Dial H for Harking Back to the Past

With the appearance of the Abyss, a humanoid null-creature, it can be confirmed that Chris and Vicki's adventures in Fairfax happened, at least in some form, in the New52 DCU. Both it, and the Squid were reader creations used in Adventure Comics #490 (see Case 37) and were defeated by the Dial holders.
Chris King's grown-up brother also shows up and is used to release the Abyss, and then there's Manteau (whose name means "coat", a French word that has managed to stay in the English language as "mantle"), a former Dial holder we will later find out is called Roxie Hoder, an older woman with plenty of experience and her own Dial. She causes a problem because she wears a mask over her heroic identities, refusing to give in to that identity. So generally (I say generally in case I want to break my own rule), we will not cover these the same way we have others. If she uses her powers a lot, I will dump what we know in a bonus section at the end of the post, but that's it. (In any case, the villain Ex Nihilo steals her Dial for an extended period in these issues.) See Dialing for more.

Case 82: Dial H #3-4
Dial Holders: Nelson Jent, Manteau, Ex Nihilo
Dial Type: Phone booth Dials (yes, plural)
Dialing: According to Manteau, the various inventors of the telephone (Bell, Edison, Drawbaugh, Meucci, Reiss, Gray...) were all approached by someone called 0 who secretly gave them enough that they could invent the telephone. The inference is that the H Dials were the real goal, telephony merely a byproduct. The Dial is removed from the phone booth rather hurriedly and is broken, but Manteau has fixed a similar Dial before (hers). Though she is a telephone engineer, she doesn't quite know what she did to make hers work again. Nelson's is unreliable at best after her quick repairs. Manteau provokes a memory in Nelson that is actually one of the identities', one that suggests these heroes have lives of their own, and work together on the same plane (at least some of them, Boy Chimney is the member of a team called the Team House in a place called Cityvilletownopole; some of the other members of the team will appear later in the series). This is one of the Dial's more insidious - making the user forget who they are. Manteau herself wears a mask, wig and cloak to keep a hold of her own identity when she transforms; it seems to work. She claims her Dial cannot be used by two people at once; she and Nelson cannot share. She also mentions what sounds like repeats from other Dial H series (a hero who is a spring, one who is a boomerang). Apparently, the Dial throws up a hero that is a different sex from the user's every few dials.
Name: Baroness Resin (that's an odd name)
Costume: Gold armor over a purplish black leotard, the costume has a skirt on the back, lots of complicated jewelry (opal type stones all over, a purple necklace, a complex hair broach at the back of the helmet where her hair sticks out, gangly earrings...). She wears purple lipstick.
Powers: The ability to produce and project a resin-type yellow substance to trap opponents in, or use as barriers. When using the power, her arms seem to stretch and distort while energy crackles around them. Possibly, this is a sign that the resin comes from an extra-dimensional space.
Sighted: In Littleville, trying to stop Ex Nihilo and the Squid from summoning the Abyss from Chris King's body.
Possibilities: Obviously a member of the aristocracy. So bedazzled, I'd have to think the powers come from some bling handed down through her family, secretly the product of an interdimensional alien (insect? plant-based?) culture. The Baroness accesses that dimension for its unlimited store of resin, so her adventures might lead her to actually bring other things to our world. Of course, WHERE those adventures might be told is another matter. She might be an odd candidate for the Global Guardians or JLE, but could be accepted into one of those teams because that's the only way she'll finance them.
Integration Quotient: 15% (garish and not all that useful)
Name: Tap-Out (sounds like an unflattering nickname for a wrestler)
Costume: A blue romper with splashes of white water drawn on it. The Mexican wrestler mask is in the same colors. On top of her head is an old-fashioned faucet handle, while her arms are chrome faucets. She seems to be wearing metal boots up to the knee, and has weapons strapped to her back (a faucet attachment? a sword?).
Powers: The ability to project powerful streams of water from her arms. The tools she carries might be used to change the type of stream, though it's not clear how she would handle these without hands. She appears to have some measure of strength, her leap into action making a hole in the pavement.
Sighted: In Littleville, trying to subjugate the Abyss.
Possibilities: It's ridiculous, but the luchador look is well-judged. In some crazy superhuman ultimate fighting thing, people might very well endure cybernization to get their careers going. The goodies might even start fighting crime, either as a stunt or because they have it in them.
Integration Quotient: 20% (I talk a good game, but it's still inherently silly)
Name: Rescue Jack (I don't hate it; I would also have accepted Jack Rescue)
Costume: This portly fellow (because it's Nelson, FAKING that he's used the Dial) wears a yellow shirt, blue jeans, brown boots and gloves, tan straps crossing in an X with an "R" in a red circle, a purplish black cape, night vision goggles, and lots of tool belts and pouches. He has a sledgehammer at the ready.
Powers: None, but Jack is equipped with plenty of tools to use in melee or as thrown weapons - a sledgehammer, wrenches, etc.
Sighted: In Littleville, rescuing Manteau with the Squid's help.
Possibilities: If Nelson ever wants to give up the Dial and continue being a hero (which is less and less unlikely), I guess this would be it. Even divorced from Nelson, the concept of a blue collar hero is a workable one. Wild Dog did it with guns. Rescue Jack is more hands on. Over time, he might even lose the weight.
Integration Quotient: 60% (might not even have to feel like a parody)
Name: Victory Nox (unnamed, but I channeled my inner Miéville to come up with something; let me know if you get it)
Look: A lanky purple manga robot with gold wires showing, an insectoid face, and arms that look like Swiss Army knives. More multi-tool accoutrements stick out of her joints, and on her shoulder blades, scissors look like wings. There's a blue hexagon on her chest, evoking Iron Man's arc reactor.
Powers: Whatever robots commonly have, first of all, but also all sorts of weaponized Swiss Army knife blades, scissors, can openers, files, etc.
Sighted: In Littleville, fighting and entering the Abyss, after which she attacks the Squid.
Possibilities: More easily imagined as a villain, Victory Nox might actually have started as a mad scientist's murderbot, but developed morals. So now it looks like that, but it's really kind-hearted. A spin on the Frankenstein story maybe.
Integration Quotient: 30% (another character based on a household item, I just can't imagine readers taking these seriously)

Bonus Manteau Identities:
This may or may not be Johnny Fireplug from the recently covered JSA Classified #25 (Case 77) making a repeat appearance. The fireman's outfit and hose arms are exceedingly similar. Manteau's powers in this case include firing foam as well as water, and the ability to fly propelled by her powerful water jets.

Next: A cock and bull story.


Jude Deluca said...


Anyway, this was actually Chris's brother who was used to release Abyss

Siskoid said...

Gary, right?


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