A Comic With Limitless Potential: Dial H

This year DC has made the surprising choice to revive one of its campiest comics: Dial H for Hero, now shortened to the more enigmatic Dial H. The concept is simple: if there’s a need for a hero, you step into a phonebooth, dial h, and gain superpowers. The catch is, the magic phonebooth doesn’t turn out the same hero twice, meaning the user has little clue as to what kind of kitsch-character they will become.

DC has decided to relaunch the series with considerable style, and gains a lot of cool points by hiring China Mieville to write it. If you haven’t heard of him, China Mieville is England’s current goldenboy of the style of sci-fi/fantasy being called ‘The New Weird.’ His trademark is urban fantasy that’s heavy on ideas and light on sentiment. Prior to writing fiction, he won acclaim for his essays on Marxism and the economy.

This isn’t the first time DC has handed control of a strange franchise to a strange Brit. As you’ll probably recall, the company did the same with giving Swamp Thing to Alan Moore, Animal Man to Grant Morrison, Starman to James Robinson, and Sandman to Neil Gaiman. As you’ll also recall, all of those projects were excellent and are still talked about in the comics community to this day. It’s very possible China Mieville’s Dial H will join ranks with the aforementioned masterpieces. Judging by the first two issues, it’s practically a sure thing (so long as DC doesn’t can the series).

Read other Issue Reviews

–My novel The Madness of Art: Short Stories is now $8.99!
If you’ve read Dial H by China Mieville, what’s your opinion of it?

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One thought on “A Comic With Limitless Potential: Dial H

  1. Dial H sales are wonderful, especially for a C-list (and “indie oriented”) DC comic, so I don’t think DC will can it. Of course sales may be so good because it’s a brand new series, but I don’t think this is the only reason: GI Combat was a new series as well, and it was the 36th (out of 52!) in the DC sales chart. I didn’t read any issue of Dial H so far, but I read only positive reviews about it (and I read a lot of them), so I will definitely buy the TP when it comes out. I think it’s too soon to say that Dial H will be the next Sandman: I think it’s more plausible it will be the next Animal Man (and I’m referring to the beautiful Lemire version). Dial H’s concept really reminds me of Major Bummer, an AWESOME series by John Arcudi & Doug Mahnke. They are one of the best artistic couples I have ever seen in comics, and if Dial H is entertaining the half Major Bummer was, I will instantly fall in love with it.

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