Monday, June 02, 2008

The art says '92, this was published in '97, and it's creeping up on the year the story was set...

If the Olympics go south, I figure this is coming... It may seem odd, but in the days before comic blogs and ubiquitous hype and previews (and Previews) spoiling every new issue; but I hadn't even heard of this series before I found it in the quarter boxes. And I'm glad I did: Hypersonic is too good of a little series to lanquish there.

Set in a slightly futuristic 2009, United Nations forces are losing ground to the annual Chinese offensive. Pilot Wes "Righteous" Anger flies mission after mission, addicted to the thrill of aerial combat. Although he's probably not completely safe and sane, there's no one left to replace him, even if he, and other pilots, claim to have seen "angels," unidentified fighters.
Damn, Erskine does great ugly. Wes organizes a prank on a Marine bomber flight that chickened out of supporting ground troops; dropping yellow paint on them, their planes, and their airfield. All good fun, until they hit enemy fighters on the way home. His wingman down, Wes is good and screwed, until the mysterious angel saves his ass again. The bizarre, striped plane had no markings, no radar signature, and no cockpit. Wes goes down, the angel circling him and it's pilot making sure he's ok:
He's got a cross, Wes; so I'm guessing he's not a Catholic alien. In shock, Wes has the misfortune of being picked up by a yellow-splattered Marine, but the mystery of the angel only deepens for him.

The last issue of the series has a little history of the almost-publishing of Hypersonic: originally slated for Tundra under the name "Foo Fighters" in 1992, then "Pale Horses," but left hanging when Tundra folded. Epic almost published it as "Warbirds" but didn't. The book was finally on the shelves through Dark Horse, and VR1, "an on-line interactive company" was making it an animated, interactive comic. Sadly, doesn't appear to be there anymore. A shame, since I was hoping to see how it translated: the action of the dogfights could look good, or it could be like watching a flipbook, I couldn't say.

I don't think it was ever collected, and a heads-up: the first issue has a couple pages out of order--at least my copy does. A rare gaffe from Dark Horse, but still a great read. Like sci-fi flavored war comics? Try Hypersonic #1, written by Dan Abnett and Steve White, art by Gary Erskine.

I realize I didn't put any scans up for the "angels." Try the quarter bins yourself!

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