Justice League’s Traitor Can’t Handle the Death of DC’s Most Twisted Speedster
A twisted version of a Justice League member had a hard time dealing with the recent death of a speedster teammate, echoing “Forever Evil.”
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Crime Syndicate #5 by Andy Schmidt, Kieran McKeown, Dexter Vines, Steve Oliff, Rob Leigh, on sale now.
The Crime Syndicate has been reborn in the Infinite Frontier era, but they’re also experiencing a faster mortality rate. Johnny Quick, the evil counterpart to the Flash, was killed during a raid on his farm by the Legion of Justice, a heroic version of the Legion of Doom, and his girlfriend and teammate, Atomica, did not handle it well. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. The last time Johnny Quick appeared he was also killed, leaving a distraught Atomica behind. If history is somehow repeating itself, then Atomica may soon meet her end as well.
Johnny Quick first debuted in Justice League of America #29 by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky as the evil counterpart of the Flash. He would go on to be a staple member of the Crime Syndicate alongside the likes of Ultraman, Superwoman and Owlman. But as the universe went through many upheavals in the wake of crises, Johnny’s origins would be revised to suit his new circumstances.
In this latest revision to his history, Johnny came from an emotionally and physically abusive family, who he then killed once he acquired his powers from a chemical explosion. But he didn’t stop at simple retribution. Partnering up with his girlfriend, Atomica, Johnny Quick went on to become a serial killer, using his superspeed to go on a murder spree all across Central City.
The Legion of Justice tracked Johnny and Atomica down to his family’s farm where they attempted to capture him. Unfortunately, the mission went wrong almost immediately as the full extent of Johnny’s depravity was on display within his barn. In the chaotic fight that ensued, Johnny managed to briefly escape his captors. But his moment of smugness was interrupted when the Emerald Knight, acting on instinct, accidentally killed Johnny while trying to prevent him from fleeing.
Atomica managed to escape, but was grief-stricken by the death of her partner and love interest. She worked with the Crime Syndicate to get revenge on the Legion, but breaking into their headquarters was only part of what she really wanted. Atomica broke rank from the Crime Syndicate and went to retrieve Johnny’s body, unwilling to leave his corpse in the hands of those who killed him. Unfortunately, this act of loyalty is setting her up to meet the same fate as her previous incarnation.
Atomica appeared once before as Johnny’s girlfriend, pretending to be a hero so she could betray the Justice League and allow the Crime Syndicate onto their world. In the end, their invasion failed and Johnny Quick was subsequently killed. And much like her present day self, this version of Atomica got separated from her group and was killed by Lex Luthor in revenge for her betrayal and the damage that it had done to his world.
Her love and loyalty to Johnny are blinding her to common sense. The man she loves is dead, but she can’t let go of him. As a consequence she ignored Owlman’s warning that they were leaving the space station, stranding her there with a team of questionable heroes who want to see her captured…or worse.
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