Dial H for Half (Rounded Up)

With House of Mystery #162, each Dialed hero gets a few more pages, about half the story each, made possible by cutting the third hero from the story. Later, when the characters will become reader-submitted, it'll make sense to cram as many as possible into each issue. At this point, however, one of the three heroes is largely wasted, sometimes getting as few as two or three pages. (Let's not forget that Robby Reed shares the House with the Martian Manhunter.) But will the expanded space help sell the characters as viable DC properties? Or will their weaknesses be highlighted and our patience with them shortened? This is the tale of two heroes' quest to be accepted...

Case 7: House of Mystery #162
Dial Holder: Robby Reed
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: Though at first Robby didn't immediately know what his powers were or what he should be called, dialed identities now come with a name and powers he instinctively "knows".
Name: Mr. Echo (I'm, at best, lukewarm about that name)
Costume: It's a lot like Jimmy Olsen got himself turned into a gingerbread man, isn't it? Why is Mr. Echo orange and "knotted"? Not that the tubing, purple highlights and jetpack-less straps help any. This is a terrible design.
Powers: Mr. Echo can absorb whatever's thrown at him and then reflect it at its source. For example, he absorbs and then "throws" explosions. He bounces back from being knocked back by a punch. He deflects a water spout at a fire. He absorbs electricity from power lines and throws lightning bolts. He even gets himself flattened and inflates himself back to 3D.
Sighted: In Littleville. Mr. Echo defeats both a porcupine monster and a "Frankenstein" created by Roban's monster-making machine.
Possibilities: Though there's a wide range of things Mr. Echo's powers be used for, enough to build a "science hero" around (like the Silver Age Flash and Atom stories), the look and name are deal breakers.
Integration Quotient: 2% (Jimmy Olsen assumes this identity in an 8-page story and then is never mentioned again, not even in a homage)
Name: Future-Man (adding -Man to a word isn't a surefire way to create a superhero)
Costume: Except for the red pieces, the color scheme combines with the inflated head to make Future-Man a grown up version of Evolvo Lad from the Heroes of Lallor. The resemblance is uncanny. Future-Man still hedges him out with a little more style. But just a little.
Powers: Future-Man is a highly evolved human from the far future and can use his advanced mind for a variety of tricks. He can cloud monsters' minds with illusions, though smarter people can resist them. He can levitate himself and object, even as heavy as a 1960s car. And he has total recall of anything Robby's seen, ever.
Sighted: In Littleville. Future-Man exposed Roban/Nabor's scheme to take revenge on the town for having been driven out by engineering plagues (smog and monsters) that would make the citizenry flee.
Possibilities: He actually could be Evolvo Lad's ultimate form, showing up once in a while as a time traveler and trying to fix crisis points in time. Sometimes ally and sometimes adversary, Future-Man thinks he knows better than we do, but will sometimes be proven wrong. Yeah. that could work. Our future selves as watchdogs to our present selves.
Integration Quotient: 50% (there's a metaphor to be tapped in the concept, though I doubt he'd show up very often even as part of canon - See Colonel Future, for example)

Next week: Can the Dial create two heroes simultaneously?


Anonymous said...

Wow I haven't seen the orange Mr echo in years. Thank-you!

Siskoid said...

Every character has its fandom!


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