Showing posts with label Dial H. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dial H. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Siskoid's Comics Recollected - November 1983


Siskoid's Comics Recollected is a nostalgic video series in which I go back in time to the first months of my buying American comics. And whatever YOU remember, I'm interested in too!

Related images
Lana's surprising upskirt #grannypantymoment
Superboy's friends get their own powered identities!
Related links
DC Comics Presents #66 was my first Joe Kubert comic, and I made it a big part of the obituary I wrote for him.
I took the mickey out of that issue of Batman and the Outsiders (and more besides), starting with the cover.
Pages 1-8
Pages 9-15
Pages 15-18
Pages 19-23
This project would just not be possible without Mike's Amazing World of Comics and its comics-by-release-date database.

What comics did YOU get in November of '83? Or alternately, in your seventh month of reading comics?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Siskoid's Comics Recollected - October 1983


Siskoid's Comics Recollected is a nostalgic video series in which I go back in time to the first months of my buying American comics. And whatever YOU remember, I'm interested in too!

Related images

Gene Colan's Firestorm - hot or not?
Oh man, it's freaky what happens to Colossus!
And then there were three (dials):
Related links
The Huntress back-up was featured in a Who's This column about Earthworm.
And I made some jokes about Steve Trevor in the same issue.
This project would just not be possible without Mike's Amazing World of Comics and its comics-by-release-date database.

What comics did YOU get in October of '83? Or alternately, in your seventh month of reading comics?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Siskoid's Comics Recollected - August 1983


Siskoid's Comics Recollected is a nostalgic video series in which I go back in time to the first months of my buying (American) comics. Please share your memories too!

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Ace, Lois Lane, Madame .44, Nelvana of the Northern Lights... I inadvertently gave a lot of space to heroines this week, so let's continue the theme with some cool ladies from August 1983's comics! First up, Paul Smith's beautiful Dark Phoenix!
Lorraine Reilly, who doesn't need to be in Firehawk form to be hot and kickass:
And at the center there, Venus the Flying Trap with partner Trouble Clef, surrounded by a bunch of Your Own Villains(TM):
Related links
Uncanny X-Men #175 was part of what I called Wedding Week.
Fury of Firestorm Annual #1 was the cornerstone of my article on why I like Firestorm.
This project would just not be possible without Mike's Amazing World of Comics and its comics-by-release-date database.

What comics did YOU get in August of '83? Or alternately, in your fifth month of reading comics?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Siskoid's Comics Recollected - April 1983


Comics Recollected is a nostalgic project in which I revisit, month by month, my early comic-buying days, inspired by (not to say completely ripped off from) Frank at the Channel of Diabolu. Check out his own journey back in time.

Related images
From Saga of the Swamp Thing #15:
Chewed-up cover of Fury of Firestorm #13:
Related links
I dug deeper into DC Comics Presents #59
Null & Void in World's Finest Comics #293
Read more about Dial H for Hero
And many thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics for his comics-by-release-date database, without which this wouldn't have been possible.

I'm probably going to do a couple more in the short term, just so it isn't a one-off, so I hope it'll inspire your own recollections.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dial H for Headcold

The story running through #31 and 32 features Vicki as an unusual "un-Dialed hero" - herself! Turns out that humans under a white sun have Superman-like powers. Who knew! No, I don't think it makes any sense either! Well, maybe it's because the planet is in "another dimension". Yeah, that's it.

Case 42: New Adventures of Superboy #31-34
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: Somehow, Chris' flu is transmitted to his superhero persona, and even amplified by the hero's inherent powers. Dialed identities may have knowledge and skills - for example working an alien's weapon - that are lost once they undial. Dials are waterproof.
Name: Power Punch (the Masters of the Universe toy line had recently come out so...)
Created by: Tom Tychi, Age 16, of Staten Island, NY
Costume: His purple leotards had some interesting yellow patterns on it, vaguely forming a downward arrow on his chest. The codpiece adds an added value.
Powers: Power Punch fires energy from his fists that can propel him through the air with more maneuverability than you'd expect. His most devastating weapon, however, is what looks like a long-distance punch, an energy fist quickly flying towards an opponent. When he has a cold, it is amplified beyond reason, and he can feel the energy building up inside him as a hot fever, energy released by powerful sneezes that throw him around a room. He can change his trajectory with a "power punch".
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating the alien Whitefire.
Possibilities: He sounds like an action figure feature, and I'd use that, making him some toy animated by a kid, in a sort of twist to the whole Shazam concept.
Integration Quotient: 25% (I can't stop staring at his crotch)
Name: Sirocco (since taken by a member of hybrid, it's a classic super name)
Created by: John Taylor, Age 33, of Bristol, England (one of two characters he designed in the same issue)
Costume: All over the map as far as he color scheme goes - an orange cape, yellow dress, purple belt, mask and gloves, with a mesh under shirt - Sirocco could be Maghrebian like the wind she's named after, in style and skin tone.
Powers: "The Desert Wind" can fly, leaving a trail of sand behind her, and can, unsurprisingly, fire sandstorms at her opponents. For some reason, she loses her powers on an other-dimensional planet, probably because of an innate connection to the Earth rather than because of the rays of a white sun.
Sighted: In Fairfax, coming to Power Punch's aid, then being captured on an alien planet by Whitefire's henchmen.
Possibilities: She's really not far from Hybrid's Sirocco in look and powers, so I'd probably make them the same character, once over to the dark side, now a heroine, a sort of Earth elemental-type that might hang around with Primal Force or the Global Guardians, or as an Arab hero - a minority still under-represented in comics - in a more mainstream group.
Integration Quotient: 90% (she's practically there already)
Name: Cold Wave (cool and breezy)
Created by: Frank Squillace of Phoenix, AZ
Costume: Red bracers, a purple belt, black shorts and purple boots, and a white domino masks is about all he needs, given that he has distinctive (and derivative) icy skin.
Powers: Cold Wave has the power to control and create ice.
Sighted: At Camp Pocahontas, fighting Naiad's monsters.
Possibilities: A youthful ice hero sounds an awful lot like an X-Man I know. Does DC have an X-Men analog? Some kid mutants to make fun of Marvel's popular franchise could use a boy like him. To die and stuff.
Integration Quotient: 15% (nothing wrong with him, but a hard sell for the lawyers)
Name: Infra-Violet (amusing play on the visual spectrum, see Powers)
Created by: Dino Price of Cincinnati, OH
Costume: Split down the middle, with half the uniform pink and other purple (reversed for her hair), there's froo-froo trim all over her bathing suit, boots and gloves. Only her domino mask is spared the lace.
Powers: Infra-Violet splits into two heroes, Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet. Each has the same power, but over objects of a different color, either red or purple. Target objects can be enlarged to massive size, telekinetically moved, turns into solid weapons (the petals of a flower becoming razor-sharp blades, for example), and/or animated.
Sighted: At Camp Pocahontas, fighting Naiad's monsters.
Possibilities: Let's go Bob Haney insane Silver Age on her origin story, as twin sisters are thrown together by some crazy experiment that mixes infrared and ultraviolet. From then on, the girls can only live as separate people for a short amount of time each day, which they reserve for crime-fighting and wacky subplots. Give her a kooky series already!
Integration Quotient: 40% (I like how unusual she is - or they are - but inherently silly)
Name: Earthman (simple and to the point, it's since been taken by a xenophobic 31st-century hero)
Created by: Robert Buethe of Elmont, NY
Costume: All Earthman needs is red trunks, better to showcase his green and blue continents'n'oceans skin. He has a mop of green hair.
Powers: Earthman has the same powers as the planet Earth (scientists, look away). He can manipulate gravity and magnetism, making things attract or repel each other, or allowing himself to fly. He seems to think he could be disabled by water, as if it might turn him to mud.
Sighted: In Pittstown, fighting Naiad and her monsters, and saving movie star Sherri Lancer's life when she is shot by a sniper.
Possibilities: A sort of living golem, he's yet another candidate for whatever elemental crew could be assembled from all those Dial heroes. Swamp Thing needs a teen version of itself on the Teen Titans, I think. That could be Earthman, though a grown-up Téfé would of course be the better choice.
Integration Quotient: 30% (not a bad concept, even if the look needs work)
Name: Gossamer (the WB own a Looney Tunes monster by that name, so why not?)
Created by: Richard Konkle of Las Vegas, NV
Costume: A purple ensemble, probably made from gossamer, with lots of blue straps all over the place, a gauze-like cape tied to her hands for better gliding action, and a mask made of those straps, creating wing-like ears or hair.
Powers: Gossamer can glide through the air, as light as silk, and can fire super-strong silk from her fingers which can cocoon a person or creature very quickly.
Sighted: In Pittstown, fighting Naiad and her monsters.
Possibilities: A sort of spider-woman that could probably have her own solo back-up feature somewhere, or maybe I think that because she reminds me of Black Orchid. I'd have drawn by some indie artist, real quirky romance/vigilante stuff.
Integration Quotient: 65% (Spider-people move books, yo)

