DC seems pretty pumped about Dial H for Hero being bumped up to a 12-issue series, and I can’t deny them of that. I’m pumped as well, particularly after the events of Dial H for Hero #6. That ended up being one of my favorite issues of the series so far because it perfectly captured what it means to be a hero for Miguel and Summer. They were faced with impossible odds, and one of the craziest developments to hit Metropolis this year, and the rose to the occasion. With how far that issue went off the rails, I couldn’t help looking forward to how this creative team would continue to push the envelope.
In the case of Dial H for Hero #7, that meant taking a step back to explore the very moment when Metropolis became the city of a thousand heroes. I know what you’re thinking. Are they really going to spend a whole issue telling the story of a bunch of random people who became heroes for an hour? The answer is yes! And why not? Part of the appeal of the H-Dial has always been the idea that you could become just about ANYTHING. Right now it didn’t matter if we would ever see these heroes again, part of the usual spiel is that you may never see them again. What mattered was seeing how this creative team could keep giving us superheroes we have never seen before. I expected to see some legitimately cool, at the same time I expected to see some that were absolutely ridiculous.
They did not disappoint one bit. Every one of these heroes captivated you because these were people as ordinary as they come who found an escape from everything which felt like the weight of the world was crushing them. I couldn’t find anything not to love about this. For a second I was almost able to imagine what my situation would be like if I were suddenly to hear that message and have the opportunity to become something extraordinary. This was all endearing as well. What we were seeing in Dial H for Hero #6 was the chaos from everyone who got this power and jumped to chaos without the same responsibility as Miguel or Summer. These stories captured experiences from people who actually had some direction to steer in once they got their powers. That’s of course not to say that everyone had something good to do with their powers. This wouldn’t be a collection of stories if there wasn’t going to be one that showed us where things could go wrong. It was bold that even that story didn’t unfold as you would have imagined.
What impressed me was the numerous artists that they were able to bring onboard for this special issue. Joe Quinones, Colleen Doran, Michael Avon Oeming, Erica Henderson, and Stacy Lee each had something distinct to bring to the table along with Jordan Gibson on colors. It’s not as if we hadn’t seen multiple styles used by a single artist for the introduction of various heroes, but this was the first time where it wasn’t just one. The big question for me is if we would get the same flow. Would the different styles connect the same way with so many hands involved? The answer was still yes. It made a big difference that along with the new heroes, the different ways that these stories were drawn was something fresh and unique. That is how you stick to the pitch that everything you see is a once in a lifetime experience. Now it doesn’t quite specify who colored what for each of these stories, as I’m told some of them actually did both, but it was awesome to see how this further created that uniqueness for each origin story and how some of them even connected from one into the next. Some play into a specific theme of colors, some are a bit more grounded, while others get a bit more playful just to really be out there. That last origin story for example, I was blown away with the choice to use that 90’s anime/cartoon style between the pencils and the colors.
At the end of the day, was it worth spending a whole issue to get the inside story through the eyes of the ordinary people transformed by the powerful H-Dial? Yes! Yes it was. Dial H for Hero #7 took the creativeness to new heights as the H-Dial exposed a genuine wonder that this artifact is able to offer those in need. It’s a good feeling knowing that you can be just as eager for an issue like this as you would be for ‘The Secret Origin of Mister Thunderbolt’ to come next month.