Keeper of Infinite Earths - The Protectors

Created by Barry Mulvihil


Alter Ego: William (Willie) Bartel

Occupation: Paramedic

Known Relatives: Roberta Bartel (Wife), Rick Bartel (Son)

Base of Operations: Cincinnati Ohio


Willie Bartel always loved to run. From the time he could stand, he was off and running. By the time he'd hit seventh grade he had broken all of the sprint and distance records at the HIGH SCHOOL level. His success in track and football began the building of a cocky attitude, however, he never really developed the arrogance of the rest of the "Jock" clique at school.

One day, Willie was practicing his sprints in a large open field that his family owned in the Kings Mills area just outside of Cincinnati. Then it happened. He hit the stopwatch and began to run. It just wasn't possible. He'd covered 100 yard in just over two seconds. Figuring he must have hit the watch while he was running, he tried again. This time it was just under two seconds. Having seen the exploits of various supers, he had a good idea what was happening. His parents had both worked in the nuclear industry before he was born. He must be a mutant. He dropped out of competitive sports, faking an injury and worked on his new found powers in the privacy of his family's land. 

Graduating high school, he got an associates degree and took the training courses necessary to become a paramedic. His extra speed saved several lives during this time. 

On July 4th 1981 he saw a news report. A new super hero, Sound Wave, was operating right here in Cincinnati. "Neat Costume" he thought, and designed one that was slightly similar. Using a police scanner he'd recently purchased, he listened for something that might be exciting. Then it came. Dr. Moris Manto was threatening to destroy the Suspension bridge unless $350 million was deposited into his Swiss bank account. Several cars were trapped on the bridge due to one of his devices.

Running to the scene of the crime, he ran into Sound Wave. Together they were able to foil the doctors plan, though he escaped. Though he and Sound wave hit it off, the idea to form a group didn't occur to them for another few months. Soon though, they would form the Protectors, perhaps the greatest crime fighting team of all time. Though they would have many epic battles with the likes of the Anachronist Society, Baal, and others, the particular thorn in Speed's side would be Rebecca Schmit, daughter of the infamous Nazi Villain. To this day, she remains his greatest adversary.


Though it may at times seem that Speed is motivated by ego, it is in fact a strong sense of right and wrong instilled in him by his parents. 

Quote: Nice shot slow poke, want me to slow down so you can try again.... Oops, too late

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