First look, thanks to Nerve’s Screengrab, at the Mach 5, the starring character in the forthcoming feature film Speed Racer, based on the cartoon series.

I find myself deriding the series instead of worshiping it, so I don’t know if I’ll see the movie when it comes out.  Back when I was 11 years old, the independent TV station here in town – WDRB, now part of the Fox Network – ran it as part of its daily afterschool cartoon lineup.  Right after Presto the Magic Clown.  It painted international road racing as deadly, and every episode several unfortunate drivers (usually with cross eyes or buck teeth, indicating they were probably two beers short of a six-pack to begin with) met horrible, flaming deaths when their cars careened into rock walls, midaired and crashed after smashing through guardrails, blown up by a missile-firing helicopter chasing after Speed’s ass.

And Spridol and Chim-Chim always hiding in the trunk, which never seemed to be any larger than those plastic bins you use to store Christmas ornaments.

The Mach 5 was a race car and a passenger car (never got that, and you’d imagine that Speed probably rolled over the odometer a few times racing around the world and driving the car to get there).  I’ll have to admit the car’s gadgets were pretty useful and cool.  When the roads are slick with a thin scrim if ice during winter, I wish I could press a button on my steering wheel and have a thick layer of extra gripping tread wrap around each tire.

But wouldn’t having those put him at an advantage over the other racers?

Guess it wouldn’t matter, since most of them would be killed anyway.

SPOILER ALERT:  Racer X is secretly Speed’s older brother!

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