Robert E. O. Speedwagon
Robert E. O. Speedwagon (ロバート・E・O・スピードワゴン, Robāto Ī Ō Supīdowagon) is a primary ally featured in the first part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Phantom Blood. Formerly a Londoner thug residing in Ogre Street, Speedwagon befriends Jonathan Joestar and becomes a loyal ally to his cause.
In Battle Tendency, Speedwagon returns as a wealthy businessman and a secondary ally to Jonathan's grandson, Joseph Joestar. His organization, the Speedwagon Foundation, continues to support the Joestar Family throughout the story, notably in Stardust Crusaders, Diamond is Unbreakable, and Stone Ocean.
Robert E. O. Speedwagon is a man of medium height and athletic build. In his prime, he is portrayed with a long fair-haired mullet 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). After Will A. Zeppeli's death, he replaces his headpiece with the late Zeppeli's chessboard-patterned top hat.
50 years later, Speedwagon sports a grayed 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 but 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 is 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 leave 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 known to be anxious and hotheaded. He is very extroverted and loudly conveys his feelings, from enthusiastically describing Jonathan fighting, to his despair at seeing Kars become the Ultimate Thing. Above all, Speedwagon deeply cares for his friends, and he 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, to varying degrees of success.
Zeppeli assumed that Speedwagon couldn't master the Ripple because he wasn't pressured enough (unlike Jonathan and Zeppeli, who both carried the mission to stop Dio and the Stone Mask on their shoulders). Zeppeli ultimately tried to help him create the Ripple by stimulating the muscles of his diaphragm, but accidentally missed the right point and only 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.
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 was born on October 16, 1863. Speedwagon lived most of his life in darkness. He grew up on Ogre Street and spent his childhood stealing and fighting to get by. 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 Fighter and Tattoo.
During his youth, Speedwagon had traveled the world, experiencing encounters with various exotic animals from Africa, strange Asian plants, and Caribbean tornadoes.
Phantom Blood (1888-1889)
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. After a short brawl in which he found 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 man was cared for by his childhood friend Erina Pendleton.Some time after Jonathan's recovery and initial Ripple training, Speedwagon accompanies him 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 traveled to America, where he discovered oil and formed the powerful Speedwagon Foundation. He was still a friend to the Joestar family, having taken a picture with Erina, Straizo, and Elizabeth as a baby.
Many decades after the events of Phantom Blood in 1921, Speedwagon had believed that he and Straizo had eliminated the remaining zombies of Dio. Unbeknownst to both of them, one managed to evade them and was disguising itself as a major in the RAF. Jonathan's son, George Joestar II, was told about his family's lineage and suspected the major. The zombie found out about George's plan and subsequently murdered him. George's death was attributed to an accident during a night flight.
Speedwagon doubted the story, and conducted an investigation with Straizo into the truth. When Elizabeth, who had married George, found out, she rushed off in a silent rage to avenge his death. She was spotted by an officer, and the zombie's disintegrating corpse was understood as Elizabeth burning his body. Elizabeth was marked a traitor to her country and ran away. After that, the Speedwagon Foundation attempted to clear her name in any way it could, to no avail. Briefly after, Speedwagon spoke to Erina privately. Holding a young JoJo, Erina softly told Speedwagon to never reveal the truth about his parents.
As JoJo grew older, Speedwagon became an uncle figure to him, noting Joseph as a deadringer 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, who beat their captors but caused the plane to crash-land against a cliff.
Immediately before the events of Battle Tendency, Speedwagon learns of the discovery of Santana, a human-like figure embedded in a pillar holding numerous Stone Masks.
Battle Tendency (1938-1939)
Speedwagon, now an old man, travels to Mexico. He and his team meet with Straizo in order to show him the inactive Pillar Man slumbering in the cave ruins beneath an abandoned temple so that he may use the Ripple to destroy him. Unexpectedly, Straizo betrays Speedwagon and wounds him while killing off the others in order 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. Imprisoned in a hacienda doubling as a laboratory, Speedwagon is helplessly retained in the presence of Stroheim while pleading for him to not revive the being that the Nazis had named Santana. But when Santana breaks out of his containment and kills most of the German unit, Speedwagon is saved by Joseph, who had infiltrated the laboratory posing as a Nazi soldier.
