Quote1 Look, here's the deal. We've got a super-soldier, a giant girl, a robot from the 30th century, a Skrull/Kree super-soldier, Billy (who, yeah, is kind of lame, but can cast spells), an Olympic class archer and martial artist, and... me. And really, me's all you need. So tell me, whattayou got that makes you think you shouldn't just give up? Quote2
-- Speed to Chase Stein src


Thomas "Tommy" Shepherd was born and raised in Springfield, New Jersey. He is only son of Frank and Mary Shepherd, who divorced when he was still young. Tommy was in and out of juvenile halls for most of his life.[1] It was in one of the detention centers that Tommy first met Lisa. The two seemed to have had some kind of romantic or physical relationship during this time.[5]

Because Tommy "accidentally" vaporized his high school using his powers, he was imprisoned under court order in a high-powered facility equipped with advanced offensive and defensive technology such as robotic suits and power dampening containment cells. Before the Young Avengers freed him, Tommy had been locked up for months, and was being tested and experimented on with the goal to make him into a living weapon.[1]

Young Avengers

After Hulkling had been captured by the Kree Sentries, Wiccan and the other Young Avengers were desperate to rescue him. To locate reinforcements the Vision recommended using the Avengers Fail-Safe Program, the same program Iron Lad used to locate the original Young Avengers.

Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616) and William Kaplan (Earth-616) could be twins

Stature recognizing that Wiccan and Speed look like twins

The team was able to locate him in a high security detention facility for superpowered juvenile offenders. They release him from his cell, and Stature almost immediately noted that Tommy and Billy could be twins. The breakout did not go unnoticed, and as the team ran into the armed officers of the facility. Tommy cynically and cruelly began attacking the officers and fleeing doctors, but was stopped by Kate Bishop and Patriot.[1]

Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616) from Young Avengers Vol 1 12 001

Tommy taking on the codename "Speed" and joining the Young Avengers

Speed helped the team in battling both Kree and Skrulls soldiers to rescue Hulking.[6] After the battle, Tommy officially joined the team and adopted the codename "Speed". Speed was anxious to be a hero, and was the first to alert the Young Avengers that the villainous team, the Zodiac, was attacking the United Nations.[7]

Civil War

Along with the rest of his team, Speed sided with Captain America and the Secret Avengers against the Superhuman Registration Act, which led to the Superhero Civil War.

Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616) and Molly Hayes (Earth-616) 001

Speed befriending Molly Hayes

When the Runaways tried to stay out of the conflict, they barely managed to escape from the government forces. Hearing of this development in the news, the Young Avengers decided to help the Runaways even though Captain America vetoed the plan. Wiccan used his magic to locate and teleport to the Runaways. However, the Runaways believed that the Young Avengers had come to capture them and a fight ensued until Patriot succeeded in convincing Nico Minoru to stop the hostilities. Speed develop a close sibling-like friendship with Molly Hayes.The two teams were later attacked by Marvel Boy, who captured Wiccan, Karolina, and Hulkling, and almost killed Xavin. The young heroes became the prisoners of the Warden, who proceeded to practice vivisection on the unconscious Teddy. The boys were rescued by Xavin, whose Skrull physiology allowed him to recover from Noh-Varr's attack. Billy came close to killing the Warden, but Teddy stopped him.[8]

William Kaplan (Earth-616) and Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616) searching Wundagore Mountain

Speed and Wiccan searching for the Scarlet Witch in Wundagore Mountain

Searching for the Scarlet Witch

When Wiccan decided to begin searching for the Scarlet Witch, Tommy agreed to joined him. The pair searched through Genosha and Wundagore in Transia before finally encountering Master Pandemonium in Cresskill, New Jersey at a former residence of the Scarlet Witch and the Vision. Master Pandemonium offered some information, but did not know the current whereabouts of the Scarlet Witch.[9]

Not long after, Speed went on a date with Kate to help relieve her tensions about losing her codename and bow to Clint Barton. The date ended with the pair breaking into the New Avengers' Brooklyn apartment and reclaiming her bow.[10]

