The Green Lantern Corps Podcast

To the Max… Mercury

Posted in flash,Profiles by mrread7 on April 22, 2009

Since I’ve been all over the place today, I wanted to do a quick look at Max Mercury. Bart Allen’s former mentor who has been in question of late. Even the possibility that he will be showing back up in Flash: Rebirth. Who is this time traveling hero? Let’s take a quick look: The young messenger for a fort in the American West discovered an ambush being set for the local Blackfoot clan. The shaman, with his last breath, used tribal magic to imbue the scout with superhuman speed. The scout found the Indians and the US Army detachment, and disarmed them all, preventing the massacre. From that day forth he became known as Ahwehota—“He who runs beyond the wind.”

Years later, Windrunner felt the call of what has since been called the speed force. He ran faster than he had ever run before, but hesitated at the last moment… and caromed off the edge of the field, landing several decades in the future. He periodically attempted to reach the field again, each time jumping forward to a new era, where he adapted and used a series of names, eventually becoming known in our era as Max Mercury.

In 1948, Max was seriously injured saving Manchester, Alabama from a toxic bomber. He was found by a local doctor, and taken to his remote home to convalesce. Dr. Claiborne was away much of the time, and Max developed a close relationship with his wife Laura—which culminated in a brief affair. When David discovered them together, Max ran, brushing up against the speed force again and time-jumping. Only decades later did he discover that they had a daughter.

Jay Garrick and Johnny Quick brought Max out of retirement to fight the false Barry Allen. Since then, Max became a mentor to Wally West as he began to discover his destiny, and then took over Bart Allen’s training as his guardian.

When last seen, Max had been possessed by the spirit of the Rival, who used a time sphere to depart for some unknown era. In Infinite Crisis #4, Max appears in the Speed Force, where his spirit was imprisoned after the Rival escaped from the very same peril by possessing Max’s body. Max assists Johnny Quick, Bart Allen and other speedsters in taking the murderous Superboy-Prime to another realm far past the Speed Force.

Is it truly Rival who has returned in Max’s body that is plaguing Barry Allen at current? We’ll find out soon.


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