Thursday, July 7, 2016


Hyper? He's downright manic.

Celebrating your superhero's superlatives was a losing battle in the early days of comics. We already had a Superman, a Wonder Woman, an Ultra-Man, an Amazing Man, a Captain Marvel, a Captain Wonder, a Wonderman, and more, taking up all the good adjectives. And we hadn't even, as a culture, really learned to fully appreciate "Fucking Awesome" as the ultimate "big-ups."

So when you're cut down to the few remaining synonyms for "Watch this," AND you want to stand out on the racks, what else can you do but go full-on double-barrel, such as with Hyper the Phenomenal!

Whatever it is, it's getting a big steamy
gawk at Hyper the Phenomenal fucking a wall.
Hyper (a.k.a. The Hyper, which makes him sound like he's just a big booster of something) is scientist Don-Vin, creator of such marvelous nonsense words as the "Mento-Meto" and "Neo-Gas" and "Magno-Hydro Gauntlets," all of which combine with his tremendous strength and intellect to make him the most powerful force for doing good in the world!

And none of which prevents him from spending most of his heroic career holding a door open. Only appearing in two issues of the apparently eponymous Hyper-Mystery Comics (both volumes published in 1940), Hyper's primary concern becomes the secret agent Winifred, trapped in evil enemy agent Dolores' terrible dungeon in one of those tricky rooms with the walls that smoosh together. Using the ability of his magno-hydro to keep the walls apart takes up almost all of Hyper's screentime during his debut -- time that isn't spent discussing how fucking hopeless Winifred's situation is, anyway. The two talk death through the bars of her cell in something approaching an actual human exchange relating to terrible impending danger, unlike anything that's ever happened in all other comics ever anywhere (I know this isn't true, you don't have to "actually" me in comments).

The exciting, edge-of-your-seat wall-holding continues in Hyper's second -- and final -- appearance, occupying a good third or half of the subsequent story. Hyper ends up fending off physical attacks of all varieties while pinning the walls apart using only the power of magno-hydroism, whatever the hell that's supposed to be. A barrage of bullets seems to tax his mighty powers, except that he's wearing a bullet proof conch shell on his chest and his helmet, like Fawcett's Bulletman and Bulletgirl, has bullet-deflecting qualities. That's good to hear, I don't know why you'd wear a helmet otherwise.

A stray shot short-circuits the wall mechanism, allowing Hyper to finally show his stuff -- cleaning up on a crowd of gun-toting nogoodniks and outflying a plane in a somewhat one-sided aerial dogfight.

Hyper and Winifred have a good rapport -- preventing someone from becoming a human panini can really bring two people together -- but that chemistry and a curiously refreshing, lacksadaiscal pace couldn't guarantee Hyper a third appearance. He goes down with some of his stalwart comic book companions, including Disco, Boy Detective and Fuller Spunk and Company, Detective Agency ... more about both of which presently ...

One of my favorite parts of the series is how Winifred keeps sassin' Hyper.

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