As the Greeks envisioned, There were a race of centaurs in a mystic city in the Arctic Circle. The city was destroyed during an Earthquake (not quite mystic enough), and Speed was the only survivor.
Speed was found by a trapper - a "catch and release" type, I suppose, because he's described as kindhearted. This trapper bestowed all the proper 1939 virtues and ethics unto Speed, then, on his death bed, asked him "clean up" the nearby, evil City of Rackets." Crime rackets, not tennis.
"Speed" isn't just a clever name, he's lightning quick, and can lift and hurl boulders, which there must have been many of in the City of Rackets.
Being a centaur, Speed didn't really have an option of a secret identity, but! He did have a newsman sidekick, which is some top rung stuff when it comes to sidekicks.
No one knows what happened to Speed, but I've heard rumors he had to retire after criminals started feeding him apples prior to escaping.
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