Dial H for Howzis!

The story of the Freak Superheroes attempts something that hasn't really been attempted before - three heroes that follow the same theme, and therefore could be part of the same team if they weren't exclusive to one another. That will certainly be reflected in their Integration Quotient. Alone, they are oddities. Together, they bolster each other's bid for inclusion. One character that HAS survived from this story to today is the villain, Dr. Rigoro Mortis. In 52, he made his return as a member of Oolong Island's Science Squad where, no doubt, he continues to create superpowered undead and selling them to the highest bidder. He's the second mad scientist to make it out of Dial H, so SOMEbody was reading these old House of Mystery issues. Are the freakish heroes as viable however?

Case 10: House of Mystery #165
Dial Holder: Robby Reed
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: Once again, Robby dials a hero out of a predicament. The transformation releases enough energy to break Robby out of a vacuum-forming plastic bubble. For the first time, Robby dials a new hero straight from a hero form without first spelling O-R-E-H and reverting to Robby. Right or wrong, Robby blames the freak transformations on a freak electrical storm in outer space that interfered with radio transmissions on Earth.
Name: Whoozis (bizarre, but thematically tied to the two other heroes on this list)
Costume: I could do without his name written on his head (though again, this is thematically consistent with the other two heroes), but there's something to be said about a unique (if goofy) look. Whoozis is a giant rubber ball with a face, arms and legs. An odd design, but it works. I do have to question the decision to paint his arms and legs in flesh tones when his face is actually hot pink. So what's his actual skin color?
Powers: Like I said, he's a big rubber ball. His only power seems to be the ability to bounce quickly from place to place, though there's no indication he can do jump very high (say, like Bouncing Boy can). Not being as powerful as Bouncing Boy could be a problem.
Sighted: In Central City (though no mention is made of the Flash - could these stories take place pre-Flash, or are we on a different Earth?). Whoozis attempted to stop a bank robbery, but was easily pwned by a superpowered zombie working for Central City's underworld.
Possibilities: By himself, too strange and silly to make it in the DCU. As part of the Super-Freaks, he could find a home. These strange heroes together could guest-star in more humorous titles or some bizarre corner of the almost-Vertigo universe.
Integration Quotient: 5/25% (the first number is for his lonesome self, the second as part of a novelty tripe-act)
Name: Whatsis
Costume: An even stranger-looking hero who looks like a yellow human boomerang. Again, being so distinctive gives the design some lift, though one would be hard-pressed to think of a life for the character outside his superheroic identity. Correspondingly, perhaps, he doesn't wear a mask.
Powers: Whatsis can fly at superspeed and enjoys a large degree of maneuverability. He can turn almost two-dimensional and fly through the thinnest cracks. His boomerang form is tough enough to withstand a crash from a great height.
Sighted: In Central City. Whatsis got his, uhm, ass kicked by the super-zombie and failed to stop a visiting sultan from being robbed for his turban jewel.
Possibilities: Like Whoozis, Whatsis could work as a Super-Freak, but could probably not be seen outside of this team-that-never-was. There's an off-chance he could be a Legion reject, but that's about it.
Integration Quotient: 10/25% (somehow, I see a little more potential in the middle member of the team, as he's most distinctive and even powered)
Name: Howzis
Costume: Like a vending machine with limbs, this is another of those corny retro robot designs the Dial seems to spew out every so often. The face lacks empathy, and the pinball chest is ridiculous. Th weakest of the three designs.
Powers: Howzis must shoot a ball through his pinball machine innards and whatever slot it falls into corresponds to a power. He can concentrate on which slot he wants, never misses and can use more than one power at a time (which makes the exercise a little pointless). Like Robby the Super-Robot in the previous issue, Howzis has an incredibly wide array of powers, including flight, a light ray, a radar sense, an acetalyne torch, a shrinking ray that conveniently depowers the super-zombie, and both concussion and sleep gas grenades.
Sighted: In Central City. Put an end to the threat of the underworld gang using the super-zombie to pull off their crimes.
Possibilities: Like Whoozis and Whatsis, Howzis doesn't really work as a lone concept. Heck, he hardly works within the Super-Freaks! The other two are ridiculously under-powered, while he's a walking, talking deus ex machina. Every issue of a Super-Freaks comic would be as lazily written as this issue was.
Integration Quotient: 3/15% (to tell you the truth, I'd rather see the Super-Freaks find another third member... in fact, the Freaks could adopt any of the truly bizarre Dial heroes - though they've to felt pen their names onto their bodies, of course)

Hope you'll join us again for a return to normalcy. Well... there won't be a space storm or anything, but it'll still be the Silver Age.



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