Dial E for Evil

Miéville's for real for real last issue of Dial H is actually Justice League #23.3 - Dial E, part of the Forever Evil event (tangentially part anyway). The book's conceit is that it's kind of Dial A for Artist as well, with every page by a different artist or art team. And because each artist gets to design and draw a new dialed identity, well, we're going to be here a while. So I'm not reading ahead. Just a few pages at a time, if that's okay. Revelations will come as they come. We're following a group of street kids in Littleville who have a Dial, presumably the Centipede's E-Dial. That's all you need to know for now...

Case 95: Justice League #23.3 - Dial E
Dial Holders: Gwen, Al
Dial Type: E-Dial
Dialing: The only instructions the kids have learned about the E-Dial is to "think mean" when dialing. It dials villains, not heroes, and can dialed again and again in rapid succession without losing a beat. The identities' personalities assert themselves (modes of speech, etc.), but they retain their primal motivations (Al needing to protect his girl, for example). Only one person can be "dialed in" at a time.
Name: Suffer Kate (a nice, nasty pun)
Costume: A slick bluish black unitard with purple ribbons around it. The dark blue cape ties into a large scarf that hides the bottom of her face. A shock of wild hair tops her head. The cover appears to show a capeless alternative. The gray leather two-piece has a zip in the front, a simple belt, segmented gloves, and a tight mask around Kate's mouth. In this version, her hair is long and silky.
Powers: With a wave of her hand, she can make targeted opponents choke and pass out. She also seems able to fly.
Sighted: In Littleville, stealing from a candy shop.
Possibilities: We're dealing with villains for the foreseeable future, and there's a heck of a lot less pressure on these guys than heroes. They don't need to appear nearly as much to seem relevant. To me, Kate seems a tragic character, someone who was gifted with a power that could only really do harm. Probably the member of a team, the one that's easiest to turn. I like to think the two costumes means she's been around a long time and had time to change with the fashions. Maybe she squares off against Wonder Woman (is it the lasso/choking similarity that makes me say that?).
Integration Quotient: 90% (no real problem)
Name: Baba Iago (a combination of the Russian folk tale of Baba Yaga, and Othello's villain? nuts)
Costume: Sporting hair that stands on end and a vaguely androgynous figure, Iago has the puffy sleeves associated with Shakespearean dress (with dialog to match) but high slick boots that might better fit a superhuman. Of course, you'll most identify him or her by the house with the chicken feet.
Powers: Control over a walking cabin with chicken feet. The thing runs fast, and can crush enemies under its claws. In one panel, the house seems to have four such legs, in the rest only two.
Sighted: In Littleville, escaping from the cops.
Possibilities: Taking a page from Doctor Who, the DCU surely has access to a Land of Fiction. One day, two characters try to escape into the real world and are amalgamated. Bam. Done.
Integration Quotient: 15% (once you're done smirking at the pun, I'm not sure it's all that viable)
Name: Shell Shock (slightly 90s, but a good name)
Costume: Essentially a helmeted American G.I., but when using his powers, transforms into a demonic form with an unhinged jaw, sharp teeth, a long snarly tongue, blazing eyes and a spined back.
Powers: Creating somewhat destructive explosions that cause PTSD in opponents.
Sighted: In Littleville, escaping from the cops.
Possibilities: This would have been a Vietnam solider who committed some atrocity and wound up in Hell. From there, he went up the ladder until the Devil gave him the opportunity to wreak havoc up top. He'd be an unusual villain for magic types or a guy like Hitman.
Integration Quotient: 85% (politically incorrect or a good real world horror hook?)
Name: Electroplax (meaning: each of a number of flattened plates of protoplasm that make up the electric organ of certain fishes; you learn something new every day)
Costume: Only the bottom of his blue face is visible in a gray musclebound organic suit, where the hood is a moray eel's head and so are his fists. Ugly fat spines pop out of the shoulders.
Powers: From the looks of it, this villain is very strong, but his fists pack more of a punch because they are electrified.
Sighted: In Littleville, facing off against the Dial's previous owner, Tibbs.
Possibilities: An Aquaman villain? You know how these evil marine biologists are.
Integration Quotient: 25% (it's the look that makes me question it)
Name: Ayenbite (wanna learn more? meaning: the "again-biting of inner wit", or the Remorse (Prick) of Conscience is the title of a confessional prose work written in a Kentish dialect of Middle English)
Look: A thin shadowy demon, faceless but for a large jagged mouth. A similar pattern appears around its belly.
Powers: Calling itself the Spirit of Remorse, it throws up inky gasses that fixate a person on their regrets and guilt, which paralyzes them.
Sighted: In Littleville, fighting Tibbs and his crew.
Possibilities: Perfect for when you need a psychological supernatural threat. The hero of the story would then have to confront his or her regrets/remorse, at which point the demon would be driven away. Probably wouldn't appear often, but for that specific kind of story, it works.
Integration Quotient: 60% (score driven down by quantity of stories possible)

Next: More Dial E for Evil!


RB said...

I like suffer kate because i see greaterpodibilitis for her.But the part o being from the future does not seem functional to me (unless you want her to be a villan for the legion). I would make her just a street-level villain, sonthing down to earth, the origin that the same comic geeve us culd be even better.A street girl who faund an artifact that gave her super-powers(i know it very simple) what is important is what to do next for example: make her have little control over her powers, join a group of villans,make her faght some hiros like superman or some first-time. Shi cuold be someone who love her powers, because they meke her special, but her first act is to commit low profile crimes and that's were the hero comfront her.
P.d. shi would be a "roge" type of villan: che will not harm the innosent if shi does not have to but do not get confused she is not J.L.A. material


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