Dial H for Habeas Corpus

Recent revelations about the H Dials in Dial H #0 will not affect how I treat this post series, though I will eventually discuss it. Theoretically, those revelations are not relevant anyway since we're currently looking at the pre-Crisis DCU, not the New52 (even if the new series has referenced Chris and Vicki). In the issue at hand's first story, detailed below, the Dial holders are required to have their heroes testify in a villain's trial (rare enough for any hero), but must contend with those identities lapsing after an hour, never to be seen again! Rough.

Case 36: Adventure Comics #489
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: For the first time, the Dial holders are seen taking off their superheroic identities' costumes and showing up in civilian clothes.
Name: Neon (there eventually was a Neon in the DCU, specifically a member of the "5 Year Later" Legion of Super-Heroes; it's not a bad name)
Created by: Andrew Murphy, Age 16, of Ardmore, Penn.
Costume: Neon is apparently made of some solid, golden energy, flowing like molten gold. He has eyes and a nose, but no mouth showing. Looks nice when he's moving, but is rather ordinary when standing still.
Powers: Neon can fly and maneuver at great speeds, as well as fire an unknown type of energy from his hands. The "neon blasts" are able to boil water into steam or zap a person into unconsciousness. By flying around someone, he can create an impenetrable energy field.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeated Tsunami and Distortionex, and was asked to testify against the latter. The Court believes he did, in his civilian identity of Charles Prince.
Possibilities: Energy beings are harder to empathize with, but Neon's sense of fun (as when he writes his name with his energy trail) would seem to say he's all too human, and merely sheathed in a neon aura, or else transforms from a flesh and blood form. He's like DC's Human Torch, and acts like enough of a teenager to fit in with some Titans sub-group.
Integration Quotient: 20% (somewhat ordinary, it's his personality that lifts him this high)
Name: The Unicorn (not to be confused with the silly Marvel villain)
Created by: Kyla M. Jones, Age 19, of Danville, IN
Costume: In two shades of green, the Unicorn has a straight-laced top, with a thick collar, flowing cape and baggy sleeves. From the midriff down, however, it's all bathing suit going on lingerie. Her most noticeable feature, of course, is a horn coming out of her forehead.
Powers: The Unicorn has the power to heal injuries. When activated, a purple ray shoots out at various angles from the horn.
Sighted: In Fairfax, healed people hurt by Tsunami's attack and discovered Distortionex attempting to rob a bank. She was asked to testify against the latter. The Court believes she did, in her civilian identity of Vivian Garfield.
Possibilities: Healing is very difficult to sell in comics, which is why is seems so strange in superhero MMORPGs. Making her a human unicorn doesn't particularly add to her dignity. A refugee from Skartaris maybe?
Integration Quotient: 5% (as that general in Monty Python would say, "silly! silly! too silly!")
Name: Phase Master (slightly awkward, as "Masters" sound more villainous than heroic)
Created by: Mike Cheung, Age 13, of Vancouver, BC
Costume: Like a strange black, white and yellow street mime, complete with clownish make-up, Phase Master has a diamond in the middle of his chest, and deep lines around his pecs and abs. A fashion nightmare even without the fro.
Powers: Phase Master can change the state of matter, from solid to liquid to gas and back again. For example, he snuffed out a fire by turning the carbon dioxide in the building solid, creating a makeshift fire extinguisher effect.
Sighted: In Fairfax, putting out a grease fire at Mac Dougal's diner.
Possibilities: A cut-rate Firestorm with mime make-up? I guess you can never have enough nuclear accidents. Someone to join the Captains of Industry just before he gets killed off.
Integration Quotient: 5% (goofy)
Name: Queen of Hearts (just put that song in my head)
Created by: Martin Rios, Age 14, of Kerman, CA
Costume: This redhead's pink costumes is covered in hearts, from a necklace around her next to the front of her bustier, and splattered all over her belt and panties. She also wears dark pink bracelets and a masquerade ball mask.
Powers: The Queen of Hearts can "turn hate into love" and "calm the most savage beast". She uses her powers here to calm down a crowd panicked by a grease fire.
Sighted: In Fairfax, keeping a crowd under control during a fire.
Possibilities: Am I the only to see a link between her costume and philosophy and the Amazons? I think she'd fit very well in Wonder Woman's Silver Age adventures, as a fellow Amazon expat and rival for Steve's affections.
Integration Quotient: 60% (yes, she's cheesy, but so were/are a lot of DC Comics)
Name: Multi-Force (sounds like a bad toy line)
Created by: Scott Hutchison, Age 16, of Logan, OH
Costume: In purple and green, with wide orange goggles (over his mask) and a white wrestling belt, his cape has a very high collar. Like the Impossible Man made some bad choices.
Powers: Multi-Force can duplicate anything, from clothes off peoples' backs to objects to make rain down on enemies.
Sighted: In Fairfax, posing as Neon, stopping Distortionex's escape attempt in open Court.
Possibilities: Between that name and that costume, I'd probably have him as a failed hero pestering a bigger star and screwing things up royally before losing his powers.
Integration Quotient: 3% (I can't sell the basics here)
Name: Blue Biker (what, not a New God?)
Created by: Craig Lantz, Age 17, of Oakland, Maryland
Costume: In two shades of blue, this brunette wears a protective helmet (be safe, kids) with a visor. A short cape completes a standard full-body superhero uniform.
Powers: The Blue Biker has no powers, only a fast, high-tech motorcycle that looks more like an electric bicycle.
Sighted: In Fairfax, posing as the Unicorn, stopping Distortionex's escape attempt in open Court.
Possibilities: Powerless heroes armed only with their fists, ingenuity and the odd gimmick are a lot easier to place in a shared universe. The Blue Biker would work well in an eco-friendly West Coast city, for example, some community with lots of bike trails.
Integration Quotient: 80% (doesn't pollute the way Black Canary does)

