Which of the gentlemen pictured above is Johnny Quick? Both, actually.
Let’s back up a step. During the aftermath of Team USA’s thrilling shootout victory over Russia in Olympic hockey on Saturday, T.J. Oshie became a household name. But goalie Jonathan Quick was equally responsible for the win, something that didn’t escape the L.A. Kings fans accustomed to seeing these kinds of performances from the netminder (or anyone in net for the Kings this season, but that’s another story).
Anyway, the fans on Twitter briefly got “Johnny Quick” to be a trending topic, leading to this awesome tweet from sports writer Jimmie Tramel (@JimmieTramel):
For the uninitiated, Johnny Quick was a World War II-era super hero who did indeed make his first appearance in 1941 in the pages of “More Fun Comics” #71. Secretly news photographer Johnny Chambers, he is gifted with the power of super speed when he says the formula “3X2(9YZ)4A.” Yes, that’s a weird origin, but is it really stranger than having a specific set of chemicals hit by a bolt of lightning? Decades later, writer Mark Waid explained that Johnny’s formula was a way for him to tap into the Speed Force that powered the various Flashes and other speedsters of the DC universe.
My first exposure to Johnny Quick was reading Roy Thomas’ “All-Star Squadron” as a kid, where Johnny was one of the team’s stalwarts. I had a soft spot for the Pre-Crisis Earth-Two heroes, and he always seemed like a well-rounded character: brash to cover up his own insecuritites — particularly his inferiority complex when it came to Jay Garrick — yet with a softer side that came across in his romance with Liberty Belle.
He got kind of a raw deal when he was unceremoniously killed off by Geoff Johns in “The Flash: Rebirth,” but he did leave behind another interesting character in his daughter Jesse Quick/Liberty Belle. Could there be a New 52 version of Johnny Chambers somewhere on the war-torn current version of Earth 2? That would be cool with me (hint, hint, Tom Taylor).
Anyway, the real life Johnny Quick is in good company sharing a nickname with the comic book Johnny Quick. Here’s to both of them.
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