Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human mutate(?), technology user (see comments)
Occupation: Terrorist, formerly mercenary
Group Membership: Soldiers of Misfortune;
formerly Air Force
Affiliations: Soldiers of Misfortune (Cut, Dark, Dry, Light, Right, Wrong), Protocol, Undertow
formerly Hard (Namorita), Air Command, Air Force (Cardinal, Killer Shrike, Oriole, Tanager), Gloria Hancock
Enemies: New Warriors (Firestar, Hindsight, Justice,
Nova (Richard Rider), Powerpax, Scarlet Spider, Speedball, Timeslip),
Cardinal (Joshua Clendenon), Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor), Rage (Elvin Haliday)
formerly Soldiers of Misfortune, Protocol, Turbo (Mike Jeffries), Undertow
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Undertow's undersea headquarters in the Atlantic Ocean, formerly mobile aboard Air
Command's aerial headquarters
(as Sparrow) New Warriors I#35 (May, 1993)
(as Fast) New Warriors I#65 (November, 1995)
Powers/Abilities: Fast is capable of flight at extremely high speeds. It is unclear if this is a function of the bodysuit she wears or an indication that she has been genetically altered like other members of Undertow. She also carries powerful firearms of advanced design. Her body is operated remotely through an implanted neurochip. The chip also provides a location beacon to allow Undertow to teleport her to and from their headquarters.
As Sparrow, she wore an exoskeleton which allowed her to fly and which had wings that doubled as effective edged weapons. It also amplified her strength to a level somewhat below that of Nova (Richard Rider), who can lift roughly twenty tons. The exoskeleton was controlled vocally via controls in the headgear. In addition, she carried a large nightstick and several smaller blunt weapons.History: (New Warriors I#35) - Sparrow was one of three Air Force operatives sent by Air Command to break Joshua Clendenon (AKA Cardinal) out of Ryker's Island prison. After Tanager burned through the bars, Sparrow tore the window from the wall, allowing Killer Shrike to supply Cardinal with a suit of armor. Once the four had successfully escaped, Air Command sent them on a second mission: to eliminate the New Warriors, who had been instrumental in the failure of Cardinal's last assignment.
Cardinal was able to track the energy signature of the Torpedo armor shared by Mike Jeffries and Mickey Musashi. The pair was training at Peconic High School in Long Island with Nova (Richard Rider). Musashi had completed her workout and transferred the suit to Jeffries, who was considerably less skilled, when Air Force arrived. Cardinal downed Jeffries easily, and Air Force proceeded to attack Nova en masse. Sparrow caused Nova the most trouble, since hers was the only battlesuit geared towards close combat, and after a series of desperate hit-and-run tactics on his part, the superhero finally succumbed to a triple-team by Sparrow, Cardinal and Killer Shrike. However, Jeffries had eventually managed to return to the fight, and he was able to lead Air Force into a trap set by Musashi. A combination of underground water mains and a power cable leading to the football stadium lights shocked the four mercenaries into unconsciousness. Shortly thereafter, the Warriors called the authorities to take care of Air Force.
(Night Thrasher II#4 - BTS) - Sparrow and her teammates were apparently either protected or released from incarceration and returned to Air Command.
(Night Thrasher II#4) - The CEO of Hancock Transport Airlines, Gloria Hancock, was angered that the Taylor Foundation had turned down her request to use their airport facilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so she paid Air Command to take revenge on the Foundation's board of directors. Sparrow joined Cardinal, Oriole and Tanager on this mission.
