Max Mercury

Max Mercury is a DC Comics superhero similar to Quality Comics' Quicksilver. Initially an obscure speedster, the character was rebooted by Mark Waid in the pages of The Flash and turned into a mentor for Wally West.

Max Mercury
Max larocque
Max Mercury
Art by Greg LaRocque
Publication information
PublisherQuality Comics
DC Comics (current owner)
First appearanceas Quicksilver:
National Comics # 5
(Nov 1940)
as Max Mercury:
Flash (vol. 2) # 76
(May 1993)
Created byJack Cole, Chuck Mazoujian
Revamped by: Mark Waid
In-story information
Alter egoMaxwell Crandall
Team affiliationsFreedom Fighters
All-Star Squadron
Notable aliasesAhwehota, Windrunner, Whip Whirlwind, Lightning, Bluestreak, Quicksilver, Buckshot, The Zen Master of Speed
AbilitiesSuper speed
Molecular control
Time and dimensional travel

Publication history

He first appeared in Quality's National Comics #5, cover dated November 1940, as Quicksilver. Almost nothing was revealed about that character except that he possessed super-speed and his secret identity had the first name "Max". Due to the character's indistinct background, decades later writer Mark Waid was free to reinvent the character in The Flash without contradicting anything. When the character reappeared in early 1990s issues of The Flash, his name had to be changed from "Quicksilver" to "Mercury" to avoid confusion with Marvel Comics' Quicksilver.

Fictional character biography

In Waid's origin of the character, he was originally a scout with the US Cavalry in the 1830s. A friend of the local Indian tribes, he was shocked and dismayed to find them massacred on the orders of his commanding officer. Enchanted by a dying Indian shaman, he gained super-speed. In the years that followed, he became known to the Indians as Ahwehota ("He Who Runs Beyond The Wind"), and to everyone else as Windrunner. [1]

Mercury has repeatedly traveled through time, seeking to enter the so-called Speed Force. He usually bounces off and finds himself decades in the future. His first attempt left him in the 1890s, where he created a new identity for himself as Whip Whirlwind. Later, he travelled ahead again, and was active in the 1930s and 1940s as Quicksilver when he acted as a mentor to the fledgling Golden Age Flash and Johnny Quick.

In 1948, he had an affair with the wife of a doctor who had saved his life. When the doctor learned of this and his wife returned to her husband's side, Max fled into the future once more. He then reappeared in the early 1960s, where he battled Savitar and was bounced still further forward in time. He spent some years in hiding, but was persuaded by Garrick to return to action against Professor Zoom (who was posing as Barry Allen). In recent years, he has been the mentor of first Wally West and later Bart Allen (alias Impulse). He taught West about the Speed Force, and helped him to access his full speed by encouraging him to break a mental block he had placed on his powers—stopping Wally from being as fast as Barry because he would then have really replaced his uncle as the Flash. He also attempted to teach Impulse a measure of patience with varying results. While living with Bart, Max met an aged physician named Helen Claiborne, who turned out to be his daughter from his earlier affair.

During Impulse #88 (September 2002, one of the last issues), Max's body is possessed by the spirit of a Golden Age supervillain: the Rival. While still in Max's body, the Rival then escapes to some unknown place in time.

In Infinite Crisis #4, Max appears in the Speed Force, where his spirit was imprisoned after the Rival escaped from the very same peril by possessing Max's body. Max assists Johnny Quick, Bart Allen and other speedsters in taking the murderous Superboy-Prime to another realm far past the Speed Force.

In The Flash: Rebirth #4, Max has recently been brought back, as the recently returned Barry Allen helps take him out of the "Negative Speed Force" controlled by Professor Zoom. Since this follows the possible continuity changes of the "Crisis Trilogy", it is unclear whether the Rival is still in possession of Mercury's original body.

Powers and abilities

Max is a human granted superhuman speed by ancient Native American rituals. His speed is enough that he can accelerate well beyond the standard Mach 1 super-speed limit, or the speed of sound; though he cannot reach escape velocity. Over time, he tried to find the fuel for his powers (and those of other speedsters): the Speed Force. Though he never quite entered it nor obtained its energies to power his speed, his attempts allowed him to travel forward through time.