Bonus Supervillains
Name: Whitefire (color+element usually creates a serviceable name)
Created by: John Taylor, Age 33, of Bristol, England
Costume: This green-skinned alien wears a stark uniform of white and black, with his mask, head and trim ablaze with white flame. From a starburst belt buckle, an asymmetrical stripe goes up his front on which is printed a black O. Similar circles are found on either side of his belt. He carries a staff with an odd pronged head (which remains in Chris King's possession after this adventure).
Powers: Whitefire's staff fires a flaming beam of white light that can freeze people where they stand, or exchange people and things across space between his world and ours (or presumably, any other planet). His henchmen use an energy gun that traps their target in an energy cage.
Sighted: Sending priceless treasures to Earth to hide them from authorities on his other-dimensional world, he next takes Detective King's place on Earth to steal OUR treasures and bring back his once the heat is off. He is defeated by Power Punch, who sends him home with his stolen goods, where he is promptly arrested.
Possibilities: You never know when an inter-dimensional villain will return, and his little exchange program could be used to some effect to split teams up like it did here. An invasion-of-the-week villain, to be used sparingly.
Integration Quotient: 60% (loses some of his mojo past the Silver Age)
Name: Naiad (DC eventually created a huge water elemental under that name; another, similar Naiad also appeared in Peter David's Aquaman)
Created by: Tim Wahowske of Emmett, MI
Costume: In real life, she hides her distinctive white hair with a wig, but as Naiad, it matches her go-go boots and bathing suit, the latter with green trim, and a blue belt. There's an attempt at a stylized N in the stomach area, but it winds up looking more like an M.
Powers: With an electric swish of her hair, Naiad creates monsters out of any water source (lake, faucet, shower, hose). Their size is relative to the amount of water used, but their look is only limited by Naiad's imagination (dragons, bats, dinosaurs, alien squids, etc.). These have a lot of destructive power, and may exhibit such abilities as breathing fire or flight, but they are still made of water. When convenient, attacks may splash right through them. The range of these powers isn't known, but it doesn't seem dependent on Naiad's line of sight.
Sighted: Diana Lyon is a special effects expert with a beef against actress Sherri Lancer for having exploited her hydrophobia when they were teenagers. Having given herself powers by accident while attempting to cure herself from her fear, she has attached herself to Sherri's new picture and uses the location shooting at Camp Pocahontas, where the original incident happened, to kill her nemesis publicly. She is stopped by Cold Wave and Infra-Violet. Her second attempt occurs in Pittstown, a village she first terrorizes to cause chaos, but again she is stopped by heroes, this time, Earthman and Gossamer. She is later rescued by the Marauder, a villain working with the Master (see the next Case File), but one of the Dial heroes will end up taking her place. She was taken to jail after the switch.
Possibilities: A monster maker like this could feature against a number of heroes, but Superman might actually be best. Metropolis is a waterfront town, and he's been known to take on giant monsters on a regular basis. A retcon on her origin might be in order.
Integration Quotient: 60% (has potential, but the source of her powers is suspect)

Next time: The Dial H-ers actually meet the Master that's been behind a lot of Fairfax's supervillains!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dial H for Hearing

Dial H has a new home! The New Adventures of Superboy! And it's where I personally first found the strip! (But the back issues were really cheap, so I'm not missing any of Chris and Vicki's journey.) Their first issue introduces Nick Stevens, a classmate who likes to draw superheroes and may have a connection to the Dials even he doesn't know about. We'll keep tabs on that. And of course, the Dialers are now in back-up land at 7½ pages an issue, so we're going to look at as many as THREE issues per Case File, to get as many of Your Own Heroes and Villains(TM) as possible. You ready?

