Dial H for Hits

Kano will return, but the use of Patrick Gleeson on issues 7 and 8 of H-E-R-O reveals one point of interest in having a Dial H series no dependent on reader submissions: We get a sense of any particular artist's superhero design style. While Kano mostly went with traditional 4-color looks, Gleeson reveals what Batman fans now know - an interest in intricate costume textures. I'm almost surprised none of them have multiple photoreceptive eye pieces. One MIGHT say Anyway... In this story, a group of bros use the Dial to by turns become heroes and film themselves doing stupid stunts for their website. These Kimbo Slices become an internet phenomenon, are tracked down by a ruthless Hollywood agent who contractually steals the Dial, but is immediately waylaid by a nut with a gun. We'll see his story later, presumably. Point is, the Dial stays on its journey...

Case 72: H-E-R-O #7-8
Dial Holder: "Captain Chaos" (Mark, Jay, Galen, Wayne and Craig)
Dial Type: Push-button Dial
Dialing: The Dial does not force anyone to commit heroic acts, though they do not necessarily commit criminal ones either. All the destruction falls outside such parameters, being accidental and/or victimless. Before turning into another hero, one must dial out (with O-R-E-H) and turn normal again; one cannot dial from hero to hero directly. The sense of one's powers appears to be partial, or at least more instinctive than conscious.
Name: Photon, the Master of Light (Monica Rambeau did something with this name, once upon a time)
Costume: A white body suit with an extra leathery piece following the arms, the legs, and the back/head, with a yellow starburst on the chest and black feathery lenses over the eyes. Pretty striking.
Powers: Photon shines iridescently and so brightly that he leaves an after image when he moves. A field of colors comes off him, suggesting Dazzler-like powers of optical illusion.
Sighted: At Captain Chaos HQ only. He is told to dial out because his powers do not play nice with the camera.
Possibilities: With Gleeson's designs, you often get the idea the power is in the costume. So our guy creates a phosphorus suit that shines super bright and uses it to fight crime. He might bother other heroes' sensitive eyes, so he's probably a solo player, but not one that can hold his own series. A guest-star, probably to a hero who interacts with lab guys like Power Girl or Steel.
Integration Quotient: 65% (the lackluster name keeps him from the spotlight)
Name: Ingot, the Metallic Avenger (cool name, though perhaps not for a headliner)
Costume: A chunky steam-era battlesuit that could pass off as a robot body, it is mainly black, with a huge riveted "I" on the breastplate, scaly limbs and crosses for eyes.
Powers: Super-strength and invulnerability.
Sighted: In Chicago, jumping off the tallest building and crashing into some cars.
Possibilities: While he looks something like the original Iron Man armor, what's evoked for me is the Golden Age's Bozo the Iron Man, from Quality's Smash Comics. In that strip, the robot was autonomous, but his creator could climb inside. While Bozo has a few cameos in the modern era, the strip would never be revived under that name. As Ingot though, he starts to get some traction. And yes, the stories would still occur in the 1930s and 40s, or else the old thing is found and used with no modifications in the present day.
Integration Quotient: 85% (the natural Golden Age connection makes him easy to fit)
Name: The Howitzer (sounds villainous, but at least it's not taken)
Costume: This giant mass of muscles wears camo pants, army boots, dog tags, khaki green gloves, a tattered green trenchcoat, and a mask that takes its cue from a snoopy hat. Very Image.
Powers: He calls it "explosive strength". When he punches something, there may be an explosion (think Human Bomb). Even his jumps seem assisted by some kind of energy. He has some measure of invulnerability, but can still put an eye out with a simple suction cup gun.
Sighted: In Chicago, destroying a sporting goods store apparently being held up by crooks in masks (actually, the Captain Chaos crew).
Possibilities: Super-soldier goes rogue, type deal. Some interest in the 90s. Mostly used as misguided vigilante who must be beaten up by better heroes. Forgotten along with the likes of Gunfire and the Bloodpack.
Integration Quotient: 40% (sure, but staying power?)
Name: Tidal Wave (on the nose, but it works)
Look: A man made entirely of water, he appears electric blue and is filled with bubbles. His skullish nose looks like the Swamp Thing's; his teeth can be seen under his watery skin (similarly, bony fingers are visible).
Powers: Blows pass through his watery body harmlessly, so if there is a skeletal understructure, it too is water-based. Tidal Wave can also produce water, ride it like a mount, or project it like a blast.
Sighted: In Chicago, destroying a sporting goods store apparently being held up by crooks in masks (actually, the Captain Chaos crew).
Possibilities: That face seems an invitation to make Tidal Wave the new water elemental after Naiad gives up the coast--I mean, ghost.
Integration Quotient: 75% (elementals, am I right?)
Name: Blink (one of those Lobdell-created X-Men, right?)
Costume: In yellow and grayish blue, the suit has circuits printed on it in different spots and a mask with a visor. It is never seen from the front.
Powers: Instantaneous teleportation for both himself and anyone (at least 3) in his close vicinity.
Sighted: In Chicago, escaping the mall with the Captain Chaos crew.
Possibilities: Teleporters are utility players, so he needs a team to play with. His look vaguely reminds me of a THUNDER Agent, and that's where guys like him and Photon might well end up - as government agents with access to power suits.
Integration Quotient: 35% (if only the THUNDER Agents actually belonged in the DCU)

Bonus Nameless Heroes!
Just to show Gleeson's textures, from cinder block to the world's silliest cape to glowing text and upholstery patches.

Next: The Dial in... Gotham?

2 comments:

De said...

The Howitzer reminds me of Freight from 1995’s G.I. Joe Extreme. Thanks, Kenner :-/

https://goo.gl/images/i5SNRd

American Hawkman said...

I integrated Howitzer in the DC Universe the same way you did, but focused on the name's origin and made him a local Polish hero. It helped with the integration.

Ingot is a GREAT way to revamp Bozo and Hugh Hazzard. Clever!

 

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