Title: Dial H for Hero.
Story Arc: Enter the Heroverse.
Writer(s): Sam Humphries.
Artist(s): Joe Quinones, Arist Deyn, Scott Hanna, Tom Fowler & Mike Allred.
Colourist(s): Jordan Gibson, Arist Deyn & Joe Quinones.
Letterer(s): Dave Sharpe.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: December 31st, 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Who wouldn’t love to become a hero for an hour? To embrace their fanciest dreams and save the day? While it’s easy to think that being a hero doesn’t come with much of a workload, young teenager Miguel Montez has to learn this the hard way. As part of superstar creator Brian Michael Bendis’ deal for joining DC Comics, the major comic book company gladly had to agree in adopting and integrating his Wonder Comics universe, now an official imprint that targets young adults and focuses on coming-of-age stories. Among the series that helped launch this new line-up is the revival of DC Comics’ Dial H for Hero—a play on words derived from director Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder. Looking to finally work with his buddy Sam Humphries over at DC Comics, Brian Michael Bendis pitches the idea to him as he takes on the challenge after a bit of research—we can’t know everyone after all—and offers fans the chance to discover what actually happens to those who dare to dial “H”.
What is Dial H for Hero: Enter the Heroverse about? Collecting issues #1-6, the story follows teenager Miguel Montez in his everyday life in the mundane town of Devil’s Canyon, California. Young, about ten years old, he was saved by Superman in a freak accident and has been chasing the dragon ever since just to relive the thrill of that moment once again. It’s when he finds himself in a life-or-death situation once again that a mysterious red rotary phone appears and the operator compels him to dial “H” if he wants to live. From that moment forward, life wasn’t the same anymore as he discovers the powers bestowed by this telephone: the person who dials “H” is transformed into a different superhero, every time, for an hour. With the villainous Thunderbolt Club looking to get their hands on this phone, it’s up to Miguel and his rebellious friend Summer to deliver it to the one person who can protect it: Superman.
There’s plenty to appreciate in this opening story arc and the direction this series takes as it blows open the multiverse and tosses readers into uncharted territory. The idea behind the heroverse is original and offers plenty of exciting ideas to be explored while keeping the story centered around two teenagers trying to understand what they want to do with their lives as they approach adulthood. This time around, I do have to admit that I couldn’t wrap my head around Miguel Montez’s character, who had a very nagging voice throughout the story and never helped me acclimate myself to his demeanour. If it weren’t for his character, the story in itself would’ve had my utmost praise as it introduces us to a thrilling universe that paves the way to plenty of fun and creative roads to explore. It’s ultimately a quirky, slightly eccentric, and old school story that shows that the writer and artists had fun in expanding creator Brian Michael Bendis’ universe.
You have to give it to them. The creative team behind this reboot did a solid job of bringing back to life a series that was lost over time. Perfectly fitting into the Wonder Comics imprint, writer Sam Humphries achieves a sweet and enjoyable story that fans of all ages can enjoy without prior knowledge on the history of this run. While the original series back in the 1980s solicited the fanbase to come up with heroes that could get featured in this story, and credit the person for it too, this pretty cool but missed opportunity can be overlooked by the new direction taken on by the team. In fact, for each new hero introduced following the dialing of “H” allows Joe Quinones and his collaborating artists to change up the artwork—actually giving the inconsistent artwork a raison d’être—to commemorate various styles, from manga to the golden age era, thus allowing this story arc to present countless neat references for the observant to note while reading. Although the base artwork style is a bit cartoonish, it certainly fits well with the story and captures the liveliness of the universe through colourful and bubbly visual designs.
Dial H for Hero: Enter the Heroverse is an off-the-wall, exciting, and colourful revival of a series exploring the key ingredient within all to becoming a hero.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!