Case 41: New Adventures of Superboy #28-30
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: Nick Stevens is somehow connected to the Dial transformations, since he is seen drawing the Monarch just before Vicki turns into her. Is he guiding the transformations? Tapping into whatever universe spawns these heroes in the first place? Both? The Dials are susceptible to the powers they dial up. For example, Miss Hourglass can speed up their one-hour time limits, and Mr. Opposite can make them act in an "opposite" way. Someone can dial for you, even you're unconscious (Vicki is likely overthinking it when she theorizes that Chris becomes Mr. Opposite because she dialed and was of the opposite sex).
Name: Red Devil (Kid-Devil wound up taking the name after he grew up, so it's clearly a good one)
Created by: Jon Potter, Age 12, of Skaneateles, NY
Costume: A red one-piece with a devil's tail and horns on the mask, and flared yellow gloves and boots. The latter clash a little bit and might have been better colored the same dark red shade as the plastron piece (that's not just shading), which itself is a little weird, going as it does from chest to crotch.
Powers: Red Devil can "flow" into demon shapes that have various powers. Presumably, these are actual demon types from "down there". Among the forms he assumes, there's an invisible demon, and one that looks a lot like Dial H foe Grockk, who here has mystic senses that allow him to trump the Senses-Taker's powers.
Sighted: In Fairfax, capturing the Senses-Taker.
Possibilities: The kind of edgy dude would might work with Shadowpact, the fun part being when he takes the shape of demons who have appeared before in the DCU, from Etrigan to the Demons Three to really obscure ones that would send readers to their collections.
Integration Quotient: 90% (I want to play that find-the-demon game!)
Name: The Monarch (well, the name "Monarch" has been tainted, whether you put a "the" in front or not)
Created by: David Brown, Age 13, of Fresno, CA (possibly the same David Brown who contributed artwork to the spanish-language comics Humor a Trope and Cimoc?)
Costume: A cute one-piece purple bathing suit with blue gloves, boots, mask (sufficiently butterlfy-like) and textured corset. She has small antennae coming out of her brown hair. The yellow diaphanous butterfly wings are held in thick black frames. What this costume is not, is in any the colors of the Monarch (blood orange and black).
Powers: The Monarch can fly on her butterfly wings, and can use her antennae to home in on her partner and track him (presumably, she can track anyone's "vibe"). She can also spin a magic cocoon that is unbreakable (except by herself) and impenetrable (even by powers).
Sighted: In Fairfax, capturing the Senses-Taker.
Possibilities: Definitely needs a change of name (is there a butterfly closer to her coloring?), but otherwise, the magical source of her powers could make her a good fairy-like ally to someone like Amethyst or even Warlord.
Integration Quotient: 40% (needs work on the surface, but a cute character)
Name: Tar-Man (fits a man-monster perfectly)
Created by: Bennie Stillwell of Scottsville, KY
Costume: As a big ape-like tar creature, Tar-Man's look is memorable, but the red and white shorts contrast perhaps too much with his dark "skin". It's a big "T", not a thong print.
Powers: Tar-Man is literally made of tar. He can control that tar's consistency to achieve various power stunts - bouncy enough to jump up buildings, hard as pavement to make his punches count, soft and gooey to trap enemy fists within it. He is also able to throw soft clumps of tar. He may be vulnerable to certain solvents.
Sighted: In Fairfax, fighting the Disc Jockey.
Possibilities: A dude falls into hot tar, comes out a tar elemental. It's a classic DC origin! One that leads him to wander America's highways, hated by those he is sworn to protect.
Integration Quotient: 90% (no reason a tar monster couldn't find work in a superhero universe)
Name: Miss Hourglass (kinda clunky, drop the Miss?)
Created by: Steve Mattson of Portland, OR
Costume: Aside from the odd glass helmet, Miss Hourglass wears all metal clothes, including a curvy one-piece bathing suit with rims and both bracers and boots that have a telescopic look. Very futuristic.
Powers: Miss Hourglass can affect the passage of time for a localized target, either speeding it up (giving a person superspeed, for example, or making them heal faster) or slowing it down.
Sighted: In Fairfax, helping stop the Disc Jockey.
Possibilities: The look places her in the future, but the time travelling abilities might mean she was able to come to our time somehow. There's no real evidence of that, so I'm going to put her in with the Legion of Super-Heroes. She actually has a shot since no Legionnaire has her powers.
Integration Quotient: 50% (when are the next try-outs?)
Name: Mr. Opposite (weird and rad, like something out of Morrison's Doom Patrol)
Created by: Chris Adams, Age 21, of London, England
Costume: A full superhero suit in black and pink, split down the middle with a "negative" effect between those two colors. His chest emblem is a large "O" for Opposite. Simple, but striking.
Powers: Mr. Opposite has a strange, unexplainable power that can affect pretty much anything in a variety of ways. He has "the power to make things work opposite to the way they're supposed to". Over the course of this one story, he makes rubble light as a feather, reverses gravity, makes the Disc Jockey's sound powers create silence instead, reverses his own silence effect for him and his partner, and makes the end of a Dial's 60-minute limit turn into its beginning.
Sighted: In Fairfax, helping stop the Disc Jockey.
Possibilities: With those really wonky powers, there's almost nothing he couldn't do, which is both a boon and a curse. He's too powerful to make a good recurring hero, but weird enough to guest in books with weird stars, like the DP or Animal Man. He probably causes more problems than he fixes, so could be a good motor for crazy stories.
Integration Quotient: 35% (I like wacky powers like this, but they're harder to write for)