(Night Thrasher II#5) - Once Air Command's flying headquarters had intercepted the Taylor Foundation Learjet, Air Force deployed to board it. The only initial threat, from the Foundation pilot, Sprocket, was quickly dealt with. However, when Sparrow and Tanager went to the cockpit, they found they were still a target short. The missing man was Dwayne Taylor himself, secretly the armored Night Thrasher. In order to keep his alter ego a secret, and to protect the people on the plane, Taylor set out to defeat Air Force without a stand-up firefight. To that end, he used some sensory equipment the plane was transporting and ambushed Tanager and Oriole, jury-rigging a control out of Tanager's helmet that allowed him to operate all of Air Force's armor remotely. He then trapped Sparrow by deploying her bladed wings in a narrow hallway. Taylor knocked Sparrow unconscious, then immobilized Cardinal's armor and persuaded him to use Air Force for more humanitarian pursuits, or else be thrown from the plane in nonfunctional armor.
(New Warriors I#54) - As Air Force ferried badly-needed supplies to a Rwandan refugee camp in Goma, Zaire, they were attacked by a group of mind-controlled superhumans called the Soldiers of Misfortune. Despite their best efforts to hold the Soldiers off, Tanager and Oriole were killed, and Cardinal badly injured. Sparrow was captured and removed to the submarine acting as a staging ground for the terrorist group Undertow's operations in the area. Protocol, commander of Undertow, ordered that Sparrow be taken to the scanning room to determine if she was suitable for "conversion".
Members of the New Warriors came to investigate the attack, and they too were taken captive. Only Nova managed to escape.
(New Warriors I#55 - BTS) - Sparrow had a control device implanted into her brain, and possibly was genetically altered by Undertow's technicians. Kymaera (Namorita) was the first of the New Warriors to have her implant put in, because she was deemed most likely to resist its mental control.
(New Warriors I#56) - The reserve team of Warriors brought in by Nova and Cardinal penetrated the Undertow vessel and, forewarned of the Soldiers of Misfortune, were able to defeat them. The ship's hull was accidentally breached in the fight, however, and it became a race against time to find and free the prisoners. Meanwhile, Protocol himself went to the sickbay to find out whether the conditioning had taken. He found that only Sparrow and Kymaera were under his control. Just then, the reserve Warriors burst into the room. Protocol ordered Kymaera to hold them off, which she did. A running - or swimming - fight ensued, which ultimately ended with Protocol, Sparrow, and Kymaera teleporting away to the Undertow base.
(New Warriors I#65 - BTS) - Kymaera and Sparrow were retrained and re-outfitted as members of the Soldiers of Misfortune under the codenames of Hard and Fast. They were sent along with the other Soldiers on numerous terrorist missions intended to cull the weak and protect the strength and purity of the human race.
(New Warriors I#65) - Fast, Hard, and the Soldiers of Misfortune annihilated the Colombian cocaine-smuggling operations of the Cali Cartel. The New Warriors intercepted a US military transmission which mentioned Undertow activity in the area, and with the aid of the Kymellian smartship Friday, they traveled down to confront Undertow again and hopefully retrieve Namorita.
Meanwhile, Hard and Fast had penetrated a subterranean bunker and were setting a powerful explosive device with which to destroy it. Nova, desperate to reach Namorita, piloted Friday down into the bunker, where they became trapped. Hard was able to overcome her control implant long enough to free the ship before she and Fast were teleported away again.
(New Warriors I#74) - Night Thrasher and his protégé Rage used a stealth submarine to approach Undertow's base and disable the internal communications networks, which had the side effect of disabling all of Undertow, because of the neural commlinks they used to maintain constant contact. The only except was Protocol, whose strength of will allowed him to remain active. Night Thrasher and Rage found their objective, Hard, and, after extracting her neural implant, prepared to leave with her. Rage wanted to take Fast along, as well, but Night Thrasher insisted that there was no time to remove her implant and that with it, she presented too much of a danger. Their disagreement was cut short by the arrival of Protocol, who badly beat the heroes until Night Thrasher was able to fire a shot that knocked the warlord back into a powerful energy-emitter, temporarily taking him out of the fight. Night Thrasher and Rage then took Namorita back to their submarine and escaped before the rest of Undertow could wake up from their forced sleep. Fast was left behind.
Comments: Sparrow created by Fabian Nicieza, Craig Brasfield and Jeff Albrecht.
