Overdrive is a male comic supervillain who features in Marvel Comics.
James Beverley was an Africa-American male who was born in the modern age. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #45) His father was a mechanic and instilled in him a love of cars though he came to become a big fan of superheroes and wanted to be like them. However, he lacked any powers and tried various means to attain them but none were successful. On occasion even saw himself being intentionally exposed to gamma rays but instead he was in a burn ward to recover for three months. He then reasoned that he would learn martial arts like the non-superpowered types but quickly learnt that he was not good at it. Eventually, he decided on the path set by his father by becoming a race car driver and participated in circuits to win thousands of dollars in terms of prizes. He won his fair share of races until one led to an accident where he was one again left in a burn ward for three months. During this time, he was visited by a man named Mister Negative who had need of a getaway driver. He told the man that he was too injured to drive a vehicle but the crime lord offered to give him superpowers that would help both in his recovery and his talent for driving. This involved an injection of nanobacteria where the nanites would allow him to supercharge any vehicle he drove. Initially, he thought to refuse the offer as it was clear that this was a crime boss offering him powers but he reasoned that some heroes started off as villains before becoming superheroes. Thus, he agreed and signed documents to inject him with the nanites where he reasoned that once Mister Negative was arrested that he could depart his service. Overdrive then believed that he would fight some heroes a couple of times before mending his ways and become accepted as a superhero himself. However, after Mister Negative's arrest, he received letters from a collection service stating that he was using the proprietary nanites without permission and needed to pay the licensing fees. Thus, Overdrive remained trapped in the life of being a criminal and had to settle his debt to Mister Negative. (The Superior Foes of Spider-Man v1 #14)
Forced to stay on the run, the panicked Overdrive ended up going through a crowded area and nearly ran people over in his desperation to escape Sin-Eater. Spider-Man managed to save the bystanders and went on the car to convince Overdrive to stop driving but James was too scared to stop. eventually, the Sin-Eater appeared before the car and caused it to crash with Spider-Man pulling Overdrive from the vehicle. He attempted to defend him against the now supernatural Sin-Eater but the spectral foe seemingly killed Overdrive with a gun shot to the chest. The body of James Beverley was taken to the morgue where he was examined Carlie Cooper when he awoken and was seemingly still alive. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #45)
Personality and attributes
He was known for being an African male who was 32 years old. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #45)
For as long as he could remember he was good with cars and his father dreamed of him becoming a race car driver. (The Superior Foes of Spider-Man v1 #14)
He was known to have had a love of superheroes and dreamed of becoming one. Overdrive loved them all ranging from the Avengers to the Fantastic Four but he was the biggest fan of Spider-Man. (The Superior Foes of Spider-Man v1 #14) James said he never wanted to be a supervillain and in fact actually wanted to be a hero like Spider-Man when he first started out. However, he struggled for money and engaged in heists though he made it a point to never hurt people. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #45)
Powers and abilities
Originally, Overdrive had no superpowers despite attempts to gain them and even failed to learn martial arts. This was until Mister Negative made him a guinea pig for a special brand of nanobacteria that consisted of an injection of nanites. Once within his system, they allowed Overdrive to supercharge any vehicle he was using allowing him to reach incredible speeds in them in a short period of time. (The Superior Foes of Spider-Man v1 #14)
- Overdrive was created by Dan Slott and Phil Jimenez where he made his first appearance in Free Comic Book Day Vol 2007 Spider-Man v1 (July, 2007).
- In Amazing Spider-Man v5 #45 (2020), the character was given his real name as being James Beverley.
In other media
- In Spider-Man, Overdrive appeared in the 2017 animated television series in the episode "Bring on the Bad Guys Pt. 1" where he was voiced by actor Ryan Blaney. He was shown as being a nanotechnology using supervillain that could transform any mechanical vehicle and customise it to his designs. Overdrive was among the supervillains that responded to the bounty placed on Spider-Man and attempted to capture or kill the Wall-Crawler.
- Free Comic Book Day Vol 2007 Spider-Man v1: (2007)
- Amazing Spider-Man:
- Superior Foes of Spider-Man v1:
- Amazing Spider-Man v5: