Dial E for Ever More

Still a couple posts to go talking about Dial E (for Evil), as every page has a different dialed villain. The big development in these five pages is that the Centipede is back and so we finally connect to the last issue of Dial H where the villain vanished. Here, we see him cut his way into our reality, saying "finally!", scaring most of the characters we've been following into running away, then making a grab for "his property", i.e the Dial.

Case 97: Justice League #23.3 - Dial E
Dial Holders: Ben
Dial Type: E-Dial
Dialing: Ben has taken over the Dial. In one instance, he seems to disappear upon dialing, but it turns out his identity can hide in shadows, and does from its first appearance.
Name: The Bends (it's a good, illustrative name)
Costume: Simply a diver's suit.
Powers: The ability to swim through solid matter (and air), though apparently needs a breathing apparatus to do so. In addition, projects a field that changes the pressure around himself so that people affected get, you got it, the bends. While it can be directed, its range is quite limited.
Sighted: In Littleville, fighting the cops.
Possibilities: I know Seaguy isn't part of the DCU, but maybe he's in the Multiverse somewhere. Looks like we just met his arch-nemesis. Then again, the Bends thematically works as an Aquaman villain, and in terms of the science involved, the Flash's (that's probably where I'd put him). For an origin, we can have a diver get zapped by toxic waste/radiation from some sunken container.
Integration Quotient: 90% (love the concept and execution)
Name: Gloaming (definition: twilight, dusk)
Costume: Black pants, babushkas and glove. Glowing pink pearl bracelets. A high pointy collar (but no visible cape). Though apparently bare-chested, this moonlight-skinned character seems to have tattooed elements on his chest and forearms that make it look like he wears some kind of shirt, including a crescent moon as chest insignia. He has black hair that flows upward like smoke, a devilish beard, and pink glowing eyes.
Powers: Can take the form of wispy smoke made of shadow-stuff, and project such stuff at opponents "by the power of night-fall", which makes them "feel the twilight shadow". This seems to cause great fear.
Sighted: In Littleville, fighting Tibbs and his crew.
Possibilities: With obvious Middle Eastern origins, the 1001 Nights kind, Gloaming is akin to some kind of djinn, so I don't think he'd be politically motivated (which would be a nice change). Any hero spending time in Qurac could run afoul of this local menace, or he might serve as Eclipso's lieutenant or something. At some point, Lobo kills him for stealing his look.
Integration Quotient: 45% (for international stories, though I wish he had a more international name)
Name: Wet Blanket (doesn't take itself very seriously)
Costume: Dressed for rain in heavy rubber clothes, the ill-fitting red costume includes blue gloes and boots (the latter with small knee pads sticking out), a long yellowish cape, a belt with a noticeable buckle, a yellowish hat, and a sad "smiley face" on the front, under which is written the word "Loser". He has a jowly face and is consistently dripping wet.
Powers: There's a reference to "sad beams", a psychic project that demoralizes the opponent. Wet Blanket also seems to have come out of a rain storm, no matter what the weather is, and the targets of his powers also seem pretty wet.
Sighted: In Littleville, fighting the Centipede.
Possibilities: Think Moist from Dr. Horrible, but sadder. Everything about this spells weaponized depression, so I would imagine WB as experimental gene therapy gone wrong (gotta watch out with the metagene). So he's a force of human nature, but not evil. For the hero, the threat will be psychological and existential. Who that hero is, however, isn't so clear. Conceptually, works with anyone from Superman on down. Visually, it's like he's supposed to be in the Six-Pack.
Integration Quotient: 40% (I'm in, but the Mad Comics looks is an obstacle)
Name: Byssus (definition: a tuft of tough silky filaments by which mussels and some other bivalves adhere to rocks and other objects)
Look: A pale blue humanoid sticking out of a mussel shell. He has long white hair, carbuncles on his limbs, and thick brown tentacle (byssus) spilling out from the shell itself.
Powers: The ability to project and manipulate "sea-silk", which can entangle an opponent. The silken strands appear to have suction cups at the end to get a better grip. Byssus also enjoys the benefits of an armored shell, but is reportedly slow-moving.
Sighted: In Littleville, fighting the Centipede.
Possibilities: An Aquaman foe if there ever was one. How such a creature would come to be is a little more difficult, but in any story I would write, he'd also have control over an army of giant molluscs, grip to ships, etc. So, some kind of Atlantean scientist-sorcerer with a particular predilection? I mean, is it any worse than taking your cue from squids or sharks? Yes, a little worse, but Aquaman's got a villain called the Flying Fish, so.
Integration Quotient: 50% (my friend Phil, a marine biologist who specializes in bivalves would love this; others might not get the joke)
Name: Mise-en-Abyme (very Miéville indeed, just read The Last Days of new Paris)
Costume: A completely blue unitard with a large yellow eye over the face. (In another artist's vision, the suit is more loose-fitting, has bell-bottoms, heeled boots, and a yellow clownish face.)
Powers: A very specific illusion that creates visual feedback, forcing the target to "fall into [his] infinity". The spell can be broken if the target uses sensory powers beyond normal vision.
Sighted: In Littleville, fighting the Centipede.
Possibilities: A surreal villain like this would certainly fit the Doom Patrol's gallery of rogues, but seems fairly limited as shown. I would expand the power to create a psychological effect that could be explored in a story, as if the hero were falling into his or her own "infinity" (Crazy Jane might apply, since we've seen her interior world). Possibly, the villain could fall into himself as well, a sort of teleportation or interdimensional travel.
Integration Quotient: 25% (cool, but quite limited)

Next: We're not done yet!



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