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[Max Mercury - Flash 78]
Real Name: Unknown
Current Alias: Max Crandall
Other Aliases: Ahwehota, Windrunner, Whip Whirlwind, Lightning, Bluestreak, Quicksilver, Buckshot, The Smilin’ Speedster, The Zen Guru of Speed
Hair: White (formerly brown)
Eyes: Blue
Known Relatives: Bart Allen (“nephew”), Dr. Helen Claiborne (daughter)
Occupation: Historian
Past Group Membership: Freedom Fighters (?)
Base of Operations: Manchester, Alabama
First Appearance: (as Quicksilver) National Comics #5 (November 1940); (as Max Mercury) Flash (second series) #76 (May 1993)
Created by: (Quicksilver) Jack Cole & Chuck Mazoujian; (Max Mercury) Mark Waid (see note)
Origin: 1838 (originally 1832)

He has lived many roles, used many names, since tribal magic granted him super-speed in the early 1800s, but his time-hopping landed this mysterious veteran speedster and former acrobat in present-day Alabama, acting as guardian and mentor for Impulse.

Detailed History

The young messenger for a fort in the American West discovered an ambush being set for the local Blackfoot clan. The shaman, with his last breath, used tribal magic to imbue the scout with [Windrunner - Impulse Annual #2] superhuman speed. The scout found the Indians and the US Army detachment, and disarmed them all, preventing the massacre. From that day forth he became known as Ahwehota—“He who runs beyond the wind” (Flash v.2 #97: Terminal Velocity, 1995).

Years later, Windrunner felt the call of what has since been called the speed force. He ran faster than he had ever run before, but hesitated at the last moment... and caromed off the edge of the field, landing several decades in the future. [Whip Whirlwind - Speed Force #1] He periodically attempted to reach the field again, each time jumping forward to a new era, where he adapted and used a series of names: Whip Whirlwind in the 1890s, Lightning in the 1920s, Quicksilver in the early 1940s. By 1948, he had settled on Max Mercury.

[Lightning - Flash 80-Page Giant #1]

In 1948, Max was seriously injured saving Manchester, Alabama from a toxic bomber. He was found by a local doctor, and taken to his remote home to convalesce. Dr. Claiborne was away much of the time, and Max developed a close relationship with his wife Laura—which culminated in a brief affair. When David discovered them together, Max ran, brushing up against the speed force again and time-jumping. Only decades later did he discover that they had a daughter (Impulse #16, 1996).

Jay Garrick and Johnny Quick brought Max out of retirement to fight the false Barry Allen (Flash v.2 #74–79: The Return of Barry Allen, 1993). Max became a mentor to Wally West as he began to discover his destiny, and then took over Bart Allen’s training as his guardian.

Max spent more than a year trapped in the speed force by Rival, missing Bart’s switch from Impulse to Kid Flash and his brief career as the Flash, until he was pulled out by Barry Allen (Flash: Rebirth, 2009).

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Primary Sources

  • “Terminal Velocity Mach 3: The Other Side Of Light” - Flash (second series) #97 (January 1995), Mark Waid
  • “Running From the Past” - Impulse #16 (August 1996), Mark Waid


  • Max Mercury - Flash (second series) #78 (May 1991) - Greg LaRocque and José Marzan, Jr.
  • Windrunner - Impulse Annual 2 (1997) - Anthony Castrillo and Sam Glanzman
  • Whip Whirlwind - Speed Force #1 (November 1997) - Dusty Abell and Drew Geraci
  • Lightning - Flash 80-Page Giant #1 (August 1998) - Craig Rousseau and Vince Russell

Origin Tales

  • Flash (second series) #97 (January 1995): “Terminal Velocity Mach 3: The Other Side Of Light,” Mark Waid
  • Impulse #58 (March 2000): “Flashing Before My Eyes,” Todd Dezago


  • Who’s Who in the DC Universe #19 as Quicksilver (September 1986)
  • The Flash Secret Files #1 (November 1997)
  • The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
  • Flash Secret Files and Origins 2010 under “Speed Force” (May 2010)

Series Regular In...

