Dial H for Here We Go Again

Category: Dial H
Last article published: 13 August 2019
This is the 114th post under this label
Out from DC's Wonder Comics imprint, it's a new Dial H for Hero series, and would you believe it's actually the first by that title? So it looks like I got work to do once again, opening up the case files thanks to writer Sam Humphries and artist Joe Quinones. How THIS story fits continuity is really anyone's guess - are Wonder Comics in their own reality, or should I be calling this the Rebirth timeline? It may or may not be part of the same history as China Miéville's Dial H series. We'll see.

Case 101: Dial H for Hero #1
Dial Holders: Miguel Montez
Dial Type: Red Dial
Dialing: Miguel dreams of flying after an encounter with Superman as a child. He pushes things too far one day and sends himself flipping off his bike and careening into a ravine. As he falls a glowing red telephone appears out of a blast of electricity. The Operator's voice tells him to dial H for hero if he wants to live. It's a normal dial with numbers and letters, the number 4 (GHI) glows and is the only number that needs be dialed. When Miguel does so, a phone booth appears around him. Somehow, the number 4 and corresponding letters appear on the foreheads of various characters in the DCU - Robin, Lobo, Snapper Carr, Angel and the Ape, Harley Quinn, and Aldred Pennyworth. They can "feel" the dial was used (Snapper says he's dialed it before). Their connection to the H-Dial is unclear, but it seems like Batman needs to be informed, so it's not happening to everyone. Miguel then finds himself floating in a pocket dimension with floating islands and giant pieces of the phone (including its red color) where he can communicate with the Operator, a hooded figure. This may all be part of the dialing experience, initiated from the moment the number started turning - must Miguel ACCEPT the mantle of a hero? The phone keeps appearing and ringing when the Operator wishes to speak to Miguel, who he tasks with protecting against the covetous Thunderbolt Club. Dialed heroes are drawn and act in a style that evokes certain types or eras of comics - 90s XTREME, Manga and Vertigo weirdness, for example (yes, I looked a little ahead). The exact time limit on the identity/powers is unknown, but there definitely is one.
Name: Monster Truck (if the 90s are to be evoked, it's must too descriptive, ha!)
Costume: This beefy and toothy, badly shaven dude wears yellow (primary, especially lower body) and blue (sides and piping) spandex with a lare flowing red cape. Around the belt is a large red "M". He wears a boxer's helmet and yellow gloves, though his arms are bare. One of his legs is cybernetic. Elements of a truck can be found all over his body - gauges on the metal circle around his chest, rubber tire as knee and shoulder pads, heavy metal bracelets (mufflers?) with tubing coming out of them, small wheels (with spoiler) at his ankles, and large, smoking metal exhaust pipes coming out of his back and wrists. He's accompanied by badly-written XTREME!!! captions and signatures on parchment paper, and shouts things like "PEDAL TO THE METAL!" and the pseudo-expletive "TRUCK YEAH!".
Powers: Diesel in his veins, rumble in his mufflers, soaring on his mud flaps... Monster Truck is basically super-strong, fast and tough.
Sighted: His appearance summons the immortal Truck Triforce, claiming that every thousand years, the Earth needs a new eternal champion of trucking. Monster Truck claims to restore the cosmic balance between engine and cargo, but all we see him do is smash a few cars at a used car dealership and attracting the police's attention.
Possibilities: If this were 90s Image, I would say he 100% fit into Rob Liefeld comics, but it's DC. The publisher did have characters like this back in the day, but usually one-offs to mock the competition. I'd love a Multiversity-style comic with champions from different worlds/eras and Monster Truck, in with a Golden Age mystery man, a Silver Age science hero, etc. could be an amusing notion for a team book. But he feels rather like a parody to me.
Integration Quotient: 35% (we've gotten beyond the point where he's viable, but in a retro kind of way, maybe)

I guess I'm going to have to start doing these every so often. I'm about 6 issues late!

Next: Dial H for Hero will return...

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