Journey Into Mystery #79: "The Speed Demon"

Journey Into Mystery #79
"The Speed Demon
April, 1962

Story: Unknown
Art: Steve Ditko

In the case of Speedy Simms, being fast is no good if you can't get to
where you want to go.

The first star in the night's sky appears, and it is the first one the
adult has seen since the disappearance of Speedy Simms.  When you wish
upon a star, your wish will come true, and he wonders if his did.  The
man remembers when he made that wish a few years ago...  To him, it seems
only yesterday that he was a young boy.  The arrival of Speedy Simms in
his hot rod caused the local baseball game to be interrupted, with each
kid diving for safety.  The man behind the wheel was enjoying himself too
much to care, and his reckless driving threatened the entire
neighborhood.  At sixty miles an hour in only eleven seconds, the auto
cuts around street corners, and causes a pedestrian to drop her grocery

Fortunately for Speedy, the police had never caught him speeding, and he
longed for a place without speed limits.  The local beat cop vowed to
catch him speeding -- and throw the book at him.  For Simms, a little
speed did him plenty of good.  The days pass, with the hot rod narrowly
missing the pedestrians on either side of the crosswalk.  Laughing at the
wheel, he longs for a place where he and his car could go speed racing
all the time.  Chip narrowly misses being hit and Speedy's car just makes
the red light.  Each day brought matters closer and closer towards a

The first star in the night sky appears, with Chip's friend telling him
to make a wish.  The boy agrees, and wishes to have the wish he'd have
tonight.  The following days find the boys' street baseball games going
off without a hitch.  They had all wondered what happened to Speedy
Simms, but he had disappeared, and Chip had a wildly impossible idea
about it.  For all he knows, Speedy Simms could be racing his hot rod
along an open stretch... ZOOOM

A stretch which never, ever ends...  The now elderly driver can only
wonder when he will stop... when it will end.  When??  When??  He had
always wanted a place where he could race his automobile forever, with
nothing to keep him from doing so...  and this... was exactly what Chip
had wished for him.  Speedy Simms is now driving rings along the giant
ring of Saturn.  ZOOOMMM!

This story was reprinted in Monsters On The Prowl #14 (December, 1971).

On the splash page, "The Speed Demon" appears to be waving jauntily from
his hot rod, but is he waving more from panic than from pleasure?

Speedy Simms seems to get his wardrobe at the same place that the burglar
who shot Uncle Ben got his own ensemble.

The beat cop who admonishes Simms in the story might have been the same
one who would later tell Spider-Man to stop a fleeing robber, and fail.

The 1962 Ditko Hot Rod must have gotten excellent gas mileage, especially
if the driver ever found themselves on Saturn.  (Holy Hot Wheels,

Steve Chung
"The Speed Review"