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).
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