Bonus Supervillains
Name: Senses-Taker (a terrible name until I realized it was a pun on Census Taker, and now it's a HORRENDOUS name)
Created by: Eugenio Ocasio Jr., Age 26, of Mayaguez, Peru
Costume: Kinda disco and Age of Aquarius with his plunging neckline (which ends in an arrow head pointing at his... uh... belt) revealing thick curly chest hair. ST has a high collar, a Lincoln beard, a third eye drawn on his yellow mak, and otherwise a mix of pastel blues, greens, reds and yellows. Maybe it's good thing he can't always be seen.
Powers: ST can cloud peoples' senses, including their sight, hearing, touch and even equilibrium. They usually become "blind" to certain things, like the villain himself, rendering them invisible in an otherwise visible world.
Sighted (if that truly applies): In Fairfax, stealing a component from a nearby atomic plant so he can later hold it at ransom, but getting captured by Red Devil and the Monarch.
Possibilities: Powers like his (and Null's) are rare and could be interesting, but his look relegates him to some of the stranger titles, like Doom Patrol, or perhaps books referring to bygone eras like The Shade (he's very 70s).
Integration Quotient: 25% (he's just not the type to make a good repeat offender)
Name: The Disc Jockey (I know quite a few, and yes, they're all evil)
Created by: Tony Medeiros of Montreal, Quebec
Costume: He looks like a hero, with his square jaw, blond hair and red and blue costume. Though some of his gadgets play on the DJ idea, his suit doesn't, unless those spiky patterns are meant to represent record player needles. I guess a contemporary uniform for him would have lasers coming off his thighs instead.
Powers: The DJ has no powers, but he uses a number of gadgets to further his plans. These include a flying disc in the shape of a vinyl record. It has a giant player's needle which acts as a console and also powers his biggest trick - making all sound emitters in range (phones, TVs, radios, P.A.s, hearing aids) broadcast his music unstoppably, going so far as to create harmonics that can topple buildings. The DJ also carries razor-sharp spindles to throw like shurikens, and cleaning spray that might be able to dissolve tar.
Sighted: Lou Yagger's ambition was to become a disc jockey on the radio, but a terrible stutter made that impossible. He became a radio technician instead, and eventually lost the stutter, but he never got over the initial rejection and went bad. He disrupted the entire town of Fairfax by broadcasting his show to every possible location and was stopped by Tar-Man, Miss Hourglass and Mr. Opposite.
Possibilities: A bit passé now, but the gimmick could easily make him one of Flash's minor rogues, maybe one nostalgic for the days of vinyl.
Integration Quotient: 60% (not quite focused enough)

The new era has begun even though the old era kinda continues. Next time, more Dialing and Undialing!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dial H for Horror

After Adventure Comics folded, the Dial H strip didn't take long to relocate. First, a pit stop in DC Comics Presents #44 to team up with Superman - and to get his stamp of approval - and then to the back-up pages of The New Adventures of Superboy. DCP 44 also introduces the story arc that will resolve Chris and Vicki's entire story! Oh, the "Master" had appeared before, just as much in shadow, and behind certain threats in Adventure, but here it's made clear that a lot of Fairfax villains are super-powered clones created by a process not unlike that of the Dials. You never know what you're gonna get, and the Master has to ask his villains just who they are and what they can do. He was apparently responsible for the Evil Eight, Abyss (the rebooted Dial H comic would seem to contradict that, but maybe not), and Cancero, among others. Pretty much any villain that doesn't have a back story. So forge ahead, R-E-A-D-E-R-S, as we explore the first installment of this classic story...

Case 40: DC Comics Presents #44
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: Dialing H-O-R-R-O-R turns a person into a rage monster (see Beast-Maniac, below). Superman's super-vision is unable to determine how the Dials work, so magic is suspected (Beast-Maniac also seems to have magical properties that affect the Man of Steel).
Name: Beast-Maniac (like he wanted to be called Beastman, but heard from the He-Man people)
Created by: Rocky Bakletta, no city given
Costume: A werewolf body wearing ripped, gray pants. A green ape-like head. Beast-Maniac can also grow bat wings on its arms. A bit of a Frankenstein.
Powers: Beast-Maniac is a super-strong and tough monster with low-level intelligence. It has claws on its hands and feet and can fly on wings that grow out of its arms. It is inherently magical and can affect Superman more easily than it should, though that may be an effect of the H Dial itself.
Sighted: In Fairfax, fighting Sphera and Superman after punching the GBS copter out of the sky.
Possibilities: Wolf, bat or gorilla? A bit of everything, actually. That spells science gone mad, and Beast-Maniac could be the kind of creature built by, say, the Ultra-Humanite. Maybe in multiples. Maybe each one represents different animal mash-ups.
Integration Quotient: 10% (even if we can work it into one story, its lack of focus would probably make it a one-off)
Name: Sphera (a bit obvious, but nothing wrong with it)
Created by: David Brown, Age 13, of Fresno, CA
Costume: For some reason, Sphera's costume is split black and white down the middle. It also features bubble-shaped windows down her front, a double-circle collar, pointy shoulder pads, and rather extreme flares on her boots and gloves.
Powers: She can form spheres "of any material" (though they all look like they are made of solid light) "for any purpose", including flight and force fields. The spheres are sometimes flattened into circles or are really oval shapes.
Sighted: In Fairfax, capturing Beast-Maniac.
Possibilities: There's a character later called Spheror, but let's say I'm not really drawing a connection right now... The strange costume choices and faux-girl's name might make her a potential New God or Forever Person.
Integration Quotient: 10% (the costume, powers and what she says about her powers fail to gel coherently)
Name: Prism (X-Factor has one, but perfectly fine "teen" name)
Created by: Jay Dickson, Age 15, of St.Paul, MN
Costume: You'd think the costume would be more colorful and/or look more like a Pink Floyd album, but no, the rainbow colors are limited to thin stripes on boots, gloves and along the sternum. Otherwise, a standard superhero costume in purples and blues.
Powers: Prism can absorb energy - any energy - and release it again multiplied in power.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating the Nullifier.
Possibilities: Prism sounds like a 3rd-tier Titan or maybe a latter-day Outsider, someone to die violently at the start of a crossover even DC wants to show is "badass".
Integration Quotient: 10% (a single note to play in the powers department, with a lackluster look)
Name: Blazerina (any variation on the word "ballerina" is suspect at best)
Created by: Davey Crowe, Age 13, of Roupville, GA
Costume: Saucy! A black leather bikini with long, fetishistic gloves and boots. They do show off her gold skin and long platinum hair though.
Powers: Gracefully dancing and spinning turns her into a "generator" that can then let loose super-hot "laser-energy". The faster she spins, the more powerful the energy blasts.
Sighted: In Fairfax, fighting the Nullifier.
Possibilities: Blazerina is obviously a dancer in real life, but how she got her powers... If this were the Marvel Universe, I'd say she was a short-lived Herald of Galactus. In the DCU, I'd put her in a DC Dark title and give her a really strange origin, like she dances some secret code of the universe by accident.
Integration Quotient: 12% (I like my idea, but the character seems needlessly salacious)
Name: Essence (properly mystical and mysterious)
Created by: Brad Bechtel, Age 15, of Millersville, MD
Costume: A real riff on Doctor Fate's outfit, in blue and yellow with a yellow cape and a mouthless helmet. The differences include burst flares on the boots, tuning fork horns on the helmet, and a big magic wand/scepter.
Powers: Essence uses his wand to draw the life-force out of people, presumably to weaken them or knock them out. His powers do not work on machines.
Sighted: In the Master's fake hideout, falling for the villain's trap.
Possibilities: He looks like he should have more magical spells in his spellbook, but maybe it's stuff he would have done after sapping life-force, denied to him in this story. The look is so strikingly like Dr. Fate's, he'd almost have to be Fate's counterpart from another Earth. They'd clash over the type of magic they use, cuz Essence's use of souls looks a bit amoral.
Integration Quotient: 25% (there are possibilities if we imagine there's more to his powers)
Name: Thundera (the ol' put an "a" after any word to make a female superhero's name trick)
Created by: Lannie Hood, Age 12, of Edmonton, Alberta
Costume: Thundera wears a relaxed, long-sleeved, short dress split down a shoulder with red and yellow electric lines, purple on one side, blue on the other. Her boots have a similar design. She has red, studded bracers on her arms.
Powers: She can use her booming voice to stun opponents, destroy equipment, and even vibrate falling debris into dust to protect herself and her allies. In addition, she can hurl thunderbolts from her eyes.
Sighted: In the Master's fake hideout, falling for the villain's trap.
Possibilities: Hit by a thunderclap, Lannie Hood wakes up unharmed, but slightly hard of hearing. But when she speaks more loudly than she should, she realizes she has gained the powers of thunder itself! Or something. I blame ancient gods.
Integration Quotient: 12% (I'm really coming up empty today)

