Dial H for (Real) Hero

At around this point, it gets a but difficult to talk about Miéville's Dial H series in the format I've been using since the House of Mystery stories. The story goes into overdrive, presents us with a lot of heroes who MIGHT be dialed (heroes of the Exchange) in addition to a lot of flashbacks to past dialings where we get no details, and the Fixer, who changes from identity to identity between panels, again with little to no details given. So I've go to make decisions. Well, this blog series has always been about DIALING HEROES, so though I may have done so in the past, from this point on, I will not cover heroes who were not expressly dialed (sorry fans of Open-Window Man and his defenestration punch). The Fixer's unnamed identities, I'll drop into a bonus section if they make enough of an impact, and I might be forced to do the same with the Dial Bunch's identities (cuz yes, suddenly there are half a dozen more Dials in play).

Case 89: Dial H #11-12
Dial Holders: Roxie Hodder, Nelson Jent, the Fixer
Dial Type: Phone Booth Dial, S-Dial, Bronze Dial
Dialing: When Roxie and Nelson have sex in their hero identities, they have a good night's sleep with no heroic nightmares; just why is not clear. It is possible to dial a hero from one's own world, and Nelson here learns what we already knew, that it depowers the actual hero, perhaps at an inconvenient time. In this instance, he dials the Flash (in Flash #18 and 19, Barry Allen has to deal with his sudden and mysterious loss of power and costume), and has vague memories of Iris and Iron Heights. It is suggested that this phenomenon is only true for the most powerful of heroes dialed since it "felt different". How other heroes are dialed might instead involve an interdimensional plane which looks like a dark wasteland. In the middle of it is an organic-looking city up from which a giant building sticks out. This building is the Exchange, and looks like a multi-tiered telephone operator's console with wires sticking out from it, some of them towards the ground, other more colorful ones, up into the sky. The being known as the Fixer is a warrior of the Exchange hunting an exile called "O" (for Operator) and the Dials (that O has created and seeded through the Multiverse?). He used to rely on equipment, but it's broken down and now has to take the back alleys, the spaces between worlds (and so his popping out through Abyss in Dial H #5). Centipede is able to open a gateway between worlds and let him back in. The Fixer always speaks in a mechanical voice, what's that about? Several of his identities feature an alien 4-to-6-eye face, which might be a clue to his real identity. Dials can be deactivated by jamming a screwdriver or other sharp implement in one of its letter-holes.
Name: Clinch (it's a boxing term that means to grapple at close quarters)
Costume: A female boxer's costume with gray halter top, pink trunks with purple stars, wraps around the fists and feet, and tribal tattoos on legs and arms.
Powers: Great fighting ability (fists and kicks) and quite possible super-strength and toughness.
Sighted: In Sidney, Australia, fighting the Fixer.
Possibilities: On her world, Clinch is a sidekick. A flash of her working alongside Muhammad Ali from that Superman story. But she fits right into the super-powered extreme fighting circuit Dial H has been so good at building.
Integration Quotient: 65% (nothing here is hard to fathom in the DCU, but nothing ties her to it especially either)

Bonus Fixer Identities:
I'm picking and choosing, but there are a lot of fun ones. The monstrosity above is apparently able to cut itself shortcuts through space with a giant pair of scissors. Doesn't look like a hero though.
Zebra Woman has shades of both Zebra Batman and Strikeforce Kobra's Zebra Man, but with a centaur component.
Now, THIS character I find very intriguing. Itself looking like a mummy, it is surrounded by angry spirits and uses sharp bones as floating weapons. Is The Necromancer not a heroic name? Does the Fixer even care what side of the moral divide he take his powers from?
The Dead Miner appears to be a Spectre-like avenger built from the spirit of all those souls who were lost in mining accidents.
Radar (all these names are my own invention obviously) was specifically dialed to track our heroes.
Imagine a hero that is just a clutch of balloons.
Terra-Man meets Westworld with this flying robot cowboy. Cowbot?
Dr. Sterile is immune to everything! There are others, just not as interesting as these.

Next: A better look at the Dial Bunch.



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