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DC Comics’ ‘Second Wave’ launches today with four new titles

The DC Comics superhero universe expands with the unveiling of alternate world Earth 2.

By Rich Clabaugh / May 2, 2012

Since the DC Comics rollback of last year, all of their most beloved superheroes are now young again – and some are still in training.

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Last September DC Comics relaunched their entire line of superhero comics with 52 new books all renumbered/numbered to begin again at #1. This bold move received a ton of media coverage and high praise as they rolled back years of continuity to the new status quo – a world in which all their best-loved comic book heroes have now only been around for five years. This makes all the characters younger, with some still learning the do’s and don’t’s of superheroing.

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Now, with the dust just barely settled on this new landscape, DC is releasing a "Second Wave" of four new comics starting today.

The four "Second Wave" comics released today include:

Dial H in which writer China Mieville and artist Mateus Santolouco revamp the old series "Dial H for Hero." "Dial H for Hero" featured a mysterious dial (like an old telephone dial) that allowed an ordinary person to achieve superpower status for a short time, simply by dialing the letters H-E-R-O. But each time it was used, the magic dial transformed its user into a superhero with a different name, costume, and powers. This revamp places the magic dial in an old phone booth in an abandoned ally. When loser Nelse Jent tries to use the phone to call the police to help his friend, he is transformed into his first "hero." There are two transformations in this first issue and both are bizarre characters that reflect the darker tone of the comic. The art is moody, giving the setting – a town named Littleville – a bleak rundown appearance. It is a great setup with an interesting mystery – "What is that phone booth and where did it come from?" – peopled by dark, creepy characters including "Boy Chimney" and "Captain Lachrymose." So for fans who like their superheroes quirky, "Dial H"!

GI Combat expands DC's line of war comics. It also contains revamps of old series with the first story "The War That Time Forgot" written by J.T. Krul and painted art by Ariel Olivetti. The concept is simple: A US Special Forces unit is sent into an area in North Korea that has been totally blacked out. Inside they find themselves transported into a land full of dinosaurs. "Have they been sent back in time?" "How will they escape?" are just two of the questions this story asks. The fairly simple plot – soldiers versus dinosaurs – is brought to life by some amazing artwork by Olivetti. The second story is a new version of the "Unknown Soldier" by writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Dan Panosian. When a man‘s family is killed by terrorists, he goes on to become a skilled assassin to kill any and all terrorists. In the process his face is destroyed and he wears bandages to hide his disfigurement. I didn’t find too much originality in this lead-off story. But it’s a safe bet that with Palmiotti and Gray, who’ve been doing such a great job writing the western genre with DC’s ‘"All Star Western," that we’ll soon find it a compelling read.

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