Dial H for Hoopla

We've had the Dial spew out the same hero twice before, but never was one of those heroes amalgamated with another... until now! Ideas might be drying up in Dial-ville, as return appearances grow more frequent and the page count goes down in favor of the Martian Manhunter strip (sheesh, who is that guy?). Are Robby's days counted? Well... yes, yes they are. Or weeks, by our count. There's a returning villain too, not that there's anything wrong with that: The leader of the Thunderbolt Gang, Robby's very first foe, returns as Moon Man, who is given the power to gravitically attract and repel objects (and other lunar powers) by "the moon's rays". Yes, that's exactly how our only natural satellite works.

Case 13: House of Mystery #168
Dial Holder: Robby Reed
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: For the first time, the Dial amalgamates two previously seen heroes into one. Both appeared in House of Mystery #156, the very first Dial H story.
Name: Hoopster (sounds like a nickname to me; at one point, someone calls him Hoop-Master, which is pretty awful)
Costume: Probably the character's biggest problem. The orange scheme is the kind we see on C-crowd villains, and there's something awkward about a hero who covers himself up everywhere but his legs. The mask is the worst, with its plastic cornrows and white forehead piece.
Powers: The Hoop(-Ma)ster has an arsenal of gimmick hoops that often grow to much larger size when thrown. There are razzle dazzle hoops that confuse the enemy, a static hoop that can disrupt moon-beams, an anchor hoop equipped with, yes, an anchor, the hoop-a-jet which turns into a flying vehicle, boxing glove hoops as a homage to Green Arrow, energy rings that can immobilize a foe, and a super-hurricane hoop that blows a mighty wind. Presumably, there are more.
Sighted: In Littleville. The Hoopster attempted to stop Moon-Man from stealing the Moon Fair's exhibits (lunar landing modules and rovers, among other things) and an observatory's telescope. He was defeated.
Possibilities: Though he's got a good set of gimmicks and a way with the puns, the Hoopster's costume is darn ugly. He seems more like a gimmick villain that should be applying for membership in the Flash's Rogues' Gallery. As a hero, I see him showing up where he'll do the least damage, in campy retro-Silver Age comedy comics. Are there any right now? Stuff like Batman: Brave & the Bold.
Integration Quotient: 10% (I find myself liking the character in everything but his look; that's gonna hold him back some)
Name: Mole-Cometeer (not exactly Amalgam-quality, and that's not saying much)
Costume: Basically, it's the top half of the Mole (in grape flavor) and the bottom half of the Cometeer. And neither were very good designs to begin with. Sheesh, I hadn't even noticed the Mole's silly whiskers last time, but they're here all right. Coming out of his ears.
Powers: Again, a combination of the two, so that he can fly at great speeds AND dig under the ground. A free pass to all environments save water.
Sighted: Outside Zenith City. The Mole-Cometeer (or Mole-Comet, as the papers say) was responsible for apprehending the Moon-Man.
Possibilities: If both the Mole and the Cometeer HAD somehow been integrated into the DCU, well, they STILL wouldn't have made it into an Amalgam comic. You need a Marvel character in the mix for that. Since neither were especially strong contenders, their combined self won't fare much better. Terrible name and look, and travel powers that just aren't versatile enough to be useful to most superhero groups. Not a case of being the sum of your parts.
Integration Quotient: 0% (even lower than the Mole's 4%)

We've dialed VILLAIN, and lookie there, the letters needed to add INE to HERO are in that word! Next time, we finally dial a new word!


Anonymous said...

Mole-Cometeer spreads delicious Necco Wafers wherever he goes. That's my kind of hero.


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