‘Dial H’ a comic book with flair

July 6, 2012 Review Print Print

Pelican Army and Captain Lachrymose are just a few of the new heroes dialed up in DC Comics’ new crazy monthly comic book series “Dial H” by writer China Mieville (author of the science fiction book “The City and the City”) and artist Mateus Santolouco.

The series stars an out-of-shape and jobless protagonist named Nelson who aimlessly drifts through life after being dumped by his girlfriend.

When Nelson witnesses his friend Darren suffer a savage beating at the hands of thugs, he accidentally dials HERO on a rotary phone booth while trying to call for help, instantly transforming him into a superhero for a limited amount of time.


While the set-up is clunky and forced — how do you accidentally dial HERO? — when Nelson transforms into Captain Lachrymose, a hipster superhero who feeds on the misery and sadness of others, the fun really begins.

The artwork by Mateus Santolouco doesn’t look rushed or phoned in. Santolouco’s art veers between dark and sketchy to brimming with energy, depending on the panel.

Santolouco manages to capture Mieville’s wonderfully insane ideas perfectly from the smog emitting Boy Chimney to the hi-tech, military look of the Iron Snail.

China Mieville makes “Dial H” stories a light, breezy read in spite of throwing lots of ideas at the reader.

“Dial H” has a sensibility like previous DC Comics sister imprint Vertigo, despite the conventional trappings of the superhero genre.

Those wanting something different from the comic book genre should give their local comic book retailer a call to see if any “Dial H” issues are available.

Rating: B+

—Joey Stipek

Special Projects Writer

To contact Joey Stipek, email staffwriter4@occc.edu.

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