Dial H for Hell's Going On?

House of Mystery #160 experiments with the Dial H format and dishes out an atypical story in the process. It's the first time a Dialer becomes a hero he's become before, and the only time turning into an established DC hero. So Giantboy gets a second go and appears to "die" when he turns back into Robby after being gassed and almost drowning. So much for our would-be Legionnaire (see the first H Dial article). In the case of the latter, Robby becomes Plastic Man, whom he recognizes as a hero of yore. That helps answer a question I had last week about which universe Robby existed in. Since this is a 1966 story, we're far back into the pre-Crisis days, which places Plastic Man on Earth-X (with other Quality Comics heroes). So Robby might meet Uncle Sam or the Phantom Lady (YES PLEASE!), but not Superman and Batman. The future may tell.

Bottom line, only one new hero is featured in this issue. Could he have had a future?

Case 5: House of Mystery #160
Dial Holder: Robby Reed
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: For the first time, the H Dial spits out a hero for a return engagement (Giantboy). Also for the first and last time, the H Dial turns Robby into a known hero (Plastic Man). When a poisoned Giantboy dials himself back into Robby Reed, the poison goes away. Robby fears that should he turn into Giantboy again at some point, he will be poisoned again.
Name: King Kandy (sounds like a naff 60s Teen Titans villain)
Costume: A candy cane (or barber's pole) unitard, a crown made of lollipops, gumdrops all over his chest, canes on his boots... it's all bad.
Powers: King Kandy uses candy gimmicks to foil crimes. Crime-fighting candy seen here includes lollipop bombs, a licorice lasso, gunky gumdrops, and criminal-capturing taffy twists.
Sighted: At Littleville's fair, foiling the theft of the Shah's pearl necklace by the Wizard of Light, an illusionist who appeared to have killed Giantboy and must later be captured by Plastic Man.
Possibilities: The candy gimmick is better suited to a villain than a hero, but he's too silly-looking to go up against Batman, and too one-note to be part of Flash's Rogues' Gallery.
Integration Quotient: 1% (reworked as a very lame baddie, he might have scored one or two camp appearances - MIGHT)

Bonus Robby Subplot: Romance!
Robby may be a square, but girls can still get his dander up, especially the cute, curvy redhead called Suzy he's friends with.
He really wishes she'd look at him like she looks at... the Mighty Moppet? You looking for a girlfriend or a babysitter, dawg? Robby does manage to get a kiss from her, but on the cheek, and only when he's King Kandy. It's a good thing Suzy didn't go into a diabetic coma...


rob! said...

Dial H as a concept screams out for a WB tv series.


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