Dial H for Hub

The last issue of Dial H is double-sized, double-revelations, and double-dials. Lots to cover so we'll split our coverage in two. Nelson, Roxie and the Operator in this post. Dwan and the Fixer next week.

Case 93: Dial H #15
Dial Holders: Nelson Jent, Roxie Hodder, Operator
Dial Type: Phone Booth Dial, S-Dial, D-Dial, G-Dial, Armory H-Dial, Amplified E-Dial
Dialing: Where frayed and faulty universes tangle, the Exchange rose up, channeling the crackle of realities over millennia, a culture of tapping what bled out of other universes through Dial technology. They had Dials for everything (it is suggested there are V-Dials, for Vehicles, in addition to the ones we know). Very rarely something went wrong and the Dials stole rather than copied, but stories about this spread across worlds. Most were false, some were lies, but it didn't matter, armies rose up to fight the Exchange. During the war, the Operator known as 0, a "Dialsmith" who amplified his G-Dial to create a Timebomb, sundered reality to destroy the invading armies. The bomb scattered broken Dials in the Exchange's dump (and himself) across reality, which is how humans got a hold of H-Dials. 0 can use that amplifier on any Dial to create a more powerful version of the dialed gadget/identity. He also has access to a D-Dial, or Doom Dial (previously referred to as an Apocalypse Dial), which seems to be mounted on a console inside the Exchange. Also in the Exchange is an armory full of Dials of every type, with instructions so that one can actually choose a heroic identity (Roxie takes one of these). The S-Dial cannot lock onto brief identities like Dwan's autodialed heroes; the sidekick remains masterless. Outside the Exchange, giant crossed wires spark strange combo creatures that are part one thing and part another. Because the Operator has the power to deactivate a Dial, but apparently none to stop these creatures, Roxie has the idea to cross the wires inside the Phone Booth Dial. From then on, Nelson only dials "mash-ups", combinations of the various identities we've seen over the course of the series (Chimney Lachrymose, Cloud Skeet, Flame Snail, etc.; these are not covered in these notes), and the Operator cannot deactivate them. When Roxie focuses on the part of the Exchange the Operator's identities come from (he may be using the Dial he gave Centipede at this point - Nelson calls it the E(vil)-Dial, it has a flashy X on top of it - and it seems Nelson knows the identity it comes up with instinctively) and frays those wires so that they bleed all over the place, he is turned into a mash-up of many heroes (from Earth-1 apparently) before he blows up or vanishes, taking his henchman, the Centipede, with him.
Name: Secret Faction (Nelson; sounds more like a team than a person)
Costume: A Gray alien in a black suit and hat, the latter with a gray band, vaguely Puritan in style.
Powers: Spreads dissent from within, which leaves people frozen, confused and conflicted, though in the case of duplicators, can make the several selves fight one another.
Sighted: At the Exchange, fighting Centipede.
Possibilities: An eerie villain manipulating humanity, à la the Silence, maybe. As a hero? Maybe he was from that alien faction, but is himself a dissenting voice. Maybe their whole culture is based on such conflict and he's like our defense attorney in the way for our souls.
Integration Quotient: 25% (only with some strain)
Name: Exhaust (Roxie with S-Dial; works, but invited jokes about being exhausted)
Costume: A green body suit that only exposes the face, with large metal pipes going around the body, with vertical exhaust pipes going up the shoulders, evoking those of an 18-wheel transport.
Powers: Flight and smoke projection.
Sighted: At the Exchange, fighting Centipede and the Fixer.
Possibilities: Built to be a sidekick, we never find out who she would have been attached to, but I could see her as part of a roadside assistance duo, patrolling America's highways the way Aquaman does the oceans. Kind of DC's answer to U.S. 1.
Integration Quotient: 45% (if only we knew who her partner was)
Name: Monodon Seer (Nelson; do we need the scientific nomenclature?)
Look: A large narwhal with a domino mask. It only speaks narwhal.
Powers: The ability to read a living target and see visions of its past, possibly more telepathy than it is postcognition. Obviously, it's also a good swimmer and has a natural weapon in its tooth-horn.
Sighted: At the Exchange, reading the Fixer. We also know the real Monodon Seer comes from the worlds of the Pod Parliament, a team of super-powered sea creatures.
Possibilities: Another fishy friend for Aquaman? The King of the Seven Seas has a lot of ground to cover after all, and if his powers unlocked the sentience and meta-gene of certain animals, we might wind up with such guardians.
Integration Quotient: 15% (even if Aquaman's powers worked that way, you wouldn't see his "team" very often)
Name: Matryoshka (Roxie; the name of the dolls commonly referred to as "Russian")
Look: A red and purplish, man-sized, Russian doll with little yellow flowers and detail.
Powers: Split into several selves, each one smaller than the next. She does not need to "open" to let the next self out. She has neither arms nor legs (except painted on), though that does not seem to impair her movement or fighting ability.
Sighted: At the Exchange, fighting Centipede.
Possibilities: A very weird Russian heroine, possibly an artificial construct given life through mystical means.
Integration Quotient: 10% (these inanimate objects animated for justice just don't make sense in the DCU)
Name: Synapsetrix (Operator; sounds sadistic)
Look: Its muscled gray body is naked, but energy dances all over it. Its face has no features. The only piece of costuming is two large gold bands loose around the neck.
Powers: Energy projection, probably created from the creature's own nerves/synapses. The Amplified version of the identity is a giant.
Sighted: At the Exchange, fighting Nelson Jent's mash-ups.
Possibilities: If this IS an E-Dial effect, then can we assume the character is a villain? Cuz it sure looks like one. I'll say it's so. Classic mad scientist who zapped himself and turned himself into a monster, goes on rampage, draining people of their synaptic energy and leaving them brain dead until hero does away with him. Does anyone need their version of the Parasite?
Integration Quotient: 70% (I'd give more, but that name...)

Next: Dwan and the Fixer - their final stand.


American Hawkman said...

Exhaust is clearly the sidekick of Truk, an identity borrowed from Dr. u'bx in Green Lantern Corps. :)

I like Matroyshka a bit better than you since we know there's such a thing as a doll elemental in the DC Universe, thanks to Brother Power. She'd fit in nicely with the People's Heroes.

Secret Faction as a one-man Men in Black dealing with the aliens that slip past the Green Lantern Corps could work as a high-concept book or guest star... He's essentially the opposite number of the Advance Man, a villain I kinda like.

Siskoid said...

A doll elemental! Yes, brilliant!!!


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