Speed Racer #2
WildStorm (November, 1999)
WRITER/ARTIST: Tommy Yune
COLORIST: Guy Major
LETTERER: Ali Fuchs
EDITOR: Eric DeSantis
Seven years have passed since the previous issue. Speed is training to be the next Racer…racer. Dr. Bent Cranium comes by to ask them to test a new engine, the B-RX. The team uses Buck Condor’s speedway to test the engine, and Condor makes a bid to buy Pops out. On the track Hank meets the spirited Trixie and is warned by Racer X to get out of the race because it’s been bought…and Hank knows by whom. While Speed fails with Trixie, Hank is doing well on the track until a broken brake line causes him to crash. As he’s wheeled into surgery Hank mentions the name Condor to Speed. Rex blames himself for failing to protect his family from his enemies, while Sparky returns with a monkey on his shoulder and a gun in his hand.
What they got right: We have a good mystery in Condor and Hank as well as a version of Racer X more connected to racing than government work. The art is still amazing.
What they got wrong: I’m unsure about Sparky because already it looks like they might be going too far with the changes to him but we’ll see what happens next issue. Trixie on the other hand is a bit too spirited for my taste. She doesn’t feel like the same character. Even the changes in the reboot anime still has some essence of her that seems missing here. Also the idea that Trixie wasn’t into Speed at first given her devotion to him in other versions (even getting married in some) doesn’t feel right for her character.
What did I think overall: For the most part this is a good Speed Racer story with a new take on the classic characters, some of whom work, some don’t, and some only working because they didn’t have much character in the original anime. Might be worth a look.