During the confrontation with Santana, Speedwagon and Joseph learn of the existence of other Pillar Men in Rome. After Santana's defeat and containment, they both travel to Rome and meet Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli, where Speedwagon disappointingly watches as the two squabble in stark contrast to the cooperation of Jonathan and Will. Invited by the Nazis, he and the two young men are escorted to a cavern beneath the Colosseum where the three other Pillar Men reside, 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 in Switzerland at the Piz Berlina Ruins. Accompanied by a whole battalion of SPW Foundation agents and Nazi soldiers, they come to the rescue of Joseph and Lisa Lisa who were surrounded by Kars and his army of vampires. Once again, Speedwagon becomes a spectator in the battle between good and evil as Joseph and Kars clash. At the same time, he explains 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 Thing 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 groups 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 survival of the final confrontation with Kars, much to everyone's joy and relief.
Speedwagon died in 1952 of a heart attack at the age of 89. As a lifelong bachelor, he left no family behind. After his death, the Speedwagon Foundation was dedicated to biochemical science and technology, and assisted the Joestar Family throughout all their affairs. His men went on to create a new prosthetic hand for Joseph, helped Jotaro destroy the remains of DIO as well as study the Stand-creating Arrow, analyzed Giorno Giovanna's Joestar bloodline, and maintained Jotaro's health after his Stand and memory discs were 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 and are invited to Jonathan and Erina's wedding.
- 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.
- Erina Pendleton: Although he had a chilly first impression of her, with Erina brusquely dismissing Speedwagon's pleas to help with Jonathan's recovery at the hospital, Speedwagon soon understood how deeply they loved each other and was enthusiastically supportive of their marriage, promising that he would always be there for the couple if they ever needed any help. He maintained a close friendship with Erina up until her death, to the point where Joseph even teasingly suggested that there was some secret romantic element to their relationship.
- 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.
- Straizo: The two men were formerly allies. Both were present during the confrontation with Dio at his castle, the destruction of the Stone Mask, and to see the newlyweds Jonathan and Erina Joestar off when they departed for America. They appeared to have remained on good terms for the next fifty years, and Speedwagon trusted Straizo enough to ask for his help investigating the ruins in Mexico. Unfortunately, Straizo revealed his true intentions when he attempted to murder Speedwagon, willing to sacrifice his old friend for the sake of immortality and power.
Chapters / Episodes
- “Stop, everyone! If you touch this gentleman, I, Speedwagon, won't forgive you! (や…やめろみんな！その紳士に手を出すことは…このスピードワゴンがゆるさねぇ！Ya... yamero minna! Sono shinshi ni te o dasu koto wa... kono Supīdowagon ga yurusane!)”
- “I've lived in darkness ever since my birth, and have met all kinds of villains. So I can tell a bad person from a good person just by his smell... And this guy stinks! He stinks worse than vomit! (おれお生まれてからずっと暗黒街で 生きいろんな悪党を見て来た だから 悪い人間といい人間の区別は「におい」で分かる！こいつはくせえッー！ゲロ以下のにおいがプンプンするぜッーッ！！Ore o umarete kara zutto ankokugai de iki iron'na akutō o mite kita, dakara warui ningen to ī ningen no kubetsu wa 'nioi' de wakaru! Koitsu wa kusē! Gero ika no nioi ga punpun suru ze!!)”
- “The father's soul has been inherited by his son, Jonathan Joestar! It will become his strong will, his pride, his future! (息子のジョナサン・ジョースターが立派に受け継いでいる！それは彼の強い意志となり 誇りとなり 未来となるだろうぜッ！！Musuko no Jonasan Jōsutā ga rippa ni uketsuide iru! Sore wa kare no tsuyoi ishi to nari, hokori to nari, mirai to narudarou ze!!)”
