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Quote1 I knew I had betrayed him. Just as Merzah said I would. Only thing was, Merzah never said I wouldn't have a choice. Maybe to the others Frank Cortez looked like some kind of avenging angel that day. Like some kind of mystical god, or somethin'. All I could see was a man with all the hope sucked from his soul, because of what I did. I knew that very day he was going to die. An' when he did, it was going to be my betrayal that sent him to his grave. Quote2
-- Slo-Mo Jones src
 

Preface

Albert "Slow Motion" Jones was just one of many costumed operatives active during World War II who were recruited into the United States military. The purpose was to enlist such individuals in order to publish propaganda in the form of comic books that were commissioned by the United States military and published by Timely Comics. These comics were used to convince Americans to support the war and increase enlistment. Like many heroes recruited in this fashion, Jones' fictional exploits were few. For most of these early heroes it was due to their deaths in combat. Although Jones' appearances were brief, he survived the war, and his eventual departure from publications was likely due to racial issues that were prevalent during the 1940s.[2] Due to his African-American background, Jones' depictions in comics was that of a minstrel show caricature who was dimwitted and incredibly lethargic.[3]

Presumably, much like the Young Allies[4], the fictional exploits of Slow Motion Jones were based on actual events. For the sake of clarity, however, this article differentiates between the two.

Sidekick

Albert Jones (Slow Motion) (Earth-616) from U.S.A. Comics Vol 1 6 0001

Slow Motion Jones as depicted in wartime propaganda comics published by Timely Comics during the 1940s

Slow Motion Jones was the sidekick of super-human speedster the Whizzer and had a few brief adventures with the hero. He witnessed a Nazi spy engage in a gun fight with a FBI agent. He alerted the Whizzer of the gun fight, which led to the hero uncovering a plot by Nazi spies to capture an Admiral's daughter and sink the very convoy that said Admiral was piloting. The Whizzer dragged Slow Motion Jones along with him through this whole adventure.[5] Later, Jones took up a job as a night watchman at a radio relay station which was targeted by Nazi spies. While he failed to stop the station from being blown up, Jones accompanied the Whizzer as the hero tracked down the Nazi cell and brought them to justice before they could destroy every relay station in the area.[6]

Soon after, Slow Motion was in his mentor's home when it was broken into by the criminal Frank Rone, who stole the Whizzer's diary and used it to duplicate the process that gave the Whizzer super speed. Rone got the drop on Jones and knocked him out. Jones initially thought the Whizzer was responsible for knocking him out, but the hero soon deduced the truth and captured Rone.[7]

Crazy S.U.E.S

While his brief partnership with the Whizzer was fact, Albert's slow moving nature and limited intellect were not. Jones was actually quite intelligent and also possessed super-human speed, however, the origins of his powers are unknown.

He was one of the many super-human and costumed individuals who were drafted into the United States Army once the United States officially entered the war. Jones was placed in the Specialized Unit, Enhanced Soldiers, also known as the Crazy Sues, a group that was under the command of Captain America. Jones initially felt like an outsider among the group that mostly consisted of Caucasians. On their first day together, Jones almost got into the fight with Captain Strong who was prejudiced against African-Americans. However, Strong eventually developed a grudging respect for his teammate as time went on. On August 7, 1942, Jones and the rest of his unit were deployed to the Pacific where they were air dropped on Guadalcanal to battle the Imperial Japanese Army. There Slow Motion used his speed powers to ward off enemy fire. The battle, however, was not won until his teammate Captain Flame used his powers to decimate the Japanese forces.[2]

On August 23, they clashed with Japanese forces once again. They were pinned down by enemy fire. Jones caught an enemy bullet and was pulled back by his comrades while Captain Flame used his powers to save his comrades.[1]

