|“||Speedwagon withdraws coolly.||”|
—Robert E. O. Speedwagon
Robert E. O. Speedwagon is a man of medium height and athletic build. In his prime, he is portrayed with a long fair-haired mulletW and a large scar across the left cheek, leading from his nose to his jaw. His typical attire consists of a three-piece dark suit with a tie, and a bowler hat (in which are hidden blades). In the later portion of Phantom Blood, he replaces his headpiece with Will A. Zeppeli's chessboard patterned top hat.
In Battle Tendency, Speedwagon sports a greyed flattop and a much older complexion. He wears an elderly three-piece suit complete with a tie and at times, a fedora decorated with a feather.
Robert E. O. Speedwagon is a hot-blooded and honorable street thug and later businessman.
Despite his activity as a hoodlum, Speedwagon is a righteous man. Due to his ability to "smell out" the personality of people, he had recognized Jonathan's noble spirit during the events at Ogre Street and accompanies him on his further journey to defeat Dio, whose facade as a cover for his naturally evil behavior was easily denied by Speedwagon. Speedwagon is incredibly loyal to his friends, befriending Jonathan was in part due to the gentleman being kind to his partners in crime. He will try to do anything to help them, and even after Jonathan's death, Speedwagon remained friends with Erina out of respect for Jonathan.
Speedwagon takes care of Erina and Joseph Joestar much like a father figure or close uncle. Equipped with a courteous nature, he is familiar with giving one's privacy; this is apparent when upon trying to enter Jonathan's room, he witnesses the nurse, Jonathan's former love Erina, nurse him back to health and leaves Jonathan to Erina's care. This righteousness would be a characteristic of him throughout his life, as an elderly Speedwagon specifies in his will that his foundation should be used to fund medical and archaeological advancements, and his organization aids the Joestar family time and time again long after his death.
Apart from that, Speedwagon is both anxious and hot-blooded. He is very extroverted and loudly conveys his feelings, from enthusiastically describing Jonathan fighting, to his despair at seeing Kars become the Ultimate Lifeform. Speedwagon constantly seeks to help his companions in various more or less convoluted ways. He notably breaks into a hospital to emotionally support Jonathan, harasses Zeppeli so that he would teach him the Ripple, and has thought of using the warmth of his stomach to unfreeze Zeppeli's arm. Speedwagon also has often tried to confront zombies.
Speedwagon couldn't master the Ripple because he wasn't pressured enough. This is different from Jonathan and Zeppeli, who both carried the mission to stop Dio and the Stone Mask on their shoulders. Zeppeli tried to help him create small Ripples by stimulating the muscles of his diaphragm, but accidentally missed the right point and just managed to hurt Speedwagon. However, due to his life on the street, he is fairly resourceful and has mastered several useful techniques, including the ability to determine someone's moral alignment purely based on their smell. Speedwagon is a seasoned mugger, thus he knows the basics of combat such as keeping a good guard.
- Saw-Hat: Speedwagon wore a bowler hat with a hidden buzz-saw built into it that was sharp enough to cut through bone. Speedwagon used it during his days as a thief, throwing the hat at his opponent like a projectile for a deadly attack. He was extremely proficient with it, being able to juggle with the hat easily, and throwing it with deadly accuracy.
- Hammer: Not being able to master the Ripple didn't stop Speedwagon from helping in the fight. He used a sledgehammer powerful enough to kill zombies in just one strike by smashing their heads. In the anime, Speedwagon tried to smash one of Dio's severed hands with it.
Following the events of Part 1, Speedwagon traveled to America and got rich in the oil industry. With his fortune, he created the Speedwagon Foundation, an organization featuring studies in medical research, wild animal and plant protection, and secretly, a Supernatural Research Department with the sole purpose of aiding the Joestar Family. As head of this company, Speedwagon has full power over all employees, including several leading scientists and workers. Speedwagon often employs resources in the organization, including transportation by helicopters, submarines, cars, and planes, as well as development in weapons technology.