Bonus Supervillains
Name: Tsunami (not long before the Young All-Star of the same name showed up)
Created by: Matt Young, Age 15, of Cherry Hill, NJ
Costume: This apparently Asian character (inferred in the close-ups, and there's of course the Japanese name) wears a white and purple unitard with red belt, collar, bracers and boots. What the pellets on her belt hide is anybody's guess. I could definitely do with an outfit better connected to her powers.
Powers: Not surprisingly, Tsunami can create massive tidal waves.
Sighted: In Fairfax, attempting to flood the city with tsunamis as a cover for her partner's back heist. Both she and Distortionex were captured by Neon, with an assist from the Unicorn.
Possibilities: We already have a Japanese character called Tsunami, but her story's set in the 1940s. So could this be a descendent, either genetically or thematically?
Integration Quotient: 80% (a better costume would cement her place as a legacy villain)
Name: Distortionex (wow, just wow)
Created by: Edward Murr, Age 14, of Hopewell Junction, NY
Costume: Wearing a bizarre red Chinese style window over his face, otherwise covered by a gray full-headed mask with yellow earpieces, Distortionex also wears a red tunic over gray pants and crossed by a gray belt with some kind of gold device on it. Red boots complete the outfit.
Powers: When he touches his left hand to something, it disrupts its molecules and causes it to crumble. With a wave of his RIGHT hand, he can make it appear as if nothing happened.
Sighted: In Fairfax, attempting to rob a bank vault before being stopped by Neon and Unicorn. He later uses his powers to attempt an escape in open Court during his trial, but was again stopped by Fairfax's heroes. Why he didn't break out of lock-up before this is a mystery.
Possibilities: Like Tsunami, Distortionex may be Asian (his scenes as a civilian defendant don't disprove this). An enemy for China's Great Ten or Japan's Super Young Team, perhaps. But not a very good one.
Integration Quotient: 20% (ethnicity forgives a lot of things)

Half this comic remains. Look for it soon.


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hi, Siskoid. My impressions from Dial #0 tells me that China is taking a cue from the odd characters from the Robby Reed days. I think. I read the issue twice, and that's what I got from it.

I'd like the Will Pfeifer run put collected the way they did CHASE and it can be in two volumes, as is the case with RESURRECTION MAN. I really liked that series.

Siskoid said...

Chris and Vicki got some weird ones too. These heroes aren't all coming from the SAME place, after all.


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