Dial H for Hardships

What would happen if the Dialing Duo broke up? Well, we're not there yet, but sketch artist Nick Stevens' sensitive self is driving a wedge between Chris and Vicki, slowly, but it seems, surely. In the background, the Silhouette is still enacting some kind of great plan, one that includes taking control of Chris' father Detective King, but we're still not ready to cover that here. But soon. In the meantime, let's delve these issues of New Adventures...

Case 47: New Adventures of Superboy #39-40
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: Chris and Vicki become a paired duo of heroes, which prevents them from dialing out separately. For the first time, Nick sees one of his creations come to life, and one of the Dialers (Chris) becomes aware that he's turned into one of Nick's drawings (nothing comes of it). There is some indication that the heroes' attitudes and relative intelligence are transferred to Chris and Vicki (he's more clever than usual and she's dangerously impulsive), but in the second story, Chris instinctively knows he has the power to adsorb kinetic energy, but has no clue what kinetic energy IS. Could the aberration have been caused by having dialed natural partners, somehow transferring one's qualities to the other?
Names: Rock & Roll (a natural, but not enough music in their concepts)
Created by: Steve Talbert, of Shelbyville, IN
Costumes: Rock is, in some panels at least, a dead ringer for Donna Troi, and wears a purple, white and blue tribute to Black Canary, complete with fishnets, and more décoleté. Roll, for his part, is a purple and orange roller skater with a big ol' R on his silver helmet. Though they have a color in common, they do not particularly look like a paired duo.
Powers: Rock is an "immovable object" with great inertia, invulnerability and super-strength. She can lift a bus over her head, and mash coins into a malleable substance with which to craft fine animal statuettes. Roll is an "unstoppable force", rolling at great speeds and creating a slipstream that helps move things in his direction.
Sighted: In Fairfax, stopping a runaway bus and later taking it to its destination.
Possibilities: They really do need more music, so I'd take a page from Dazzler and Jem and take Rock & Roll on tour (they can open for New52 Black Canary). The roller skates make Roll really dated, so the first few issues might show them get signed, and an impresario would force them to have frequent makeovers. I would definitely keep the personalities where the boy is more thoughtful and the girl more brash, subverting the usual characterization.
Integration Quotient: 80% (I've convinced myself their looks would rapidly be fixed, and imagined this whole story for them)
Name: Genesis (I like it, but combined with her powers, the Biblical implications are awkward)
Created by: Jerry J. Baker, of Thomasville, GA
Costume: A linked forest green two-piece, with high gloves and boots and a cape which, if she were a redhead instead of having dark green locks, would make her look almost exactly like the original Thorn.
Powers: Genesis has the power to animated inanimate object (which sometimes manifests as telekinesis, but also gives a house a large mouth, complete with giant tongue), and change living things into inanimate objects (which appears to be a stasis field).
Sighted: In the woods outside Fairfax, rescuing Detective King from his kidnapper, the Coil.
Possibilities: Her colors and powers put her in the magic camp, so I'd think her a good witch who sometimes interacts with DC's mystical heroes like Dr. Fate and Zatanna. Her nature spells might even have brought her in contact with Swamp Thing, where she would have made her first appearance before drifting into obscurity.
Integration Quotient: 30% (nothing wrong with her, but hard to get enthusiastic)
Name: Kinetic Kid (off to the Legion with you!)
Created by: Barney Torres, of Brooklyn, NY
Costume: Though the design isn't bad - lines stretching out of a central K - the color scheme is a pretty terrible brown and blue. His long pink hair isn't helping matters either.
Powers: He absorbs kinetic energy, which makes him stronger, faster and tougher, but these powers are quickly drained, the kind of weakness that gives something to writers to play with.
Sighted: In the woods outside Fairfax, rescuing Detective King from his kidnapper, the Coil. Kinetic Kid is also responsible for slowing down a passing jet, hopefully without incident.
Possibilities: Legion reject, all the way. He's got all the hallmarks. Slight alien trait, alliterative teen name, a single power with reliability issues, lack of proper understanding of the power, and a costume going nowhere. Rejected on the day someone like Matter-Eater Lad makes it in. Subs say, don't call us, we'll call you.
Integration Quotient: 10% (there's a place for him, but it's a mere 3 panels in a Silver Age story)

Bonus Supervillain
Name: The Coil (a bit old-fashioned, but there's nothing wrong with that; his 90s analog would probably be called Recoil)
Created by: Raymond Albright, of Richfield, MN
Costume: Red shorts and Richard Dragon-type open shirt, over skin that looks to be made of tight golden bands. His face resolves into a Spider-Man mask in that same material. When he uses his powers, he might remind you of Plastic Man.
Powers: The Coil is a human Slinky, able to smoosh himself into the shape of manhole cover and powerfully spring to great, distended length. The spring is strong enough to send a car flying for miles, and he himself can jump those distances. To carry off his crimes, the Coil has access to a roofless house with a soft landing pad that can receive thrown vehicles safely.
Sighted: In the woods near Fairfax, kidnapping billionaire Hubert Hess' car, but only managing to capture its driver, Detective King, before being apprehended by Genesis and Kinetic Kid.
Possibilities: The kind of villain you might expect to show up in Metal Man or Doom Patrol stories of the Silver Age, but perhaps only once. He's got a cool look, so I'd want to give him an even shot, so perhaps he becomes the Metal Men's nemesis, a scientist who experimented with a stolen reponsometer and put his consciousness into a springy automaton, and how wants revenge on Doc Magnus. The actual "coil" is the rage he's about to spring from inside. Or, y'know, just make him an Earth-3 Plastic Man.
Integration Quotient: 35% (some ideas, but if I'm honest, his appearances would be few and far between)

Next: The Silhouette, finally!


American Hawkman said...

I can't look at the Coil without thinking about Coily, the spring spirit from MST3K.

I liked Genesis more than you because of the weird powers. I'd have her with cute living object pets, and the like.

Grant Richter said...

When I was 10 my best friend had this huge collection of late Silver Age and early Bronze Age comics that he had inherited from a family member, and among them were all these Dial H stories that we, in our 10 year old "I still like to make up my own superheroes shhh don't tell anyone" mentality we're thought were freaking awesome. Looking back on them now I cringe that these stories we're ever printed

Anonymous said...


I am reasonably certain Coily was around in pagan times, harassing Marduk and friends every time they failed to show proper respect to springs:



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