Nelse is fat, thirty and probably get's no booty. He just had not-a-heart-attack-heart-attack and is being nursemaid by his pal Darren whom is worried that Nelse is depressed and on the road to a full-blow-heart-attack. Though Darren should be more worried about himself than his overweight friend since his his boss is . . . well a thug was used in reference. . . but it is not clear exactly what Darren does for him as a living. Though it is something important enough when Darren skips his responsibilities to take care of friend his boss sends some ruffians to the remind him those skipped responsibilities are his only responsibilities and not to take them lightly by giving him a good beating.
Realizing that maybe Nelse has been a little too hard his one and only friend whom was only trying to show him that Nelse was not taking responsibility of his health he stumbles into Darren own lessons of responsibility. In attempting to save his friend schooling, Nelse stumbles into a phone booth and starts to dial for the police. Instead, SSSSHHHHHHCLICK, he becomes Boy Chimney, or by appearance the Shade with a bad skin condition. As Boy Chimney, Nelse, though not in control of the Boy, rescues Darren and delivers him to the hospital where his friend is attended to. Shortly after his escapade Boy Chimney disappears returning Nelse his fat and thirty body.
Now Nelse seems to be a bright guy, after learning who Darren works for he goes back to the phone booth and runs through the possible combinations to become what he assume to be Boy Chimney, but when dialing ‘I-F-S-O’, SSSSHHHHHHCLICK , he changes into a new hero and takes his anger of what happen to Darren’s boss as Captain Lachrymose, who looks more like Goth Superman and has the ability to relive your most painful memory. Though prepared the boss has his own super power underling to counter our dialed hero, think Aunt May but older with the Shade dark power. A fight breaks out but only long enough for Captain Lachrymose /Nelse to send the message ‘to leave Darren alone’ before he flees the scene.
The tale is close with two scenes. First, Darren’s boss is delivering the warning to his boss who in response is told ‘In the meantime, you know how we deal with threats. We’re going to kill Darren Hirsch.’ Second, Nelse goes back to the phone booth one last time and dials ‘H-E-R-O’ on the rotary. SSSSHHHHHHCLICK.
Story: While I did not find the first issue of this title overwhelming engaging I think there is some future potential to it at least it seems to be starting in the same way as the last Dial H series (H-E-R-O) started by taking a random joe and applying the super hero theme of the H Dial to his plight of life, and not going back to Robby Reed. Problem is that neither Nelse nor Darren are likeable and really are characters I cared not to know more about after the first few pages of the book. So I felt pretty much taken right out of the story from the get goes. The villains are pretty thin, they are one dimensional villains, you know they are the villains because they talk of doing bad things to somewhat good people- - though it is never really told why but I assume with hope those details are expanded upon in later issues. The heroes that emerge from the dial I’ve already commented on in the synopsis and I have nothing more to say other than they served their purpose for the story, and if I never see them again I would not be heartbroken.
Writing: This is my first exposure to fantasy novelist and not comic book writer China Mieville and I was not wowed by his writing in Dial H. The opening conversation between Nelse and Darren was hard to follow as if Mievelle was dropping certain context of the conversation out of the word balloons and just assume the readers will pick up the full scope of its meaning. At other times the writing seemed fragmented and it made it difficult to enjoy as I found myself in during the scenes with Boy Chimny fight and with Captain Lachrymose attack of Darren’s boss. I think there is some potential to Mieville’s writing as seeing how this is his first comic work I have to give him a not so critical expectations of this format. I believe he can improve his skills and having Vertigo’s Karen Berger as his editor to guide him is certainly a plus in the right direction. I think Mieville has the potential to be as good as Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire) in telling some dark tales he just needs a few more issues under his belt to get the experience needed to excel.
Art: Artist Mateus Santolouco, who’s pencials has a striking similarity to artist John McCrea (Hitman, Dicks) does a great job bringing Mieville written scenes to the page. Santolouco is a good fit for this type of story, though the story may not have been engaging, and the heroes not that interesting but the visuals throughout the issue is top notch.
When all is said and done, I feel there is more to Dial H then what the first issue gave us. I plan on sticking around at least for the opening storyline to see how everything plays out with that Mieville’s story will improve.
Rating 7 / 10
I used to have goals. They were evil goals, but they were goals. -- Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz
He's being diplomatic again.
Zechs wrote:I have to repress you more. You're way too goodie two shoes.
Fat Ollie Weeks wrote:I swear to God, you are so boring sometimes I think you're just a stealth-mod-bot that Jude has coded.