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Dial H, Vol. 1: Into You

(Dial H TPB #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,411 ratings  ·  189 reviews
Hugo Award-winning novelist China Miéville breathes new life into a classic DC Comics series as part of the second wave of DC Comics - The New 52.

In the small run-down town of Littleville, CO, a troubled young man stumbles upon the lost H-Dial and all of the secrets and power it possesses. It has been many years since the H-Dial has been seen, though legions of villains ha
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by DC Comics (first published April 23rd 2012)
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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,411 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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I've never read any of the older Dial H stuff, so I went into this with no preconceived notions as to what it was about.
And once I finished this, I still had no idea what it was about.

An out of shape loserish guy tries to save his friend from thugs, by dialing for help in a phone booth...and turns into a superhero.
Boy Chimney!
In case you were wondering, he chokes out the bad guys with his noxious chimney smoke.
But the best part of this magical phone booth (or Dial) is that
Jan Philipzig
A few days ago, Nelson was just another out-of-shape guy without much going for him. And he still is, really, but now the H-Dial (4376 spells... HERO!) has transformed him into some random superhero, and he has teamed up with his best friend's murderer to protect an old lady superhero from a supervillain and a very angry void... If you like your superheroics a bit on the quirky, less-than-divine side, China Miéville's Dial H just might be for you.
Sam Quixote
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Nelson Jent is an out-of-shape, unemployed schlub who discovers a mysterious phone booth with a rotary dial in an alley near his flat. When he dials a specific number – H-E-R-O (the letters are underneath the numbers) – he transforms into… well, any number of random whacky “superheroes” for a short time before reverting back to his normal self! With his new powers he’s going to get revenge on the bad guys who killed his buddy.

Dial H isn’t a very good comic but I didn’t hate it. One of my issues
James DeSantis
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have no clue what the fuck was happening in this half the time.

So some fat dude is being made fun of by his best friend. His friend leaves, gets attacked by some bad guys, friend dials on a payphone and poof, becomes a hero! Then every single time he uses the payphone, or the dial itself, to spell out hero, he becomes one. Then some creature, woman, mask thingy comes and tells him they must fight together, however some gangsters are hunting him down and...yeah. Lost? me too.

Good: The start i
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, superhumans
I don't doubt that I would have completely overlooked Dial H if it weren't written by Miéville. But his name was enough to interest in me in what is, frankly, a niche comic to begin with. I know absolutely nothing about the older versions of the concept, so I came in without any preconceived notions. But what you get is pretty much exactly what you would expect to see if you were told that Miéville would be trying his hand at creating superheroes. And the best issue in the collection by far is t ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting concept. From reading other reviews, I understand this is a revamp of a showcase comic from years ago.

In this carnation, we have as our protagonist Joe Average. Joe witnesses a crime, tries to intervene, and is targeted for violence in return. He finds an old rotary-dial pay phone in an alley and attempts to get help. He instead becomes some kind of weird superhero who stops the crime. But, to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, and our Everyman gets sucked deeper a
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a pretty complicated comic and writer China Mieville just sort of throws his audience in the deep end without much by way of explanation, piling weirdness on weirdness. Just about the point where I couldn't take it any more, things slowed down a bit, got just a bit less weird, and some explanation was proffered, at which point, I decided, "Hey, I kind of like this!" The closest comparison I have is to the series Xombi, which had a couple of short-lived runs under the DC mantle, and was s ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Right now DC Comics is revamping their entire line of comic book series as the New 52. Of course, when they tapped China Miéville this project, he took on a series I'd never even heard of: Dial H for Hero. In Dial H, Nelson, an ordinary, over-weight man, sees a friend being beaten by thugs in an alley and uses an old phone booth to call for help. After dialing h, Nelson is turned into Boy Chimney and uses his superhero powers to defeat the thugs and get his friend to hospital. Once he has return ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Mar 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics, dc, i-give-up
So yeah, I can see why this one was cancelled.

Aside from my occasional confusion this was incredibly boring. The writing was disjointed, I didn't care about any of the characters, and the hero transformations where pathetic.

A fat loser (fat by comic book standards) discovers a magical phone box...

No, not that one, unfortunately.

