Dial H: China Mieville, Riccardo Burchielli, Tanya & Richard Horie, Steve Wands, Brian Bolland
Wow, this was a pretty interesting story. At first, I didn’t understand. I couldn’t follow along. It was a high risk of losing me…but if it starts doing the same to you, readers, stick it out. I stuck it out, and was handsomely rewarded.
This takes place way back when, in what appears to be a sort of Mesopotamian land and era. An army marches on a small village, and a young woman, Laodice, looks to a large stone sundial for hope. She understands that the ridiculous symbols on it mean something, because it’s not a typical sundial. It’s missing time slots, and nothing means anything in any language they know (or we know presently, to that effect). It leads me to believe this whole “dial” thing is alien in origin. But we’ll see.
A Babylonian beast lays waste to the army and then approaches Laodice just as the Dial activates…and she becomes Bumper Carla! That threw me off…for some reason, I wasn’t expecting a hero with technology out of time, i.e. a bumper car. She defeats the being, and time passes. She’s heralded as a queen and leads her people to prosperity.
Meanwhile, her friend, Stratonice has been looking for answers to the Dial and the symbols, and gained a tracker, who tries to warn Laodice - whom he calls “Dialer” - about something. And we find out Laodice destroyed the Dial long ago. Well, the danger arrives when…BUMPER CARLA arrives!! What?! How?! But Laodice was Bumper Carla!! How can she be there?!?
To find out the AWESOME twist to the Dial, you’ll have to read this issue.
I wasn’t crazy about the art. It has certain flavors of other artists that I do like, but it was just too different for me to be in love with it. It definitely makes me miss Santolouco’s art. But the environments are well put together, and things look nice enough. So it’s not BAD art. It just wasn’t my style.
Dial H #0, the verdict: Another Zero Issue that I really enjoyed. Like I said, it almost lost me…but as a fan of the main series, this included a hint of things to come so huge that I’m definitely glad I didn’t miss it. It’s a good story, with a LOT of exposition in the middle, that ends with a can’t-stop-reading gut punch of a reveal. I don’t know how true to the original “Dial H For Hero” book this is, but in either case, it was executed very well by Mieville.
(Photo Source: Multiversity Comics)