Dial H for Handle with Care

A very short tale this time around because half the back-up is devoted to resolving the previous plot (see Case 44), and though an additional villain makes an appearance, the Silhouette, it's only for a couple of panels, so we'll have to get back to him. Still, we've got fan creations to cover in this story written for comic book store fans, an environment that seemed entirely alien to me in the halcyon days of 1982 when this issue came out.

Case 45: New Adventures of Superboy #37
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: First seen in New Adventures of Superboy #28, fellow student Nick Stevens once again demonstrates a mysterious link to the H Dials by drawing Jimmy Gymnastic in his sketch book, a hero Chris has YET to dial (in #28, it was the Monarch, soon incarnated by Vicki).
Name: Spyglass (I like it, but you'd think she would have some actual perception powers)
Created by: David Linehan, of Cwasso, OK
Costume: Mostly blue with yellow highlights and shorts to match her blond hair, Spyglass doesn't wear anything too memorable aside from fringed boots.
Powers: She uses a (magical?) spyglass to either grow or shrink things and people, depending on which end she sees them through. It's an odd one!
Sighted: In Fairfax, reducing a bomb to a harmless nothing and making her partner Jimmy a giant so he can more easily defeat Firecracker.
Possibilities: Find a reason for the spyglass, and you find a reason for her inclusion in the wider DCU. It's all so ludicrous, I'm coming up empty. The optical science here is strictly Silver Age, so she'd be from that era. Perhaps an ally of Wonder Woman's, as this could be some crazy Amazon science à la the Purple Healing Ray and the Invisible Jet. The hairstyle also matches.
Integration Quotient: 20% (silly powers that have "support" written all over it, and a look that's less than memorable)
Name: Jimmy Gymnastic (alliterative! don't try to say it too many time in a row)
Created by: Miss Neifeld's Fourth Grade Class, of Garden City, NY
Costume: Jimmy is basically a roller-skater in an orange leotard, with sporty blue shorts over it, and lots of real-world padding in the secondary color. Awkward initials "JG" appear on his chest.
Powers: A highly athletic and acrobatic hero, Jimmy Gymnastic wears roller skates and uses a flexible pole to accomplish his stunts. His pads and helmet come in handy to protect him against impact trauma.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating the comics thief known as the Firecracker.
Possibilities: Extreme sports athlete turned hero is a fair premise for a thrill-seeking vigilante, and plays into a certain fad. He'd probably change his shtick every few years to match the X-treme sport of the day (snowboarding, parasailing, etc.), and here looks like a visual precursor to heroes like Gangbuster, Wild Dog and SuperNFL. So basically got his own series in the 80s, which was promptly cancelled after the 2nd or 3rd issue ;-).
Integration Quotient: 75% (while dated, there was a time and a place for him)

Bonus Supervillain
Name: The Firecracker (probably thinks he's hot stuff)
Created by: Larry King, of Morrisville, VT
Costume: A fairly standard super-merc costume in purple and yellow, covered in straps and holsters that hold his many weaponized fireworks.
Powers: Firecracker can fly, propelled by some kind of electric-looking effect, though presumably it is a fireworks trail, and can surround himself with glittering lights that blinds those around him. He also has access to various flash bombs, including the Cannon Cracker, which looks and works just like a big stick of dynamite. When violently grabbed by Jimmy Gymnastic, his head flares up and he explodes, leaving only dust. It is not clear if this is part of his power (and thus an escape of some kind), or if it is due to his being an artificial, possibly unstable/ephemeral, being.
Sighted: In Fairfax's Comics Kingdom, attempting to steal valuable Golden Age comics, and at least managing to mangle a Batman issue. Talk about not understanding the market you want to profit off of! He explodes when caught by the Dial heroes.
Possibilities: Seeing as his chosen crime has nothing to do with his concept, let's switch gears and make him Fourth of July related. An insane patriot who loves the pretty lights and wants to take down the government? I wish I could say that was an absurd notion. He would probably never get more than one appearance even in that configuration, though he could feasibly fill a niche as a confused Right-Wing anarchist.
Integration Quotient: 45% (C-lister maybe, but at least he's on a list)

Next: The Silhouette still plays it safe, but we'll get new characters anyway.


American Hawkman said...

Obviously, Spyglass has a spyglass with lenses carved out of dwarf-star material. Probably a lab assistant of Ray Palmer. :)

Firecracker better be Skyrocket's archenemy. :)

Anonymous said...

Name: Spyglass
Costume: Revealing
Powers: Hot enough that, even though she's too stupid to know how telescopes work, everyone goes along with what she's doing


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