Robert E. O. Speedwagon is a man who lived in darkness ever since he was born. Growing up on the dangerous Ogre Street, he stole things to live and met all kinds of horrible people in his life. It reached the point of him being able to tell a good person apart from a bad person just by their smell. He eventually became the leader of the thieves in Ogre Street and befriended a Kempo Master and Tattoo.
During his youth, Speedwagon had traveled the world, experimenting with various exotic animals in Africa, strange Asian plants and Caribbean tornadoes.
Phantom Blood (1888-1889)
|“||Rich folks are rubbish. Watching 'em flounce around, I wanna throw the whole lot of them into the Thames! But not the Joestars. They're heroic and merciful and, just...the whole damn lot of them are giants among men!||”|
Speedwagon first appears as an Ogre Street thug boss expecting easy pickings from Jonathan Joestar when he entered the street in search of the antidote to the poison that Dio Brando gave to his father. But finding himself outmatched, Speedwagon realized Jonathan spared his men and ordered the others to stand down, offering his services in leading Jonathan to Wang Chan. Fearing for Jonathan's safety, Speedwagon then accompanied him to the Joestar Mansion where he saw through Dio's attempt to lull Jonathan's guard with feigned remorse. When George died protecting his son from being stabbed by Dio, Speedwagon voiced his utmost respect to the Joestar family. Following Jonathan's battle against a newly vampirized Dio, Speedwagon takes Jonathan to the hospital where the youth was cared for by his childhood friend Erina Pendleton.
Speedwagon accompanies Jonathan and Ripple master Will Anthonio Zeppeli to Windknight's Lot in their mission to finish Dio off, though Zeppeli mentions that Speedwagon could never master the art of the Ripple, a fact that greatly distressed Speedwagon. Upon arriving at Windknight's, Zeppeli attempts to push a pressure point in Speedwagon's midsection anyway, in order to give him the ability to harness "small ripples," but missed the right location and ended up hurting Speedwagon instead. The group encounters Dio soon after and is forced to fight off an army of zombies; Speedwagon aids by attacking a few with a sledgehammer. When Zeppeli's arm is frozen by Dio, Speedwagon thaws it by placing it on his own flesh. After Zeppeli's death at the hands of Tarkus, he takes on wearing his hat as a remembrance of their fallen ally.
In the climactic battle against Dio, Speedwagon assists the group by fending off zombies and making an attempt to hinder Dio by destroying his arm. Following the battle, Speedwagon smashes the Stone Mask with his sledgehammer. The morning after Jonathan and Erina marry, Speedwagon is seen reading about their story in the newspaper, only to rush to the docks after realizing their honeymoon cruise was about to set sail. He successfully sees them off, though did not know of the immediate tragedy that would befall them until later.
In the years following the death of Jonathan Joestar, Speedwagon had traveled to America, where he discovered oil and formed the powerful Speedwagon Foundation. It is also during this time that he became an uncle figure to Joseph Joestar, noting him as a dead-ringer of Jonathan despite their opposing personalities. At some point, Speedwagon was kidnapped on a hijacked plane and was going to be sold for ransom, if not for the efforts of Joseph.
Immediately before the events of Battle Tendency, Speedwagon learns of the discovery of a human-like figure embedded in a pillar holding numerous Stone Masks.
Battle Tendency (1938-1939)
Speedwagon, now an old man, and his team meets with Straizo in order to show him the inactive Pillar Man so that he may use the Ripple to destroy him. Unexpectedly, Straizo betrays Speedwagon and mortally wounds him while killing off the others to use their blood to become a vampire. Speedwagon is then dumped into the river by Straizo to prevent the pillar man from absorbing his blood and is eventually 'rescued' by the Nazi major Rudol von Stroheim, who took the pillar man for research. Speedwagon seems helpless in the presence of Stroheim while pleading for him to not revive the being that the Nazi named Santana. But when Santana breaks out of his containment and kills most of the German unit, Speedwagon was saved by Joseph. After Santana's defeat and containment, Speedwagon travels with Joseph to Italy in order to meet Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli, where he disappointingly watches as the two squabble in stark contrast to the cooperation of Jonathan and Will.
