Dial H for Hail Mary

The Silver Age event ends with the H Dial saving the world! Yep, with the Injustice League in possession of a bunch of artifacts that allow them to know everything about the Justice League, J'Onn J'Onzz figures the only way to defeat the villains is to throw them a complete curve ball. Robby agrees to lend his Dial to the Justice Leaguers and voilà, a whole new team for the baddies to face, one they know nothing about!

Case 69: Silver Age 80-Page Giant #1 (first teased in Silver Age: Challengers of the Unknown #1)
Dial Holders: The Justice League of America
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: The Dial can cover as many as 8 people at once; there appears to be no limit. If there is one, perhaps it uses the heroes' natural power reserves to fuel the new identities, but that's not even hinted at. Intent is not an important part of dialing - Robby makes the Flash's finger dial the right symbols while he's semi-unconscious, and it still works on him.
Name: Flash dials... Marionette (sounds girly, but mostly, it's the reverse of what he is, which is a marionettIST)
Costume: Garish in a Captain Ultra kind of way. A green plastron with a giant red "M" on it; yellow shorts, shoulder trim, booties and collar; striped orange sleeves and pants; brown gloves, goggled mask and belt... what a mess!
Powers: Marionette uses two puppetry rigs to manipulate objects, sort of as a focus for telekinesis. They don't seem to have power over people.
Sighted: Fighting the Injustice League and then Agamemno.
Possibilities: In the Dial H for Hero mold, he feels like the kind of hero who just found these crazy artifacts in a cave somewhere and took to heroing. Unlike Dial H for Hero, his strip was doomed and didn't get past a third story. The artifacts would still get cameos whenever you saw a treasure trove.
Integration Quotient: 15% (it's not just the costume that kills it)
Look: Atom dials... Mod-Man (very Silver Age, but also a clever pun)
Costume: A retro-looking silver robot with clampy hands and feet, segmented "Michelin Man" limbs, and red photoelectic eyes. (The cover gives him red highlights.)
Powers: The ability to fire his hands at opponents; they then act independently and seem to have their own rocket propulsion. Mod-Man is likely to have other "mods" that are not shown.
Sighted: Fighting the Injustice League and then Agamemno.
Possibilities: Built by a well-meaning scientist who is promptly killed by crooks, Mod-Man would go into action on the day of his awakening and spend his days being feared by the citizens he protects. Or not. I think it would be cool if he were embraced by his community. Over the course of his long career, he'd change, grown and "modify" himself as often as, say, Iron Man does.
Integration Quotient: 60% (if you're looking for an android hero and don't want to use Red Tornado, because who actually does?)
Name: Black Canary dials... Miss Fortune (ha, I get it)
Costume: A cross between Liberty Belle and Jesse Quick, with a domino mask, a red shirt and boots, yellow pants and white gloves.
Powers: Uses a wand-like device to change the laws of probability, in effect giving villains improbably bad luck.
Sighted: Fighting the Injustice League and then Agamemno.
Possibilities: Much like the Scarlet Witch, the oddity of her powers makes her a team player more than a solo heroine. That said, and despite the event she appears in, she looks like a Golden Age character, and would wind up in the All-Star Squadron, but probably work as a latter-day Justice Society member.
Integration Quotient: 80% (a classic look gives her a chance)
Name: Superman dials... Doc Fission (do I get a Dr. Solar vibe from him?)
Costume: Half blue, half black, with a hazmat kind of mask, and a cape. His belt and boot trim are red with a stylized atom. Intimidating.
Powers: The ability to split someone into as many duplicates as he likes, each only a fraction as powerful as the original. Though this might depower a foe, it would also give them a certain strength in numbers. The ability could also be used on friends to achieve certain effects. It apparently only works on flesh and blood, though clothing is replicated. He can fly.
Sighted: Fighting the Injustice League and then Agamemno.
Possibilities: Obviously one of the Nuclear Men that would have come up in the second year of Fury of Firestorm. While Doc Fission could be a good Solar/Doctor Manhattan analog, the powers really are very wonky, so probably no solo series for him.
Integration Quotient: 35% (if not for the oddball powers, he might have a shot)
Name: Batman dials... Minuteman (Golden Agey, but strong)
Costume: Orange spandex with yellow highlights, the strangely-shaped cape acts as a clock face with a 6 at the bottom, and a 9 and a 3 separated by a big arrow (or clock hand) which goes up the cowl and down to the chest where it points to a 12. (The cover gives him a stylized hourglass above the belt.)
Powers: Temporal control. Minuteman can contract time (for example, to reach a power ring's time limit early) or slow it down, even stop it. The power manifests as energy hourglasses.
Sighted: Fighting the Injustice League and then Agamemno.
Possibilities: We don't have a lot of time-powered heroes, but Minuteman doesn't exactly blow Chronos or Hourman out of the water. Strictly a team player, then. Exposed to the raw time stream, he gains these powers and puts them in the service of... who, exactly? The Outsiders? Primal Force? Rip Hunter?
Integration Quotient: 20% (you know what? I think it's the costume that turns me off)
Name: Aquaman dials... Terra Firma (ironic in this case, but not bad)
Look: A large monster-looking fellow made of earth and turf.
Powers: Control over the earth and what lays under it. He can make the ground rise up as if it were a fluid, make roots entangle opponents, and crack the ground open with a might stomp. He may well be tougher and stronger than the average Joe given his size and make-up.
Sighted: Fighting the Injustice League and then Agamemno.
Possibilities: A brick for an elemental team like Primal Force (they come back a lot, as a home for the morts), or any team in need of some strength. Swamp Thing-type origin? Or more of a Thing? You decide.
Integration Quotient: 75% (not over-original, he's a safe superhero concept that applies to many situations)
Name: Green Arrow dials... Poltergeist (horror is in)
Costume: An invisible body (though it casts a shadow) highlighted by white boots, gloves and a ghostly hood. Certainly striking.
Powers: In addition to the partial invisibility (and intangibility?), he uses a form of telekinesis to attack his foes. It apparently works on energy, as it can turn power ring constructs against their users. It is described as "chaos", which may tie it more to probability effects.
Sighted: Fighting the Injustice League and then Agamemno.
Possibilities: The 70s were a prime time for superhero/horror mash-ups, and this revenant hero, more "street level" than the Spectre, would probably have had a fair run, or at least have been fondly remembered in time for a Vertigo reboot.
Integration Quotient: 85% (keeping it simple, and lots of potential)
Name: Martian Manhunter dials... Go-Go (so 60s it hurts, and J'Onn knows it)
Costume: A checkered leotard that's meant to evoke DC's checkered cover borders in the mod 60s. Even his sound effects are in a "groovy" font.
Powers: Teleportation, which creates a "POP" sound effect. Most of the time, he seems to create a portal from one place to another rather than "beam" to another location.
Sighted: Fighting the Injustice League and then Agamemno.
Possibilities: Speaking of "POP", Ambush Bug once fought a checkered character like this. The heroic version remains a silly tribute to a bygone age, but those kinds of characters exist, usually in humor-type comics. That's not a big arena, but it's something.
Integration Quotient: 20% (lucky to score a second appearance)

Next: The final fate of Vicki Grant

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Michelin Man"

He has a name: BIBENDUM. Is a little bit of respect too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

If anyone deserved to be Go-Go, it was Batman, not J'onn.

--De

Siskoid said...

I don't know him well enough to be on a first name basis, so I went with his job title.

 

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