Hites

Hites refer to the horizontal straight lines that trail an object traveling with great speed. In different types of comics, you can see that hites are more visible or less, not necessarily determining the speed, but in fact it is just the preference of the artist. 

Captain Marvel flying rapidly past the Capitol Building into oncoming bullets Image Source: Whiz Kid #107
Captain Marvel flying rapidly past the Capitol Building into oncoming bullets
Image Source: Whiz Kid #107
Superman flying over tall buildings in Metropolis.Image Source: Action Comics #419
Superman flying over tall buildings in Metropolis. Image Source: Action Comics #419

These hites, usually drawn white, can change colors given the superhero or background involved, can also refer to the speed or direction at which this object is traveling. Hites allow you to follow exactly where the object started and where exactly it is going. 

When looking at Speed Racer #3 (1987), one can see the blue hites on the outside of the his car, the Mach Go. These are also considered to be hites because they show that the is travelling with great speed.

The beauty of hites is that the speed at which the object of travelling is determined by the reader . If I see Captain Marvel flying past the Capitol Building, one might think he is traveling at a low rate of speed while another reader, or even the illustrator may interpret him to be traveling at a speed

Speed Racer and his car, the Mach 5, traveling, well perhaps even mach 5. Image Source: Speed Racer #3 (1987)
Speed Racer and his car, the Mach Go, traveling, well perhaps even mach 5.
Image Source: Speed Racer #3 (1987)

undetectable to the human eye. The beauty of comic books is that the reader holds all the power.

Comic Art Terms – Hites. (2014, May 27). Retrieved October 1, 2015, from http://comicbookgraphicdesign.com/comic-art-terms-hites/

DIAL B for BLOG – THE WORLD’S GREATEST COMIC BLOGAZINE. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2015, from http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/44/

Speed Racer (1987) 1 VF. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2015, from https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=153291