Among his peers, Max is unique in his attempts to understand the Speed Force in a mystical way (referred to by other characters as "Zen"). He also differs from other speedsters because of his agility; he cannot run as quickly as the Flashes, but he has a greater ability to perform acrobatic stunts and finely coordinated actions than they do. Thus, he was even able to outmaneuver Professor Zoom during their initial fight, although Zoom still gained the advantage by threatening innocent people.

Other versions

Flashpoint

In the Flashpoint reality, Windrunner is in the 18th century when he was approached by Kid Flash (who was being controlled by the Speed Force) and then reduces Windrunner's speed killing him to give the Flash power to stop the near-past Flash himself.[2]

Toys and games

Two versions of Max Mercury have been made as collectible figures in the Wizkids / NECA miniatures game HeroClix, both as part of "The Flash" set.
DC Direct released a six-inch figure of Max along with an Impulse figure in 2000. [3]

References

  1. ^ The DC Comics Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley Limited. 2004. p. 198. ISBN 0-7566-0592-X.
  2. ^ Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #3 (August 2011)
  3. ^ http://www.diamondgalleries.com/max-mercury-action-figure

External links

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Bart Allen

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Flash (comics)

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The Flash is one of DC Comics' most popular characters and has been integral to the publisher's many reality-changing "crisis" storylines over the years. The original meeting of the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick and Silver Age Flash Barry Allen in "Flash of Two Worlds" (1961) introduced the Multiverse storytelling concept to DC readers, which would become the basis for many DC stories in the years to come.

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A staple of the comic book DC Universe, the Flash has been adapted to numerous DC films, video games, animated series, and live-action television shows. In live action, Barry Allen has been portrayed by Rod Haase for the 1979 television special Legends of the Superheroes, John Wesley Shipp in the 1990 The Flash series and Grant Gustin in the 2014 The Flash series, and by Ezra Miller in the DC Extended Universe series of films, beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Shipp also portrays a version of Jay Garrick in the 2014 The Flash series. The various incarnations of the Flash also feature in animated series such as Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Young Justice, as well as the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series.

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List of Flash supporting characters

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Mercury (comics)

Mercury, in comics, may refer to:

Mercury (Marvel Comics), a.k.a. Cessily Kincaid, a Marvel Comics character who can turn herself into a mercurial substance

Mercury (Amalgam Comics), a combination of the characters Impulse and Quicksilver made for Amalgam Comics

Hermes (Marvel Comics), an Olympian god known to the Romans as Mercury in Marvel Comics.

Max Mercury, a DC Comics superhero Speedster.

Makkari (comics), an Eternal who once used the name "Mercury" when operating as a crime fighter.

Mercury, a member of the Metal Men, DC comics characters made of elements from the periodic table.

Mercury, a member of Cerebro's X-Men.

National Comics (series)

National Comics was an anthology comic book series published by Quality Comics, from July, 1940 until November, 1949. It ran for 75 issues.

National Comics #1 introduced Will Eisner's Uncle Sam, a superhero version of the national personification of the United States. Other running features in the title included Wonder Boy, The Barker, and Quicksilver (later revamped by DC Comics as Max Mercury). In addition to Eisner, other comic artists and writers who contributed to National Comics included Jack Cole, Lou Fine, and Reed Crandall.

National Comics #18 (Dec, 1941), which hit the stands on November 1941, notably depicted a German attack on Pearl Harbor, a month before the actual Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base.

Quicksilver

Quicksilver may refer to:

Quicksilver (metal), the chemical element mercury

Reverse-Flash

Reverse-Flash is a name used by several fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Each iteration of the character serves as a foil and an enemy of the Flash.

Savitar (comics)

Savitar is a fictional supervillain published by DC Comics. An immensely powerful speedster that leads a cult dedicated to the Speed Force, he has battled Wally West, Jay Garrick, and Barry Allen.

The character appears on The CW's live-action television series The Flash, voiced by Tobin Bell and portrayed by Grant Gustin.

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Secret Files and Origins (abbreviated SF&O) is a series of one-shot comic books and mini-series produced by DC Comics during the late 1990s and 2000s.

Winky, Blinky, and Noddy

Winky, Blinky, and Noddy are a trio of fictional comic book characters, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist E.E. Hibbard, who first appeared in books starring the Flash. Their names were taken from Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

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