Of all the Wonder Comic books released so far, Dial H for Hero is one of the most anticipated for me. Naomi had my attention because it was something completely new, but this one grabbed my attention all the same for a new opportunity to explore a story that I never had the chance to get into till now. This was one of those older and obscure books from DC before that was really out there for the way it is able to connect to established heroes through regular people.
I mean, we call the Lantern Ring the most powerful artifact in the universe, but what about a rotary phone-like device that grants the user superpowers for one hour when they dial H-E-R-O? How awesome is that to be able to experience what makes some of the best heroes out there extraordinary? It may not be your own power, but it is the next best thing!
One of the cool things about Dial H for Hero is the rotating cast of users for the Hero Dial. With every new series there is someone new who has been chosen to wield this artifact. This time around it just so happens to be this teen named Miguel. I found his story unique because Miguel takes for granted something that tears most heroes apart. Being a daredevil is great and all, but most throw themselves into danger knowing that they have the power to overcome their obstacles. Miguel is just a regular kid who suffered a series close-calls and losses, seeking that rush which makes him feel like he is still alive. One way or another I think we all could relate to someone who might be looking for something that helps you feel, even if the moment is fleeting.
Miguel’s first experience using the Hero Dial set this to an excellent start for the first hero he transformed into. This could have easily been an established superhero, or a superhero who another user has turned into before, but their choice for this issue set the bar for our expectation considering this was something new. This one definitely fit Miguel’s personality, and more than anything put him in that position to quickly begin to challenge the weight of responsibility the dial thrusts upon him.
As a new #1, was Dial H a welcoming book to new readers? Absolutely. Just enough time was put into us getting to know Miguel, getting to know this artifact called the Hero Dial, and what this miniseries has to offer us on this adventure. All of this was conveniently straight to the point while taking every opportunity to show us what we may have been missing about this artifact that has clearly made its way around the DC Universe considering the reaction to the many heroes who sensed its reappearance.
The interiors are done by Joe Quinones, and you couldn’t have asked for better to breathe life into this story. First of all, it was impressive enough that Quinones is an artist who is the full package between pencils and colors. But he is also a detailed artist as well. This is a story that had a lot going on within, and it takes some patience to render it all. There was many characters to explore, settings, and all sorts of wondrous elements which followed the Hero Dial’s activation. I enjoyed that he creates a clear distinction between the way kids and adults look. How he bends and twists panels to capture the way his artifact shakes up Miguel’s world. How he even takes on a classic overlay to the art in a certain scene to emphasize that these heroes he can become have no limit to their origin. The youthful vibrancy of the colors brought it all together. The color effects for the dial in general was stunning. You want to make this object pop in every scene, and he makes that happen whether it is in Miguel’s hands, or shaping the layout of the page.
Dial H for Hero #1 gives us yet another ambitious title from Wonder Comics. If you don’t know what the Hero Dial is? Now you know and what we have seen in this first issue only scratches the surface of what this artifact can unleash upon the DC Universe. Miguel is a host with potential for everything that he represents as someone who knows how to be bold and take a risk, yet at the same time needing to understand that all choices have consequences.