Johnny Quick finally gets an origin story in Adventure 159 (Dec 50), a mere nine years after the character debuted.
The story is entertaining, pitting Johnny against another university student who gets the same abilities. Very few Johnny Quick stories had him take on villains who had any sort of powers.
The problem I have with the origin is that it is his professor who devises the speed formula. Johnny is simply the first one to try it out, and use it nobly. Later continuity would downplay this, to the point of ignoring it, and have Johnny develop the formula on his own.
The story also has its own problems with continuity, in that both Johnny and the villainous Charley are immediately able to use the speed formula to fly. This use of the power did not appear in the earliest Johnny Quick stories, and only sort of developed unintentionally, a byproduct of the way Johnny’s speed was shown, with multiple images in the same panel. Fitting many Johnnys into one panel relied using all the space available, and Johnny was shown in the air before the stories actually admitted that he had the power of flight.
Sir Butch returns as the Shining Knight tries to visit Camelot but goes the wrong way through time and winds up in the far future. Merlin used the wrong tincture in his spell, though you would expect after so many trips through time that the Shining Knight might have noticed something was wrong.
As much as I love Frazetta’s art on this series, I feel a little let down by this tale, which doesn’t show a future world to a degree I would wish.
Sir Justin winds up stumbling into a plot to overthrow the government and establish a dictatorship, while Sir Butch falls in love with the daughter of the Chief Councillor. Merlin retrieves the two of them and brings them to Camelot just after Sir Justin defeats the conspirators, but before Sir Butch can even get his first kiss.