Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 3.6
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Story by China Mieville
Art by Mateus Santolouco
Cover by Brian Bolland

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

You all know me, I love imagination when it comes to comic books. If someone has a clever idea and writes in a compelling way then you got me. Dial H has certainly grabbed my attention because of how creative it is. Sure China Mieville is taking an old idea, but he’s improved it by inventing so many delightful superheroes. But you need to have more then imagination to keep me interested, some type of story would be nice. Mieville has a story down but I don’t think he’s executing it all that well.

The story overall has been the major downfall of this series in three issues. Mieville is an acclaimed science fiction writer but it’s clear that he’s having a bit of a problem pacing this series. In the span of this issue we get an introduction to this Manteau woman, a little history of the Dial, and suddenly get to the big baddie reveal. Way too much story for one issue and it feels like Mieville is on fast forward to get to the ending of this first arc. Not a good sign considering this hasn’t been the most popular release of the ‘Second Wave’ launch. In fact, this issue feels like someone getting plot lines out of the way quickly if the book was going to leave….I’m just thinking this and obviously it isn’t confirmed but it wouldn’t surprised me if it happened.

The art has definitely grown on me in these three issues. Mateus Santolouco is not a house hold name (nor is it an easy name to say or spell) but he work has really impressed me. Again when we see all of these heroes from the Dial they are designed so beautifully. “Open-Window Man” is a fantastic design and so is everything else about the book. It’s a weird style to get used too because Santolouco is sort of reigning in on the cartoony aspects of the writing by making it look realistic. It has this weird, 1970s indie vibe to it or to be honest it feels more like a Vertigo book because of the art.

I’m still enjoying this series but it is hard not to notice the cracks. Mieville might be a great prose writer but his pacing needs to definitely improve if this series isn’t going away anytime soon. The real selling point, besides the great superhero creations, is the art by Santolouco. His style is nothing like anything you’ve seen in a mainstream book. If the next issue ends this first arc I’m intrigued to see where this series is going to go. But let’s hope Mieville gets the rust out of his system by that time.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 4 - Very Good

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