  • (as Quicksilver) National Comics (1940–1949)*
  • (as Max Mercury) Impulse (1995–2002)

Historical Appearances

  • 1832 (as Windrunner) Flash (second series) #97 (January 1995): “Terminal Velocity Mach 3: The Other Side Of Light,” Mark Waid
  • 1800s (unnamed) Impulse #58 (March 2000): “Flashing Before My Eyes,” Todd Dezago
  • 1881 (as Windrunner) Impulse Annual 2 (1997): “Thunder In Mesa City,” Tennessee Peyer
  • 1893 (as Whip Whirlwind) Speed Force #1 (November 1997): “Child’s Play,” Brian Augustyn
  • 1921 (as Lightning) Flash 80-Page Giant #1 (August 1998): “Thunder and Lightning,” Michael Jan Friedman
  • 1941 (as Max Mercury) Impulse: Bart Saves the Universe (1999), Christopher Priest
  • 1948 (as Max Mercury) Impulse #16 (August 1996): “Running From The Past,” Mark Waid
  • 1949 (as Max Mercury) Flash Secret Files #1 (November 1997): “Lost Pages,” Brian Augustyn

Significant Legacy-Era Appearances

  • Flash #76–79 (May–July 1993): “The Return of Barry Allen” Parts 3–6, Mark Waid
  • Flash #91 (June 1994): “Out of Time,” Mark Waid
  • Flash #96–100 (December 1994–April 1995): “Terminal Velocity” Parts 2–6, Mark Waid
  • Flash #101 (May 1995): “Going the Distance,” Mark Waid
  • Robin Plus Impulse (December 1996): “Dashing Through the Snow,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Flash #108–111 & Impulse 10–11 (December 1995–March 1996): “Dead Heat,” Mark Waid
  • Flash #112 (April 1996): “Future Perfect,” Mark Waid
  • Impulse Plus Gross-Out (September 1997): “Speed Freak,” Len Kaminski
  • Flash Secret Files #1 (November 1997): “Lost Pages,” Brian Augustyn
  • Flash #130–132 (November–December 1997): “Emergency Stop,” Grant Morrison and Mark Millar
  • Impulse/Atom Double-Shot (February 1998): “Roll Back,” Dan Jurgens
  • Flash #136–138 (April–June 1998): “The Human Race,” Grant Morrison and Mark Millar
  • Flash #139–141 (July–September 1998): “The Black Flash,” Mark Millar
  • Flash Annual #11 (1998): “Haunts,” Brian Augustyn
  • Flash 80-Page Giant #1 (August 1998): “The 5,000 Hats of Bartholomew Allen,” Todd Dezago
  • Flash #142 (October 1998): “Get Me To The Church On Time,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Flash #145–149 (February–June 1999): “Chain Lightning” Parts 1–5, Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Legends of the DC Universe #19 (August 1999): “Manchester Monkey Business,” Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt
  • Flash Annual #12 (1999): “The Apes of Wrath,” Brian Augustyn
  • Flash #152–154, 157–159 (September 1999–April 2000): The Dark Flash Saga, Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Infinite Crisis #4 (March 2006): “Homecoming,” Geoff Johns

Significant One-Year-Later Flash Appearances

  • The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #2 (September 2006): “Lightning in a Bottle Part 2: Origins,” Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo (flashback)
  • The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #6 (January 2007): “Lightning in a Bottle Part 6: Burning Bridges,” Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo (flashback)


(Creator Credits): To the best of my knowledge, the only thing Mark Waid kept from the Quicksilver character was the costume. Hence I have listed two sets of creators. Source: Who’s Whose in the DC Universe.

*Just one Quicksilver story from National Comics #67 was reprinted in The Flash #214. See Golden Age Reprints for more information.