Secret Invasion

When the Skrulls invaded Earth, Speed joined the other Young Avengers and Runaways on the front lines of the battle. Speed and Wiccan saved Hulkling from execution and later assisted Xavin to again rescue Hulkling.[5]

Dark Reign and Siege

Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616) and Lisa Molinari (Earth-616)

Speed and Coat of Arms recognizing one another

When the Young Avengers confronted the group of teenagers who had been using their name, Tommy immediately recognized one of their members, Coat of Arms, with whom he may have had a relationship with in "juvie".[11]

During the Siege of Asgard, Tommy was the armor-bearer for Tony Stark.[8] Speed along with the other Young Avengers helped rescue the fallen from warriors and civilians after the battle. Speed was pushing himself hard but still felt like he was failing until Ronin found him. He simply let Speed know that giving it his all would always be enough.[12]

Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616) and Pietro Maximoff (Earth-616) 01

Speed meeting Quicksilver

Children's Crusade

After Wiccan's powers overloaded and the Avengers decided to keep him under observation, Speed and the other Young Avengers broke Wiccan out of holding and began the search for the Scarlet Witch.[13] Accompanied by Magneto the team travelled to Transia where they met Quicksilver and a fake Wanda, who was revealed to be a Doombot.[14] Wiccan teleported himself into Latveria and discovered a depowered and amnesiac Wanda engaged to Doctor Doom.[15] The Young Avengers, Magneto and Quicksilver went after Wiccan, as well as the Avengers. A battle with Doom's Doombot army soon broke out and was only stopped by the arrival of Iron Lad.[16]

Iron Lad teleported the Young Avengers and Wanda into the timestream. They all went into the past, and met a reanimated Jack of Hearts, who exploded. After that, Wanda remembered who she was, regained her powers and returned herself, the Young Avengers and Scott Lang into the present.[17] She then finally confirmed that Billy and Tommy were indeed her reincarnated sons.[2]

A New Young Avengers Team

Sometime after their induction into the Avengers, the Young Avengers again decided to disband largely at Wiccan's urging. Teddy and Tommy moved in with the Kaplans, but Tommy moved out a short time later.[18] As the other Young Avengers stayed away from heroic activities, he separated from them. He was hired by a company hiring superpowered beings, assembling electronic components at a superhuman speed (five minutes equalling to a month of work) for a few weeks and saving that money to travel for a few months, before repeating the cycle.[19]

In that company, he met David Alleyne, the depowered mutant formerly known as Prodigy and started hang out with him. Soon after, someone broke into the company building, under the guise of Patriot. After having confirmed that Elijah Bradley wasn't involved, Tommy decided to inquire about it and took David with him. Waiting for him at night, the duo confronted the entity and Tommy was seemingly dematerialized by the attacker.[19] When David later settled his dispute with the mysterious entity by kissing it, Tommy reappeared in it's place, with no memory of the events that transpired while he was gone and confused as to why David was kissing him.[20]


Tommy and David had since started dating and often went out with Teddy. When Teddy was feeling lonely because Billy was off with Strikeforce, they invited him to go drinking at a gay bar where Tommy teased Teddy about his relationship problems with his brother. After being approached by agents of the Kree-Skrull alliance, a group of Skrulls who wanted to kill Hulkling attacked the bar. Speed fought them alongside David, but was quickly knocked out and only recovered after the fight was over.[21]


Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616) 007

Speed running super fast

Speed is a mutant[3][4] with an enhanced physiology design for supersonic speed, including:

  • Superhuman Speed: Speed can run, move and react at speeds far greater than the average human. His top running speed is unrecorded, but it is demonstrated that he can at least achieve Mach 4. It is unclear if his running ability exceeds that of Quicksilver[14] given that the adult speedster was carrying Wiccan over his shoulder and was on a conversation with him during the friendly challenge issued by Speed.
  • Molecular Acceleration: He can also generate hyper-kinetic vibrations that accelerate the molecules in matter, causing any solid object he directs his vibrations at to explode.
  • Intangibility: He also can use molecular destabilization to walk through solid objects.[13]
  • Superhuman Stamina: Speed's physiology grants him greater stamina when compared to an ordinary human, allowing him to operate at peak capacity for at least several hours before he begins to grow tired.
Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616), William Kaplan (Earth-616), and Pietro Maximoff (Earth-616) from Avengers The Children's Crusade Vol 1 2 0001

