Dial H for Holy Crap We Know That Guy!

Dial H! A feature that has lain fallow for almost 5 years, I realized I had to resurrect it when a member of my larger podcasting circle Thom Zahler mentioned he had a character in New Adventures of Superboy #35, which just happened to be the next issue from where I stopped! Well. Seems like the situation has forced my hand. Gonna ease into it slow, with a single issue's worth of material, or rather, a single back-up's worth, and try to speed things up in weeks to come.

To recap a bit: Chris and Vicki, the current Dial holders and Fairfax's hometown heroes, have been dogged lately by a secret mastermind called the Master (no spoilers if you know who he truly is), a man with the ability to create (in effect "dial up") lots of villains, explaining why Fairfax produces so many. They haven't ALL been the Master's minions across the run of the strip, but many have, including the bonus supervillain discussed below. So let's dive back into YOUR creations, readers of 1982...

Case 43: New Adventures of Superboy #35
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: When the dial is ripped off Chris' wrist, his superhero identity immediately deserts him. While the heroes usually know, instinctively, what they are capable of, Chris in this case doesn't realize what his weaknesses are and gets a nasty surprise.
Name: Any-Body (I like it, and the hyphenation provides a useful pun)
Created by: Thom Zahler, no address given (the cartooning force behind Time and Vine, and a contributor to the Fire and Water Podcast Network via having been to school with Rob Kelly)
Costume: A faceless hero makes sense for this concept, and I like to think the lightning designs circling his body is a constantly moving special effect, perhaps indicating that his powers are holographic in nature. The two tones really make it pop - this could have been very boring.
Powers: Any-Body can look like anyone; he cannot however gain the abilities or powers of the individual copied (for example, Superman).
Sighted: In Pittsville, preventing the Marauder from breaking Naiad out of jail, and winding up as a prisoner of the Master in the process.
Possibilities: Any-Body's elfin ears might indicate an extra-terrestrial origin. Like the Martian Manhunter, he might use his abilities to blend in, but since it's his only power, there really must be a focus on it. I would envision his adventures as a Fugitive (or Starman)-style story where he becomes a different person each issue as he travels DC Earth to stop his people's secret invasion, the tools to get back home, or fleeing an intergalactic police force or the military.
Integration Quotient: 90% (the simple power provides a good hook for a variety of stories, and his comic pro creator could make sure at least one gets told some day)
Name: The Fan (sidekick city with that name)
Created by: Ed Rodriquez, of Caguas, Puerto Rico
Costume: A red, white and blue (the colors of the Puerto Rican flag as much as the mainland USA) bathing suit with various accessories, the most important is the striped (and at times folded) cape which seems to hold her powers. The creped fans on the boots, chest and head are less successful, looking like shells more than fans. Those blue highlights overpower the whole ensemble.
Powers: Presumably, the cape is the source of the Fan's powers, able to fold out and produce a strong air buffet that can bowl over opponents. Which means the Fan needs to turn her back on her enemies to fight them. Not sure that's smart. She can also ride air currents and fly, and is very nimble while doing so.
Sighted: In Pittsville trying to prevent the Marauder from grabbing Naiad. After her partner is taken instead, she brings Naiad back to jail.
Possibilities: Since the look could evoke Puerto Rico's flag, and her creator is from that territory, it would make sense for her to be a "national" hero from the island (whether based there or not). Obviously, she would have taken the name from fan dancing, specifically the Puerto Rican Danza, and would almost certainly have such a background. But like other national or ethnic heroes of this type, she would not appear very often (see the Global Guardians, or some of the less central members of the Avengers Initiative). The reddish hair may be problematic.
Integration Quotient: 50% (fills a niche, but one doubts how much play that niche would get)

Bonus Supervillains
Name: The Marauder (the Marvel Universe has a team by that name, but not single villain has yet claimed the brand)
Created by: Carlos E. Torres Pizarro, of Ponce, Puerto Rico
Costume: A garish yellow, blue, orange, green, purple and red armor with a diamond on the front, an eagle on the forehead (and the belt?), and a blond ponytail sticking out of the helmet, the Marauder has a lot going on. Vaguely Kirbyesque in that sense, but lacks that particular aesthetic. Not terrible despite the color scheme, but it lacks focus and ends up being less than memorable.
Powers: The Marauder is a living arsenal, with access to lots of high-tech weapons including, but likely not limited to, a laser gun, a sword made of electricity, a sniper rifle that shoots anti-gravity arrows, and an armor complete with magnetic jet boots.
Sighted: In Pittsville trying to kidnap an actress, then breaking Naiad out of jail and trying to bring her to the Master (of whom he is a minion) against her will. He inadvertently captures Chris King instead.
Possibilities: There are plenty of weapons masters on the books, including Deathstroke (who come to think of it, has a rather elaborate costume too; shakes fist at George Perez), so it's unlikely the Marauder would get much play. His vaguely Medieval look could tie him into conquistadors and set him up against the Fan (as he's another Puerto Rican creation), but if that niche is never really visited, would anyone care? It would still give her (and the island) a bit more depth.
Integration Quotient: 20% (easy to plug in, but few would want to)

Next time: What happens when the Master uses a Dial?

6 comments:

American Hawkman said...

Thank goodness this feature is back... I still reread the old ones regularly! One of my favorites on the site.

I'll note that there is a Marauder or three in the DCU, agents of the Sunderland Corporation using experimental weapons in Ostrander's Hawkworld. This guy would fit right in.

Brendoon said...

Oh MAN! I completely forgot about this series. I think I've still got one or two in my old boxes.
Funny thing about that collection: yesterday it was discovered that very archive had been invaded by wild rats.
They'd chosen one bag of comics and completely ate it to half way down the page!
What made me laugh was their taste in books: a bag of early-eighties THOR, I won't even miss it. Good choice, ratties!

Siskoid said...

Just for you then AmHawk! :)

Brendoon: The best vintage is apparently just before and just after Walt Simonson. Phew!

Brendoon said...

I've been reading lotsa 60's Gardner Fox and lovin' it.
Fox writes a smooth narration with the highbrow vocab of 50's scifi radio scripts, it contrasts a lot to Stan Th' Man's more clipped Brooklyn/Bronx sentence structure of the same period.
Recently ducking into mid 80's Outsiders (Mike Barr) I couldn't commit to the style. Prob'ly I'd need to be 16 to lap it up.

scaryharpy said...

Thank you for returning to Dial-H!

I really enjoy this feature.

Siskoid said...

Not that coincidentally, I'm writing the next Dial article right this minute (set for Thursday). We're very very close to the point where I started buying New Adventures originally (as opposed to collecting Dial H appearances in comic book shops later), so it's exciting for me.

 

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