DC Comics 2019
Written by Sam Humphries
Illustrated by Joe Quinones
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Miguel, a teen daredevil, becomes the newest wielder of the Hero Dial-a rotary phone-like device that grants the user superpowers for one hour when they dial H-E-R-O. Will he rise as a new hero in the DC Universe or crumble under the weight of responsibility the dial thrusts upon him?
Now I have come to accept that I am old, though age may be a state of mind I still remember seeing it’s run in Adventure Comics, which led me to the House of Mystery run. This was so much fun for a number of reasons but the Adventure run had the distinction of fans creating names and powers to be used with the Dial and I loved that. Should know Marv Wolfman has always been a genius in my opinion. Then in Superboy and the Ravers we saw the Dial again only with another new wielder so the character or more accurately the Dial has been a part of my comics reading and enjoyment for almost forty years now.
I am a fan of Sam’s and his writing and that along with that desire to see just what was going to go on with the Dial drove me right to this. While I am not terribly sure that this Wonder Comics line is to be taken seriously or not but I would really like to see this be a part of the mainstream again, it is one of the most unique and interesting aspects in comics. I was hooked right from the opening here where we see Miguel being flown to the hospital by Superman. This opening demonstrates beautifully something so many folks understand and that’s a near-death experience can have a profound effect on ones life going forward.
In this case Miguel becomes a mini-daredevil sort, and in this day and age where folks do stunts while filming it and posting it to Youtube and the like well it’s almost normal. Still the characterisation here is so gosh darn good and it’s immediate which is almost scary that Sam is able to bring us this clear as day picture of what Miguel is like since that event as a little kid. It serves another purpose as well and I have to say that this should be self evident but if not then I highly suggest you read it and take hard look because it makes complete sense to me why Miguel of all people.
Joe’s interiors are pretty nice to see. There is an all-ages quality to them which being that he’s a teenager is kind of appropriate. Other than that I am liking the way Joe is utilising the varying weights of the linework and coming up with this really strong attention to detail. Also the colour work is impressive as well as we get to see some interesting pops of neon alongside some wonderful use of shading, gradation and use of light sources. As an added bonus that he’s able to bring a completely different style of artwork to the pages after using the dial was a stunning wow moment for me. This look while reminding me of the 90’s stuff it is absolutely bloody fantastic. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels, alongside the way backgrounds are utilised show us this strong eye for storytelling.
All things considered this is a crazy-cool first issue. We get a portion of an origin story, still plenty left unsaid to still be explored and the beginning of a new chapter in the life of not one but two teenagers. With stellar characterisation, an interesting array of characters being introduced and pacing that allows for the story & plot development to move forward smoothly. Alongside this interior artwork this book is full of surprises, twists and turns that will thrill you regardless of age, gender or what you know of the Dial’s past!