Dial H For Hero #5 Reveals The Secret Origin Of The H-Dial

by Tony Thornley

If Dial H For Hero has added anything to the complicated mythology surrounding the H-Dial, it’s been the complex nature of “the Heroverse” the metaphysical realm that the H-Dial draws its heroes from. In Dial H For Hero #5, we learn a lot more about that realm, while also exploring more about what it means to be a hero.

Sam Humphries, Joe Quinones, Scott Hanna, Jordan Gibson, and Dave Sharpe take Miguel into the Heroverse.

In the wake of last issue, Miguel finds himself chasing Mister Thunderbolt through the Heroverse, which takes the form of multiple familiar secret origins. This leads him directly to the Operator, Robbie Reed, with the duo teaming up to stop Mister Thunderbolt. Meanwhile, Summer and Snapper Carr have to figure out how to help him from the real world. Can either duo make a difference?

Humphries uses this issue to explore deeper themes through an adventure/chase story. The issue asks what makes a hero, while showing us the most famous origins in the DCU- and some not-so-famous ones- but makes it clear that it’s not about those moments, but their character and their personality. He does it while still giving us a strong adventure, and delivering a huge amount of information about a very meta concept. It’s a very strong story, that delivers on multiple levels.

Quinones and Hanna continue to show why the art is the biggest draw for this story. As Miguel and Robbie chases Mister Thunderbolt we see recreations of multiple secret origins, all of them in the style of the original story (including an extended homage to David Mazzucchelli). We even get a Darwyn Cooke homage as Robbie tells Miguel about how he became the Operator. It’s not simply a bunch of homages though, because Quinones and Hanna have a great sense of storytelling and flow through the story. Gibson adds to that, bathing the pages in color, and using the color art as a storytelling technique just as much as the line art.

The first arc of this adventure is drawing to a close. Next issue, we’ll see exactly Mister Thunderbolt is after, but regardless it’s going to be an exciting ride.

Dial H For Hero #5 is available now from DC Comics.

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