Dial H for Hero #8 – Sam Humphries, Writer; Joe Quinones, Paulina Ganucheau, Artists; Jordan Gibson, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: DC’s done a lot of interesting comics over the years, but have they ever done one as boldly experimental as Dial H for Hero, this teen superhero adventure? Playing with not just the limits of comic book art style but with the limits of the comic book format itself, Dial H for Hero #8 pushes the experiment further and tells two stories in one from opposite ends of the comic.
The origin of the Operator – former H-dial user Robby Reed – and the origin of the mysterious Mister Thunderbolt are juxtaposed in a fascinating but confusing comic that fuses the art of regular series artist Joe Quinones with amazing guest art from Paulina Ganucheau. Robby Reed’s history as the first H-dial user has always been in the back of this comic, but for the first time we get to see some of those early identities he used – and it’s no less bizarre and hilarious than what we’ve seen so far in the book. How could anyone hate “Tea Rex”, the talking dinosaur obsessed with Earl Grey?
The Thunderbolt segment is trickier, moving in reverse and unraveling our villain’s origin a bit at a time. This character doesn’t exactly have a strong point of view, but there’s a reason for that which becomes clear by the end of the story.
What is clear is that this book is a story about identity and what superpowers do to that identity. Some people use them to reflect their best selves, others fall prey to temptation and indulge their worst instincts. Which one will win out in the battle for Miguel and Summer’s souls is yet to be seen. We’re two thirds of the way through this story, and the final battle for the fate of the H-dial is yet to begin.
If Humphries and Quinones have plans for the final act that are anywhere near as strong as the rest of this series has been, we might be in for an all-time DC classic. Here’s hoping we get return appearances from some of the most creative identities so far.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.