Dial H for Heroes, Plural

One thing that hasn't been discussed much in the articles is the villains. Just as Robby's heroes don't tend to make return appearances, neither do the baddies. And they don't have the excuse that they've been dialed out of existence! In House of Mystery #163, we meet the Bug Baron who DOES make a return appearance, if only recently, as one of the Oolong Island scientists. I have to say he does have a fun gimmick - training insects to rob models of banks and diamond exchanges, and then enlarging them so they can do the same for real. I'm kinda glad the "52" guys remembered him (and Giffen has continued to use him in Doom Patrol). But what about those disposable heroes?

Case 8: House of Mystery #163
Dial Holder: Robby Reed
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: For the first and last time, Robby becomes not one, but two heroes simultaneously. The Dial itself is not duplicated. Robby fears that if one of him is killed, he won't be able to become himself again, as half of him will be dead. When Pollux dials back into Robby's form, Castor simply disappears out of danger. Robby knows what each hero discovered.
Names: Castor and Pollux (classic)
Costumes: The twin brothers are identical except for letters on their chests and capes, which is a little gauche for myth-inspired heroes. The red and yellow color scheme is acceptable, though the hair bands might be deal breakers in our modern aesthetic.
Powers: Though one brother can sense the other is in mortal danger, there is no evidence of any mental link between them. Pollux is immortal, while Castor is mortal (and thus lacks a certain invulnerability), but it is unknown whether they have different shticks in their "belt-bags". These include a Stardust Sky Signal that writes in the sky, Meteor Missiles, Sunbeams, Cosmic Ray Bombs and Supernova Star Grenades. Both heroes can sly as fast as a comet and possess a degree of super-strength.
Sighted: In Zenity City, near Littleville. The twin stars attempt to stop the Bug Baron's giant ants from robbing the diamond exchange, but one of them is captured by giant dive-bombing mosquitoes.
Possibilities: Heroes from myth are in the public domain and name recognition working in their favor. The Greek Gods exist in the DC Universe, so there's not reason Castor and Pollux don't as well. (Re)introduce them in Wonder Woman and see where it takes you.
Integration Quotient: 80% (with some minor cosmetic changes, I could even see C&P sustain their own series, or at least serve as useful guest stars)
Name: King Coil (more cleverness cred if it were King Koil?)
Costume: King Coil's look is patently ridiculous - a giant metal snake with no paintjob and a face that wouldn't look amiss on the Tin Man of Oz. The long nose is silly, and the eyelashes around the eye soften an already harmless-looking monster.
Powers: As a big robot, King Coil is obviously stronger and tougher than your average man. He can jump long distances and headbutt his enemies, as well as stretch his coil-like arms to expand his reach.
Sighted: In Zenith City. King Coil captured the Bug Baron (the shame!) and his henchmen.
Possibilities: Not many. Even the Metal Men would shun this monstrosity. As a rather bizarre enemy for the 60s version of the Teen Titans, maybe a single fondly-remembered appearance. As a hero, I don't see it.
Integration Quotient: 0% (a terrible design)

Back to three heroes next week. I know you've been disappointed with the recent yield...


Lazarus Lupin said...

It's not the numbers it is the quality which never flags with you. Good job!!

1) The twin heroes work as a concept but I'd change it to the aztec twin heroes for that "PC" touch.

2) king Coil ... um... sorry got nothing.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

Kal said...

I just can't believe how incredibly lame these characters are. Aside from Superman, I have a real problem with charcters that wear the first letter of their name on their chest. It's so lazy.

I am reminded about what the writer for the old TV show 'Lost in Space' said to the guy playing Dr Smith when they did that 'vegetable revolution' episode - "I just didn't have another god damn idea in my head. That's the truth."

I however hope these reviews go on forever. King Koil is by far the lamest one ever. I can't wait for him to be topped.

Siskoid said...

It may wind up proving my thesis that the characters were meant to be disposable, so were purposely lame. What if you created something really great, but it only lasted an hour?

Forever is a big concept (to say the least), but if I take it to its natural conclusion, I'd finish the House of Mystery Run, continue with the longer Adventure Comics run which ended in New Adventures of Superboy, then the Superboy and the Reavers, and finally the short-lived Dial H series (plus a few random issues of other stuff here and there).


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