Bonus Supervillain
Name: The Nullifier (not quite Ultimate, but does what it says on the tin)
Created by: Nicky Alvarez, Age 12, of Long Beach, CA
Costume: Wow, those are some major shoulder pads! These "flames" are just about the only thing notable about this green, red and yellow uniform.
Powers: The Nullifier can nullify any energy, even kinetic (stopping cars and bullets cold), by firing "null-beams" a its source. These null-beams are apparently a form of "negative energy". According to Superman, he was made of this energy.
Sighted: In Fairfax, caused some chaos to attack the Dial heroes so he could kill them.
Possibilities: A villain that can counter any energy power can act as a "service villain" - all-purpose assassin like Bolt, or a guy to beat up in an issue's teaser - or as a member of a B-list supervillain team (same as Neutrax in the League of Super-Assassins).
Integration Quotient: 30% (the powers work, shame about the costume)

When next we open the Dial H case files, we'll be at the back of Superboy's new adventures!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Dial H for Heading Out

This is it! The last Dial H post based on Chris and Vicki's run in Adventure Comics! Don't worry though, it's not over for them. Dial H would next appear in DC Comics Presents before jumping into New Adventures of Superboy's back-up slot (where I first encountered the strip). So lots more to come before they their dials up. It does mean the end of Carmine Infantino's association with the strip, and for that I'm not sorry. I often felt the fan-created costumes under his pencil looked roughly sketched and same-old, same-old. But enough about the future, let's look at this last chapter...

