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Who is The Whizzer in Marvel’s Jessica Jones?

The surprising comic-book origins of one of the Netflix show's weirdest characters

Published: Thursday, 8th March 2018 at 10:01 am

While there isn’t a complete overload of comic-book referencing in Jessica Jones season two, the early episodes do include a character with some very deep ties to the early days of Marvel – a character who even the biggest fans might have trouble remembering.


Pretty near the start of the series, we see a parade of potential PI clients for Jessica (Krysten Ritter) and Malcolm (Eka Darville) including a slightly unhinged individual called Robert Coleman (played by Jay Klaitz), who claims that just like Jessica he has superpowers and is being chased by shadowy forces.

Calling himself The Whizzer and insisting he has super-speed, Coleman is (ironically) pretty quickly shown the door. However, in his brief appearances, he gives enough away to demonstrate that he’s actually the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or at least, the Television Universe, if that’s a thing) adaptation of a superhero made up in the 1940s, who fought alongside Captain America back when Marvel was still called Timely Comics during World War Two.

The comic-book Whizzer was called Robert Frank, and gained his super-speed abilities after being given a transfusion of mongoose blood to counteract a Cobra bite (you know, because mongooses are fast, right?) before serving in super-team The Invaders and having various adventures along the way.

Nodding to this origin, the TV version of The Whizzer has a pet mongoose, who also happens to be named Emil after the hero’s father in the original comics (Dr Emil Frank gave Robert his powers while trying to save his life).

Meanwhile, The Whizzer’s classic yellow costume is also referenced with Coleman’s stained yellow hoodie, which he wears in every scene we see him in.

Apart from that, there’s not much to connect the two men – they live in completely different periods of history, for one thing – and we doubt there's much significance in the series adapting that particular character. We'd guess The Whizzer was allowed to be included in the series due to the unlikely nature of the character being needed for the main Marvel Cinematic Universe (he is not, shall we say, an A-list hero) rather than any particular relevance to the plot he appeared in.

Still, it’s a nice little nod to ancient Marvel history that we can only hope will continue in any future Marvel/Netflix series. You heard it here first: original android Human Torch and Union Jack for Luke Cage season two!


Marvel’s Jessica Jones is streaming on Netflix now


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