HYPE, Hero or Harasser?

By Deborah White

HYPE Publicity Photo
Courtesy of HeroLore Publicity
The super-fast "hero" known as HYPE, a.k.a. "the Hyper-sonic Man", well known nationally for his NAR-Cola endorsements, has made Millenium City his home for the past 5 months now. In that time there have been numerous complaints regarding his methods and violent tendencies by both the criminals he apprehends and the populace at large.

Sixteen different alleged criminals brought in by Hype had to be hospitalized prior to being taken into custody, and over 40 other criminals have lodged complaints regarding his rough treatment of them. And of course what Millennial can forget the "Bessy" incident, where he knocked out Bessy, the only surviving mastodon in the world and a fixture of the MC Zoo, after she was freed from her pen by the super-criminal Highrise?

His disregard for the saftey of others and violent tendencies have been noted by more than just alleged criminals however. Hype's lack of consideration for normal-speed people has extended to the press, and bystanders to crimes that he has questioned. He also allegedly assualted Mike "Spikey" O'Connors, a celebrity photographer that tried to snap a shot of Hype as he bore down on criminals fleeing a bank heist. O'Connors initially pressed charges but later retracted his claim before it came to trial.

"Look, I've got fast reactions, but if some (expletive deleted) jumps in front of me when I'm running several hundred miles an hour and pops a flashbulb in my face, what the (expletive deleted) do you expect me to do? I couldnt even see the guy for a couple of seconds because of the (expletive deleted) light blobs from the (expletive deleted) flashbulb in my eyes. He's just lucky the bank robbers didnt get away, or else he might have a real reason to cry. Besides, what did he happen to be (expletive deleted) doing there just as a robbery was occuring to snap a picture of me? Highly (expletive deleted) suspicious if you ask me!", said Hype when questioned about the incident.

Hype has had several public battles with super-villains such as Ogre and members of GRAB (Ogre and Black Diamond were both hospitalized after these encounters, though both later escaped custody), and was a founding member of the Millennial Men, though he apparantly left that group soon thereafter. "Hype is a capable and dedicated crime fighter, and we were glad for his assistance when he was with us, but his methods and personality were not in-line with the Millennial Men as a whole. As one of our founding members he is always welcome on the team, so long as he can respect the views of his fellow Millennial Men.", said War-Man, the current leader of the Mill-Men when asked.

However, the ever-colorful John Wrath was less PC when this reporter inquired on a seperate occassion. "That kid's gonna blow up one of these days. "Contents under pressure" and all that. I think he needed to be spanked more as a child, and somebody should put him on a diet of De-caff and Riddlin.", said Wrath.

Two days ago Hype apprehended Javier Montoya, a 17 year old boy, who was allegedly holding up a Quiki-Mart in Northside, near the Northwest Gate. Hype reportedly streaked in while Javier backed out of the store pointing his gun at the shop keeper, stripping the gun from Javier's hand, breaking his wrist in the process, and simultaneously threw Javier to the ground, breaking his collarbone and two ribs. Reportedly Hype then proceeded to dismantle the firearm, bending the firing pin while Javier lay on the pavement screaming, and then shouted threats at the boy until the authorities arrived to take him into custody.

One bystander, who wished to remain anonymous, had this to say; "It was hard to make out because he talks so fast, but he was saying stuff like 'You want to be a criminal?', 'You think you're a big man with a gun in your hands?', 'You think you're going to like jail?'. You know, tough cop talk. Of course, the guy's laying there screaming the whole time with his wrist all puffed up."

Sadly this sort of incident has become all too common. While there is some truth to the statement that Hype catches more criminals before breakfast than most heroes do all day, some of them later walk due to improper procedure. Further, while he has thus far easily defeated the actual super-villains he's faced there is typically an excessive amount of property damage involved. Many have begun to question whether the bad outweighs the good when it comes to Hype. How much longer will his violent methods be allowed to continue by the authorities and other heroes? At what point do we stop considering him a hero and name him a violent vigilante instead?

Hype served with the noted southern supergroup known as NewGen until it's disbanding earlier this year. He was also active in Southern California as a hero prior to that. His identity is not known and he has not sanctioned with PRIMUS.