Dial H for Hubert Hess (End of a Story Arc)

FINALLY, an end to the Silhouette story arc, a villain skulking in the background of what were already very short stories. It comes with a plot about a reclusive millionaire for whom Chris King's dad is insuring private security despite having a full plate at the police station... It's not the best use of Dial H's low page count.

And what's the deal with not advertising the feature on the cover, New Adventures?! Unusually, issues 41 and 42 lack any notice of the book's biggest selling point. Hmf.

Case 48: New Adventures of Superboy #41
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: While it may seem like the Dials give you exactly what you need (in Glassman), it could also just be a crap shoot (Ms. Muscle is vulnerable to the villain's powers in the opposite way).
Name: Glassman (simple, classic, not quite iconic)
Created by: Joe Maisog, of Lutherville, MD
Costume: Just trunks, but his distinctive look stems from his being made of white polished glass. Feels like he should be more transparent though, especially given the powers.
Powers: Glassman is literally made of shatter-proof glass, which allows laser weapons, for example, to pass right through him. He can also use his body to focus light to the point where he can melt holes into floors. He casts no shadow, and can fly.
Sighted: In Fairfax, saving millionaire Hubert Hess from the Silhouette.
Possibilities: Some words in front of -man make for great characters (Superman, Spider-Man, Plastic Man). A lot of the time, it's about how it sounds. But there's a danger to using any word. While it creates an instant "superhero", it can come across as silly or disposable or like a mascot for a local store. "Glassman" fall in the latter category, and I imagine him getting shattered in the opening chapter of a story that puts a mort like Sonar back on the map.
Integration Quotient: 15% (his disposability works for and against him)
Name: Ms. Muscle (alliterative, not sexist, it works)
Created by: Famous letter hack Delmo Walters Jr., of the Bronx, NY
Costume: Showing off her guns, the red and blue bustier comes together better, I think, because of the H Dial pendant. The muscle belt with an M on it completes the picture. But I can't shake the feeling she's stuck in a Foldee with Ray Palmer.
Powers: Ms. Muscle is, you guessed it, super-strong. Her powerful legs allow her to jump great distances.
Sighted: In Fairfax, trying to save millionaire Hubert Hess from the Silhouette, but succumbing to his power; her "shadow" fights and is defeated by Glassman.
Possibilities: The Marvel Universe has a couple of super-powered wrestling leagues, DC should too. And Ms. Muscle could be a headliner in a series built around the idea, which I think would be really fun!
Integration Quotient: 75% (if there are superhero rock stars with their own series, why not a wrestler?)
 
Bonus Supervillains

Name: The Silhouette (a good shadowy name for a behind the scenes villain)
Created by: Ty Preston Norling, of Conroe, TX (he must've felt lucky to see his creation used as an arc villain over six issues)
Costume: A bald, pitch black shadowy figure, he wears a toga with a red clasp and belt. It's pretty bright, so I guess he doesn't care about his natural gift for stealth.
Powers: He uses a box about the size and shape of a small drawer to release a person's shadow self and suck the original into the "Shadow Box". The copy looks and sounds exactly like the original except that it doesn't have its own shadow, and is under the Silhouette's control.
Sighted: In and near Fairfax, using stooges to get close to millionaire Hubert Hess to gain control of his wealth. Among his victims, we find detective King (Chris' father), and Vicki Grant as Ms. Muscle.
Possibilities: No origin story for the Silhouette, but since he LOOKS like a shadow, I'd like to think he's a product of the Shadow Box, congealed from the souls of the taken, which hints at ancient (greco-roman?) origins. That might make him Wonder Woman's problem, and a duplicitous body snatcher would be a fair opponent for an Ambassador of Peace like Diana.
Integration Quotient: 90% (masterminds are easy to integrate, and his gimmick has strong enough legs)
Name: The Oddballs (somewhat silly, but still a waste to use it for doo-dads)
Created by: Bill Mimbu, of Bellevue, WA
Look: Floating metal spheres slightly bigger than a basketball, with one or two gun arms sticking out. Simple, but unremarkable.
Powers: The non-sentient flying spheres fire laser blasts at opponents.
Sighted: At the Hess mansion, serving as house security.
Possibilities: While they belong to a single person here, a contractor could sell them to someone more prominent, say S.T.A.R. Labs or Cadmus.
Integration Quotient: 20% (while easily included in other stories, one doubts they would become iconic mainstays)

Next: One more short story before we dive into the Master's endgame.

5 comments:

American Hawkman said...

The Silhouette would be an interesting Hawkman foe, with his look, potential tier to the Shadow-Thief, and power set.

Anonymous said...

THOSE AREN'T FLOORBOARDS THEY'RE CHUNKS OF ROCK OR CONCRETE I CAN'T EVEN

Siskoid said...

Yeah, looks like tile in other panels.

Like the flooring, Chris is a little dense.

American Hawkman said...

It's hard to be critical of a guy whose brain is a glass paperweight.


speedball said...

"They called me Mr. Glass."

 

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