Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I know I'm late in discovering this, but China Mieville is writing a reboot of DC Comics Dial H for Hero.  The series has been rebooted a couple of times already and this latest effort will be part of the "New 52" line, which reboots many of DC's superhero comics.

I remember the original 1960s Dial H for Hero fondly.  A kid finds a magic dial (remember, this was back when rotary phones were the norm), dials in the word H-E-R-O, and transforms into a superhero.  Trouble was there was no controlling what kind of superhero he would turn into, and he could not (usually) transform into the same superhero twice.  This glitch in the dial offered a lot of play with the story -- often the superhero would seem unequal to whatever task it had ahead of it.  Sometimes the superhero would be cool, sometimes not.  I remember one time the kid turned into a giant bouncy ball -- I mean, what kind of superhero is that?

Many of the DC Comics when I was a kid were just this side of terrible.  Superman was a soap opera.  Batman always battled (place villain name here) in some museum exhibit consisting of giant-sized ordinary objects, such as a pencil or a spool of thread.  Wonder Woman was fighting a giant egg (you don't have to be Freud to figure that one out).  Plots were weak and contrived; some were just plain silly.  I learned early to avoid most of these comics.

And the there was Dial H for Hero, which I believe was a feature in House of Mystery -- one of the few comics I felt worth my time and/or money.  This, along with American Comics Group's Herbie, showed imagination and creativity.  You never really knew what was going to happen and how issues would be resolved.  It helped spark a sense of wonder.  It may have also done the same to those of you old enough to remember it.

Now China Mieville -- China Flippin' Mieville!!! -- has control of the dial!  Talk about your sense of wonder.  It will be great to see what he can do with the title.

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