Dial H #1
China Mieville, Mateus Santolouco, Brian Bolland
Dial H is a title that I really never thought I’d see enter the world of comic books again. When I was a kid I loved the original series, Dial H for Hero. To me it was cool to see the weird characters that DC Comics would come up with.
The Dial H heroes and villains are like no other characters in the DC Universe. You knew that when you saw them that you most likely would never see them again, they were like the one hit wonders of the comic book world, and they were fun and original.
So imagine my surprise when I saw this series announced once again. I have to say that when you have the right team on a book, that book usually turns out alright, and the team of China Mieville and Mateus Santolouco really got this series started wonderfully.
Dial H introduces us to Nelson, an overweight ex-boxer with a chain smoking and drinking habit. A friend of his runs in to some trouble with some thugs in an alley as Nelson is running after him to apologize after an argument they had.
Nelson finds his friend being attacked and when he tried to do something about it is knocked out of the way and falls in to an old phone booth. He picks up the phone and while attempting to dial 911, somehow dials 4376 and BAM! Out pops Chimney Boy, a hero made of smoke and brick like skin, dressed in a tuxedo and a top hat and dancing around with a cane.
I thought Chimney Boy is a rather neat character, being that originality in the comic book world has pretty much flown out the window sixty five years ago, it was nice to see a character that didn’t look like another character that I have seen already, plus his powers were interesting and he was fun to see in action.
I’m not for sure but I’m thinking that Nelson became Chimney Boy because he’s a chain smoker, like I said, I don’t know this as a fact, but it just makes sense to me. Later on, Nelson decides to take revenge on the guy who put out the hit on his friend, yes apparently this wasn’t just some random mugging in a dark alley, it was a setup.
So Nelson heads back to the phone booth and tries to remember what he dialed to become Chimney Boy and BOOM! He dials the right numbers, but this time he becomes another hero known as Captain Lachrymose, as long as their is misery in the world Captain Lachrymose has all the super powers he’ll ever need to defeat evil.
Captain Lachrymose reminds me of an unhappy emo kid, he wears purple tights, and a cape and the symbol on his chest is an eye with a tear, he also has a tear tattooed under one of his eyes. Apparently he is real powerful as long as misery is in the world, but to me he didn’t seem like a powerful character, but like I said, this is one of the things that I have always liked about Dial H, you got to see some weird characters that just made no sense that you knew would most likely never show up in a DC book again.
Just in case Captain Lachrymose does show up in another issue of Dial H, I hope it’s because he is auditioning to join the band AFI, I bet he could replace Davey Havok. If you like to read stuff in the vein of Vertigo Comics, then this is the book for you, it has a great team behind it, plus a cover by Brian Bolland. I can’t wait until the next issue.
You can pick up Dial H at your local comic shop.