Real Name: Walter Gabriel Smith
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Janitor and tea-boy
Affiliations: Nick Carter
Enemies: Nathan Grimes
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: London, U.K.
First Appearance: Speed (I.P.C., 23rd August 1980 - 25th October 1980) - 10 issues
Powers/Abilities: Walter's transformation into Supersmith was triggered by sneezing (it's possible that if he had kept his powers longer he might have figured out other ways to turn them on). He would change in seconds from the short and tubby Walter to the tall and muscular Supersmith, but the change would only last five minutes. As Supersmith, Walter could run at over 65 miles an hour and could perform amazing leaps (high and long enough to clear a train in his path). He had an undetermined level of superhuman strength and durability, smashing through obstacles in his path while at hyper-speed without suffering injury. In the short time he had his powers, he never demonstrated whether or not his strength was available to him when not moving at high speed (e.g. for lifting things). Nor is it known how long he needed to recover before he could change again.
History: Many of Britain's top scientists, the most intelligent men in the country, worked at the British Institute for Technological Advance (B.I.F.T.A.). Walter Gabriel Smith was not one of them - although he did work there. Walter was the odd-job lad who made the tea and did janitorial jobs. Somewhat slow-witted, he was the butt of many jokes, but he remained happy and good natured about his lot in life. Until one day when a mysterious message was left for him in the men's cloakroom, ordering him to report to Sector Six, the site of the most secret Experimental Lab at the institute. When he entered the room in question, the door locked behind him automatically, and a mysterious figure hidden in a control cubicle nearby activated a spray that permeated the young lad's body. Walter stumbled out of the now unlocked door, soaked to the skin...and sneezed.
Instantly he transformed from being short and fat into a tall and muscular adonis possessed by the need to run. And run he did. He covered a hundred metres in the first six seconds, and shot out of the main gate of the institute, attracting the attention of Nick Carter, a young lab assistant (and Walter's only real friend at work). Nick pursued in his car, and was there when Walter reverted to normal a few minutes later. Together the two figured out that someone had deliberately experimented on Walter, and that when his powers were activated he would change for five minutes before the effect wore off and he returned to normal.
When the mysterious villain behind the experiment made an aborted attempt to kidnap his "lab rat" from his home that night, Walter and Nick were able to track him back to his house through his licence plate. They confronted Nathan Grimes, the man who had started it all, and he revealed that he had worked for years at BIFTA while everyone there laughed at his theories. So he plotted to continue his experiments in secret using Walter as his unwilling guinea pig. The two young men overpowered the older scientist, and retrieved the steroid spray that had been used on Walter. Two days later Nick succeeded in curing Walter of his transformations. However, unknown to the young lab assistant, Walter had hung on to some of the spray, in case one day he might again have the hankering to become Supersmith again.
Comments: Reading the strip in one sitting, it appears that Walter only had his superhuman powers for a couple of days. If it hadn't been for the imminent cancelling of Speed and its merger with Tiger, it's possible we might have seen a lot more of the character.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other Super people
Wolfie Smith, telepathic teen
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
Back to General UK Comic Book Heroes.
Back to UK Superheroes Main Page.
All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.