Dial V for Variety

Can Robby's Big Dial spell anything else? After all, HERO is a pretty small word. What happens when someone tries another word? And will the character produced by any more viable than the heroes Robby's been incarnating? The answer coming up...

Case 3: House of Mystery #158
Dial Holder: Daffy Dagan (Daffy the Great), Robby Reed (Quake-Master, The Squid)
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: V-I-L-L-A-I-N turns Daffy Dagan into a supervillain (unbelievably, he dials the word by chance, not knowing what the symbols mean). N-I-A-L-L-I-V turns him back into Daffy.
Name: Daffy the Great (sinks the character right there)
Costume: Trunks and a big iron belt. The overall look is interesting though. Daffy is a neat-looking magma monster with tentacle fingers that each fire a different power. That big toothy grin has me thinking about the Red Skull on crack (or let's say, venom). More alien monster than supervillain though.
Powers: Daffy has a forcefield that makes him impervious to many attacks (not poison though), and can even reflect certain powers back to their origin. He can also fire a variety of energies from his tentacular fingers. There's a kinetic power blast, a heat beam, a poison gas and a magnetic beam. Presumably, since he has six fingers, he had other abilities.
Sighted: In and around Granite City, near Littleville. Daffy's crime spree included robbing a freight train, defeating Quake-Master, and attempting to steal a gold shipment at the airport. He was finally stopped by the Squid when he believed his forcefield was coated with poison and took it down.
Possibilities: Supervillains are both easier and harder to successfully integrate into a four-color universe. On the one hand, there are many more villains than there are heroes, since they don't have to carry their own titles or be recruited into teams. They just need to show up once in a while. That's the other hand - villains with little potential or popular appeal tend not to make a return visit. There are more one-shot villains than we can count. Daffy the Great has a cool look and could have been used as a recurring alien menace or big mutated bruiser type for the likes of Superman. In a villain team that's to fight the Titans or Justice League, no one would ask too many questions about the origin of his powers. However, he's got that name. Change that and you've got some potential. Don't, and Daffy is better off as the leader of the Siren Gang, using sound waves to incapacitate the citizenry. In a way, he was a supervillain even before he lay eyes on the H Dial.
Integration Quotient: 12% (a legal name change and we're cooking with a creature that MIGHT deserve repeat appearances, if only to find out what the other fingers do)
Name: Quake-Master (Later, the name Quakemaster was taken by a villain who joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains, remember him? Me neither, not really.)
Costume: Even Robby agrees that it's a pretty crazy design. Few heroes can carry off both yellow and green, and horizontal stripes, well, they only make his calves look fat. It's all meant to look like circular vibrations (you know, like Aquaman talking to fish). The big Q and the wrestler's belt complete the outfit and add yet more "vibration lines".
Powers: Quake-Master can shake various parts of his body to create powerful vibrations. He can use these as area of effect or aimed attacks, and shake his feet to fly at "P wave speeds" (an earthquake measurement). He also carries a pistol that fires vibration discs that he can track from any distance.
Sighted: In and around Granite City. Quake-Master tried to stop Daffy the Great from robbing a train but failed. All he managed to do was follow Daffy to his grotto and steal back the H Dial from him.
Possibilities: While his powers are interesting, Quake-Master's name and costume fail to inspire. The addition of a gadget that fires trackers makes me think he could have been an obscure Golden Age hero, perhaps an addition to the All-Star Squadron, that is, if Roy Thomas had had any need for a non-ethnic, non-female addition to the WWII set. Since he brings little diversity unless you count the fashion nightmare, his chances for integration are slim. I would give him a make-over before reintroducing him as, I dunno, "Tremor" in some nook and cranny of the DCU.
Integration Quotient: 8% (good powers, but a terrible design...but it gets worse...)
Name: The Squid (not a very heroic name)
Costume: All hail Hydra! Nooo... that's just the Squid's own emblem. Not a bad spandex blend, but the four liquid tanks on his back and the funny hat with the nozzles are just awful.
Powers: The Squid can squirt four distinct liquids from his weaponized helmet (they might have used the word "inks"... or given him eight, or is that only octopi?). The red liquid can create solid objects, like a flying sled. The yellow acts as a lightning ray, so isn't very liquid at all. There's also a purple solution that's meant to be a weapon, but doesn't work on Daffy, and the green liquid emits a sound alarm wherever it is sprayed. Everything is controlled from four belt buttons.
Sighted: In Granite City. The Squid finally captured Daffy the Great and turns him back into regular Daffy.
Possibilities: Please no. The Squid is rarely on-theme, doing everything required of him in this story, but probably limited in any other. The gadget is dead stupid, but he's not ridiculous enough to show up in a humor book. If you forced me, I'd push him on Morrison's Doom Patrol with a slight revamp (like making him addicted to his liquids).
Integration Quotient: 5% (I'm being generous, but that last idea could have worked as a one-shot)

Not a strong showing for our Dialed characters! Let's try to do better next week, shall we?


snell said...

"Quake-Master can shake various parts of his body to create powerful vibrations."

I'm sure he was verrry popular with the lady heroes...

Siskoid said...

And yet NONE of them took him shopping?

I think he was a well kept secret.


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