He goes with them to where the three other Pillar Men are, and bears witness to the awakening of Wamuu, Esidisi, and Kars, becoming a bystander in the ensuing fight. Afterward, Speedwagon spends most of the story accompanying Erina and Smokey, while withholding information about the Pillar Men and Joseph's life-threatening predicament from Erina at his request.
Speedwagon and Smokey reappear once again during Joseph's battle with Kars, having come with assistance from the Nazis against the army of vampires. Once again, Speedwagon becomes a spectator to unfortunate events while explaining to a concerned Smokey that they must respect the wishes of Erina and Lisa Lisa to not reveal the latter's identity to Joseph. When Kars successfully turns into the Ultimate Lifeform and proceeds to hunt down Joseph, Speedwagon desperately begs for Joseph to go into hiding rather than attempt to face the Pillar Man head-on as he didn't "want to lose him too", but is ignored as the young man goes off on his own.
Later, Speedwagon is one of the group of people who attends Joseph's funeral, comforting Erina as he is the only other living person to grasp the scope of her agony and the tragedy of the Joestar family. However, Joseph himself immediately shows up and reveals his surviving the final confrontation with Kars, much to everyone's joy and relief.
Speedwagon dies in 1952 of a heart attack at the age of 89. As a lifelong bachelor, he leaves no family behind. After his death, the Speedwagon Foundation is dedicated to biochemical science and technology and assists the Joestar Family throughout Parts 3-6. His men go on to create a new prosthetic hand for Joseph, help Jotaro destroy the remains of DIO as well as study the Stand-creating Arrow, analyze Giorno Giovanna's Joestar bloodline, and maintain Jotaro's health after his Stand and memory discs are stolen by Whitesnake.
- Jonathan Joestar: Jonathan's most loyal friend. An enemy at first, he later joined Jonathan on his quest after seeing the protagonist's dedication and courteous nature. In his later years, he founded the Speedwagon Foundation, which has become the Joestar Family's most useful asset in battling Stand users and supernatural research.
- Will Zeppeli: Originally, Zeppeli thought Speedwagon would run away at the first sign of danger, as he couldn't use Ripple, but he eventually respects his courage when Speedwagon stays despite his shortcomings. After Zeppeli was killed, Speedwagon donned his hat out of respect.
- Tattoo and Kempo Fighter: Old acquaintances of Speedwagon's from his time on Ogre street. While Speedwagon temporarily abandons them to help Jonathan destroy Dio, they remain friends all the same.
- Joseph Joestar: Despite his cheeky attitude, Joseph cared for Speedwagon, and viewed him as an uncle. When Joseph received news of Speedwagon's supposed death, he becomes enraged and attacks Straizo without a second thought. Similarly, when he receives news that Speedwagon was still alive, he is seen happily tearing up before rushing to the Nazi base in order to break him out.
- Caesar A. Zeppeli: After beginning his training of the Ripple, Caesar devoted his life to revenge against the ones who killed his father. Having been friends with his grandfather, Speedwagon informed Caesar of the events that led to Will Zeppeli's death. Other than this, their relationship is unknown aside from being acquaintances in the fight against the Pillar Men. However, it is possible that the hat Caesar is seen wearing during his first appearance was the same hat Speedwagon inherited from Will after he died.
- Dio Brando: After hearing from Jonathan what Dio was doing to George Joestar I, Speedwagon decided to help with finding the man that sold Dio the poison. Dio openly declares that after killing Jonathan, he would dispose of Speedwagon as well for being involved. After everything that had happened at the Joestar Mansion, Speedwagon went along with Jonathan and Zeppeli to defeat Dio, knowing that he was too dangerous now as a vampire to be left running around.
- Robert E.O. Speedwagon, Tattoo & Kempo Master Vs Jonathan Joestar
- Robert E.O. Speedwagon Vs Jonathan Joestar
- Robert E.O. Speedwagon, Straizo and Tonpetty Vs Zombies
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