Dial A for Apocalypse

Issue 14 is the latest Miéville was told the series was being cancelled, if we go by how the action suddenly ramps up and corners get cut. Ejad, the member of the Dial Bunch with the Dial-Tapper, has been killed in between issues (the Tapper apparently destroyed in the process). Mid-issue, half the team is lost on a flooding world. We quickly learn that the Operator (otherwise known as "0") is back and trying to destroy the multiverse one world at a time. And bam, our heroes find their way to the fabled Exchange where Centipede is waiting for them. That's where we were headed, but it kind of feels like the finale was going to be issue 18, rather than the double-sized 15.

Case 91: Dial H #14
Dial Holders: Nelson Jent, Roxie Hodder, The Dial Bunch, The Operator
Dial Type: Phone Booth Dial, S-Dial, G-Dial, J-Dial, Apocalypse Dial
Dialing: Another way to resist the psychic impact of using a Dial is to "go with the flow", the completely opposite approach to Manteau's mask over the mask. Though the Dial Bunch has only one Dial that actively steals powers, the lore known to the worlds that were involved in the War for the Exchange indicates that may be the standard, Dialers sometimes known as "vampires". The J-Dial allows you to jump between worlds, each world having a 4-digit number. The Exchange's number is 0-0-0-0. The Operator somehow dials random apocalypses on worlds to which he remotely patches in. The connection can be lost, at which point whatever is causing the apocalypse ceases to exist. The event does not need to make sense to whatever world it happens to (a zombie apocalypse happens on a world devoid of human corpses; we also see a massive flood and a giant fly god descending on sentient frogs).
Name: ElepHaunt (nice pun)
Look: A large humanoid elephant with clawed hands, ears boned like bat wings, and an ectoplasmic lower body. The Dial is worn on the head.
Powers: Flight and great strength, but also the ability to choke a target with ectoplasm. Can presumably become intangible.
Sighted: Fighting the Bark Fly in an underground world inhabited by sentient frogs.
Possibilities: A ghost elephant (or more ancient, an oliphant) seems pulled right out of Indian myth, and that's probably where he would make the most sense, as a hero in South Asia (Thailand would also be good). A guest star for Deadman or the Spectre when operating outside the Western World?
Integration Quotient: 35% (I see it, but American comics don't do enough stories outside the U.S.)
Name: Moon Monkey (Nelson with S-Dial; I don't know if he was named for the Lebanese outdoor sports team or the space program)
Look: A monkey with a large reflective eyes, a red cape held by a gold clasp, and a crescent-shaped metal weapon.
Powers: By showing his "dark-light teeth", he can confuse opponents and make theirs heads spin. Presumably, his weapon can be thrown. Those eyes may also be especially good in darkness.
Sighted: At the Metacastle, fighting Trebuchet's forces. He is normally the sidekick of a hero called Lunar Light.
Possibilities: I see Lunar Light as a heroine whose powers derive from the Moon, of course, but more than that, the soul of a lost astronaut. Which means Moon Monkey might be an ape who was sent into space and was equally lost. The Moon, like Gaea/Earth, requires elementals/avatars, and has chosen these two to act champions. Laika might make three.
Integration Quotient: 30% (obvious sidekick - or super-pets - really need a bigger character to attach themselves to)
Name: Pipe-Cleaner (Roxxie; does what it says on the tin)
Look: A stick figure made from an animated reddish brown pipe cleaner.
Powers: Flight and strength are shown, but presumably, the hero could twist herself into other shapes, or would she need someone else to do that? And would a new shape give Pipe Cleaner different abilities?
Sighted: At the Metacastle, fighting Trebuchet's forces.
Possibilities: Magically animated, this hero would have been designed to be a familiar to a modern-day wizard, but then the wizard dies and the enchantment endures. Might make for a weird mini-series, or an odd supporting cast member for a team like Shadowpact.
Integration Quotient: 25% (too silly?)
Name: SuperOmi, Queen of Soho (I don't really get the reference)
Costume: Fancy shoes, black pants, a red striped, double-buttoned vest straining over the hero's muscled body, a shirt with a map of London on it and a yellow button marking where Soho is, a white cape, a white carnation, and a thin mustache. SuperOmi's hair style is Superman's.
Powers: Arguably Superman's, including super-strength, flight and heat vision.
Sighted: At the Metacastle, fighting a zombie apocalypse.
Possibilities: An Elseworlds where Kal-El landed in England AND was gay. I think that's what they're going for. The Elseworld would go on to be part of the Multiverse, an Earth where superheroes are more localized and territorial.
Integration Quotient: 40% (obvious Superman parallel, but the reference is too opaque to most readers)

Next: Dwan autodials a heck of a lot in this issue, so he gets the next post all to himself.

2 comments:

Londonkds said...

"Omi" is "man" in the Palare patois, a dialect originally used by British carnies and theatre types (as well as other people who didn't want eavesdroppers to understand them) that was appropriated by gay men.

Siskoid said...

Thanks! That clears that up!

 

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