Sam Speed (サム・スピード Samu Supīdo?) is a character from the anime series Sonic X and its comic series published by Archie Comics. He is Christopher Thorndyke's maternal uncle, the younger brother of Lindsey Thorndyke and the leader of the Speed Team, a special unit of the Station Square Police Department (S.S.P.D.) that uses high-speed race cars as police cruisers. He shares a rivalry with Sonic the Hedgehog in speed.
Sam has peach skin, orange hair and green eyes. For casual attire, he wears a gray T-shirt with the words "Speed" and purple sleeves, as well as white trousers. His racing outfit consists of a white and red uniform with a helmet.
New World Saga
On one night, Sam and the Speed Team headed out when they were assigned to apprehend a blue hedgehog who had escaped from the police after avoiding a large roadblock they had set up to stop him. Sam soon caught up with the hedgehog and introduced himself to him as the fastest man on the highway. When Sonic made his escape though, Sam followed him. However, the entire Speed Team was unable to catch up to Sonic, who toyed with them all the while. His pride hurt, Sam used his car's Super Nitro to achieve maximum speed in an effort to outdo Sonic. Sonic, however, reached supersonic speed and overtook the leader of the Speed Team. The Speed Team then had to call off the hunt when Sonic ran off the end of the road. Having been defeated in speed, Sam developed a bitter desire to beat Sonic.
Later, Sam was invited by his sister Lindsey for a special party at the Thorndyke Mansion. There, he met Mr. Stewart. His sister, however, was absent from the party. At the party, Sam told various jokes, then changed his tone to a more serious one when he talked about his encounter with Sonic. He then saw the hedgehog outside the window for a moment, but no one believed him. Afterward, Sonic's friends ran right next to him. Chris, however, turned his uncle's attention away by occupying him with a different topic. Eventually though, Sam took his leave.
Chaos Emerald Saga
One day, Sam came to the rescue of Chris and his friends in Station Square, which was being attacked by the Egg Fort. With Chris and the others needing to get home in a hurry, Sam lent them a ride in his car. On the way however, they got cornered by E-33 Buballs, which they were saved from in the last moment by Mr. Stewart, whom Sam recognized before making him join the others in his overcrowded car. During the subsequent ride, Sam and co. got attacked by the E-33s again, but were this time saved by the timely arrival of Mr. Tanaka. Not long after, Sam showed up in the Sapphire Sea on a jet-ski in time to help Sonic when he was fighting a losing battle with E-57 Clurken in the sea. Throwing Sonic a cable, Sam was able to pull Sonic around, effectively allowing the hedgehog to ski on water and avoid E-57's attack until he was able to destroy E-57.
Eventually, Sam convinced the government to support a race between him and Sonic to see who was faster. He was thus able to have the office of science and technology develop an engine for his new Rocket Car. One night, Sam arrived at the Thorndyke Mansion with his Rocket Car to challenging Sonic to a race with it. When he arrived, he was nearly attacked by Tanaka and Ella, who thought he was an intruder. Meeting up with his family, Sam explained the race, its grand prize, and its government connection. He also revealed that the public was awaiting the race, which had been sponsored and prepared by Chris' parents. Much to Sam's frustration however, Sonic refused to compete, forcing Sam to keep pressuring him. Eventually though, Sonic accepted the challenge. As Sonic and Sam raced, Sam used his connections with the S.S.P.D. to take shortcuts to remain ahead of Sonic, and when Sonic was being given lunch by Tails and Sam's nephew in the X Tornado, Sam used the opportunity to literally leave Sonic in his dust and retake the lead. He also managed to get by Eggman's E-45 Sumo-Man, who tried to delay their progress. However, as they neared the finish line, Sonic was able to get ahead and win by a long shot, before taking the time for a few photos before crossing the line again together with Sam in an apparent photo finish. Although Sam was shocked that he lost, he nonetheless congratulated Sonic.
