Dial H for Hanging Gardens

Part of the New52's 0-issue initiative, Dial H #0 doesn't tell us the origin of the Phone Booth Dial we've been following, or even a tale starring a young Manteau. Instead, it goes way back to the Babylonian Empire far back in Antiquity and shows us an even older Dial, before setting up things that will eventually carry through into the main series. One of these revelations includes a hero that ISN'T dialed, but comes from whatever place heroes are dialed from, so he is included.

Case 85: Dial H #0
Dial Holders: Laodice
Dial Type: Ancient Sundial
Dialing: The Sundial is a large stone object that requires several people to move, with a rod sticking out of it to cast a shadow over 10 (not 12) cuneiform script symbols arranged in a half-circle (that really isn't it on the cover). It is found outside the city of Babylon, placed where it can't be used to tell the time. Laodice dreams a "true dream" that the Dial was always there though everyone remembers it as always being there. Four of the symbols grouped together spell out the word "shield" and when manipulated with shadows act just as modern H Dials do - they turn the user into a superhero, and a modern, anachronistic one at that. As she transforms, we see three other identities flash quickly in succession before resolving into the final choice. Laodice returns to normal after defeating a monster, but the Sundial is destroyed in the process and she returns to normal. As the savior of her people, she is made ruler despite her common blood. Years later, she is visited and killed by the identity she had assumed. It is revealed that all the dialed heroes come from other worlds, and that they lose their powers for the duration of the dial. They may be vaguely aware they are linked to someone else, in that moment. Laodice thus inadvertently caused a lot of deaths when her borrowed persona lost her powers during a crisis, and the traumatized hero has spent every waking hour finding her way to our world to exact revenge. None of the heroes in the other world(s) know how Laodice did it, but this was thousands of years ago (though it's not clear whether identities are plucked out of time as well as dimension).
Name: Bumper Carla (an amusing pun)
Costume: Just jeans, a frilly short-sleeved purple blouse, a red bow with black polka dots in her 40s-curled hair, large hoop earrings, and a domino mask with purple lenses, you will recognize Carla by the red art deco bumper car she rides.
Powers: The bumper car rides static electricity on land and air, and can be used to ram opponents or blast them with powerful electricity. Known as the "Spirit of the Fair", the power either comes from within, or she is a conduit for it. She is also super-strong.
Sighted: In Ancient Babylon, defeating the reptilian monster Mušḫuššu. In her own world, she is the greatest protector of a large fairground, and at the center of a tragedy when her powers give out during an important event, then spends the rest of her life researching just what happened. Years later, she returns to our world to kill Babylon's protector, after which she is sent to the "still zone" as punishment.
Possibilities: They sort of spell it out here, with this whole Spirit of the Fair business, but if we're looking for an Earth-1 opportunity, Carla could be in the same category as Uncle Sam, or else the elementals (Firestorm, Naid, Swamp Thing, etc.), imbued with the energy of a place/concept. She's very 40s, but could still be the successor of the Phantom of the Fair if he'd met with an untimely end (and was retconned as a Spirit of the Fair). She could manifest in any fairground, which would probably make it easy for her to team up with Batman.
Integration Quotient: 85% (an odd concept, perhaps, but one the DCU has a lot of precedents for)
Name: Door Man (just called Slim in the story, but that can't be his superhero name)
Costume: A traditional spandex with shorts over it in blue and black, with a yellow belt, bucket boots and flared gloves, and a goggle-like domino mask. There is a small door (ajar) on his chest; it glows when he uses his power.
Powers: The ability to open doors from one place to another, even to other dimensions. Possibly even ONLY to other dimensions, seeing as it's not used to escape a jail cell. The doorways are accompanied by a tunnel of streaking colors. It looks like he has to touch the door on his chest to activate them.
Sighted: In the fairground world, trying to convince Carla to let go of her vendetta. In Ancient Babylon, finding Laodice to warn her, but being thrown in a cell where he waits three days to see her and is finally too late. After everything is done, he opens a door back to his world and goes back with Carla.
Possibilities: Travel heroes are generally limited to support roles, and not very good ones (exception: Nightcrawler). So if Door Man wants to exist, he either needs to be in a team and have a great personality, or else travel to exciting places and have more skills/powers at his disposal. Maybe use him as a Doctor Who type (or a Man-Thing's swamp) who makes it possible for an extended cast of characters to travel the Multiverse, though he's not mysterious-looking enough. The look makes him a Golden Age character who probably lost his strip after a few issues.
Integration Quotient: 20% (doesn't open as many doors as he thinks)

Bonus Laodice Identities:
Some of the identities quickly assumed and discarded by the Sundial interest me. Not the first one who just appears to be Another Cloaked Hero(TM), but the armored squirrel? The hero whose hands and head are giant atoms? I would love to see these in action!

Next: Back to the present.



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