Redesigned into Fast by Evan Skolnick, Patrick Zircher and Andrew Pepoy.
And Fast is presumably with the still-operational Undertow to this day, since nobody has bothered to pick up the plot thread. At this point, Protocol has probably paired her with a new Hard. The Soldiers' technology, by the way, doesn't affect the mind at all; the person whose body is being used is basically just a silent spectator to what his or her powers are being used for. Harsh.
It's never explicitly said that Sparrow was genetically altered to turn her into Fast, but genetic alteration is certainly the standard procedure for the Soldiers of Misfortune, and the simple bodysuit Fast is wearing in the assault on the Cali Cartel certainly doesn't look particularly like a flying battlesuit. Speaking of which, Sparrow's original "armor" can't have provided very much protection. She's certainly relying on the smallest volume of costume of any of the Air Force operatives.
Sparrow and Cardinal have a pretty adversarial relationship, on the face of it. They trade a lot of insults. After one such exchange, Tanager says she thought Sparrow liked Cardinal, to which Sparrow replies that their relationship is purely physical. However, when she's taken captive by Undertow, Cardinal is just as determined to save her as Nova is Namorita, implying that there's probably something more there under all the superficial hostility.
Sparrow is consistently colored with dark tan/olive skin, but once she becomes Fast, there's only a single panel where her flesh tone is correct; every other image makes her Generic Comic Caucasian.
The art in New Warriors #54 shows Killer Shrike and not Oriole; however, the editor's note in #56 identifies the slain Air Forcers as Oriole and Tanager. Since Oriole has no further appearances, and Killer Shrike has several, I am assuming that Oriole is the one who died and the art is in error.
It's not clear if Air Force is operating under Air Command's supervision after they take to humanitarian aid. Regardless, with Oriole and Tanager dead, Sparrow under the control of Undertow, and Cardinal having renounced his criminal past, Air Command would seem to be pretty short of operatives at this point. Of course, they might still have Killer Shrike, and it's hard to believe an organization as huge as Air Command seems to be would have a grand total of five superpowered agents to send on missions. There's no shortage of bird-themed criminals, after all. Possible Air Force operatives might include Peregrine (Alain Racine), Raptor (but probably not at the same time as Killer Shrike), Vulture (Toomes, Drago or Shallot), Bluebird (but probably not at the same time as Toomes), or even Flying Tiger or Blackwing of Heavy Mettle.
Fast of the Soldiers of Misfortune, formerly Sparrow of Air Force, has no known connection to Images: New Warriors I#35 (May, 1993) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Craig Brasfield (pencils), Jeff Albrecht (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)
Last updated: 02/07/05 Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know. Non-Marvel Copyright
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Full shot (Fast) - New Warriors I#65, p3 (including ads)
Head shot (Fast) - New Warriors I#35,
Full shot (Sparrow) - New Warriors I#35, p2
Head shot (Sparrow) - Night Thrasher II#4, p14
Night Thrasher II#4 (November, 1993) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), David Boller (pencils), Keith Aiken & Jim Amash (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)
Night Thrasher II#5 (December, 1993) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Javier Saltares (artist), Rob Tokar (editor)
New Warriors I#54 (December, 1994) - Evan Skolnick (writer), Richard Pace (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
New Warriors I#55 (January, 1995) - Evan Skolnick (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Mark McKenna & Aaron McClellan (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
New Warriors I#56 (February, 1995) - Evan Skolnick (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
New Warriors I#65 (November, 1995) - Evan Skolnick (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Andrew Pepoy (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
New Warriors I#74 (August, 1996) - Evan Skolnick (writer), Patrick Zircher (pencils), Andrew Pepoy (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
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Clarifications: Fast of the Soldiers of Misfortune, formerly Sparrow of Air Force, has no known connection to
New Warriors I#35 (May, 1993) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Craig Brasfield (pencils), Jeff Albrecht (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)
Last updated: 02/07/05
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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