China Mieville’s Subversive Superhero Comic Dial H

With a wild roster of superheroes to become, schlub Nelson Jent gets stuck on a racist caricature in the latest issue of China Miéville’s surreal comic book Dial H, out Wednesday from DC Comics.

The award-winning sci-fi writer’s worthy reboot of cult ’60s series Dial H for Hero — in which a magical phone dial (remember those?) transforms callers into superheroes for a short time — hews close to Grant Morrison’s darkly psychedelic ’80s reboot of Doom Patrol. Although Dial H is shorter on visceral horror, it goes longer on comedy, resulting in one of the best of DC Comics’ uneven New 52 relaunches.

Click through Wired’s exclusive gallery of Dial H No. 6 — with art by David Lapham and cover by Batman: The Killing Joke’s Brian Bolland — for more clarity on the comic book’s multiple-personality hilarity, which is a refreshing derangement of the industry’s hero archetyping. Then let us know in the comments section below if you think Miéville’s first recurring comics series honors his impressively imaginative and political fiction.