Dial H for Hero #3

Dial H for Hero from DC seems to get a reboot every other year. That’s because it is about a magical dial, the H-dial, which allows a person to become a hero by dialing H-E-R-O. The dial causes its possessor to become a superhero with a new name, costume, and unique powers—every time.

Dial H for HERO 2019 #3
Written by Sam Humphries
Illustrated by Joe Quinones and Arist Deyn
Colored by Jordan Gibson and Arist Deyn
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Published by DC Comics

H debuted in House of Mystery #156, back in 1966, written by Dave Wood. There have been many iterations of the book and series. Typically the dial moves from hero-to-hero in a perennial B-list series reboot.

2019 Dial H for Hero series written by Sam Humphries about Miguel who was riding his bicycle, falls and a H-Dial enters the story. Fast forward—following an adventure, bad-girl Summer shows up in the Mayo Madness food truck and offers him a ride out of town. The H-Dial rings as Miguel is advised by the operator to beware of the Thunderbolt Club.

And the dial has recently been stolen.

Whew. You are now ready to read #3.

It’s really a positive but mixed bag as comics go. Happily, the story reminds me of the days that DC wrote stories and gave Marvel a run for their money. It reads as character-driven and is not formulaic or stiff.

The art, however, is cookie-cutter DC. If you like DC, you like this style of art. It is the same dry DC art and has no life in the lines and the colorist does all the work. Jordan Gibson and Arist Dyer deliver a trippy world but lose the expected consistency. Sleeves sometimes disappear, reappear, hair styles change for no reason.

Lobo could drive across the street by the end of the book and it wouldn’t even get your attention.

The story does stand up as Miguel and Summer attempt to find the H-dial. We get to look under the covers and figure out shat is really going on under the covers with Summer. She is just so damaged! It’s good to see her real story and depth.

Summer ends up dialing the H-dial and takes on the addicted mis-adventuring lady cop turned super not-villain. Welcome to the whole DC villain thing.

The final page SPOILER!!! is completely satisfying:

The original owner of the dial is Robert “Robby” Reed, a highly intelligent teenager with a penchant for exclaiming “Sockamagee!” who seems somehow connected to the Speed Force now. As a Tron Flynn-lookalike he is now suitably aged but trapped in… You know this is going to make me sick… The Hero Verse… (I gotta add that to my list of stupid story tropes… reboots, zombies, coming back from the dead, and now x-VERSEs!)

Sam Humphries captures the in-jokes of the comics but is also making it a serious read and totally sticks the ending with a full page of zip tone.

I think you should add Dial H for Hero to your pull list. Look for it in your local comic shop or on Comixology.

I am giving it a 3 1/2 of 5 stars.

Lonnie Webb

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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