When he dials H-E-R-O he is transformed into some random reject 'hero' for a few hours. These characters are ridiculous, not funny ridiculous or interestingly weird, just
Gregor Xane
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I liked the basic premise and the fact that the protagonists were a woefully overweight and generally unhealthy man in his late twenties and an elderly woman.

I didn't like the fact that DC chose to depict a much more trimmed down version of the main protagonist on the cover of this book. Really? They didn't think they could sell a comic book with a fat guy on the cover? I also found that the author was trying too hard to be funny at times. China Miéville isn't funny (as evidenced by his novels
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quirky and fun. It does kind of throw you into the mix without explaining what's going on, but it starts backstorying after a few issues. I liked the use of the dial being likened to an addiction, and how the superhero role can start consuming your identity. Looking forward to the second collection.
❂ Sam ❂
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Any schmuck can be a superhero? That sounds nice and all but does anyone really believe it? Heck no. There’s no way that my fat ass is going to be running around saving the world from super villains. If I could I totally would. But unless we’re talking Butterball from the Avengers Academy most of us average everyday bums aren’t going to have the opportunity to do much about the world around us.

That’s the same sort of mindset that the hero of Dial H had.

Rather, it’s the mindset he probably would
Mar 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
China Mieville is a great voice in fantasy and sci-fi fiction. His novels are intelligent, original and engaging, appealing in both their ideology and narrative. So I was somewhat excited to find that he had broken out into graphic novels. Unfortunately my excitement was short lived.

I so much wanted to enjoy this story of a telephone booth that transforms our central character ino a range of superheroes. The problem with the book is one of Mieville’s strengths as a novelist. Mieville is known f
Dial H is one weird comic book (in a very good way). It is a genre-bending tour de force that introduces many amazing concepts and ideas that only China Miéville could come up with. I started reading the book without knowing what it was about, and I think it made the experience even more thrilling.

I do not understand why people complain about the book's surrealism and non-linear plot - as it is in fact a very straight-forward, perfectly clear story that is very well told and beautifully drawn. T
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This was a lot better than I expected. Kinda like Grant Morrison at his mid-level wackiness. The writing is solid, the out there stuff isn't crazy so much that it gets stupid, like many out there books do.

A loser main character who turns into random heroes every time he dials a random phone rotary dial. Some are crazy, some are lame, but the variety is vast. Then he runs into bad guys who are mysterious, as well as a potential ally.

This is also the best DC book I've read in the last bunch, which
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
I picked that up because I am a huge fan of the writer China Mieville but I have to say I am having a hard time making sense of this book.
Tyler Kroon
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cool concept, with a unique story line packed with twists and some truly wacky characters. Nelson, an out of shape, unemployed, depressed man, accidentally discovers the H-Dial, a telephone dial on a nearby payphone that turns him into a superhero when he dials 4-3-7-6 (H-E-R-O). Unfortunately, the dial is on the fritz, lasting for varying periods of time, and the hero he becomes is always random, sometimes with truly odd results (i.e.: Captain Lachrymose, Boy Chimney, and Cock-A-Hoop, to name a ...more
Milo (BOK)
Read the Original Review:

“A weird collection that should have a target audience of horror and superhero graphic novel fans alike, but my expectations of a great graphic novel were let down and I was not impressed.” ~The Founding Fields

Writer: China Mieville | Art: Mateus Santolouco, David Lapham, Riccardo Burchielli | Cover Art: Brian Bollard | Collects: Dial H: #0-#6.

• Hugo Award-winning novelist China Mieville joins DC Comics—The New 52 with the first
May 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this as a fan of China Mieville. And while it is fun, it has nowhere near the imagination and glorious weirdness of his prose.

The story is that ordinary obese loser Nelson lucks into finding a magical phone. Whenever he dials HERO on it, he channels a random bizarre superhero from somewhere. These are often silly, and occasionally fascinating. Needless to say, Nelson stumbles into adventures. There are occasional bizarre concepts and interesting character moments, but most of the comic y
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Only China Mieville could write a comic with a hero named Captain Lachrymose - a protagonist who feeds off the sadness of others to become powerful. Great idea with poor results here. An obese Joe Schmo accidentally discovers that he can randomly turn into different weird super heroes after dialing H-E-R-O into a payphone. (Do they still have these?) Anyway, part of the hook is that he quickly has to discover each time what his super powers are and how they work. Now, that is somewhat confusing ...more
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the hottest author's around reinventing an obscure DC comics character? Oh yes please!

