Today, boys and girls, I'd like to introduce you to what just might be the greatest comic ever. I know, I know, I've said that about almost every comic I've ever blogged about, but this time I really mean it. This one takes the cake. Of course, by now, it should be obvious that I'm referring to DC's wonderful biography of child hero Robby Roberts and his fantastic alien power-dial, in Dial "H" for Hero!
Now, the entire run of this premise is absolutely breathtaking, and I could go on and on with you about every single panel from every single issue. But, for the sake of saving space (and providing me with ample fodder for future blogs), I'll only be covering one issue at a time. This time, we'll take a look at Robby's 5th appearance, in House of Mystery #160The premise of the series is a simple one, young Robby finds a telephone dial from space which, when he dials the letters "H-E-R-O", transforms him into 1 out of 1,000 randomly chosen superheroes. Think of it like that new cartoon Ben 10, except a billion times better. Later on in life, the ideas for characters would actually be sent to DC by readers. That means that this comic was both the easiest thing DC ever did ever, and the best piece of fanfiction you can get your hands on.
Before I even get into the particulars of the characters in this issue, I want to cover what makes Robby Reed so great. For starters, he's your average nerdy kid. Glasses, that bitchin' comb-over hairdo, not to mention his catchphrase of "Sockamagee!", which he yells at every possible moment. Robby Reed is everything you love about Jimmy Olsen along with everything you love about Hank McCoy's Nerdy Friend. He's is a fabulously unappealing character, so nerdy it makes YOU want to beat him up.
Ok, so on to the superheroes. This issue supplies us with 3 different heroes, but since we all know who the hell Plastic Man is, I'm going to skip him entirely. Let's look at the hero immediately across the page, Giantboy:What are the amazing powers of Giantboy, you ask? He's grown up. No, really. Giantboy is a boy who is the size of a full-grown adult. Making him just an adult. Not just any adult, though. Giantboy is such a badass that he stole Luke Cage's tiara! Giant boy is so badass he doesn't even have to hit you. He just wraps you lovingly in his arms and then breaks through a wall with his own freaking head. That's how he rolls. But, he's not why I'm talking about this comic. If you think Giantboy strikes fear into the hearts of villains, wait until you lay your eyes on...That's right, King fucking Kandy. Now, I know what you're thinking, but please, let me explain. Don't be fooled by the candy-striped unitard encrusted with hard candy. Don't be fooled by the crown made of lollipops. And especially don't be confused by him sharing a similar name and theme to the patriarch of Candyland. This guy is 100% genuine manly.
Originally, he was going to go under the moniker "Rock Kandy, agent of S.U.C.R.O.S.E.", and hunt down villains with such things as full rock-candy body armor, molten hot chocolate explosives, and an entire platoon of Oompa-Loompas. Instead, he decided to do it the way a real man does. In nothing but on Olde-Tymey bathing suit (which offers the absolute least amount of bodily protection) and armed with nothing but a lasso made of licorice. Still questioning the manliness? Let's do an experiment.
Take a break from reading this, and go buy some licorice. Go ahead, I'll wait...
..You back? Good. Ok, now take a piece of licorice, grab both ends and pull until the licorice breaks. Didn't take much force did it? Of course not, because licorice is just fucking candy. It's not specially designed for the battling and/or lassoing of evildoers. It's made for being delicious to children of all ages. But King Kandy knows how to kill a man with ANYTHING, even just a piece of candy. That's the kind of training you get when you spend 15 years in the jungles of Africa, battling revolutionaries 24/7 with nothing but a pair of capri pants and a pack of twizzlers.
Huh? Oh, that's right, that's not the origin of this hero at all. What was his origin again? Oh right, some preteen kid dialed some letters into a space phone and magically transformed into him. I guess that logically means that preteen kid, and potentially all others in the world, know how to kill you without blinking an eye.