- “I have travelled the world and seen many things! Exotic African animals, strange Asian plants, the Caribbean tornadoes that can uproot large trees! But I've never seen a monster like this! (今までの人生で世界各国を放浪しいろんな物を見て来たッ！アフリカの珍しい動物だのアジアの奇怪な植物だのカリブ海の大木まで吹つ飛はす竜巻だの！だが こんな化け物は見たこともねぇッ！！Ima made no jinsei de sekai kakukoku o hōrō shi iron'na mono o mite kita! Afurika no mezurashī dōbutsu dano, Ajia no kikaina shokubutsu dano, Karibu-kai no taiboku made futsu to wa su tatsumaki dano! Daga kon'na bakemono wa mita koto mo nē!!)”
- “Speedwagon withdraws coolly. (スピードワゴンはクールに去るぜSupīdowagon wa kūru ni saru ze.)”
- “THIS IS CRAZY! Ever since Dio put on the Stone Mask, all kinds of supernatural stuff has been happening around here! I’ve suspended by disbelief for a while now, but the biggest mystery around here is you, old man Zeppeli!”
- “S… Such strength wells out from within him! It’s different that he’s ever been before! And his movements are even faster! Old man Zeppeli’s life Ripple now resides within him! It’s both of their powers working together!”
- “He vaporized all the moisture in his body and then took away the heat, freezing it instantaneously! The Ripple works using his bloodflow, so when Dio freezes his body, the Ripple is rendered ineffective! Dio’s ability is terrifying! To think that he could freeze Dire’s entire body in an instant!”
- “There it is, that horrid, dark personality of his-- worse than any evil in this world! His stylish demeanor only disguises his true self! This is who he really is! Now it’s in full force after being humiliated by his first taste of Ripple!”
- “What an occasion! Wishing them both all the best! I’ll be cheering them on as usual, and if they ever need help, I’ll be there luckity-split! Although, I may end up getting in the way instead-- as usual! (まったくめでたいぜ ふたりとも幸せになってくれよ！おれは いつまでも応援するし困ったときはいつでもどんな所でもかけつけるつもりだぜ！もっとも かえって足手まといかなMattaku medetai ze, futari tomo shiawase ni natte kure yo! Ore wa itsu made mo ōen surushi komatta toki wa itsu demo don'na tokoro demo kaketsukeru tsumori daze! Mottomo, kaette ashidematoi ka na.)”
- “He... he's become invincible! He has no more weaknesses! Not even the Ripple will work anymore! He's immortal! Unkillable! Unbeatable! Kars, the Ultimate Thing, is born! (や…やつは無敵になった！弱点はもうヤツにはない！おそらく波紋もヤツにはきかないッ！不老不死！不死身！誰も倒せない！『
究極の生命体カーズの誕生だッーっ』Ya… yatsu wa muteki ni natta! Jakuten wa mō yatsu ni wanai! Osoraku Hamon mo yatsu ni wa kikanai! Furōfushi! Fujimi! Dare mo taosenai! Arutimitto Shiingu Kāzu no tanjōda!)”
Speedwagon has a minor role in the light novel JORGE JOESTAR. He financially supports Erina and George Joestar II. As Erina becomes a major stockholder in the Speedwagon Foundation, the Joestar family is well-off. When Erina and George decide to move to England, Speedwagon helps to rebuild the Joestar Mansion with his company. Speedwagon and Erina try their best to free George from prison but they initally do not succeed, due to Ben Motorize having many friends in the justice department.
Speedwagon is ecstatic once he hears that Lisa Lisa is pregnant. He starts sending presents to George and Lisa Lisa at an alarming rate. His presents contain one of everything for both boys and girls, before learning that the child would be a boy. George asks him to calm down but Speedwagon affirms that he'll do as he pleases.
- Mike Harper, one of the main characters from Poker Under Arms, is a likely basis for Speedwagon's design.
- His voice actor in the Phantom Blood PS2 game, Masaya Onosaka, also voices Alessi in the Part 3 anime.