China Mieville always does weird so well, so his take on Dial H For Hero was always going to be "out there". It's certainly a fun and challenging story, and I like the characters he creates here, especially ordinary guy Nelson, who gets in well over his head when he accidentally dials himself into a superhero, then another one, then another one. In this he is well-supported by the mysterious Manteau, wh
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Dial H is a strange comic book. The main characters aren't exactly what one would picture when imagining super heroes, and their powers aren't something they were born with...instead they call for them when needed.

By the use of these strange dials our heroes are able to tap into a random heroic identity for a seemingly random amount of time. From Boy Chimney to Hair Bringer the super heroes themselves aren't exactly run of the mill either. Each dial often brought a chuckle, but the powers were
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
How could letting China Miéville take over a wacky mid-list DC title go so poorly? Miéville never manages to ground his characters here, rushing them all-too quickly into an almost nonsensical interdimensional world of phone-powered shapeshifting. It doesn't help that the main character speaks in an odd dialect from halfway between London and some sort of imaginary 1950s Topeka. The book is ostensibly set in the mid-US, but Miéville has no understanding of the American speech idiom, and doesn't ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I started reading this series as single issues, but dropped it a few issues in when the story didn't grab me. When I had the opportunity to read the trade (thank you Netgalley and DC), I instantly regretted not keeping up with the single issues! It takes 3 or 4 issues to get there, but once Dial H hits its stride, it becomes one of the most unique and compelling superhero stories out there. It could be that this story reads better as a trade than it does as single issues, but I still plan on add ...more
Jeremy DeBottis
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Super creative, fun, and awesome art. It's too bad that the artist changed in issue #6 because I loved the original one. The new one is good too, but I just liked how things came together with Santolouco.
Neil McCrea
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
In my personal mathematics: China Mieville + one of DC's most ludicrous properties = awesome. It inspires awe in a manner I haven't felt since I was 12, while managing to keep my more experienced sensibilities engaged. You can't ask for much more than that.

May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
No estoy muy familiarizada con los cómics en general, pero éste me ha entretenido mucho , sorprendido varias veces y hecho reír otras tantas.
Reseña de Laura Fernández · Nota: 6 · Reseña en Fantífica

Entre las muchas virtudes de China Miéville no figura, a juzgar por los seis primeros números de Dial H, su primera serie para DC (tras el flirteo con la división Vértigo del sello en 2008, cuando guionizó un número de Hellblazer), la de potente guionista de superhéroes. Ni siquiera de superhéroes bizarros, como es el caso del bueno de Nelson Jent, un tipo enorme, de un sobrepeso descomunal, que un (mal) día descubre una cabina de teléfono
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, read-in-19
First book recommendation by a new coworker.

I don't think I'm going to be listening to more by him because HOLY CRAP, this is an insane comic. I don't even think I can give a review of it.

If it weren't for him giving me an overview of the entire series, I would have literally no idea what was going on here. I can see why this comic didn't have an especially long run.

Finishing up the second volume now. Such potential, but damn, this is WEIRD.
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cbr5
Like many of China Miéville’s novels, Dial H tries to alter the way readers look at its genres. It uses the tropes of superheroics to tell an entirely different kind of story with a lot of style and unique take on the world of DC Comics. It is a quintessentially Miéville story, where the rules have to be learned, or re-learned at the very least. And in spite of all that, it stays true to the comic book canon and is a huge breath of fresh air in a space that has been stagnant for a while.

I am a h
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A British "fantastic fiction" writer. He is fond of describing his work as "weird fiction" (after early 20th century pulp and horror writers such as H. P. Lovecraft), and belongs to a loose group of writers sometimes called New Weird who consciously attempt to move fantasy away from commercial, genre clichés of Tolkien epigons. He is also active in left-wing politics as a member of the Socialist W ...more

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Dial H TPB (2 books)
  • Dial H, Vol. 2: Exchange