Acting as the bookend to the recently cancelled Dial H, Justice League #23.3, focuses on the mystic dial that gives ordinary people extraordinary powers—seemingly at random. The result is a complex introduction to a cadre of new heroes and villains…I think.
The artwork is the major focus of Justice League #23.3, as there are literally 21 listed artists for this issue. Each artists gets a page of their own (with Alberto Ponticelli getting some back-up from Dan Green for the final page) giving the issue an exciting feel that can’t really be compared due to the very nature of it’s presentation.
While Dial H does have a steep learning curve, Justice League #23.3: Dial E can be fun to read on its own. If you take the issue at face value, it tells the tale of a group of kids keep the dial away from adults with guns who want it for themselves.
Justice League #23.3: Dial E is a huge example of what not to do when trying to bring in new readers. That includes regular comic book readers who may have been enticed to read Dial H after reading this issue. Unfortunately, I don’t believe many would. This issue was a chance for China Mieville to recap the major concepts of the series and present an ending that would inspire a whole new audience to go back and read his unorthodox series. Instead, it feels like a grand display of self-indulgence
Unless you’ve read the entirety of Dial H, this issue will not make sense. Though Dial E can be a fun read, the operative word would be ‘can.’ I enjoyed this issue because I decided—two pages in—that I had to take it face value or else I would be completely disappointed. This issue simply doesn’t make the cut when it comes to giving readers a fun experience.
While I personally enjoyed the cadre of artists recruited for this issue, most readers will find it jarring. Featuring a new artist on each page sounds fun, but can also be frustrating when you’re trying to follow a story only to have your focus constantly pulled away from the narrative to look at the artwork.
Justice League #23.3: Dial E is a great ending for the series Dial H, but only if you read it. Without the background information China Mieville’s crazy-as-hell series at your fingertips, Dial E mostly falls flat.