Dial H for Hero #10 – Sam Humphries, Writer; Joe Quinones, Artist; Jordan Gibson, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Sam Humphries’ dimension-hopping, hero-morphing adventure enters its last act in Dial H for Hero #10. He’s not pulling back at all from the big ideas and concepts that have defined the title. Miguel and Summer are now in pursuit of the other dials, seeking to keep them out of the hands of the sinister Mr. Thunderbolt.
What they don’t know and we do, of course, is that Thunderbolt is the other side of the split personality of Robby Reed – aka their mentor The Operator. They find themselves on a strange world of amalgams, where everyone is two heroes or villains combined into one. Superman and the Martian Manhunter are one, and their arch-nemesis is the Harley Quinitor. It’s all absurd, but hilarious and even more so once you find out who Miguel and Summer’s counterparts are. Summer’s alter-ego Lolo Kick-You is combined with Lobo, and Migyel is a sentient street. It’s not laid out in text, but this feels like a commentary on how the two kids see themselves.
Things take a dark turn as the identity of Mister Thunderbolt is revealed, sending Miguel and Summer in opposite directions for the first time in this series. Miguel has stood out from the cavalcade of sullen young male teenage leads in recent years not just because of his character depth, but because of his connection to Summer and how she’s evolved into a co-protagonist.
Watching Miguel be led down the wrong path this issue – or is he? – is genuinely stressful to lead and makes me wonder how Humphries can bring this to a close in only two more issues.
But as good as Humphries’ writing is, the true superstar of this series is still Joe Quinones, who does a series of fascinating tribute art pieces that are easily the most creative panel work in a DC Comic in years. Just this issue, he takes on a classic 90s event, a whole universe of reinvented heroes, and a Mad Magazine fold-in. I’m going to be so sad when this ends, but this superstar creative team needs to be given carte blanche for whatever they want as their next project.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.