Silver Streak (comics)

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Silver Streak
Publication information
Publisher Lev Gleason Publications
First appearance Silver Streak Comics #3 (March, 1940)
Created by Joe Simon
In-story information
Partnerships Meteor, Whiz (hawk)
Abilities Super-speed
Flight
Silver Streak Comics
Series publication information
Publisher Rhoda Publications
Lev Gleason Publications
Schedule Monthly; bimonthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Superhero, Adventure
Publication date (imprints: Your Guide Publications,
New Friday,
Comic House Publications)

Dec. 1939 – Nov. 1946
Number of issues 23
Main character(s) Silver Streak
Daredevil
The Claw
Captain Battle
Dickie Dean
Lance Hale
Pirate Prince
Creative team
Writer(s) Otto Binder
Artist(s) Jack Binder, Dick Briefer, Jack Cole, Don Rico, Bob Wood
Editor(s) Lev Gleason

Silver Streak is a fictional superhero character created by Joe Simon, who first appeared in Silver Streak Comics #3 (March, 1940), from Lev Gleason Publications.[1][2] He is believed to be the second-ever comic book superhero whose primary power is speed;[1] All-American Publications' The Flash preceded him by two months.[3] However, Silver Streak beat out National Allied Publications' Johnny Quick (who debuted in 1941)[4] as the first superhero whose two powers were speed and flight. Silver Streak has a kid sidekick called "Mercury" (soon changed to "Meteor"); he is also assisted by a hawk named "Whiz".

Publication history[edit]

Silver Streak Comics was originally published by Arthur Bernhardt’s Rhoda Publications, and the title was inspired by Bernhardt's car, a Pontiac Silver Streak. With issue #3, the title was taken over by Lev Gleason Publications and Silver Streak himself first appeared.

Silver Streak appeared in Silver Streak Comics until issue #19 (March, 1942); the title itself ended with #22, and was renamed Crime Does Not Pay.[1] Also during this run, Silver Streak appeared in Lev Gleason's Daredevil #1.[2]

In 1945, Silver Streak appeared in the one and only issue of Dime Comics, and then in the 23rd and final issue of the briefly revived Silver Streak Comics.[1] Since then, this character has fallen into the public domain.[2] In 2008, he appeared in issue #141 of The Savage Dragon, along with a score of other Golden Age heroes.[5]

In 2008, Silver Streak appeared in flashbacks in issue #0 of Dynamite Entertainment’s Project Superpowers,[6] a title that uses mostly public domain Golden Age characters. In the one-shot Project Superpowers: Chapter Two Prelude,[7] it was stated that Silver Streak will appear in future stories in this line; indeed, he appeared in the related Dynamite miniseries The Death-Defying ’Devil.[8]

Editor Erik Larsen's "Next Issue Project" (Image Comics) published Silver Streak Comics "#24" in December 2009. Silver Streak himself appeared in one of the stories, written and illustrated by Paul Grist.

Fictional biography[edit]

Lev Gleason Publications[edit]

In 1940, a taxicab driver (name unknown) was hypnotized by a mysterious swami (name unknown) into working for him as a race car driver; all of the swami’s previous drivers had been killed by giant insects, sent by a mad scientist named Dr. Katan. The cab driver was killed as well, but the swami used his mystical powers to bring him back to life, after which he gave the resurrected driver an injection of a “secret fluid” that gave him super-speed and the power of flight. Motivated by a strong desire to make the world a better place, he donned a colorful costume and fought against crime, Nazi spies, and The Claw, calling himself “Silver Streak” after the race car he was killed in. He had changed costumes a few times over the years, but one detail that remained constant was the arrowhead-shaped emblem on his chest with the shape-fitting “SS” inside it. (Curiously, most of his costumes had no silver coloring anywhere on them.)

He later learned that anyone who receives a transfusion of his blood gains super-speed; he gave this gift to a pet hawk named Whiz, and to a kid sidekick named Mickey O’Toole who first called himself "Mercury" but quickly changed it to "Meteor."[1][2][9][10]

In Silver Streak Comics #5 (June, 1940), Jack Cole, who by this time was writing and drawing the character's adventures, directly addressed the readers and explained the hero’s motivations:

His purpose in life is to help others — to help those in need. Silver Streak does his best to make this world an ideal place to live in — a world in which you and I will have the things we most desire.

And he is out to get those forces that stand in the way of his ideals. He fights hard!! He is strong because he is right — he is fast because he needs speed to conquer his enemies!

Silver Streak is my hero, and I hope he is your hero, too, for he does the things that you and I would do if we had his powers![10]

Project Superpowers[edit]

At some point after World War II, Silver Streak and other heroes were imprisoned in the mystical Urn of Pandora by the misguided Fighting Yank. Decades later the Urn was broken and the heroes released; Silver Streak emerged (wearing a red and silver costume similar to his original one) just in time to aid his former ally The Death-Defying ’Devil against a terrorist attack. Exactly what part this hero will play in the modern world remains to be seen.

Living Legends[edit]

The Metahuman Press serial Living Legends has introduced a new version of Silver Streak. This character is an Asian female, native to the fictional city of Riccapoor, home of The Claw.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e The Silver Streak at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
  2. ^ a b c d Silver Streak at the Comic Book DB
  3. ^ Flash Comics #1 (All-American Publications, Jan. 1940).
  4. ^ More Fun Comics # 71 (National Allied Publications, Sept. 1941).
  5. ^ The Savage Dragon #141 at the Comic Book DB
  6. ^ Project Superpowers #0 at the Comic Book DB
  7. ^ Project Superpowers: Chapter Two Prelude at the Comic Book DB
  8. ^ The Death-Defying ’Devil #2 at the Comic Book DB
  9. ^ Mickey first appeared in Silver Streak Comics #11 (June 1941).
  10. ^ a b Cole, Jack. Silver Streak Comics #5 (June 1940), archived at Angelfire.com. Accessed Nov. 15, 2011.

References[edit]