Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Racing driver
Affiliations: Cyclone (sidekick)
Enemies: Helmut Schletmann, commies
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Earth A
First Appearance: Big Bang #3 “The Cris-Cross Crisis” (Caliber)
Powers/Abilities: Able to run at supersonic speeds.
History: During a race in Monte Carlo, racing driver and ladies man Jimmy Travis was forced off the road by his East German rival, Helmut Schletmann. Uninjured, he decided to explore the hidden cave next to where he crashed. The cave contained an abandoned Nazi laboratory, complete with test tubes of secret formulae and a red and yellow uniform marked “Ubermensch”. All of the test tubes were ruined, save the one labelled “Blitz-Geschidigkeit”.
Unknown to Jimmy, he had been followed by gamblers who had orders to finish him off. One of them dropped his gun, which went off. The sound of the shot startled Jimmy, who spilled the contents of the test tube on his racing suit. The suit dissolved, but Jimmy was unharmed. With nothing else to wear, he put on the Ubermensch uniform. When the gamblers came in to kill him, Jimmy astonished himself by defeating them with a burst of super speed. He realised that the words on the test tube translated as “Lightning-Speed”, and that exposure to the chemicals had granted him superpowers.
Using his new powers, he caught up with Schletmann and dismantled his car. He then raced to his hotel for a spare racing suit, pushed his car to where it would have been if he had not been attacked, and won the race. Afterwards the quick tempered Travis decided to fight crime, taking the name of Schletmann’s car “Der Blitz”. He soon acquired a sidekick (Cyclone) and became a founding member of the Round Table of America.
He was killed in an explosion in the late 1980’s. His sidekick, Cyclone was crippled by the blast, but with the aid of cybernetic legs returned to action as Overdrive in the mid ’90’s.
Comments: Thanks to Chris Adams for all the information about the Blitz used on this page. He notes that “This version of the Blitz first appeared in Big Bang #3 (Caliber series, reprinted as Big Bang # 6 by Image) in the best BB story ever, “The Cris-Cross Crisis”. The Blitz differs from the Flash, in that Jimmy’s personality (as well as his colour scheme) are the opposite of the easy going Barry Allen.
It would appear that allowing for the 20 year time difference between the two Earths, that Jimmy and Mack (the Blitz of Earth B) got their powers at the same time, in the same laboratory.” The explosion that killed the Earth A Blitz and crippled Cyclone (leading to him becoming Overdrive) was first mentioned in Big Bang # 4 (Caliber series), but it has never actually been depicted.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Blitz, his Earth B counterpart