Monday, May 7, 2012

Dial H #1

When I was a kid one of my favorite comics was Dial "H" for Hero.

It starred a kid named Robby Reed who discovered a mysterious artifact that looked like a phone dial. He translated the characters on the dial, and found that by dialing the letters "H-E-R-O" he could randomly become a number of strange heroes.

It was all light-hearted and imaginative, and fun reading for a kid.

I freely admit that the series doesn't hold up well today - it's a basic premise and the creative team didn't really do much with it or flesh out the characters at all.

So it was canceled after a short run, and later efforts to revive it have failed.

Here's the latest, as the series is retitled Dial H - and to be honest, I didn't much care for it.

Like so many of the "New 52" titles, this one is placed squarely in the Vertigo end of town - a dark, scary, grim and gritty place where our hero is a disgusting slob named Nelse who sees his friend being attacked on the street and for some reason he ducks into a telephone booth and tries to dial for help - only to find himself transformed into a gruesome hero.

There are some clever ideas on display in the story by China Mieville, but I can't get past the complete change in style from the original optimistic version to this depressing tale.

The art by Mateus Santolouco fits the sad and gloomy world our "hero" inhabits, but the look doesn't appeal to me much.

The cover by Brian Bolland is delightful, but you have to wonder why they would use his art of the cover when it's so far removed from the art inside.

I'm afraid I can't recommend this one at all.

Grade: C+


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