Case 39: Adventure Comics #490
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: Vicki does not intuitively sense that she's looking at Chris when she meets an unknown costumed character. Both get a sense of their next power DURING their transformation as opposed to after.
Name: Air Master (sounds like an exercise machine)
Created by: Stephen M. Solomon, Age 15, of Worcester, MA
Costume: A blue, legless leotard with white air currents giving it some style. No gloves, but the white cuffs match the top of the blue boots. He wears a red cape, and most unnervingly, has no face!
Powers: Unknown. Presumably, he can control air currents.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, an identity taken on and immediately shrugged off by Chris.
Possibilities: One of four throwaways as the Dial H team tried to clear the files before the dedicated strip ended, we don't see Air Master do anything. Looking at him now, I'm reminded of Maser (from Firestorm), who was the former Air Wave. I don't think there's a real connection there unless Air Master's powers are about radio/tv waves (as in "on the air"), in which case he could be an intermediate Air Wave who served in the Silver Age after the Golden Ager and before the kid who would become Maser.
Integration Quotient: 40% (a lot of these guys could find a place if we opened the 60s and 70s - our time - as an era of heroes separate from modern age heroes)
Name: The Sting (bam! I hear The Entertainer)
Created by: Kevin Flaherty, Age 16, of Irmo, SC
Costume: In green and yellow (and white and red), the Sting looks for all the world like a rejected redesign of the Fly. Musclebound rather than lithe like other insect-themed heroes, his wings look like leaves, his striped pants and mask (with antennae) suggest a wasp, and at this size, it's hard to get what his chest symbol is supposed to be.
Powers: Unknown. He should be able to fly, possibly even has a wing buffet attack, but his main power is doubtless some kind of "sting", probably an electrical charge like Janet Van Dyne's.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, an identity taken on and immediately shrugged off by Chris.
Possibilities: DC can stop licensing the Archie heroes. Screw the Fly, they own the Sting! Might work as a parody of the Fly (in the same way the Squadron Supreme is a "parody" of the JLA).
Integration Quotient: 15% (the costume doesn't quite work, limiting his possibilities)
Name: The Attacker (bit generic, but ahead of its time, 5 to 10 years before the anti-hero craze)
Created by: Kurth K. Koss II, Age 15, of Brown Deer, WI (a fan with unfortunate initials)
Costume: Vaguely Wolverine-like, but with no mouth and a lackluster color scheme of blue, yellow and white, the Attacker has a yellow "A" on his chest, and some weird blue lines on his legs tracking his bones down to the knee cap. He wears brass knuckles.
Powers: Unknown. I imagine the Attacker is just a feisty hand-to-hand fighter, using his brass knuckles and martial arts skills to break heads and ask questions later.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, an identity taken on and immediately shrugged off by Chris.
Possibilities: Street-level heroes are some of the easiest to fit into a superhero universe. Just let him loose in an alley and you're all set. The Attacker is probably fed up with what he sees happening in his neighborhood and wants to do something about it. If I let the name inspire me, maybe he's done some military service, like the Punisher. Maybe his modus operandi is to attack rather than defend, crashing crack houses and criminal hideouts instead of waiting for something bad to happen.
Integration Quotient: 65% (I have my doubts about the costume, but the rest checks out)
Name: Galaxy (kinda fun, kinda cheesy)
Created by: Brett Ziegler, Age 16, of Fresno, CA
Costume: A large figure in black with white patches of different sizes on his body, basically a mix of circles and diamonds, a starburst in a circle on the thighs, and a large chest piece with an arrow pointing down to the letter "G". Striking until you start to look at the details. I suppose he would have looked too much like the Abyss if he was covered in a starfield instead.
Powers: Galaxy has the ability to travel to another world and then return to Earth. If he's already on another world, he can snap back to Earth immediately. It doesn't matter if that world is in another dimension.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, allows Chris to return to Earth.
Possibilities: While very handy to get Chris out of a particular situation, Galaxy's powers as a one-man Zeta Beam have rather limited use day in and day out. Well, maybe a series could be built around the idea. Galaxy could be a scientist who gains these powers and uses them to visit other planets (a grand old tour of the DCU) and get into trouble. On those planets, he changes out of his Galaxy state so we don't have to look at the costume all the time and we can see his expressions. More of an SF strip idea that opens an Adam Strange type to the larger universe.
Integration Quotient: 50% (I like my idea, but it's still a little bit out there)
Name: Scylla (Greek myth is always good for a classic-sounding name, literally)
Created by: Bill Mimbu, Age 21, of Bellevue, WA
Costume: The blue bathing suit also features more aquatic elements, like Creature from the Black Lagoon type fins on gloves and boots, and sea-mist-green hair. Of course, what you most remember is the six mechanical serpent necks coming out of her back.
Powers: Scylla has six mechanical heads on prehensile tentacles sprouting from her back which she can mentally manipulate too bite/clamp enemies, or fire a blast that vaporize acid.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating the Squid and the Abyss.
Possibilities: When I think of Scylla, I expect her partner to be Charybdis, don't you? Bill Mimbu of Bellevue, WA seems to have missed a trick there by not submitting that concept for Chris. But that duo would be pretty natural, and might even find a place in a Wonder Woman comic without too much fiddling.
Integration Quotient: 65% (more if they can find a suitable Boy Wonder for her)
Name: Topsy-Turvy (kinda silly, but workable)
Created by: David Wile, Age 18, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Costume: A purple and yellow one piece that ends at his curly blond hairline, it features a stripe pattern that makes it look like he was painted through cell bars, or has bright suspenders, or frankly, like he's one of those sugar lollipops.
Powers: Topsy-Turvy can remove an opponent's sense of orientation, not just equilibrium, but knowing where you are in space. Think Null from the famous duo, Null & Void.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating the Squid and the Abyss.
Possibilities: He's a heroic version of Count Vertigo, so maybe connect them somehow? Like he could be a rebel fighter from the Count's home country, Vlatava, using vertigo to fight Vertigo.
Integration Quotient: 10% (yeah, the name and costume aren't doing it for me)

Bonus Furniture!
Created by: John H. Costello, Jr., Age 24, of Edwards, CA
The book's editors have asked and asked and asked, and Chris' house had remained furniture-less since the Kings came to town at the very beginning of this chapter in the Dial H saga. FINALLY, it's John Costello to the rescue so that Chris' family can go into the New Adventures back-up with a way to watch TV comfortably! Thanks John!

When next we talk about this, it won't be under the Adventure Comics header. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dial H for Halloween

No, Adventure 490 doesn't have anything to do with Halloween, except... Chris and Vicki dress up as different heroes? Good 'nuff. This is part 2 of 3 on this issue, Adventure's last before Dial H moves on. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out yet another Stephen DeStefano design (Blackjack), whom DC would go on to hire. If Dial H had gone on for another few years, 'Mazing Man and Hero Hotline would have been write-ins.

