it always struck me as funny that the Whizzer is the poster boy for dumb superhero concepts, while Spider-Man is one of the biggest success stories in the history of the medium. Even if you add the all-purpose, way overused magic ord "radiation", in the end Peter Parker gets his powers from a spider bite. How is it that's cool but a mongoose transfusion lame
The contrived reasoning behind the father's emergency transfusion, the lack of "magic radiation" as it were: It wasn't a "normal" spider that bit Peter, remember, but it was a completely normal mongoose that gave Whizzer his. The implication with Spider-Man was that the "magic science" i.e. radiation gave him his powers. Also, the complete disconnect between the origin and the resulting powers. I mean, you could stretch it so that a peregrine falcon or cheetah would give you super-speed, but a mongoose? Mongoose aren't exactly known for their incredible speed. Spider-Man's powers at least sort of match up with a spider's abilities.

Mark Engblom

What stands out to me about the Whizzer's origin is the utter laziness it conveys. Sure, the "sausage factory" aspect of Golden Age comics didn't encourage brilliant, well put-together stories...but the Whizzer's origin is so poorly researched...and so crazily illogical and haphazard, it stands above the usual dreck of that era.

I would LOVE to track down the origin as originally presented to see how the whole transfusion thing was handled (picturing a tiny mongoose laying next to Bob Frank with an IV line connecting the two of them).

I should mention that, years later, an attempt to soften the idiocy of the Whizzer's origin was offered up. The story claimed that the Mongoose blood, instead of granting Frank superspeed, triggered a mutant ability that was dormant within Frank's genetic makeup.

Since they were already retro-fixing his origin, wouldn't it have been more logical to just do away with the mongoose angle altogether? It's as if some invisible aura of illogic surrounds the Whizzer character, which short circuits the otherwise good instincts of comic book creators over several decades.

zubzwank

I think a cool costume is also part of the formula for an A-lister.

Green Lantern is not that bad a name.

How about Matter-Eater Lad? How unwieldy is that? Couldn't they have called him Kid Consume
or Gastroboy?

suedenim

It's the combination of crazy elements all working together that makes the Whizzer what he is. You could take any one or two of those elements, maybe, but put them all together, and... yikes.

A mongoose would be a better grantor of "super reflexes," probably, than super speed per se.

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