Dial H for Heap Big

Uh-oh. Dial H for Hero slips to back-up status behind the rising star of the Martian Manhunter, but it does keep the cover. It's a momentary hiccup, as it returns to the front of the book in the next (but final) issue. Of interest to DCU geography nuts, Robby is called away to Central City again (see House of Mystery # 166 for a previous visit). Again there's no explicit mention of the Flash (an earthquake in that part of the country would indicate supervillain involvement, and the fact Chief Mighty Arrow is turned back by the police could mean the Flash already dealt with it), but it does place the metropolis nearest to Littleville. And it seems Littleville is also near the coast, so... The town is like a Springfield, y'know? Plot-related geography.

Case 16.1: House of Mystery #172
Dial Holder: Robby Reed
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: Not for the first time, the Dial repeats a hero - Chief Mighty Arrow and his pet flying horse Wingy - but that's nothing new. What IS new, is that due to a misaligned "click mechanism", each time Robby transforms, another boy born on the same date transforms into a monster. Robby manages to fix the Dial with a screwdriver at the end of the story. I should also mention the naming convention used in this issue. Used to be the heroic identities came with their own names, which Robby instinctively knew - or else he was quick to make them up - but here, the names are rather unofficial, culled from what Robby thinks he looks like (ex.: "I've become one of those crazee pendulums, like they have on grandfather clocks!").
Name: Pendulum (a good name, even if he does look more like an anchor, shovel, or Vulcan lirpa)
Costume: Between his orange color, strange shape and skullcap, "Pendulum" looks a heck of a lot like Gold of the Metal Men. I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for confusing one for the other.
Powers: Pendulum can fly, normally or in a tornado-like spin. His lower body is a blade that can cut through anything, and by anything, I mean even a "tornardo" ("crazee" isn't the only place that needed a [sic] attached), stopping the natural phenomenon's momentum. Pendulum's blade can be damaged by such things as fire, though Pendulum feels no pain. (The damage is not transferred to Robby.)
Sighted: In Littleville. Pendulum disperses a large twister before being hit by a mysterious fireball creature.
Possibilities: A strange robotic being, he might be too close to the Metal Men for comfort, but maybe Doc Magnus has some rejects hidden away somewhere that just woke up?
Integration Quotient: 10% (that Doc Magnus idea is the best I can do)
Name: Solar Mirror (terrible, the rhyming scheme makes it especially dumb)
Costume: A contrastless green superhero suit with full mask and slitted visor, Solar Mirror's principal distinguishing feature is the circular lens in the middle of his torso. Looks like he could be an artificial being, but he invokes his "prism costume".
Powers: By placing himself between the sun and a target, Solar Mirror can act as a living magnifying glass and focus the sun's heat and light into a narrow beam able to melt steel. He can also fly, but it is not known whether he needs solar energy to do so. When his lens is broken, he does appear to fall.
Sighted: In a bay a bus-ride away from Littleville. The hero is seen saving a sinking ship and fighting a big purple monster. Both go down into the water and are never seen again (it's unknown how far Robby and his friend Jim had to swim to shore).
Possibilities: Solar Mirror might work as another rejected Doc Magnus robot, since he certainly doesn't seem very human.
Integration Quotient: 5% (even lower than Pendulum's because of that terrible moniker and obvious limitations - a cloudy day cuts his powers off!)

BONUS Robby Romance: The Swingin' 60s!

Robby's dancing up a storm at an after-school "Go-Go session" when an emergency comes up.
He passes Suzy off to his friend Jim. No problem, his pleasure, but did he think to ask Suzy? From her expression, I should say not. I'm not even gonna ask why Suzy (who Dialed in House of Mystery #169) is no longer a redhead (because girls are always doing that).

Only one issue left to the House of Mystery run, though not the last Robby adventure. See you next week for more disposable superheroes (and thanks for recycling where you can)!



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