To really shine in the world of comic book superheroes, you've gotta have three things going for you:
Those three qualities add up to what we call an "A-Lister". You know who they are: Superman, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Iron-Man, Batman, Captain America, and other icons...all of whom have cool powers, compelling origins, and classic names.
Although three is the gold standard, it's been shown that you can be a reasonably successful "B-Lister" with only two of those qualities. For example, you could have cool powers, a cool origin, yet have a not-so-hot name (like Green Lantern or J'onn J'onzz) and still get some high visibility and good gigs.
However, possessing only one of the three qualities isn't going to get you anywhere but the C-List.
Let's take young Robert Frank, for example. Making his debut in USA Comics #1 (1941), his power of super-speed certainly qualified as cool...but calling himself The Whizzer (while wearing a bright yellow costume, no less) instantly disqualified him from the "cool name" category.
Granted, when the word "whiz" was used back in the 1940's, it wasn't the snicker-inducing word it is today, as the term "gee whiz", "Whiz Comics" and this 1948 ad for a motorized bike can attest...
But still...I would think even by the less puerile standards of the 1940's, "The Whizzer" was an odd choice for a superhero name.
Ah...but what about his origin? Don't these super-speedster origins usually involve cool stuff like lightning or secret formulas? Well, not in this case. In fact, it's no exaggeration to say that the Whizzer probably had the lamest origin in the 70+ years of superhero comic books. Don't believe me? Here, check out a summary of his origin from Marvel Premiere #29 (1976) for the laughably insane details (click on the image for a larger view):
That's right, Robert Frank gained super-speed from an emergency transfusion of mongoose blood...and when even writer and Golden Age acoylyte Roy Thomas seems embarassed by your name and origin, you've got problems.
Happily, the Whizzer was revived for a short time during the 1970's for a series of well-received Avengers stories. Returning to action as a much older man, he was initially thought to be the long-long father of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (later disproven), but ultimately sacrificed his life to give a second chance to his actual son, the mutant known as Nuklo.
Which goes to show: In the proper hands, even a C-list strike-out like the Whizzer (mongoose blood and all) has a great story just waiting to be told.