Dial H for Hastro City

Last issue, everyone in Metropolis dialed H. Sounds like a recipe for more heroes than I can cover!

Case 106: Dial H for Hero #6
Dial Holders: Summer Pickens, Miguel Montez, everyone in Metropolis
Dial Type: Red Dial, Cyan Dial
Dialing: Rare in the history of dialing, but not unknown, is that you can dial the same hero a second time. Summer becomes Lo Lo Kick You again, but she has a different costume and looks and talks like she's a Mike Allred character. She appears to have a cybernetic arm now.
All of Metropolis has dialed, and there's a wide variety of artisitic styles at play, everything from Alex Ross to Matt Groening. One sequence in Daniel Clowes' style may tell us this abuse of the Red Dial might be affecting all of reality (the Heroverse is also pictured in that style at that moment). It definitely has short-circuited the Dial's normal attribution of a secret origin (which we learned last issue was key to whether an identity acted heroically or villainously), and Metropolis thousands of heroes do not have one until they are inspired by Supermiguel, an identity dialed from a Cyan Dial the Operator claims to have found on his Multiversal travels. It's not clear how it differs from other Dials (or even if it differs at all), but it should be noted that 1) the identity inspires other identities to become heroic (as legacy is a phone line that goes both ways), and 2) it is quite clearly based on the dialer himself rather than some random hero. The Red Dial should more properly be called the Magenta Dial, and there is also a Yellow Dial and a Key (black) Dial out there, mimicking the color-code CMYK. Mister Thunderbolt's plan is to make them power a weapon that will make the entire Multiverse dial H for Hero.
Name: Supermiguel (well, a Kryptonian COULD be named Mig-El, right?)
Costume: Miguel as a buff adult wears a suit inspired by Superman's, with shades of Tom Strong. The body is black, with a white cape, white boots and white and red gloves. Red, white and blue lines surround the yellow belt and the top of the boots. The sleeves are am little short, exposing the arm. On his chest is a Kryptonian shield with a stylized "M" in white and blue.
Powers: Potentially, the full Kryptonian suite of powers, though the only ones actually exhibited are flight and strength. It's possible his ability to inspire heroism in others is his rather than the Cyan Dial's.
Sighted: In Metropolis saving a plane (TM), and inspiring ther heroes to do good.
Possibilities: Every planet has a Latin America... So he's either Superman's long-lost cousin, or someone inspired by Superman to follow in his tradition. Wait, that last one is essentially Miguel's story. It's quite possible it's the right one (the Operator calls this an origin in progress), and this is Miguel's ultimate fate. A combination of Superman's inspiration and the H-Dial makes his transformation permanent (with a transferable inspirational quality, which makes him different, but not too different, from the rest of the Superman Family), and he becomes the Southwest's Superman. I like it, even if it's admittedly derivative.
Integration Quotient: 85% (it's really just a matter of how many Superman/Shazam figures the DCU can sustain)

There are a ton of heroes in this issue, some named, many unnamed, so I've selected some to get our usual treatment. I'll go through the rest more quickly afterwards.
Name: Rocket Bethany (very rocket-y, what was the name of that Batman the Animated Series rocketeer villain?)
Costume: Riding a rocket-powered rig not unlike Orion's astro-harness, Bethany wears a green jacket with a buttoned-up flap (like Lady Blackhawk), with a beige pleated skirt, dark gray pants (or possibly stockings) with a thick black line on the thigh, and black boots. Her hairdo is from the 1940s and she wears a green bow and a green domino mask.
Powers: None, but she rides a rocket-powered rig.
Sighted: In Metropolis, playing tag with Dundee Rex, with destructive consequences.
Possibilities: Like a Dave Stevens character, she could be DC's answer to the Rocketeer, with a vibe that definitely belongs in another era. I would put her in the 1930s, a precursor to the JSA heroes who ends up guesting in Blackhawk's adventures and perhaps get her own back-up strip fighting pre-war Nazis.
Integration Quotient: 60% (there's a historical niche for her, but there's a reason they call them niches)
Name: Dundee Rex (obviously a take on Mark Schultz's Xenozoic Tales, where an identical heroine is called Hannah Dundee)
Costume: A red crop top and white pants with a black line running down the side to black boots, yep, it's Hannah Dundee. She rides a T-Rex with a saddle, rockets on each side, and what appears to be a control device on its head.
Powers: None, but she controls a rocket-propelled T-Rex. That's good enough for me.
Sighted: In Metropolis, playing tag with Rocket Bethany, and knocking over the Daily Planet's globe.
Possibilities: A tribute to Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, it's a riff that would need to be used with permission to go on. I can't see it happening. But let's say DC buys Xenozoic Tales because it wants its own Devil Dinosaur comic, it would still be a little silly. Dundee would be isolated on another planet or in another time and not interact with the rest of DC's stars much. As a contemporary hero, she's fun, but a little silly.
Integration Quotient: 0% (I'm surprised to could get away with it even here!)
Name: Frank (code-names be damned! Might also be a Frankenstein riff)
Costume: The late 80s as they were about to turn into the 90s. A blue sleeveless shirt with "My Name Is Frank" on it, blue Batman gloves with spiked brass knuckles, black pants and gripped boots, a yellow spiked belt and similar bracers, and yellow glasses in the Captain Cold style. HIs skin is greenish white, and he sports a massive red mohawk.
Powers: Frank can jump great distances and seems to have some measure of super-strength, but no real invulnerability. He uses his spikes to slice and dice opponents.
Sighted: In Metropolis, refusing to help Lo Lo with the plane crash, so she beats him up.
Possibilities: A Mutant from The Dark Knight Returns comes back in time to kill Bruce Wayne before he becomes Batman, Terminator-style. He misses the mark, finds himself in Gotham much too late, and becomes a kind of anti-hero enjoying the 20th Century and kicking heads in. It's kind of played like the original Lobo mini-series.
Integration Quotient: 20% (my idea aside, there's not much hope for this mort)
Other named heroes aren't as well developed. We've got a Galactus-like giant called Mammawthome (huh?), the Dumpster Liar who can't tell a truth, a babe hardly in costume called the Fuzzy Lollypop, and a pulp mystery man called the Business Affairs Mafioso. I'm frankly more interested in the Astro City/Kingdom Come spread even if the heroes have no names. There's a Brainiac-Green Lantern hybrid, a barbarian demon, a female hero I might call Portal who looks pretty cool, a mechanical Stilt-Man, a badass red-head with Iron Fist's dragon on her chest. They all have potential. I also kind of like these guys:
The Green Rabbit? Stick Insect? There's lots more, but I've got to sleep SOMEtime. And anyway...

Next: Who ARE the Heroes of Metropolis?



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