Dial H #3
****BROAD OVERVIEW, MINOR SPOILERS****
I have mixed feelings about this title. When I read the interviews about it online, I was actually excited, because it hinted at some characters returning from the Chris & Vicki run of Dial H For Hero, back in the 1980's. Now that it's here though, it's...weird. Those characters are here, and that's great, but the rest...I don't know. Maybe I just don't like the main character that much. I don't hate Nelson Jent, I just don't find him that relatable. I guess maybe that's the point - he's the everyman all the weird heroes get dialed onto.
It's more of the same this issue, as it has been the previous two: Nelson is trying to figure out the dial, bad people are looking for him, and everyone is trying to figure out the mysterious woman known as Manteau. Nelson's biggest problem this issue is that the dial gets broken. While Manteau tries to help him with that, we get to know a drop more about her. In the meantime, The Squid and X.N. move their plans forward to track down The Abyss. Oh, and special treat for the 80's fans: someone from Chris & Vicki's past makes a brief but significant appearance.
Something sort of bugs me about this series, and I haven't quite nailed it down yet. The Robby Reed series was goofy fun - stories full of throwaway characters that no one would miss after their one story was done. The Chris & Vicki series was cool, because fans made the heroes & villains, so we got some greats and some weird ones. This one seems heavy on the throwaway characters, and that's probably what's holding me back from enjoying this completely. Show me some awesome heroes!
I don't think it's that China Mieville and Mateus Santolouco are doing a bad job - not at all. I think it's just that they're trying to capture the essences of all previous versions of Dial H For Hero, and make some sort of sense of it as they mix it all into this one title. It hasn't quite gelled together yet, but if they can pull this off, I for one will be seriously impressed.
For the rating, I'd balance it at 2.5, between my confusion about what's going on, and my general glee for this series. Because I like what I think the creative team is trying to do with this series, I'm adding a half-star, and because I want to see more, I'm throwing in one more half-star. So total score:
(12/1/14) Update: The site has changed the rules, disallowing half-stars. So, I couldn't quite bring myself to give it a 4, so it gets 3 stars now. -cb