The Flash lost his powers, because Nelson dialed them! But not before DIAL H #11 goes in a surprising new direction in its main characters’ relationship. But will they have time to do that with Centipede enacting his ultimate plan for dial users? What is this ultimate plan, and whose side is he on? Why couldn’t he use the dials himself? And for what purpose is The Fixer bopping around space-time?
So last issue, Nelson and Manteau did it. Oh yes, they did the horizontal monster mash, and I can’t for the life of me say why. I think it might have to do with the dials, but I can’t be sure. Point is, they wake up the next morning depowered and deeply regretful for what they did.
And just to reiterate, what they did was have sex. This comic series began with nullomancers and inter-dimensional squids, and this is the point where I give up.
Nelson – just as freaked out about sleeping with his elderly partner in crime-fighting – dials a new hero in an attempt to take his mind off of what just happened. And the hero he dials just so happens to be The Flash.
Sorry Barry, but your attempts to save Iron Heights prison from an attack by violent punk separatists will have to wait while Nelson drowns in regret. This is one of the more hilarious crossovers I’ve ever seen, if only because the two characters crossing over never actually meet, and only occurred by accident of dial. Although it’s not without purpose, as at least this comic uses the sort-of cameo to further one particular plot thread: where the hero identities come from.
Some readers might not remember or have read it, so DIAL H #11 explains it, but way back during the zero issue, we learned of an ancient dial user. She used a sun dial to become a hero and defeat a monster. But years later, that same hero punches her way into the universe in order to get revenge on the one who took her powers when they were most needed. Now we as readers – at least the observant ones – had guessed long before even the zero issue that these random heroes being dialed might not just be constructs created from random. That they are their own heroes who have lives and responsibilities of their own, and when a dial user uses their dial, they suspend the powers of those heroes.
It’s only now, with Nelson dialing the Flash, that our protagonists are made aware of this possibility. Apparently the idea had never crossed their minds, not even Manteau who has studied the dial lore for years.
But while this business goes on, Agent Centipede puts his plans into action. These plans involve a priest of dial worship, complex machinery, and a dimensional door to contact The Fixer. The Fixer, if you don’t recall, is the mysterious user of an apparently malfunctioning dial, who came out of Abyss way back in issue five. It’s the being who can freely change identities, but cannot change to its original form, nor can it just enter a dimension without going through round-about means.
And Centipede opens a door for him, intent on making a deal. A dial deal.