Even Speedwagon is afraid refers to a quote from the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga, uttered by Jonathan Joestar when encountering the vampire form of Dio Brando.
The vampire nemesis of Joestar is such a sight that he even strikes terror in the eyes of Robert E. O. Speedwagon, an aide of JoJo.
The quote is quite popular online, spawning snowclones and reaction images, depicting characters with a frightened look on their faces.
“Even Speedwagon is afraid” originates from the 13th chapter of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood, which was published under the title Immortal Monster on January 8th, 1988.
The chapter presented readers the story of how Dio Brando transformed into a powerful vampire.
When the protagonist sees the sheer power of his villain, he exclaims “Gaaaaah!! Even Speedwagon is afraid!”
The panel from the original manga was circulated by anime fans on 4chan’s /a/ board prior to 2008.
Memes, featuring the phrase “Even Speedwagon is afraid” started surfacing in 2008, with an early edit having been uploaded to DeviantArt in 2009.
Snowclones and image macros would start appearing widely in the early 2010’s, especially after 2013.
The sites where the meme was the most popular include 4chan, Tumblr, Facebook and Reddit.