November 2009-Batman and Dial H for Hero
Just in case you don’t know what Dial H for Hero is, he is kinda like the cartoon Ben 10. Instead of having a watch which turns the wearer into different aliens, the Hero Dial turns the wearer in to different heroes with different powers. So this issue is basically Ben 10 meets Batman.
This issue starts with the Hero Dial’s current owner, a teenage boy called Robby Reed, and his Grandfather checking in to a hotel in Gotham City for an Army reunion. While they are checking in, the desk clerk tells them to be careful while they are outside in Gotham since it is a dangerous place. The Grandpa replies to the clerk that it’s not his first time in Gotham. Meanwhile, Robby is looking out of the lobby’s window at a down and out man sitting on the steps of building across the street. We then learn that this man used to work at a local steel mill. He is upset because he got hurt and then was laid off. Then we see The Joker (looking kind different then I’m use to, but hey), talking to his henchmen and telling them that he finally wants to kill Batman and how he has an awesome plan to finally end the Bat.
A few hours later, Robby is watching the news with his Grandpa. He doesn’t understand how there is so much crime in Gotham City with Batman around, so his Grandpa tries to explain to Robby that Batman can’t be in four places at once, let alone two places. Soon afterward, Robby can’t sleep and decides to use his Hero Dial to help Batman. The dial turns him into a hero called Mental Man, who is meant to be “The Greatest Psychic who ever lived.” I think every time he transforms he gives a brief description of the hero’s powers. I could be making that all up or confusing it with Digimon. Well back to the story. Mental Man then use his powers to see into the future and gets scared at what he sees. He then turns back to Robby and goes to bed.
The next morning Robby and his Grandpa leave the hotel. But as soon as they leave, the guy that caught Robby’s eye the day before, breaks in to their hotel room and steals some of their things including the Hero Dial. After leaving the hotel room, he goes to an alley and takes a look at the stuff his stole. He starts to think if it was really worth it until a friend of his comes along and tells him that somebody is offering him and other lowlifes a $100 for tripping alarms to keep the police busy. This is where we learn that his name is Travers. So Travers tells his friend that he will think about it. While he is thinking he takes a look at the Hero Dial and makes a joke about how the analog dial is dead and wonders if the person who made the dial ever heard of digital. He then pushes one of the buttons which results in him turning in to a hero called The Star (who looks a lot like the Sentry from the Marvel comics) who is super-strong and can fly. Travers hears somebody crying for help and he saw a window cleaner falling, so he quickly flies up and save him before he falls to his death. After bringing the window cleaner to safety , Travers gets a hero's welcome from the public. While he is introducing himself, he see Batman watching from the corner of his eye and decides to go and talk to him. Well, The Star and Batman exchange words. Batman gives the usual speech, “This is my city. And if you mess up, I will hunt you down and beat you down.” So The Star tells Batman about the plan he heard about. Batman thanks him for the information and they shake hands. But while they shake hands, Batman somehow gets his fingerprints.
The Star goes back to the hotel room of Robby, while they are talking to the Police about what has been stolen. He flies away before he is seen. So now he is flying around saving people. Then the next couple of pages are pretty cool, with lots of cool fighting and action scenes. We later see Batman breaking into a warehouse with hostages tied up. Batman goes to save them, but before he can he hears The Joker and his plan to kill Batman. If Batman saves the hostages, he has a few seconds to untie them and leave the building before it blows up, which is impossible and if he walks away the building with still blow up. So either way Batman dies. So Batman leaps forth to save the hostages, but before he does the Star flies in and grabs the C-4. He flies through the window and then the C-4 blows up killing him.
The next morning, Robby is sitting outside of a building where his Grandpa's army reunion is being held. He is reading a newspaper article talking about the death of The Star. Batman appears out of nowhere and hands him back the Hero Dial. Robby then says that he doesn’t deserve the dial and tells Batman that he left the Hero Dial out to get stolen. When he was looking in to the future, he saw The Star die. He didn’t want to die and calls himself a coward. Batman gives him a pep talk and tells him about Travers. He says that Travers always wanted to do something with his life and by stealing the Hero Dial, he got his chance to die as a hero.
This issue was written by J. Michael Straczynski. This is the first comic I have ever come across written by him, but I have heard that he has written a lot of The Brave and the Bold. He is a pretty good writer, but am not too sure on how he writes Batman. The story felt rather short, but I guess that's how The Brave and the Bold comics work. The artist was Jesus Saiz, whose art is pretty good, but a lot of his male characters look girlie. But his take on Batman and The Joker is pretty cool, despite The Joker looking kind of girlie in some panels. But besides that its a pretty good comic.
The Brave and the Bold #27:
Reviewed by Johnny Impulse