Speed and Quicksilver racing

  • Superhuman Agility: Speed's physiology grants him superhuman agility being more flexible and having greater balance.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: He's capable of reacting fast, because he's moving at superhuman speeds everything moves slower for him.
  • Superhuman Durability: Speed's physiology also provides him with limited protection against impact forces and the high levels of friction that are produced when he moves at superhuman speed.
  • Superhuman Strength: Speed possesses a limited degree of superhuman strength, allowing him to lift about 800 lbs with his arms and 1 ton with his legs.
  • Accelerated Perception: Speed's brain processes information at an accelerated rate to match his bodily speed, enabling him to perceive his surroundings while traveling at high velocities. To him, this makes it seems as if the world is going in slow motion.

Strength level

He can press between 800 pounds to 1 ton with his lower body and lift about 800 to 1000 pounds in his upper body.


Despite possessing some level of superhuman durability, things such as bullets and energy blasts can injure him the same way they injure a regular person.

Wanda Maximoff (Earth-616), William Kaplan (Earth-616), and Thomas Shepherd (Earth-616) from Avengers The Children's Crusade Vol 1 6 001

Speed and Wiccan finally reunited with their mother, the Scarlet Witch

  • It was long believed that Tommy and Billy Kaplan were reincarnations of the Scarlet Witch and the Vision's twin sons, Thomas Maximoff and William Maximoff.
    • Wiccan first reached this conclusion after meeting Tommy, his identical twin except for the white hair. After reviewing intelligence files from the Skrulls and Avengers about Thomas and William, Billy decided he and Tommy must be Wanda's children reincarnated. He based this on their names, appearances, Tommy's white hair and speed matching his "uncle" Pietro, and Billy's powers being similar to Wanda's.[22]
    • The Scarlet Witch finally confirmed that Billy and Tommy were indeed her reincarnated sons.[2]
    • Although initial skeptical about the relationship,[7] Speed later embraced and enjoyed the new twin relationship with Wiccan.[9]
  • Speed and Kate Bishop share mutual attraction to one another, creating a love-triangle between the two of them and Patriot.[10]
  • Speed quickly developed a playful sibling relationship with the Runaway Molly Hayes.[8]
  • Speed had a romantic relationship with Lisa Molinari while the pair was in juvenile detention together.[11]
  • Speed not only does bears a striking resemblance with to Quicksilver with his physical appearance and superpowers, but they also share similar personalities and attitudes.[2]
  • Speed is bisexual, as confirmed by Jeremy Whitley on Twitter.[23][24]
    • It is later shown that he and Prodigy are dating.[21]

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Young Avengers #10
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6
  3. 3.0 3.1 Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #3
  4. 4.0 4.1 Avengers: The Children's Crusade #7
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dark Reign: Young Avengers #2-3
  6. Young Avengers #11-12
  7. 7.0 7.1 Young Avengers #12
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways #1-4
  9. 9.0 9.1 Young Avengers Presents #3
  10. 10.0 10.1 Young Avengers Presents #6
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dark Reign: Young Avengers #2
  12. Siege: Young Avengers #1
  13. 13.0 13.1 Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1
  14. 14.0 14.1 Avengers: The Children's Crusade #2
  15. Avengers: The Children's Crusade #3
  16. Avengers: The Children's Crusade #4
  17. Avengers: The Children's Crusade #5
  18. Young Avengers Vol 2 #1
  19. 19.0 19.1 Young Avengers Vol 2 #6
  20. Young Avengers Vol 2 #15
  21. 21.0 21.1 Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling Vol 1
  22. Young Avengers #10-11
  23. Whitley, Jeremy (3 May 2019). 6 canonically LGBTQ kids (plus Viv off panel). Twitter. Retrieved on 5 December 2019.
  24. One user on Twitter says that the sixth lgbt kid hero is Speed and Jeremy Whitley agrees. Twitter (3 May 2019). Retrieved on 5 December 2019.
  25. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 10

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