“I could be wrong but I think I made a wrong turn.”

Speed Racer #14

NOW Comics (October, 1988)

“Let Sleeping Dragons…”

WRITER: Lamar Waldron

PENCILER: Joe Phillips

INKER: John Dell III

COLORIST: John Vogel

COVER ART: Ken Holewczynski

LETTERER: Jim Massara

Speed takes part in a race to help restore the Great Wall of China…ON the Great Wall itself. However, a woman named Lotus tries to talk Speed out of it and when he refuses she and her men damage part of the wall to stop the race. Instead they go on land earlier than expected. Speed is hurt when Lotus’s people try to kill him and he’s taken to the Dragon Palace, where a dragon sleeps. Lotus and her grandfather are keepers of the Palace, protecting a sleeping dragon that they’re worried the race will wake up. Speed manages to escape and is found by Racer X. Speed manages to win the race while his mom, Spridle, and Chim-Chim head to Egypt, where I’m guessing the next issue takes place.

What they got right: The story itself is quite good. I like the art. Mom and Spridle heading to Egypt is a good lead-in to the story and it’s explained why they couldn’t come to the Chinese race.

What they got wrong: It does feel a bit rushed. The dragon is basically a McGuffin, there to give Lotus and her grandfather a reason to halt the race without coming off as fanatic about cultural sacrilege, the original reason Lotus gives Speed. Also, while there is an annual running marathon the Great Wall I highly doubt they’d ever agree to a car race. I’m also curious how Speed and Racer X managed to get back in time to get into the race. I know the tendency is towards “Speed wins every race he’s in” but this is one time it’s hard to believe.

What I think overall: It’s a decent story but actual dragons does feel out of place for classic Speed Racer/Mach Go Go Go. Maybe for Fred Wolf’s New Adventures Of Speed Racer, but that was more sci-fi than traditional racing story with a gimmick.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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