Well, that’s all, folks. The new Dial H for Hero series, written by Sam Humphries, drawn by Joe Quinones, lettered by Dave Sharpe, and co-colored by Jordan Gibson this issue, has come to an end. I’ve written about how much I love this series in my other reviews, and all of my compliments hold through the finale. The story is inspired, the art is incredible, and it’s the absolute crown jewel of the Wonder Comics line. Rather than reiterate what I’ve said previously, I’m hoping to touch on what this book means to me now that it’s done, and why I think it’s so special.
Dial H for Hero was my favorite book of 2019. Not just because of the incredible character designs or the way it dives into the DC Multiverse, but because of how genuinely inspiring it is. This last issue touches a lot on hope, and unlike a lot of other comics out there, I truly felt it. There are some utterly brilliant sequences here that demonstrate how Miguel and Summer bring hope to the DC Universe, and it’s so earned and reverent. It speaks not only to the acts of super heroism in comics, but the struggles and victories of ordinary people in their own lives. Dial H’s resolution is an inspiring message about the self rather than the super heroic, and It can actually back up what it has to say.
As a DC fan, I’ve felt for a while that the biggest problem with the company is that they’re embarrassed of themselves. They feel the need to constantly reboot and change and cut away parts of themselves, rather than embracing their whole history with open arms. Though there are certainly some rumors and speculation about where DC goes next, I feel that Dial H is one of the most DC experiences I’ve had since I started reading comics. This is a book that looks at the DC Universe and eagerly grins. It’s so total in its love and so all encompassing in its scope. From the bigger icons to the obscure, the entire universe is here. But this isn’t just a love letter to DC — it’s a love letter to comics. Between all these wonderful character designs, so much of the medium is represented. Everything comics are and were is here in this story. In that respect, I think it’s a definitive DC text. This is a book that made me feel like a kid seeing DC for the very first time, and I think its a must-own for fans of the universe.
I think the last thing that makes this book so special to me is representation. Miguel is gay, and at the book’s end he gets to go back and get the number of a guy he met earlier in the series. As a gay man, I’ve had a lot of issues finding myself in comics. I had already loved this story, but Miguel makes this story personal in a way I don’t often get. These story choices matter; they are not trivial character details, they deeply affect the way marginalized people connect with fiction. I’m overjoyed that a book this good is something that makes the effort to include people like me.
I love this book. I love this book so much. I love its approach to high concept stuff, I love the art, and I love the characters. But more than that, I love how loving the book is. I cannot over-exaggerate how well Humphries, Quinones, Sharpe, Gibson, and everyone else who worked on the series did. Go out and read this book — I genuinely think pretty much everyone can find something to love here. This is one of those really special stories that only comes around once in a while, and I think everyone needs it in their life.