Dial H for Heading Out

This is it! The last Dial H post based on Chris and Vicki's run in Adventure Comics! Don't worry though, it's not over for them. Dial H would next appear in DC Comics Presents before jumping into New Adventures of Superboy's back-up slot (where I first encountered the strip). So lots more to come before they their dials up. It does mean the end of Carmine Infantino's association with the strip, and for that I'm not sorry. I often felt the fan-created costumes under his pencil looked roughly sketched and same-old, same-old. But enough about the future, let's look at this last chapter...

Case 39: Adventure Comics #490
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: Vicki does not intuitively sense that she's looking at Chris when she meets an unknown costumed character. Both get a sense of their next power DURING their transformation as opposed to after.
Name: Air Master (sounds like an exercise machine)
Created by: Stephen M. Solomon, Age 15, of Worcester, MA
Costume: A blue, legless leotard with white air currents giving it some style. No gloves, but the white cuffs match the top of the blue boots. He wears a red cape, and most unnervingly, has no face!
Powers: Unknown. Presumably, he can control air currents.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, an identity taken on and immediately shrugged off by Chris.
Possibilities: One of four throwaways as the Dial H team tried to clear the files before the dedicated strip ended, we don't see Air Master do anything. Looking at him now, I'm reminded of Maser (from Firestorm), who was the former Air Wave. I don't think there's a real connection there unless Air Master's powers are about radio/tv waves (as in "on the air"), in which case he could be an intermediate Air Wave who served in the Silver Age after the Golden Ager and before the kid who would become Maser.
Integration Quotient: 40% (a lot of these guys could find a place if we opened the 60s and 70s - our time - as an era of heroes separate from modern age heroes)
Name: The Sting (bam! I hear The Entertainer)
Created by: Kevin Flaherty, Age 16, of Irmo, SC
Costume: In green and yellow (and white and red), the Sting looks for all the world like a rejected redesign of the Fly. Musclebound rather than lithe like other insect-themed heroes, his wings look like leaves, his striped pants and mask (with antennae) suggest a wasp, and at this size, it's hard to get what his chest symbol is supposed to be.
Powers: Unknown. He should be able to fly, possibly even has a wing buffet attack, but his main power is doubtless some kind of "sting", probably an electrical charge like Janet Van Dyne's.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, an identity taken on and immediately shrugged off by Chris.
Possibilities: DC can stop licensing the Archie heroes. Screw the Fly, they own the Sting! Might work as a parody of the Fly (in the same way the Squadron Supreme is a "parody" of the JLA).
Integration Quotient: 15% (the costume doesn't quite work, limiting his possibilities)
Name: The Attacker (bit generic, but ahead of its time, 5 to 10 years before the anti-hero craze)
Created by: Kurth K. Koss II, Age 15, of Brown Deer, WI (a fan with unfortunate initials)
Costume: Vaguely Wolverine-like, but with no mouth and a lackluster color scheme of blue, yellow and white, the Attacker has a yellow "A" on his chest, and some weird blue lines on his legs tracking his bones down to the knee cap. He wears brass knuckles.
Powers: Unknown. I imagine the Attacker is just a feisty hand-to-hand fighter, using his brass knuckles and martial arts skills to break heads and ask questions later.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, an identity taken on and immediately shrugged off by Chris.
Possibilities: Street-level heroes are some of the easiest to fit into a superhero universe. Just let him loose in an alley and you're all set. The Attacker is probably fed up with what he sees happening in his neighborhood and wants to do something about it. If I let the name inspire me, maybe he's done some military service, like the Punisher. Maybe his modus operandi is to attack rather than defend, crashing crack houses and criminal hideouts instead of waiting for something bad to happen.
Integration Quotient: 65% (I have my doubts about the costume, but the rest checks out)
Name: Galaxy (kinda fun, kinda cheesy)
Created by: Brett Ziegler, Age 16, of Fresno, CA
Costume: A large figure in black with white patches of different sizes on his body, basically a mix of circles and diamonds, a starburst in a circle on the thighs, and a large chest piece with an arrow pointing down to the letter "G". Striking until you start to look at the details. I suppose he would have looked too much like the Abyss if he was covered in a starfield instead.
Powers: Galaxy has the ability to travel to another world and then return to Earth. If he's already on another world, he can snap back to Earth immediately. It doesn't matter if that world is in another dimension.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, allows Chris to return to Earth.
Possibilities: While very handy to get Chris out of a particular situation, Galaxy's powers as a one-man Zeta Beam have rather limited use day in and day out. Well, maybe a series could be built around the idea. Galaxy could be a scientist who gains these powers and uses them to visit other planets (a grand old tour of the DCU) and get into trouble. On those planets, he changes out of his Galaxy state so we don't have to look at the costume all the time and we can see his expressions. More of an SF strip idea that opens an Adam Strange type to the larger universe.
Integration Quotient: 50% (I like my idea, but it's still a little bit out there)
Name: Scylla (Greek myth is always good for a classic-sounding name, literally)
Created by: Bill Mimbu, Age 21, of Bellevue, WA
Costume: The blue bathing suit also features more aquatic elements, like Creature from the Black Lagoon type fins on gloves and boots, and sea-mist-green hair. Of course, what you most remember is the six mechanical serpent necks coming out of her back.
Powers: Scylla has six mechanical heads on prehensile tentacles sprouting from her back which she can mentally manipulate too bite/clamp enemies, or fire a blast that vaporize acid.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating the Squid and the Abyss.
Possibilities: When I think of Scylla, I expect her partner to be Charybdis, don't you? Bill Mimbu of Bellevue, WA seems to have missed a trick there by not submitting that concept for Chris. But that duo would be pretty natural, and might even find a place in a Wonder Woman comic without too much fiddling.
Integration Quotient: 65% (more if they can find a suitable Boy Wonder for her)
Name: Topsy-Turvy (kinda silly, but workable)
Created by: David Wile, Age 18, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Costume: A purple and yellow one piece that ends at his curly blond hairline, it features a stripe pattern that makes it look like he was painted through cell bars, or has bright suspenders, or frankly, like he's one of those sugar lollipops.
Powers: Topsy-Turvy can remove an opponent's sense of orientation, not just equilibrium, but knowing where you are in space. Think Null from the famous duo, Null & Void.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating the Squid and the Abyss.
Possibilities: He's a heroic version of Count Vertigo, so maybe connect them somehow? Like he could be a rebel fighter from the Count's home country, Vlatava, using vertigo to fight Vertigo.
Integration Quotient: 10% (yeah, the name and costume aren't doing it for me)

Bonus Furniture!
Created by: John H. Costello, Jr., Age 24, of Edwards, CA
The book's editors have asked and asked and asked, and Chris' house had remained furniture-less since the Kings came to town at the very beginning of this chapter in the Dial H saga. FINALLY, it's John Costello to the rescue so that Chris' family can go into the New Adventures back-up with a way to watch TV comfortably! Thanks John!

When next we talk about this, it won't be under the Adventure Comics header. Stay tuned!

2 comments:

Jayunderscorezero said...

Scylla *screams* Doctor Octopus knock-off to me.

Unrelated: I am REALLY looking forward to your breakdowns of the current H series.

Siskoid said...

The first issue already somewhere in there, but I hope to get to the rest sooner than later!

 

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