Dial H for Hero

7.7 A bit different

Dial H for Hero #3 is a bit different from the typical superhero book. Our young main characters have real problems in their lives, and those threads are used deftly to help drive the plot. It’s certainly imaginative, and not a bad story overall.

  • Writing 7
  • Art 8
  • Coloring 8
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 9.1

Miguel and Summer are on the run after the H-Dial! Will they find it in time? And who will be doing the dialing? Find out in Dial H for Hero #3!

DIAL H FOR HERO #3

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Joe Quinones and Arist Deyn
Colorist: Jordan Gibson and Arist Deyn
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 22, 2019

Previously in Dial H for Hero: Miguel and Summer are on the run in a food truck and with the H-Dial. Unbeknownst to them, Mister Thunderbolt has people working for him looking for the Dial. The Operator calls Miguel to warn him of an organization, the Thunderbolt Club, who are after the Dial, and it’s up to Miguel to keep it safe. Instead, he dumps the phone into the river, and the stress and problems of running away gets to him and he argues with Summer. Barnaby, working for Mister Thunderbolt, goes after the Dial and uses it. Meanwhile, a police officer approaches Summer, pulls her gun, and orders her to hand over the Dial. Chaos ensues, Miguel dials, and at the end of the fight, the H-Dial is gone – in the hands of the police officer!

H-DIAL, H-DIAL, WHO’S GOT THE H-DIAL?

Dial H for Hero #3 opens with a flashback of Central City back in the past with Gorilla Grodd looking for The Flash, and Robbie Reed pulls out the H-Dial. In the present, Summer and Miguel are also in Central City, trying to get the attention of The Flash first by pretending to be supervillains, then by stealing some root beer. Oh, such criminals! More importantly, we get a flashback to Summer’s childhood. Why is she on the run? It turns out she had a difficult childhood, with her mother raising her as a pageant child while also having her own issues with drugs. Summer suffered some additional abuse at her hands (implied more than graphic) but it certainly explains why Summer wants to get away.

In an interesting take, the H-Dial itself is almost addictive for people. The Thunderbolt Club is people who had used it before, maybe even only once, but that hour as a superhero was so wonderful, so important to them, that they are willing to do almost anything to experience it one more time. Corrine, the police officer, confesses this to the Operator and he talks her into dialing.

Then things get trippy. Corrine turns into a hero called the Bluebird of Happiness who is all about peace, love, and strange hallucinations. Summer finds herself in a pageant dress from her childhood and has another flashback, before dialing the phone herself and becoming a punk rock hero named Lo Lo Kick You. One big battle later, and Summer has decided they need to go to the old Justice League of America based in Detroit. With a nice little bookend, we also find out who The Operator is.

HOPES AND DREAMS AND MEMORIES AND ANGER

Summer’s back story really works to pull things together in Dial H for Hero #3. I think that’s one of the challenges of the concept. In each issue, we get to see new heroes, and we get a brief origin story for them, and somehow this has to not obfuscate the main plot too much.

But this is also the point where a change in art style can really help sell the new hero and give us some idea about who they are without the words needing to do all the heavy lifting. And in this issue, it really goes all out. The Bluebird of Happiness pages change everything. They’re drawn in a psychedelic style with character exaggerations, swirls of color, and other random images tucked in around the edges. Bluebird’s dialogue has a multi-color effect. It’s pretty crazy. When Lo Lo Kick You is introduced, we see a batch of punk rock imagery, and panels and orientation break all the rules. Thank goodness their fight is short, but wow – there are some fantastic visuals.

BOTTOM LINE: THE DIAL IS SAFE AGAIN…FOR NOW

Dial H for Hero #3 is a bit different from the typical superhero book. Our young main characters have real problems in their lives, and those threads are used deftly to help drive the plot. It’s certainly imaginative, and not a bad story overall.

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About Author

By day, she’s a mild-mannered bureaucrat and Ms. Know-It-All. By night, she’s a dance teacher and RPG player (although admittedly not on the same nights). On the weekends, she may be found judging Magic, playing Guild Wars 2 (badly), or following other creative pursuits. Holy Lack of Copious Free Time, Batman! While she’s always wished she had teleportation as her superpower, she suspects that super-speed would be much more practical because then she’d have time to finish up those steampunk costumes she’s also working on.

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