WARNING! LOTS OF SPOILERS AHEAD!
Release Date: May 1988
Title: Velocity 9
Writer: Mike Baron
Penciller: Mike Collins
Inker: Larry Mahlstedt
Guest Stars: Mary West, Tina McGee, Kapitalist Kouriers
Bad Guys: Yuppie speed junkies, and a mysterious shadowy drug pusher
The Cover: Larry Mahlstedt
"Kapitalist Kourier... when it has to be there in a Flash!". A fellow wearing a modified Red Trinity jumpsuit (the red star on the breast replaced by a dollar sign) is wearing a backpack and running away from another fellow, wearing a balaclava. Unfortnately, the Kapitalist Kourier (the guy in the jumpsuit) is so busy looking over his shoulder at his pursuer that he is about to trip on a big rock.
A guy in a suit has just picked up $250,000 in negotiable securities from a Wall Street bank, in a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. He tells someone to tell Mr Bassaglia to tell him he's on his way, and is heading back to his limo when a ski-masked man zooms through the crowd, grabs the briefcase and makes off with it at super speed. But wasn't the briefcase handcuffed to the guy in the suit, I hear you ask. Yes it was, and that explains the bloody stump the suit guy is left with. Nice.
The super-fast assailant zips into an abandoned apartment building, where he takes off his mask to reveal a wasted, emaciated face, almost just skin and bones with bulging eyeballs. As a reward for stealing the securities, a mysterious shadowy figure supplies him with a drug that restores him to a more normal state. The shadowy figure then instructs him to come back when he begins to speed up again, as he'll have more work for him then.
Over at Stately West Manor, Wally is being visited by a couple of cops, who tell him about a spate of robberies that have taken place recently, all involving super-speed. They're wondering if he knows anyone who could be a suspect. Wally mentions Red Trinity, but says they're legit. The cops are also concerned they may have to deal with a mob war, as the victim of the last heist worked for Nick Bassaglia, a mob boss who also happens to be Wally's neighbour. After the cops leave, Wally is left to deal with the latest dispute between his girlfriend and his Mum. Tina is refurbishing the bedroom, and Mary is doing the rest of the house, but she can't help whinging to Wally that Tina is using the wrong colours in the bedroom. Wally suggests that maybe his Mum should find a place of her own, and she gives him the guilt treatment, crying about how she'll have to go beack to Atlanta and get a job as a waitress. Wally caves in and says she can stay as long as she wants.
To my intense relief, we cut to Anatole, of Kapitalist Kouriers (former Sovient agents turned super-powered entrepeneurs). He's getting the first big job for Kapitalist Kouriers – delivering a package to Trenton for $100,000. After Anatole leaves the guy who gave him the package contacts Bassaglia to tell him everything he needs to synthesise Velocity 9 is on its way, courtesy of Dr Bortz. Anatole, meanwhile, is running through the countryside when he notices two masked men approaching him at super-speed. He tries to outrun them but trips on a rock, and they take the parcel off him and beat him up.
Wally hears the news about Anatole, and gets in the car straight away with Tina, to go to the hospital where he's being treated. On the way, Wally tells Tina all about Velocity 9, the new drug that is on the streets that gives people super-speed, and how that's probably what's behind the super-speed robberies. That's nice Wally, but why didn't you know anything about this half an hour ago when the cops were asking? Sigh.
Anatole is all bandaged up in the hospital bed, and he tells Wally that the guy who gave him the job was a Mr Mason, an olive oil importer. Wally visits Mason, but he won't tell him anything. As soon as Wally leaves, Mason is on the phone to Bassaglia, telling him that Flash is on to them. Bassaglia's not worried, but decides he'd like to meet Flash. He instructs Trudy, the woman hanging around playing pool in her swimming costume while he talks on the phone, to invite the Wests to their party. She does, Wally happily accepts, since his inquiries into Mason Oil Imports have led straight to Bassaglia.
The next night, Tina is still tending to Anatole, so Wally and his Mom go to the Bassaglia party on their own. On the drive over (yes, Flash is the fastest man alive but he drives to his neighbour's house) they talk a bit more about Mary moving out, but she's still not keen on the idea. Once at the party, Bassaglia takes Wally to show him something in the basement. He admits freely that he's a drug dealer, but he tells Wally that this new drug, Velocity 9, is much more dangerous than any drugs he deals, and to prove this shows him the body of a Velocity 9 junkie who had a stroke while trying to rob one of Bassaglia's men. The body is horribly grotesque and wasted. Bassaglia asks Wally to work together with him to deal with the new guy before the streets are flooded with Velocity 9.
Before we hear Wally's answer, we cut back to the abandoned apartment where the guys that robbed Anatole are waiting to meet their boss. The shadowy figure behind everything turns up to give them their hit, and his identity is revealed. Gasp! It's Vandal Savage!
Anatole's reaction to being attacked: "Hijackers on foot! This truly is a lawless country!"
Flash: "The few law enforement dudes who are hip to the problem..." Yes, Flash used "dudes" and "hip" in the same sentence – in 1988!
Flash's current top speed is just under the speed of sound.
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