Thursday, 7 June 2012

Dial H #2

Dial H
Writer - China Miéville
Artist - Mateus Santolouco
Colourists - Tanya & Richard Horie
Cover - Brian Bolland
Publisher - DC Comics

This is one of very few DC 'new 52' titles that I've picked up, and I did so purely based on the recommendation of the guys over at Talking Comics. Boy am I glad I did.

I'm not a massive DC fan, never have been, but Dial H moves away from their populist superheroes, into darker territory, almost parodying the very characters that are DCs bread and butter. We (technically) have a hero, but he's overweight, lazy, unenthusiastic and generally a bit of an average Joe. Heck, he doesn't even have a super-power, just a schizophrenic phone booth with some bat-crap crazy ideas. That is the joy of this comic though, Miéville takes all those stupid ideas that people think of in  the pub after a few pints (you know it's true) and crafts them - with the help of Santolouco - into the kind of ludicrous 'hero' only DC would produce. Iron Snail, anyone...?

I can't help but like it though. The writing is fun, and has an easy touch of realism - you would keep trying out different heroes too, right? - whilst maintaining its inherent lunacy. There are enough threads of story [sinister gangster types, a friend in need & an opponent that is not all she seems] to keep me interested until the next instalment, thanks to the storytelling pedigree that Miéville brings to the table, and the artwork keeps just enough of the crazy to work, leaving just enough out not to overwhelm. It isn't often these days that I will go back to a single page several times over just to marvel in the joys of the images shown, but the page where CONTROL-ALT-DELETE 'reboots' his opponent is masterful. Also, mental. Did I mention that this comic is a bit mad?

For a self-confessed Marvel fan-girl to be singing the praises of a DC title is strange, but not as strange as Dial H. Try it for yourself. Just don't say I didn't warn you...

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