Sometime later, Sam was fining a driver when he saw Sonic, who was stuck running constantly without stopping, speed by. Seeing another chance to beat Sonic, Sam boarded his car and began racing Sonic. While racing, Sam was contacted by Chris who tried to talk to him about Sonic's problem. However, Sam ignored him in favor of continuing their race. However, Sam conceded when his car ran out of fuel. Sam was later contacted to aid Chris and his friends with stopping Sonic. The plan was for Sam to race Sonic in his Rocket Car towards where two doors were set up. The door marked with a "1" contained a glue trap behind it to catch Sonic, and Sam was to go through the door marked "2" to avoid it. However, during the plan, Sam's rivalry with Sonic got the better of him, and he went through the wrong door, leaving him trapped in the glue while Sonic went on with his running.
Six months later, Sam caught a driver in doing illegal activities when all of Station Square got hit by a great flood caused by Perfect Chaos. Sam himself managed to evacuate the inhabitants to secure points, but he himself got caught by the incoming tidal waves. Fortunately, he got picked up by Jerome Wise and other people and hauled to safety on a rooftop. Sam thanked them and then joined the other people in watching military helicopters fight Perfect Chaos. Ultimately though, it was Super Sonic who tamed Perfect Chaos.
After the events with Perfect Chaos, Sam was reassigned from the S.S.P.D. to being the chauffeur for the President. When he was later driving the President and his aide Christina Cooper around, Sam overheard them speak about some crimes seemingly committed by Sonic recently. Sam promptly told his passengers that Sonic was no criminal. When Christina spoke ill about Sonic regardless, Sam abruptly stopped the car so that Christina fell out of her seat. Sam, however, defended his action. Some time afterward, Sam was driving the President around when the latter received an ultimatum from Dr. Eggman: either the world submitted to the Eggman Empire within twenty-four hours or the Doctor would fire the Eclipse Cannon of the Space Colony ARK at the planet. As Eggman left the President to give him a favorable answer, the President began to despair. However, Sam confidently gave the President some words of comfort.
Not long after, upon overhearing from the President and Christina that the Space Colony ARK was on a collision course with Earth that would destroy the planet, Sam silently hoped that Sonic would save them this time. After the ARK was returned to orbit by Super Sonic and Super Shadow, Sam calmly gave the President and Christina some pearls of wisdom when they reflected on recent events.
Egg Moon Saga
When the Thorndyke Mansion got attacked by angry crowds, who were upset over how Sonic was destroying the Mirror Towers that provided them with lights during a never-ending eclipse, Sam Speed and his Speed Team came and chased the crowds away, allowing Chris and his friends to make their escape.
Acquiring a new racecar, Sam arranged a race with Sonic. When Sam met up for their race at the Thorndyke Mansion however, he met a steamed Amy, and Chris explained that Sonic had forgotten about his and Amy's date. Amy then insisted that she and Sam went on a date instead to forget about Sonic. Understanding Amy's feelings, Sam took her for a ride. Along the way, he showed off his skills while Amy vented her frustrations. While taking Amy to the beach however, Sam got lost, so they had to stop at a general store to get a map. While there, Sam made a joke that upset Amy, prompting her to stomp on his foot. Ultimately, the store owner gave them a map and some candy for free because they were friends of Sonic, who had saved his grandson in the past. Returning to the road, Sam and Amy talked about Sonic's character and attitude. Soon after, Sam remembered that he and Sonic were supposed to race at sunset, which meant his race did not interfere with his and Amy's date. The two of them later stopped at a cafe where they talked about their unwillingness to give up their goals until they saw the Bomb Tank pass by. Learning from HQ that the Bomb Tank belonged to Eggman (who was currently in prison), Sam and Amy set out to stop it before it could free Eggman. Using his new racecar, Sam caught up to the Bomb Tank, which Amy then took out with her hammer. Sam then gave Amy a taste of Sonic's passion for speed by driving to the beach at high speed. There, Amy thanked Sam for giving her a good time. No sooner, Sonic showed up. With Sonic ready to race, Sam forgot about Amy and began racing Sonic.
Some time afterward, Sam took part in the Chaos Emerald Martial Arts Mash-Up held by the President in an attempt to lure Eggman out into the open. At the tournament, Sam's first opponent was Mr. Stewart. Sam, however, ended up getting disqualified for attacking his opponent too quickly.
