Speed Demon (James Sanders) is a fictional character that appears comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appears as the Whizzer - a member of the team the Squadron Sinister - in Avengers #70 (Nov. 1969) and was created by Roy Thomas; Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger.
An identical but superheroic alternate-universe Whizzer, who belongs to a group called Squadron Supreme, was introduced in Avengers #85 (Feb. 1971). Due to a writing error, the covers of both this issue and of the group's subsequent appearance in Avengers #141 (vol. 1, Nov. 1975) erroneously call the group the Squadron Sinister. Sanders appears again with the Squadron Sinister in Defenders #13-14 (May & Jul. 1974) and in Giant-Size Defenders #4 (Apr. 1975), and made a brief final appearance in Avengers Annual #8 (1978). Writer Bill Mantlo and penciller Bob Hall revamped the character in Amazing Spider-Man #222 (Nov. 1981), making him a solo supervillain with a new costume and alias - Speed Demon. He returned against Spider-Man and the Human Torch in Marvel Team-Up #121 (Sep. 1982), and later joined the Sinister Syndicate, who battled the hero in Amazing Spider-Man #280 (Sep. 1986) and the miniseries The Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1-4 (May-Aug. 1991). Sanders later fought the mutant Wolverine in Wolverine #167 (Oct. 2001).
He then attempted to reform, and joined a superhero team in New Thunderbolts #15-16 vol. 2, (Jan.- Feb. 2006), but then shifted allegiances to join a new version of the Squadron Sinister in Thunderbolts #102-108 vol. 2, (July 2006 - Jan. 2007), a numerical continuation of the same series (New Thunderbolts had served as de facto issues #82-99).
Whizzer later assists the original members of the Squadron Sinister, who together with the alien Nebulon attempt to flood the Earth, but are stopped by the superhero team the Defenders. After this defeat the Squadron Sinister are teleported off world by Nebulon, but are later returned to Earth. Having acquired an energy-draining weapon, the Squadron Sinister plan to threaten the Earth once more but are defeated by the Defenders and the Avenger Yellowjacket.
Speed Demon later joins the supervillain team the Sinister Syndicate, led by the supervillain the Beetle. Although the team's principal goal is the defeat of Spider-Man, their constant squabbling always leads to defeat. Speed Demon then tries to ransom a figurine back to its owner, but is defeated by Rocket Racer. Speed Demon participates in a mass breakout at the Vault, but all villains are stopped by the Avengers and Freedom Force. He then participates in a race to the Moon organised by Elder of the Universe the Runner.
Rejoining the Sinister Syndicate, Speed Demon defeats Spider-Man but learns that all money from a recent robbery has been given to the Kingpin. Speed Demon squabble with his team mates, and after a final battle with Spider-Man flees when almost all of them are captured.
Speed Demon later seeks revenge on Rocket Racer, but is defeated once again. Alongside his former Syndicate partners and other Hammer super-agents, Speed Demon battles Spider-Man and the New Warriors on Hammer's behalf, and is defeated by the Sphinx. Speed Demon attends the A.I.M. weapons expo and briefly skirmishes with Captain America before colliding with Blizzard. Together with the Beetle, Hydro-Man and Scorpia, Speed Demon battles Deathlok and Spider-Man on behalf of Silvermane's Maggia crime family, and later as a Hammer agent battles the Beetle and Thunderbolts, but is able to escape.
Speed Demon leaves the Sinister Syndicate and eventually travels to Madripoor, where he participates in a "sudden death" tournament called Bloodsport. Speed Demon's first opponent is the disguised hero Wolverine, but in a mishap Speed Demon is critically injured by his own weapon. Despite the crowd's wishes, Wolverine spares Speed Demon's life. He later attends the Venom symbiote auction.
Some time after recovering from his injuries, Speed Demon is recruited to join the Thunderbolts, a team consisting of reformed supervillains. Speed Demon accepts when he learns that the team is led by the Beetle, who is now known as Mach-IV.
Soon after this the cosmic entity the Grandmaster reappears and reforms the Squadron Sinister. An apparently resurrected Hyperion and new Dr. Spectrum find and try to coerce Speed Demon and fellow member Nighthawk into joining, but both are initially reluctant. Ironically, the New Thunderbolts become responsible for Speed Demon rejoining the Squadron Sinister as he is ejected from the New Thunderbolts for committing robberies - even though Speed Demon had been doing this to finance the team. Courtesy of a phenomenon known as the Wellspring of Power - an interdimensional source of superhuman abilities - the Grandmaster increases the Squadron Sinister's powers and they then battle the New Thunderbolts, as Baron Zemo also wishes to have control of the Wellspring. At one point Thunderbolt member Joystick breaks Speed Demon's legs, but he is later healed and in revenge beats her mercilessly. Zemo manages to defeat the Grandmaster, but in the ensuing chaos the Squadron Sinister scatter and escape.
Speed Demon is later seen at a bar frequented by other supervillains.
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