Dial H for Hero #4 – Sam Humphries, Writer; Joe Quinones, Tom Fowler, Inker; Jordan Gibson, Colorist</h2H
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: A Trip Through the Newspaper Funny Pages
Ray: Sam Humphries’ offbeat superhero teen road trip adventure has just been expanded into a twelve-part series, a great bit of news for one of DC’s best books. Dial H For Hero #4 brings it closer to the rest of the DCU, as the teenage bearers of the H-Dial find their way to the Justice League’s headquarters. The Justice League Detroit, that is. The long-forgotten “loser League” headquarters is now overseen by former League sidekick Snapper Carr, along with an army of Justice League robots to maintain the base. Miguel and Summer find refuge there, but they’re not alone – the mysterious, evil Thunderbolt is still determined to get his hands on the H-Dial and restore his body, so he infiltrates one of the robots – and triggers their automatic psychic defense mechanism, which assumes Miguel and Summer are the infiltrators and attacks them. That kicks off what everyone is waiting for – this issue’s transformations.
This issue features not one but three H-dial users as Miguel, Summer, and former user Snapper all use the phone to get superpowers against the robots. Snapper seems more than a bit addicted to the dial, like most former users, but he’s able to hold it together long enough to transform into the Moebius-inspired Alien Ice Cream Man. Summer transforms into Chimp Change, the tough-talking lady PI from Gorilla City who is rendered in the style of Frank Miller’s Sin City. And Miguel…gets transformed into the tiny “Lil’ Miguelito”, a comic-strip style character who keeps parodying classic newspaper strips. Miguel’s inadequacy issues and resentment have cropped up over the course of the run, and this issue they lead him to make a dangerous decision that shifts the balance of power in favor of the villain – and then an equally reckless decision to make up for it. The story remains strong, but Joe Quinones’ brilliant art shifts make this one of the most inventive books on the stands.
Corrina: Ahahahahah! ::wipes away tears of laughter::
Miguel’s journey through the Sunday Comics of my youth cracked me up. Quinones goes from Lil Miguel to Hagar the Horrible to Cathy Guisewife, makes a quick stop in Peanuts-town, then to Nancy and then Miguel becomes a combination of all of them before the battle is over.
And, yes, Quinones’ transformations in personality via the H-Dial has been the highlight of every issue this series. He seems to also be having particular fun with Summer’s transformation to a gorilla-like Sin City character as well, whose origin is rendered in black and white panels. But, givie the writer some credit, Alien Ice Cream Man is a truly oddball concept. Not the transformation I was expecting for Snapper Carr.
My favorite issue of Dial H For Hero so far.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.