|This character exists primarily or exclusively within the Sonic X continuity.|
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.
I didn't think I had to do this but I have no choice. I will NOT have anybody, faster than me, on my highway!
— Sam Speed, "Chaos Control Freaks"
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 bitter rivalry with Sonic the Hedgehog in speed.
Sam has orange hair and green eyes. For everyday 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. 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 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.
Chaos Emerald Saga
One night, Sam arrived at the Thorndyke Mansion with his new Rocket Car, in the hopes of challenging Sonic to a race with it to see who was faster, but Sonic repeatedly refused until forced into it by Eggman. 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, to little success. 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.
Sam was later summoned to aid Chris with stopping Sonic when he began to run constantly without stopping. 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 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 thought, 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. During this time, he had faith Sonic that was not a criminal when intelligence showed Sonic having committed numerous crimes and both the police and G.U.N. wanted him apprehended.
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.
Most 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 and had a hard time accepting that Sonic was leaving.
Sam loves anything to do with speed, almost to the point of obsession with it. He claims that when he was a baby, he was the only one in town to have a 5-speed manual transmission in his baby carriage. Other references to his mania are when he raced with a doctor to the delivery room when Chris was born, when he goes to the supermarket, no matter how many items he had, he'd always use the express checkout and always making his dog run for a walk (all four of these statements are exclusively found in the English version of the anime only). Other times, he claims that he does everything; and he means everything fast, claiming 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 of the show involves Sam having 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".
Despite some sources claiming a bitter rivalry between Sonic and Sam, as Sam wants to prove that he's faster, during the Shadow Saga, Sam Speed, as the newly appointed chauffeur for the President, defends Sonic after he is accused of high treason based on Shadow the Hedgehog's actions.
He ends up retiring from the police force after Sonic and his friends return home, saying that without Sonic he "doesn't have any more competition," referring to what he told Sonic when they first met about the Speed Team's lack of arrests while serving Station Square.
Powers and abilities
Sam is a car specialist himself and moves in various vehicles, including water scooters. Also, during his fight against Mister Stewart in the Chaos Emerald Martial Arts Mash-Up, Sam proved to be skilled at hand-to-hand combat.
- 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.