Dial H for Herbal Essences

It's Nelson and Manteau's world tour! They're looking for the Church of the Dial to get their hands on a fabled second H-Dial (or I guess third, from their original point of vew). So we see many identities - in Prague, Nairobi, Tokyo, the Home Counties, Belgium... - but the heroes aren't named. Others are named - Asphaltman, Cuttlefist, Cardamom, Shark Mage - but not seen. We'll just have to skip them and go for the ones that are better featured.

Case 86:
Dial H #7
Dial Holders: Nelson Jent, Roxie Hodder, Mason Jones
Dial Type: Phone Booth Dials
Dialing: New heroes are popping all over Europe, and they're all Nelson and Roxie. One new meta in Canada is also using an H Dial he wears on his belt; we will discover this is a Canadian special forces soldier who tracked and found the Dial in an Atlantean outpost. The Dialers have finally found a way to "dial out" with O-R-E-H (or as they put it, 6734). The dial makes clicking sounds when the identity is about to vanish. Nelson has trouble remembering his past identities, part of the mental problems he gets from letting them take over. Europe is apparently rife with "Dial worship" and Paris is at the epicenter of a cult that whispers about an "Exchange", and the wanderings of an exile from heaven (apparently whoever has the Dial). Paris is where its "pope" lives.
Name: Tree Knight (that's an odd name, not sure I get it)
Costume: A Medieval suit of armor with a tree emblazoned on the shield. Roots and leaves tendril out from the seams, and when he lifts the visor, he appears to be made of wood, his face not unlike the Swamp Thing's.
Powers: Unclear. Obviously, he's armored and fights with a huge sword. He's vegetable, and might be able to stretch those tendrils out to grab foes. In the background, bank robbers are carried off with energy shackles around their wrists, which isn't normal gendarme issue, but not particularly relevant to the plant motif. Perhaps he manipulates life energy and can create simple constructs from the web of life.
Sighted: In Paris, stopping bank robbers.
Possibilities: Well, by web of life, I guess I mean the Green, and Tree Knight's most obvious fit is as a plant elemental from way back. He might even be at the root of the Green Knight stories.
Integration Quotient: 90% (Swamp Thing made this one easy)
Name: The Woodlouse (my choice, the character is actually unnamed, as "Angel of the Dial" just will not do)
Costume: The lower half of a human face peeks out from under a giant woodlouse exoskeleton. Some of its limbs are tipped with tools/weapons.
Powers: Unknown, except for the armored skin. Limbs seem capable of cutting through metal, firing lasers and missiles, and so on.
Sighted: In Paris, bringing the pope of the Dial cult to his knees.
Possibilities: When you're a super engineer who creates super-armor, but you haven't licked miniaturization yet? Maybe that would give you the Woodlouse. You found some pests in your work shed, and got inspired. I'm sure the back has tons of extra tricks, maybe it even turns into a handy vehicle to make getaways. An erstwhile ally of Blue Beetle's?
Integration Quotient: 35% (workable, but no headliner)
Name: Daffodil Host (uh...)
Costume: A fancy Restoration costume in blue with gold brocade. It is not clear how he puts his top hat on top of his head, which is a bouquet of daffodils.
Powers: To entrance his enemies in a poetic reverie.
Sighted: On a small boat in the Atlantic Ocean, right over an Atlantean outpost, talking to Roxie.
Possibilities: Okay, here's my pitch. A quirky Vertigo series called The Romantics, in which various poets of the era are turned into superheroes. Byron's an obvious action man. The Shelleys are Promethean. Blake unleashes hell by accident. Oh, and of course, I see Wordsworth as Daffodil Host.
Integration Quotient: 15% (the historical look creates a fragile hook)
Name: The Planktonian (ah, finally something that sounds cool)
Look: A floating mass of bio-luminescent, over-sized plankton.
Powers: This gestalt entity can fly and swim, but can also take a more defined solid form, like that of a super-strong giant.
Sighted: At an old Atlantean outpost, fighting an ancient enemy of plankton, a humpbacked whale.
Possibilities: The comic itself gives a number of evocative alternate titles for this hero - The Tiny Many Champion, the Rage of Amphipods, Krillstorm, the Vengeance of Fry, the Pelagic Paladin... It all boils down to super-powered plankton fighting monsters and pollution in the depths of the ocean. Maybe it has a tussle with Aquaman, but becomes his ally. We see it now and again because it's so damn cool. Probably created by radioactive waste, but prolonged exposure to Aquaman's telepathy might offer an alternative. I want to see it fight Chemo just for the visual.
Integration Quotient: 50% (it's a big ask, but should be good for a few stories)
Name: The Loon  (actually unnamed, but looks like what they were going for)
Costume: A white and gold spandex uniform with a maple lead motif, and a blue cape with a large clasp made up of concentric circles. Most notably, he looks like a humanoid bird, with clawed hands and a bird's head showing.
Powers: Unknown. Presumably, he can fly, claw and peck.
Sighted: In Canada, heroic acts unkown (but enough to turn up in a metahuman magazine).
Possibilities: The DCU's Canada needs more heroes! The Loon is perhaps not our best, but we'll take what we can get. The Marvel U had much better super-soldier programs. This poor guy's DNA was mixed with the loon, because they are savage birds, no matter what we might assume. Watch him go crazy in battle... or loony, as the case may be.
Integration Quotient: 40% (Canada may need him, but we don't have to be happy about it)

Next: Let's go to Canada!

2 comments:

Brendon Wright said...

great artwork on that one, by the looks of it.

Siskoid said...

David Lapham is great! I love Stray Bullets.

 

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