Dial H for HERO #6 // Review
What is the most essential thing that makes a superhero, well, super? Some would argue that it's a mask, or a cape, or powers, or a compelling origin story. Others would argue that it's a secret identity or a cool hideout. It could be a desire to do good or a sense of responsibility. Dial H for HERO #6 makes the case that the most essential quality in a superhero is the ability to inspire.
Miguel and Summer have spent the past five issues of the series trying to get to Metropolis, to get the H-Dial into the hands of Superman. This issue sees them finally reach the City of Tomorrow, but without the H-Dial. Worse, Mister Thunderbolt has managed to use the Dial to give all the citizens of Metropolis powers and heroic identities, which plunges the city into chaos. With Superman nowhere to be found, Miguel steps up to fill his shoes as an inspirational hero and saves the city.
Intended as the last issue, it’s clear that Sam Humphries’ script is the end of a chapter. With Miguel saving the city without Superman's help. If this had been the final issue, the series would have ended on a high note, but Humphries ends the installment with a revelation that will clearly provide the engine for the next six chapters of the series.
The art by Joe Quinones (with additional inks by Scott Hanna, color by Jordan Gibson, and lettering by Dave Sharpe) is the real MVP of the issue. Just as he has in previous issues, Quinones finds the opportunity to brilliantly homage the styles of other comics artists. In this issue alone, he makes artistic impressions of Mike Allred, Alex Ross, Wendy Pini, Erica Henderson, Jack Kirby, Frank Quitely, Bruce Timm, Dan Clowes, Frank Miller, Matt Groening, Mike Mignola, Jae Lee, and many others. The art really shines, though, when Quinones sits in his own style; his faces alone make Miguel, Summer, Robby Reed, and Mister Thunderbolt just amazing to read.
This issue could very well have been a satisfying ending to "Dial H for HERO". It's a gift, then, that Humphries and Quinones have been given another six issues to tell the story of Miguel and Summer's adventures with the H-Dial.