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James Sanders (Earth-616)

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Quote1 Y'know, I'm sick of you whining about what you can't do... Let's run like the devil and make Hell freeze over! Quote2
-- Speed Demon src
 

Early Life

James Sanders was a disgruntled chemist tired of his job with the Hudson Pharmaceutical Company of West Caldwell, New Jersey. He was contacted by the Grandmaster and offered superhuman powers in exchange for joining a team that would compete on his behalf. Saunders agreed, and he created a formula based on information given to him by the Grandmaster and that granted him superhuman speed.[1]

Squadron Sinister

The Grandmaster then had him take the identity of the Whizzer, join the Squadron Sinister, and fight the Avengers, who themselves were pawns of the Grandmaster’s opponent, Kang The Conqueror.[2]

Although the Squadron was defeated, the Grandmaster kept his word and returned Saunders and the others to Earth with their powers. A few months later, Saunders and the other members of the Squadron Sinister were hired by the alien geographer, Nebulon. Nebulon and the Squadron Sinister tried to melt the polar ice caps, but they were stopped by the Defenders. In the end, Doctor Strange cast a spell of amnesia over the Squadron members, causing them to forget their powers.[3]

Speed Demon

Saunders got his job back at Hudson Pharmaceuticals and worked there for a short time until his memory was accidentally restored when the Avengers questioned him about one of the other Squadron members, Doctor Spectrum.[4] Saunders experimented with the original formula that had given him his powers, creating a variant that increased his speed to even greater levels. He took a new name, Speed Demon and began to use his powers in various thefts, most often clashing with Spider-Man.[5]

Sinister Syndicate

Later, Speed Demon joined the Sinister Syndicate, led by the Beetle.[6] During this time, he developed a rivalry with various other members of the team, and agreed to let Boomerang take the fall after a heist so that he could move in on Boomer's girl, Leila. The team proved unstable, and Speed Demon fought on the Beetle's side when the Syndicate split into two factions.[7]

Bloodsport

Deciding to branch out, Speed Demon would later participate in an event called the Bloodsport, an annual tournament held in Madripoor showcasing fighters from around the globe. During the first round, He was pitted against Wolverine (as Patch) in a Cylinder Match. Despite his best efforts and the addition to throwing blades into his arsenal, Speed Demon did not fair well. While trying to incapacitate Patch in a vortex of wind, Speed Demon was caught in the neck by one of his own throwing knives as the result of a well aimed throw by Patch. Bleeding profusely, Saunders fell prey to Patch. While the crowd cheered for death, Patch ultimately choose not to kill his wounded opponent. Speed Demon, despite his injuries, survived. [8]

Speed Demon 002

Speed Demon

Thunderbolts

Sometime later, He joined the villains-turned-heroes team the Thunderbolts and, with them, fought Fathom's Five, Hydra, the Purple Man, and the Avengers.[9] Always contentious and prone to grandstanding, he seemed to serve faithfully with his teammates, but in fact Sanders had been hired by Baron Strucker to spy on the team for him (although he gave up this role after Hydra was defeated).[10] Sanders had also been committing crimes in his old identity of the Whizzer, funneling it into an account to keep the Thunderbolts operational. He was originally discovered by his teammate, Blizzard, but Speed Demon bullied him into keeping it a secret.[11]

This came to a head when Saunders robbed a division of Richmond Enterprises, which resulted in his former teammate Nighthawk seeking him out. Before the Thunderbolts could stop Nighthawk, a revived Squadron Sinister also arrived, and they took both Nighthawk and Speed Demon away with them. The Squadron hoped to take over the world in order to better solve the world’s problems, but they were again confronted by the Thunderbolts. Speed Demon hoped to trick the Squadron into thinking he would help them, but he turned on them, helping the Thunderbolts force them to escape. Nevertheless, Songbird ultimately kicked Speed Demon out of the Thunderbolts because of his previous robberies, claiming that what the Thunderbolts needed more were members whose hearts were behind their efforts to reform.[12]

Supreme Power

Speed Demon returned to the Squadron Sinister, who preferred to be called Supreme Power, who were again recruited by the Grandmaster. This time, the Grandmaster claimed that the stakes of the game would affect the entire universe, and he hoped to use the Squadron to find the Wellspring of Power, from which he drew upon to grant the Squadron their abilities. (Indeed, Speed Demon’s powers had been noticeably increasing during his time with the Thunderbolts, presumably having something to do with the Wellspring.) The Thunderbolts’ Joystick, investigating the Wellspring on behalf of Baron Zemo, intercepted Speed Demon’s attempts to track the Wellspring, and the two fought. Joystick surprised Speed Demon by suddenly exhibiting superhuman speeds even greater than his own, and she left him defeated, both his legs broken.[13] Speed Demon was eventually restored when the Wellspring of Power was finally dealt with.[14]

Hood's Gang

He was recruited into the Hood's Criminal Army.[15]

Sinister Six

Sanders recently appeared as a member of the Sinister Six, alongside Overdrive, Shocker, Boomerang, the Living Brain (former), and Beetle. After landing "thousands of blows in a fraction of a second," he caused Spider-Man to run away. He was nearly beaten to death by him when he returned.[16]

Black Cat's Gang

He joined Black Cat's Criminal Army.[17]

Powers

Speed Demon possesses various superhuman attributes after having them bestowed upon him by the Grandmaster, through the medium of an alchemical serum he created that channels the energies of the Wellspring of Power.[18][5][19]

Peak Human Strength: Speed Demon's physical strength has been greatly augmented by the Grandmaster to levels beyond that of most humans. While not qualifying as superhuman, Speed Demon is as physically strong as a human can naturally be without be categorized as superhuman. At his peak, Speed Demon is able to lift up to 800 lbs.[20]

Superhuman Speed: Speed Demon's primary superhuman power is the ability to run, move and think at superhuman velocities. Speed Demon is able to run at speeds faster than that of sound, sufficient to allow him to run across water over a certain distance and to allow him to run straight up walls. His speed later increased with new variant of original formula that had given him his powers.[5] Moving at such a high rate makes him appear as little more than a blur over short distances.[20]

Superhuman Stamina: The Grandmaster has rendered Speed Demon's musculature much more efficient than that of a normal human. As a result, his muscles produce considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activities. At his peak, Speed Demon can exert himself for up to 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair his capabilities.[20]

Superhuman Durability: The tissues of Speed Demon's augmented body are tougher, more resilient and more resistant to certain forms of physical injury than those of a normal human. His body is particularly adapted to resist the natural rigors that moving at such extreme velocities would have on a normal human. An unenhanced human body would experience extreme friction to the skin, muscles, bones and particularly the joints and would result in permanent injury. Speed Demon is also more resistant to impact trauma than a normal human. He can withstand impacts, such as falling from several stories or being repeatedly struck with superhuman force, which would severely injure or kill a normal human while sustaining little to no injury himself.[20][21]

Superhuman Agility: Speed Demon's agility, balance and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits and capabilities of the finest human specimen.[20]

Superhuman Reflexes: Speed Demon's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are beyond the natural physical capabilities of the finest human specimen.[20]

Accelerated Healing Factor: Speed Demon has a low-level healing factor. He was able recover from injuries after battle with Wolverine.[8]

Abilities

Speed Demon is a good hand to hand combatant. He specializes, primarily, in using various basic street-fighting techniques while moving at superhuman speed.[8]



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