Later, Sam was following another driver. Despite his warnings, the careless driver did not make a turn and crashed through a railing, causing his car to plummet to a fiery wreck below. Fortunately, Sonic saved the driver. Sam was amazed at the sight of the hedgehog and decided that they should fight together sometime. Later on, Sam learned that Sonic and his friends had to return to their world so that time would not freeze. Sam subsequently showed up at the site of Sonic and his friends' departure, but also quickly left. After that, he would reminisce about his first meeting with the blue hedgehog while dealing with the feelings he had over that Sonic was leaving.
Sam raced against Sonic in the hopes of beating Sonic although Sam lost. Later, he and the Speed Team were sent to the Twelfth National Bank of Station Square, Incorporated to deal with a robbery, only to see that Sonic and his friends have already handled it. Later, Sam received a fuel injector from Bokkun who claimed it would help make his car to be faster than Sonic. Just after Sam and the S-Team finished installing the fuel injector into his car, they were alerted of an attack over at Station Square Space Museum which Sam immediately left to rescue his nephew. Along the way, Sam encountered a getaway car containing Danny and Francis and followed to rescue them, noticing Sonic was also after them. While Sam managed to gain a lead over Sonic, Sam sped off a bend and fell into the water and soon after, his car got hijacked and unwillingly became one of Eggman's human mind-controlled robots along with Chris, Topaz, the President, and Mr. Stewart and attacked Sonic and his friends at the museum. However Chris was able to break free and destroy Eggman's remote control, freeing everyone.
Later, taking place some time before Eggman's escape from prison, Sonic joins Sam and the Speed Team on patrol due to the former feeling bored. After helping to deal with illegal street racers, Sam and Sonic would team up to take down an alien spaceship Sonic dug up from a previous issue. After the duo reflect the laser beam, they were surprised to see Tails and Captain Westwood as the pilots.
Sam would later rush to Station Square to aid an out-of-control empty trolley but Sonic also showed up. Not wanting to be beaten by Sonic again, Sam sped up despite Dawn's warning of pushing his car too hard and ended up crashing his car against a pile of garbage. Frustrated and embarrassed by this, Sam vented out his frustration on the car which Dawn scolded Sam off for his impulsive behavior, telling him to reflect back on what it was like when the S-Team worked together as a team before leaving with Paul. Just then, a disguised Eggman showed up and offered to build Sam the Speed 5000 to make him faster than Sonic which Sam accepted. Sam then headed for the Sapphire Sea Refinery to respond to an emergency whilst being impressed with his new vehicle's features. When Sam finally dealt with the fire, however, Eggman finally revealed himself and took control of the Speed 5000 as it transformed into a giant robot with Sam being imprisoned inside it while the robot attacked Sonic. Knuckles would later show up to come to Sonic's aid but the Speed 5000 proved too strong for both of them to overcome. Thinking about working together as a team, Sam communicated with Dawn and Paul to get in touch with Chuck Thorndyke who transmitted a negator signal to finally disable the Speed 5000, allowing Sonic and Knuckles to destroy the robot but leaving Sam unharmed. Sam apologized for his impulsive attitude and agreed to work better as a team.
Free-spirited and cool-headed, if highly egotistical, Sam is a person who enjoys the thrill of his high-speed trips rather than getting to his destination. According to Amy, Sam is very similar to Sonic in that regard. Usually, he is rather impulsive and has a one-tracked mind, especially when it comes to defending his reputation. However, when behaving professionally, Sam has proven himself to be very insightful. He is also kind and very loyal, as he will not stand and listen to others badmouthing his friends.
Sam loves anything to do with speed, almost to the point of obsession with it. Whenever the opportunity to act fast presents itself, he will immediately seize it. He also always tries to find a reason to race in practically every situation. His lifestyle also reflects his fast-paced attitude, as he claims that he does everything; and he means everything fast: he says that he falls in love and out of love fast, and that he forgets things fast and remembers them faster.
A running gag in the original Japanese version involves Sam referring himself with a different nickname in each of his appearances, some examples being "Highway Star", "Sonic Boom", and "Love Express". In the English version, his only nickname was "Speed King". In addition, he also has a tendency to tell unfunny and not always situation-appropriate jokes.
