Dial H #1 A Guy Walks Into a Phone Booth…

Dial H

Story By: China Mieville

Art By: Mateus Santolouco


First off I know this book came out a few weeks back but due to the move to the new apt and a lot of other shit getting in the way I’m finally able to give you my take on this interesting new title from DC.

Dial H is part of DC’s second Wave of New 52 books and labeled as DC’s Dark line along Animal Man and Swamp Thing. That’s some pretty impressive company to keep since both Animal Man and Swamp Thing are two of the best books at DC. After the first issue I’m happy to say that Dial H belongs in that discussion as well.

This is a relaunch of a series I wasn’t fully aware of growing up but I instantly fell in love with the concept after reading. The book introduces us to our main character Nelson. Nelson is an overweight , chain-smoking depressed man. After getting into a fight with his friend over his negative habits Nelson chases after his friend to apologize. He ends up finding his friend getting beaten half to death in an alley and runs to the closest payphone to call for help. What ends up happening from there I don’t want to spoil for you . I will say that this is one of the most interesting and fresh concepts for a book I’ve read in a long time. Also Mateus Santolouco’s art is haunting and slightly off in a way that perfectly matches China Mieville’s writing. While a bit heavy in the inks, the art really shines due to the use of experimental layouts and characters that literally weave in and out of pages. It’s a fun book to look at and constantly throws new images and characters at you to enjoy.

One of several erie and fun pages of Artwork by Mateus Santolouco

The first issue moves along at a pretty good pace establishing the main characters and a nice bit of intrigue as to who the Villains in the book will be. I also love that there is so much potential with what it is Nelson may become every time he exits that phone booth. Already after one issue I’m most excited to see what China Mieville has up his sleeve for potential Superheroes and their powers in  issue two. Using Nelson as the narrator during the process of him changing into random characters is enjoyable and keeps things fresh the entire issue. Mieville even does a great job explaining what the title of the book means and how things work by the end of the issue which I appreciated.

I’m excited to say that DC has another hit on their hands as long as this book stays as exciting and fun as it is. The art is great and Mieville’s ability to jump right into a pretty heavy concept and make it accessible to everyone makes this a book that’s definitely being added to my pull list from now on. I recommend this to fans of not just DC’s other Dark books but fans of comic books as a medium.

Review score: 8.5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.