In the run-up to DC Comics’ New 52 initiative back in September, Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman’s Animal Man series seemed to get surprisingly more attention from the DC blog and comics news sites than almost any other title being launched. It was being touted as a masterpiece, as Geoff Johns’ favorite new title and the best of Lemire’s ongoing DC titles, which included Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E., a title we quite liked last year.
Ultimately, it lived up to the hype. Animal Man has been one of the most consistenly praised New 52 titles and joined books like Batman and Justice League in having four printings of its first issue by the end of 2011.
That makes it all that much harder to ignore the volume of coverage that DC seems to be giving to China Miéville’s upcoming Dial H, as opposed to some of the company’s other “Second Wave” New 52 titles. While GI Combat, Earth Two and Worlds’ Finest have been represented on the blog, The Ravagers and Batman Incorporated have had almost no presence there–and no single title seems to have the “push” that Dial H has, both at DC’s promotional blog and with comics news sites.
“China Miéville is a brilliantly imaginative writer, and secretly might even be one of the smartest people in the world,” says series editor Karen Berger, best known for her Vertigo work but nowadays working the superhero side of things more and more. It’s the same way they were building up Lemire not so long ago.
Dial H is, of course, just a retelling of the Silver Age camp-superhero idea of “Dial H for Hero.” It was already brilliantly re-envisioned in the ’90s as H-E-R-O by Will Pfeifer and Kano and seems fertile ground for someone with the kind of off-the-wall, big-concept inspired lunacy that Lemire brought to Animal Man. You think Miéville is up to the task?