Case 38: Adventure Comics #490
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: As mentioned in the previous Case, since Chris is in a timeless dimension, his Dial's one-hour limitation is not in effect. Given the low power level of many of the heroes conjured up, it's possible the Dial is compensating for its being used before it can "charge up". It's not clear how fast time passes where Vicki is, but her hour seems to go by very quickly.
Name: Centaurus (I'm not sure what he's got to do with centaurs, maybe he's an alien from Centauri?)
Created by: David T. Satterlee, Age 15, of Meadville, PA
Costume: In browns and oranges, Centaurus has a passing resemblance to Wolverine, including a mask with horn-like pieces. There's yellow trim on all the spiky parts of the costume, including the full-faced mask, shoulder pads, gloves and boots.
Powers: He is the "Master of Vibration" (keep your jokes for yourself). He can absorb the vibrations made by such sounds as card shuffling and voices and turn it into "viblasts" that can... uhm... open a curtain! Or... ahh... blow a shallow hole in a wall. (Ok, let loose with the jokes.)
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, playing cards with Blackjack.
Possibilities: Seeing as there's nothing horse-like about him, we'll just have to say he's an alien. Someone like that might show up on the Omega Men's doorstep, or get rejected by the Legion (for an ineffective power).
Integration Quotient: 12% (I bet his creator didn't expect him to be such a lame duck)
Name: Deflecto (bit cheesy, but the kind of deterrent name if you don't want people to throw things at you)
Created by: Darin Hackenbrook, Age 16, of Mattawa, Ontario
Costume: In pleasant blues and whites that match his silver hair, Deflecto's caped uniform is pretty standard except for some asymmetrical white piping, and a mask in the shape of those crescent moons worn like glasses.
Powers: He can deflect incoming attacks with blasts from his hands. Presumably, these cannot be used an offensive manner.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, playing cards with Blackjack.
Possibilities: The costume links him to the Moon, some kind of nocturnal defender of the innocent, possibly a pacifist (those are Dove's colors, after all). There could be an interesting story there for a protester or conscientious objector.
Integration Quotient: 20% (just doesn't have the range of powers to make it on his own)
Name: Worm Man (exactly what it says on the tin, ridiculous but accurate)
Created by: Robbie Halvorson, Age 15, of Grand Forks, ND
Costume: A handsome man with a yellow cape, red and yellow shirt, a black "W" and Captain Marvel's bracers, his most memorable bit is all under the belt, where you'll find some 40 feet of worm tail!
Powers: Worm Man's coiled body can probably be used to entangle opponents and he can definitely lash out with his powerful tail, but his main power is burrowing. Some kind of energy comes out of his face to dig tunnels in front of him (it's possible this effect is just meant to represent his eating rock and dirt though).
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, escaping Blackjack's realm.
Possibilities: I'm sure there's a place in some of the more comical corners of the DC Universe for a grotesque hero like Worm Man. His look is perfect for a hero who takes himself very seriously, yet is ridiculous to everyone else. He might even grow to be a phenomenon like Squirrel Girl.
Integration Quotient: 40% (uniqueness counts for a lot, but it's not the complete equation)
Name: Spinning Jenny (just rustic enough kids will have forgotten the original meaning)
Created by: Paul Speidel, Age 19, of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Costume: In orange and black, this redhead's costume features some pleasant curves (I like the arm bandage on her right side, for example), and a black X that covers part of her face like an incomplete mask. Very "fashion".
Powers: Jenny is a human top, constantly spinning (though it looks more like a field around her is actually spinning) and thus able to create a vortex of air that allows her to fly and blow off enemies. If she spins at the speed of light, she can "travel into the past" and wind up where she used to be.
Sighted: On the Serpent's planet, fighting him off and escaping back to Fairfax.
Possibilities: Showing she has the ability to "spin" for different effects, she might be tapping into the Flash's Speed Force. How about making her the Top's daughter, doing good to make up for his life of crime? And in real life, she's in the P.R. business, of course. A real "spin doctor"! I'd read that series.
Integration Quotient: 88% (an evocative concept that links pretty easily to the DCU)
Name: Spectro (there's a Dr. Spectro, any relation?)
Created by: Eric Mohn, Age 14, of Lakeville, MN
Costume: The color scheme is dingy, all blues and purples, and the cut isn't too memorable - high boots and gloves, flared shoulders, and a simple starburst on the chest. What makes it interesting at all is the mask, a spooky white cross over a faceless mask. Like a creepy Azrael.
Powers: Unknown. This is the first of four throwaways (the rest in our next Case File) that appear in a single panel. So we're left to imagine Spectro's powers, and from name and costume, they're probably light-based, possibly ghost-based. An artificial ghost who can phase through matter, appear out of nowhere, etc.?
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, an identity taken on and immediately shrugged off by Chris.
Possibilities: A vigilante who uses holograms/illusions to scare the bejeezus out of criminals, he may or may not have ties to a Christian cult like Azrael does. He's probably not all there, physically AND psychologically.
Integration Quotient: 75% (it's all about that creepy face, man)

Bonus Supervillains
Name: Blackjack (such a good name, it's been used on an Archie hero and, minus a C, in Atari Force)
Created by: Stephen DeStefano, Age 15, of South Ozone Park, NY
Costume: Blackjack is an impish very short bald man dressed like a riverboat gambler. He has a cane with a large diamond pommel.
Powers: Blackjack the "Death Dealer" runs a death trap casino in another dimension. The casino seems to have automated traps like robot tentacle arms, but mostly, he activates the various gadgets himself. These are gambling-based and include a throwable roulette wheel and slot machines that fire green coins at a deadly rate. He can shuffle cards so quickly that they can be used as a shield. The purpose of his asking victims to draw a card is unknown - Chris keeps losing (drawing the Ace of Spaces over and over again), but there doesn't appear to be any effect to this. Perhaps, Two-Face-like, it merely serves as motivation to keep torturing his victim or releasing them.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, playing games with Chris King's various superhero identities. He is desperately sad to see him leave for good.
Possibilities: An impish, obsessed dude who lives in a dimension where the laws of physics don't apply? He's gotta be from the 5th Dimension or something, a cousin to Mxyzptlk, Bat-Mite and the rest. As such, he has a definite role to play, either finding our world or against dimension-tossed heroes.
Integration Quotient: 90% (there's nothing like a pan-dimensional casino in the DCU yet, so he's ready-made to provide a change of pace)
Name: The Serpent (more of a lizard, really, but serpentine names are always striking)
Created by: Joseph Harding, Age 20, of Portland, OR
Costume: A black one-piece (with a yellow strip running down the front) that must be really hard to put on unless he can somehow retract those yellow back fins, but when you look like a humanoid Komodo dragon, you don't really need to focus on your apparel.
Powers: The literally cold-blooded Serpent can animate strong entangling vines in his native habitat. He seems to have a symbiotic relationship with this specific plant species (he calls it a "servile vine-creature"), as he is not seen animating any other plants or animals.
Sighted: On a swamp planet that may or may not be in our dimension, fighting Vicki Grant's various superhero identities. He seems to see her as an intruder, though he would like to know the secret of her powers.
Possibilities: Stuck on a planet like that, it's unlikely he would show up on Earth or become more than a one-shot threat to some superheroic visitor. That said, plenty of space-faring heroes could benefit from that one-shot.
Integration Quotient: 20% (he fits, he just doesn't have any staying power)

One Case File to go before Adventure Comics wraps! Can you stand the excitement?!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dial H for Harley Davidson

Took me a while to get to this issue, and part of it is that it's so BIG. This is, in fact, the last issue of Adventure Comics before the strip moves to a back-up in New Adventures of Superboy, so they're really trying to fit as many fan creations as possible, so many that I'm gonna take this in three separate posts. The other interesting thing is that the two main villains of the piece have returned quite recently in the Dial H series! The Squid and the Abyss have in fact been a big part of writer China Mieville's initial story arc. That must be pretty cool for Lester English and Robert A. Bluethe (unless they think DC's making money off their backs, of course). They're in this entry, along with five other characters designed by YOU.

