Dial H is part of the so-called "Second Wave" of the relaunched DC Comics Universe which is just marketing spin being used to describe a select number of under-performing titles being replaced. Dial was the title with the most hype and anticipation surrounding its release, primarily because it is written by English Sci-Fi/Fantasy author and self-proclaimed writer of "weird fiction", China Miéville.
The plot focuses on the life of an everyday average joe/fat slob in his late twenties named Nelson Jent who is stuck in a rut and not in the best shape physically; basically being one triple cheeseburger away from a coronary. After constants pleas from his friend to get some kind of help, he says all he needs is "a little distraction". He soon discovers a nice distraction when his friend finds himself in a bit of trouble down the street; a run in with some local hoodlums. Nelson comes to his aid as best he can which unfortunately involves himself getting the piss beaten out of him six ways from Sunday then crawling to a local telephone booth to call the po-po. The catch is, this is not your average rotary public telephone, it is the mysterious H Dial. Once the phone is activated, it turns its user into any number of different "superheroes" if you can call them that, including Boy Chimney, a creature with top hat and cane that smokes out the bad guys. Without spoiling anything, you find out the reason for the phone's name and it has something to do with the letters and numbers correlation on the dial pad.
Miéville's writing is top notch and cannot really be faulted. He's one of my favourite writers and basically the sole reason this comic works so well. Maybe the only negatives to the writing are some of the complex language used (similar to his extremely dense novels) which made me pause and reach for a dictionary and also there is so much going on in this issue that it could be a little hard to follow if you're not paying attention. The little narration boxes for the multiple main characters are a nice touch and pop up in unexpected places.
Brazillian artist Mateus Santolouco provides the art and it is both extremely lush and eye-catching (specifically during the hero scenes) and a tiny bit shabby and second rate, if that is possible. There is plenty to like and dislike about the visuals. If you like your art bathed in darkness and very murky, this is right up your alley.
I'm not sure any other writer could pull this concept off like Miéville has and I'm really looking forward to future issues to see more of the crazy H Dial creations. This is honestly a bar above anything DC is publishing these days and you really should get your hands on a copy.