Review: Dial H, Vol. 1: Into You by China Miéville

Dial H, Vol. 1: Into YouDial H, Vol. 1: Into You by China Miéville

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


WhatTheFuckWasThis?!

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!
description


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 you get to rotate through a seemingly never ending line-up of heroes.
Kitschy or Lame? You decide…

Iron Snail
description

Cock-A-Hoop
description

And my personal favorite…
Bumper Carla
description

As you may have guessed, part of the appeal of the book is supposed to be the odd flavor of wacky ‘superheroes’ that the Dial throws out. As in, some are badass, but most are pretty silly to look at.
Fine, fine, fine. That’s sort of an interesting concept, and it could work.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me.
You sort of get tossed into the story with the main character, and explanations are few and far between.
And that, by itself, isn’t really the problem.
No.
The problem I had with this one was the insanely cryptic/childish voice of the all-powerful cosmic being, the cobbled together feeling of the Rogues Galley, and the sensation I had while reading…that the plot was only half-formed.
At the end, there’s a single issue story that answers one question, but it was too little, too late.

I guess part of the reason I didn’t enjoy it more, probably had something to do with the fact that the whole story hinges on Telephone Engineering.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Are we to somehow believe that some intelligent being made pit stops throughout time, and gave Bell, Edison, etc., some sort of Super-Phone? If they were time-travelers, why not just give them something from the future that allowed access to these superheroes? I find it hard to believe that everything hinges on land-line phones. Why a phone booth? Why not hand these guys a cell phone, or…whatever comes next?

I thought the whole thing was sketchy.
Then again, if this hadn’t been my first experience with this title, I might feel differently.

I’m not going to say I’ll NEVER read more about this shit!, but, at this point, I’m not very impressed.

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