In the comics, Sam seems to develop a small degree of an inferiority complex as a result of his competitive rivalry with Sonic in speed. Sam has constantly vowed he would beat Sonic at being the fastest hero of Station Square and gets annoyed whenever Sonic arrives at a situation before Sam and the S-Team were called upon to, or being beaten by Sonic in a race. While on duty, Sam sometimes tends to be more concerned about beating Sonic whenever he appears that he almost forgets about the task in hand. He tends to act quickly in situations without giving it a second thought which in a couple of scenarios, this has led him to be duped into Eggman's life-threatening schemes and briefly strained his relationship with the other S-Team members.
Powers and abilities
Sam is a car specialist himself. As such, he knows how to expertly drive various vehicles. These include customized racecars of both the regular kind and high-speed variety that are designed for velocities reaching Sonic's speed, limousines, and water scooters.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is Sam's rival in speed. Despite some sources claiming a bitter rivalry between Sonic and Sam (particularly in the comics), as Sam wants to prove that he is faster, Sam nonetheless is shown to have a certain fondness for Sonic, who he deeply respects as a worthy competitor. Sam is similarly always ready to defend Sonic's good name; after becoming the newly appointed chauffeur for the President, Sam defended Sonic after he is accused of high treason based on Shadow the Hedgehog's actions. Sam and Sonic have shown to work together very well during a few shifts of the S-Team.
- Amy Rose
- Christina Cooper
- Christopher Thorndyke (nephew)
- Chuck Thorndyke (father-in-law)
- Cream the Rabbit
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Lindsey Thorndyke (older sister)
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Mr. Stewart
- Mr. Tanaka
- Nelson Thorndyke (brother-in-law)
- Director of Central Intelligence
- Rouge the Bat
- Speed Team
- Sonic the Hedgehog (rival and friend)
- Vanilla the Rabbit
- Sam's nickname "Speed King" may be a reference to NHRA drag racing legend Kenny Bernstein, who is known as "the King of Speed" but was also referred to as "Highway Star" once.
- Masaki, Hiro (23 August 2003). "Chaos Control Freaks". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 1.
- Media:Ep.1 eye-catch card 2.jpg
- Hōjō, Chinatsu (18 October 2003). "Party Hardly". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 7.
- Yoshimura, Kiyoko (13 December 2003). "Skirmish in the Sky". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 15.
- Hōjō, Chinatsu (17 January 2004). "Depths of Danger". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 16.
- Urasawa, Yoshio (24 August 2003). "Fast Friends (Japanese version)". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 21.
- Urasawa, Yoshio (21 February 2004). "Fast Friends". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 21.
- Shiraishi, Masahiko (13 March 2004). "How to Catch a Hedgehog". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 24.
- Shiraishi, Masahiko (23 October 2004). "Flood Fight". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 32.
- Masaki, Hiro (30 October 2004). "Project: Shadow". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 33.
- Shiraishi, Masahiko (6 November 2004). "Shadow Knows". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 34.
- Masaki, Hiro (20 November 2004). "Shadow World". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 36.
- Yoshimura, Kiyoko (4 December 2004). "Showdown in Space". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 38.
- Masaki, Hiro (22 January 2005). "Eggman for President". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 41.
- Yoshimura, Kiyoko (29 January 2005). "A Date to Forget". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 42.
- Yoshimura, Kiyoko (18 January 2004). "A Date to Forget (Japanese version)". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 42.
- Masaki, Hiro; Hōjō, Chinatsu (19 February 2005). "Prize Fights". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 45.
- Shiraishi, Masahiko (12 March 2005). "The Beginning of the End". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 49.
- Hōjō, Chinatsu (19 March 2005). "Running Out of Time". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 50.
- Sonic X #1, "Savings and Groan"
- Sonic X #3, "Field Trip of Doom!
- Sonic X #4, "Boisterous Bot Battle!"
- Sonic X #12, "Attack From Area 99!"
- Sonic X #20, "Speed Lines"
- Sonic X #23, "Hedgehogging Their Bets"