Dial H for Heroine

In this issue, a girl finally gets her hands on the H Dial, putting an end to the superheroic stranglehold male heroes have had on the Littleville area. It's Robby's love interest Suzy who sees him change and demands to get her turn. Though she does, a bump on the head erases the experience from her mind, to Robby's relief. Showing how he's really a product of the 1950s, Robby ends the issue by assuring us at there won't be another heroine, not if he can help it. Well, so much for equity. And to think: Lois Lane had her own series during this time.

Cough. Cough.

Case 14: House of Mystery #169
Dial Holders: Robby Reed / Suzy
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: Suzy dials HEROINE and becomes a female superhero. It works even if she's not holding the Dial, and with Robby moving her fingers to the right positions. Note that Vicki's Dial only requires her to spell HERO and does not require her to specify gender (not that she could, her Dial doesn't have all the letters). Presumably, if Robby dialed HEROINE, it would turn him into a her.
Name: Velocity Kid (smells vaguely of the Legion)
Costume: Orange, brown and blue is a pretty horrendous color scheme, but it's made worse by the glass case Velocity Kid must wear. Can he even turn his head in that thing? Looks like an orthodontic nightmare with a speaker attached and an undershirt showing.
Powers: VK's chest speaker sounds out a high-pitched whistle which somehow propels him into the air (dragging him behind?) at super-speeds. He can also spin to create an air-sucking tornado. If the speaker is damaged, his powers cease to function, though presumably he could use any sound wave to fly on.
Sighted: On the outskirts of Littleville. Velocity Kid unsuccessfully attempted to apprehend the Toymaster.
Possibilities: The space cadet look, teen-sounding name and lame powers (how many ways can they give Robby the power of flight?) make him a perfect candidate for Legion rejection, but not the kind of rejection that sends a character to the Subs or the Villains.
Integration Quotient: 10% (not quite as iconic as, say, Giant-Boy, who I also tagged with Legion reject status)
Name: Gem Girl (Gem is truly outrageous, Truly, truly, truly outrageous, Woo ooo Gem... Gem the music's contagious...)
Costume: That sexy belly dancing outfit and is all jeweled up with gadgets of all kinds, some of which are pretty natty. The tiara is odd and of a color that doesn't flatter Gem Girl's complexion, and the boots have jeweled spurs, of all things. Whoever draws her has to master the rhinestone effect so that it doesn't look like tweed or moth bites or crumbs. Overall, however, it's a classic if unmemorable costume.
Powers: Gem Girl depends on her many gimmick jewels for her powers. Her earrings shoot "buzzsaw beams" that look like an actual, large buzzsaw. Her emerald ring releases "green rings that pack the wallop of a heavyweight champ" (look like beams). Her spur-gems are responsible for her powers of flight. And her necklace fires a blue freeze beam. It is likely she has other jewel tricks at her disposal.
Sighted: On the outskirts of Littleville. Gem Girl followed the Toymaster to his lair and was captured. After Astro rescued her, she followed him to Toymaster's next job and was knocked out during the fight that brought the villain down.
Possibilities: Looks like a condescending girls-only comic to me! Gem Girl could have been the Barbie comic of her day, perhaps if DC had started the MINX imprint in the 60s. In these postmodern days, Gem Girl could make a fine "Material Girl" (already, a better name) for one of those team books with less than honorable characters (Freedom Fighters, Super Young Team, the Conglomerate, etc.).
Integration Quotient: 40% (there are always possibilities for a saucy heroine in a midriff - even if she has to become a conceptual social critique)
Name: Astro, Man of Space (a good retro future name)
Costume: The yellow star on the blue shirt is overselling it, but that's not the first thing you notice about Astro. He has a peculiar alien look, with gem-like eyes, purple skin, a transparent skull and a glowing brain. Dial H sometimes seems an exercise in collar, boot and belt design, so those are interestingly tweaked. On par with other alien heroes like the Martian Manhunter, but I do so hate the color purple.
Powers: Astro can remotely perceive events, which others can possibly see appear in his brain. He has the power of teleportation, which is accompanied by a puff of smoke and, often, a genie-like stance. Finally, we should beware Astro's galactic punch, which makes his fist trail like a comet and looks like it hurts.
Sighted: On the outskirts of Littleville. Astro captured the Toymaster with Gem Girl's help.
Possibilities: His look and random choice of powers aren't really any worse than the Martian Manhunter's or Jemm's, so let's throw Astro on one of our planets. Pluto? Looks like a Plutonian. Plus, instant angst when the planet gets downgraded to big useless rock. He wouldn't show up often at first, but would then get picked up by a nostalgic writer to land in REBELS or something. He should remain a sexist for extra character development.
Integration Quotient: 60% (I believe in him)

Robby combines two things he liked in Gem Girl into a single hero. Those two things: Buzzsaws and cleavage! Be there!



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