By 1944, Slow Motion and his comrades were pulled from the Pacific Theater and deployed to Europe to participate in the Battle of Normandy. They were air dropped into the village of Sainte Mere Egilse. While parachuting down to the ground, Jones feared being struck by rounds fired at them by the Nazis below them. Landing safe, Jones witnessed as Captain Flame's powers suddenly went off inside a farm house. Rushing there, Jones found Captain Flame in a state of panic, who confided in Jones that he wasn't meant for combat and feared that his powers were growing out of control. Jones convinced him that everything would be okay and they reunited with their unit. Following the Allied victory in the battle, the Crazy Sue's celebrated with the Invaders. During the festivities Jones witnessed as Captain Flame and American Ace sneaked out back and witnessed them sharing a kiss in a back alley.[8]

Disapproving of Captain Flame's homosexuality, Jones was later confronted by his telepathic comrade Merzah the Mystic on July 7th, just before the team's participation in the liberation of Nazi occupied France. Merzah warned Jones not to betray Captain Flame's secret, pointing out that Jones as an African-American should know what sort of persecution that Flame would face if outed as a homosexual. Jones could not come to terms with the situation himself, and Merzah recommended that he best talk to Captain Flame. The opportunity did not arise during the battle to liberate France. On August 28, while celebrating their victory in a Parisian cafe, the Crazy Sue's decided to go hook up with some local women. When American Ace expressed his disinterest in doing so, Jones called him on it. Ace then revealed that he was married, shocking Captain Flame and prompting him to storm off, much to the confusion of most of his comrades. The troop then pushed off into the European countryside with Captain America shortly thereafter and ended up locked under enemy fire when entering Belgium. When Captain Flame choked in the situation, Jones threatened to reveal his homosexuality if he did not act. Captain Flame, feeling betrayed, complied, using his powers to decimate the Nazi attackers.[9]

Later, on December 6, 1944, Jones and the rest of the unit saw combat in Saarlaurtern, Germany.[3] This was the last recorded activity of Jones during the war[10], however Jones has later went on to claim that he was responsible for killing Captain Flame.[1]

After the War

Most of Albert's activities after the war are unknown, however he came to live in New York City and survived well into his 90s. Age had confined him to a walker and he required the use of a catheter. When William Bryon, another surviving member of the Crazy Sue's, died of a heart attack, Jones attended the military funeral that was placed in his honor. At that point, William's granddaughter Alyssa was working on a book on her father's past and had learned about Operation: Firefly which was apparently responsible for the creation of Captain Flame. Recognizing Jones at the funeral, Alyssa attempted to question him there, but he managed to slip away before she could question him. Tracking Jones to his home, Alyssa appealed to Albert to tell the rest of her father's story. Jones refused, telling her that Operation: Firefly was a government secret and he had signed to keep silent. However, Alyssa's appeal convinced Jones to talk about the war with her, first admitting that he was responsible for killing Captain Flame.[1]

Jones first told Alyssa of how the Crazy Sue's were pulled out of the Pacific Theater to fight in Europe. Suspecting that he was being watched, Jones then pretended that he needed to change his catheter and asked Alyssa to "assist" him. Jones then continued his story, telling Alyssa about the incidents with Captain Flame in Normandy[8], and in France and Belgium. When trying to explain the situation to Alyssa only confused her further, Jones gave her a scrap of paper containing the names of two people who could help her understand, telling her to come back when she finally did. His last words to Alyssa were that he had been waiting sixty-five years to tell his story, one more day made no difference to him. However, as Alyssa exited Jones home she was picked up by a SHIELD limo containing Captain America and Nick Fury who came to question her about her investigation into Operation: Firefly.[9]

Powers

Superhuman Speed: In his prime, Slow Motion Jones was gifted with super-human speed, the upper-limit of his speed is unrecorded, but he has been documented as being able to run faster than speeding bullets. The Young Avenger claimed that Slo-Mo was actually faster than the Whizzer himself.[citation needed]


Weaknesses

In his old age Albert Jones relied on a walker in order to move around, the exact cause of his need for this is unspecified. He also requires to wear a catheter to dispose of his bodily waste due to some unknown ailment of his bladder.[citation needed]

  • In his initial appearances in Timely Comics, Slow Motion Jones was a Minstrel Show stereotype that was commonly used to depict African-American characters in Timely's early publications. In his recent appearances in All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes, his character was updated so as not to be considered offensive to modern audiences, much in the same way Marvel did with similar character Whitewash Jones.

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