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Malange Still Races!

May 1st, 2008

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in the world of Speed Racer, it’s delivered by car. For example, when Dr. J.D. Crepit‘s wife was killed and son was crippled in an accident, he may have overreacted when he vowed to destroy all motorcars. Yet he carried out his vehicular villainy with automotive ingenuity, employing a fleet of tiny, remote-controlled cars that attached themselves to the undersides of his targets and allowed him to drive them away to his castle to be smelted down and used, naturally enough, to build a completely-automated theme park decorated with metal flora and robotic animals. He racked up 48,000 kills before Speed foiled his entirely sensible plan and ironically revealed that his wheelchair-bound son had been able to walk all along.

Granted that was perhaps the most audacious act of revenge to occur during the series, but for style points I have to give it to Flash Marker, Jr. and his deathmobile, the Malange.

Speed first encountered the Malange while practicing for the Danger Pass Race, when a mysterious black auto recklessly passed him. Later that evening, the same car tailgated another driver, who was terrified when its hood ominously began to flash “X3.” The sinister motorist deliberately collided with his victim, leaving behind a flaming wreck, a slip of paper, and the eerie, electronic pronouncement: “Malange still races.”

“Malange loves hats.”

The X3 soon struck again, and before long Inspector Detector sought Speed’s help, as only the Mach 5 could match the velocity of the deadly driver. A furious chase ensued, which ended at a railroad crossing when the descending gate ripped the assassin from the front seat, revealing him to be a robot!

“Malange still ra– Agh! My nards!” The Tin Man became a bitter drunk after Dorothy left him.

Pops Racer eventually put two and X3 together and realized that the dead men, Mr. Green and Mr. Black, had both been coaches of the racing team known as the Three Roses Club. (After quitting the Reservoir Dogs.) Furthermore, they had been involved in a previous race at Danger Pass which claimed the life of the driver of the original Malange, Flash Marker, who was forced off the road by a Three Roses car.

Suspicion immediately fell upon his surviving children, Lily and Flash, Jr. Lily, who ran a flower shop, was clearly too pretty to be the killer, and Flash, Jr. was hobbled by crutches. However, the latter was indeed the culprit, remotely controlling the rebuilt Malange from the cockpit of his helicopter.

Forcing Lily to enter the Danger Pass race, he installed a revolving hood on the X3 so that it would only sport an innocent-seeming “3” until his moment of revenge. Steering the Malange from above, he destroyed two of the Three Roses cars. When Speed interfered, Lily managed to keep Flash, Jr. from shooting him. Eventually Speed overtook the then-driverless X3 and leaped aboard, forcing open the revolving hood and ripping at the car’s wiring. The Malange was annihilated, but not before taking out the last of the Three Roses Club. In shock over losing his father’s car, Flash failed to notice the rather large mountain in front of his chopper. Which served him right.

In Speed Racer, revenge was sweet, but mountains tended to get the last laugh.

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