Case 37: Adventure Comics #490
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: While in a timeless dimension, Chris' Dial doesn't need an hour to recharge between transformations. Without understanding the true nature of that dimension, does that mean the Dials aren't actually recharging during that hour? If not, what's the real reason for the one-hour limitation? Controlling the Dial wearer and preventing him or her from becoming too powerful?
Name: Tempest (later adopted by an Atari Force member and then the former Aqualad; it suits this character better)
Created by: David Hoffman, Age 14, of Tuscon, AZ
Costume: A pretty pleasant pink and purple number, with a triple-belt of beads set at an angle, a peek-a-boo window in the chest (actually a couple of tiny ones too), and fletched high boots, but what's really cool is her hair, which takes the form of various types of weather phenomena (see Powers).
Powers: Tempest's hair is imbued with the power of various weather phenomena. It can be a dark cloud that fires lightning bolts, a plum of water acting as a pressure attack, a tornado "beehive" that propels her through the air, and even an icey snowstorm that can freeze an enemy.
Sighted: In Fairfax, fighting and capturing the Squid.
Possibilities: Her powers take such an unusual turn, I really want to find a place for her. Garth doesn't need that Tempest name , but the name does create a link to the Titans franchise. Could her powers come from a similar (i.e. Atlantean) place?
Integration Quotient: 77% (too neat not to make it, but where?)
Name: Radarman (simple, classic, but like something Archie might have published)
Created by: Dave Elyea, Age 22, of Cheboygan, MI
Costume: Kind of a strongman aesthetic there, in green and yellow, with a big fat belt (with a radar scope on it), short sleeves and bracers, plus a shortish cape and 50s SF finned helmet and thick goggles.
Powers: Radarman's goggles can hone in on the "vibes of anyone who's been on the scene for the last hour", discover where they are, then teleport right to that location.
Sighted: In Fairfax, fighting and capturing the Squid.
Possibilities: Radarman should be some kind of 40s or 50s hero, complete with a goofy origin involving some kind of radar accident. He's not active today, but you hear stories.
Integration Quotient: 40% (definitely old school, if at all)
Name: Stuntmaster (if there can be a Sportsmaster...)
Created by: Martin Walsh, Age 11, of Santa Clara, CA
Costume: A sort of Evel Knievel in dark red and gold, with speedy stylized "S"s on his short cape and leather chest-piece. His face is hidden behind an opaque motorcycle helmet. He drives a high-tech bike with flames drawn on the sides, and holds a rattle-like scepter (hmm).
Powers: Stuntmaster is an expert motorcyclist who rides a pretty invulnerable motorbike, and wields a scepter that shoots beams of energy. Really? That last one?
Sighted: In Fairfax, fighting the Abyss, then in a timeless dimension, getting captured by Blackjack.
Possibilities: Aside from the silly scepter, a perfectly credible 70s hero riding in the wake of the Ghost Rider. I'd have him team up with the Jones/Parobeck El Diablo or something.
Integration Quotient: 30% (lost some points with that scepter, I have to say)
Name: Starburst (sounds like candy, but a fine, generic superhero name)
Created by: Heloise Doucet, Age 13, of Sudbury, Ontario
Costume: A yellow costume that almost merges with her pale yellow skin, it features bell-bottoms with red stars at the top and bottom, high-heeled boots with a star at the tip, a white belt again with a red starburst, and a similar starburst dividing long glove from upper arm. Not unpleasant in a Dazzler sort of way.
Powers: Starburst fires energy bursts. STAR-powered bursts. So, starbursts. From hands and eyes. And she can fly.
Sighted: In Fairfax, fighting the Abyss, then on a marsh world, fighting the Serpent.
Possibilities: She's got a pretty nice look, too bad about the generic powers. Well, if Stuntmaster can be derivative of the Ghost Rider, she can be a Dazzler clone. DC could use the pair as 70s heroes (possibly now required) to fill in the gaps in their history as the time scale slides, even as parodies of heroes popular at the time.
Integration Quotient: 35% (no scepter scores her 5 more percentage points)
Name: Shadow Master (one of my first role-players back in high school had a ninja called Shadow Master; man, that Shadow Master PC was a BASTARD)
Created by: Stephen Berezowecki, Age 15, of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Costume: On the whole, your basic superhero duds, with gloves and boots clearly stolen from Captain America, but with a black, eyeless hood, black cape and black belt (with a honking big buckle). He also uses a metal wand with a sort of blunt arrow point at both ends.
Powers: Shadow Master can summon and control a smokey cloud of darkness with his wand.
Sighted: In a timeless dimension, briefly attempting to fight Blackjack.
Possibilities: A sort of low-rent Doctor Mid-Nite, he looks and feels like an obscure (pun intended) Golden Age character. Let him show up in a crowd scene in All-Star Squadron or something.
Integration Quotient: 20% (the name deserved a better design)

Bonus Supervillains
Name: The Squid (loved it as a Charlton Blue Beetle adversary, love it here; the name was also used for a Gotham crime boss)
Created by: Lester English, Age 31, of Claplin, KS
Costume: In blue and pink, the full body suit features some piping from shoulders to gloves, gloves covering hands that end in prehensile, sucker-tipped fingers. The mask and chest both have a stylized squid on them (overkill?). Under that mask, the Squid is a plump reptilian with strange ears and short fangs.
Powers: The Squid can shoot special inks from his finger tips, to create slicks, of course, but that can also act as a powerful acid.
Sighted: In Fairfax, stealing jewels, presumably because as an alien, our money had no value to him. He was apprehended by Tempest and Radarman, but managed to escaped with the help of his "companion", Abyss. He was later lost in the Abyss' inner dimensions.
Possibilities: I don't know if you consider reappearing in a Dial H comic cheating, but the Squid IS a part of the New52. And apparently, so are Chris and Vicki, since these events are referenced in the new series. He was eventually rescued from the ether by Ex Nihilo.
Integration Quotient: 100% (what can I say?)
Name: The Abyss (my favorite Cameron film, but a bit depressing for a super-character)
Created by: Robert A. Buethe, Age 21, of Elmont, NY
Costume: None. The Abyss appears as a giant humanoid silhouette through which one can see stars and planets in space.
Powers: The Abyss is a living gateway to other worlds, at least some of them (if not all) appearing to exist in another dimension. If the Abyss is under attack, it may lose control of the destination it proffers.
Sighted: In Fairfax, helping the Squid in his crime spree. It seemed to implode while under attack from Fairfax hero Topsy-Turvy.
Possibilities: Like the Squid, the Abyss is currently appearing in the Dial H comic, where Ex Nihilo has tried to merge with it. I wouldn't be surprised if its inner dimensions were somehow related to the identities Dialed up by our heroes.
Integration Quotient: 100% (thank you Mr. Mieville)

Two more entries to go before Adventure 490 is done. Don't touch that Dial!