Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hero Hotline #3 (1989)

Hero Hotline #3 (June, 1989)
Writer & Colorist - Bob Rozakis
Artist - Stephen DeStefano
Inker - Kurt Schaffenberger
Letterer - John Costanza
Editor - Brian Augustyn
Cover Price: $1.75

Today's post is a special one.  Thus far in my blogging career, all of my subjects have been one (or two) and done.  I've always felt that I don't have the stamina (or creative enough writing style) to do a full-blown series.  My mind begins to wander, and I feel as though I'm repeating myself.  Hell, even without revisiting series' I feel as though I'm repeating myself.

This is the first time I've made it to the third issue of anything for a discussion and review-type post.  I always find myself rather envious of my fellow bloggers who can stick with one topic, and actually see it through to the end while keeping their take interesting and entertaining.  One such blogger that I very much enjoy is Dan Reilly over at The Crabby Reviewer who has, since early February maintained a wonderfully interesting (and totally recommended) marathon of the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Battleworld Box Set.  I've followed along (and loved) the entire ride thus far, and I salute your efforts, Dan!  You've inspired me to actually see a few miniseries through to their end here on the blog, including the one we'll be discussing today!


Previous Chapters: #1, #2

School's out, so Microwave Mom has to drag her kids to the office.  The Coordinator decides to put her on desk duty this day, and also asks that she show new recruit Lightning Eyes around the office.  I wonder what his power may be?

Lightning Eyes: Probably shoots lightning from his eyes, right?

A week has gone by since our last visit with the team, and in that time Voice-Over's missing septuagenarian has still not been found.  The Coordinator sends V-O and Private-Eyes (... and Fred) back to the Culligan home to see what's what.

As they leave, we find Mister Muscle taking a phone call.  It appears as though the abusive husband he tangled with back in the opening chapter is challenging him to a fight.  Mom brings Lightning Eyes over for an intro, and we are informed that our strongman is going by Mighty Mike this week.

Fresh off capturing the Comedian from Watchmen's button-given flesh, Diamondette is also fielding a phone call.  It is Geraldo Riv... er, Alberto Rosario.  He wants to use her power to open Al Capo... err... Pandora's Box live on television.  She gets the a-okay from the Coordinator and heads out.

SOOZ scoots up to our man Stretch, and wouldn'tcha know it... there's another cat in a tree.  Poor guy can't catch a break.

V-O and company arrive at the Culligan home only to find it completely ransacked.  Private-Eyes finds some curious sediment on the carpet and patches SOOZ in for an ID.  These particles just happen to originate in a "basement environment".  Eye's decides to employ his x-ray vision and... well... look down.  Much to his surprise, Mrs. Culligan is in fact sitting in the basement

Voice-Over lambastes our invisible friend, Fred for not checking there earlier.  Fred's excuse is that the door was locked.  When asked why he didn't just walk through the wall, Fred reminds them the he may be invisible... but he ain't intangible.  V-O pops on his microphone and loud speaker and uses some super-shoutin'-action to rattle the knob off the door.

As our heroes reach the bottom of the stairs, they hear voices coming from upstairs.  The fellas hide and watch as two women dressed as Martians descent down the steps.  They approach the old woman and... well, try to shake her down for cash.

Voice-Over won't go for that, so he throws his voice acting as though he were an alien from Jupiter.  The women panic and attempt to make their leave, running into Private-Goo-Goo-Googly-Eyes on their way out.  V-O "rescues" the old woman who, thinking she is currently on Mars, is rather puzzled.  Case closed.

Stretch has arrived at the Burlington-Grimes... err, Grimes-Burlington estate to rescue their poor Truffles from a tree.  When he stretches his neck, he finds not only the kitty, but young boy Maximilan as well.  He rescues them both, to the absolute indifference of the wealthy broad.

Next... Live on Alberto, Diamondette is attempting to open Pandora's Box.  Just as she is about to unleash some evil on the world, the network cuts away for a GBS News Bulletin.

At the stock exchange there's an odd figure causing all sorts of commotion and chaos.  It is Bartholomew Higgins, otherwise known as SNAFU (situation normal all FOULED up, thankyouverymuch)... remember him from the text piece in Issue #1?  Me neither.  SOOZ sounds out a red alert, and sends all available team members to the stock exchange.

Once there, many of our team members find themselves caught up in the chaos.  Poor Stretch is so freaked out he's begging to rescue cats from trees!  Private-Eyes is dropped at the door, the chaos powers far too strong for his senses.  In all the psychodelicosity (for lack of a better term, of course), Hot Shot and Mighty Mike provide a distraction, and my main man Voice-Over gives Snafu a sound-blast to the back of the head.

Back on the Alberto show... Pandora's box appears to have been empty the whole time... wah wah wahhhhh.

As the team returns to HQ we again meet the buxom Miss (Melanie) Boulder.  She is worried sick over Private-Eyes being kayoed by Snafu.  Turns out his eyeballs got a bit fried, but he'll be okay... he's taking the rest of the day off though.  Stretch receives another trouble call... this time, it's not a cat up a tree... it's a young child who got stuck in a well.  Wow, this really is a 1980's book.

Stretch doesn't even leave the office, he simply... stretches his arm all the way out to the well and rescues the child.  He then berates the child's parents, the newscaster and the lookers-on.  He has clearly had enough crap this fine day... he too, is taking the rest of the day off.

Poor Voice-Over lost his voice after the Snafu fight (though, invisible Fred can still speak... interesting)... guess what?  He's taking the rest of the day off as well.

As the day draws to a close, Microwave Mom and Lightning Eyes put on their coats and start to head out.  Mom mentions that she was surprised that the Coordinator didn't send the "new guy" out in the field in light of their short staff.  Well, it turns out Lightning Eyes' superpower is his speed-reading ability.

We now follow Mighty Mike out to his fight.  He dons his freshest Zubaz and beret, and hits the street.  In the darkness, a wrench is swung.  Our man snatches it away handily, and the perpetrator flees.

Our tale ends with the Hero Hotline call center receiving a call about a murder... and we are [to be continued...]

Following the story, we find another interesting text piece:


How is it that in the past few years we've seen a revival of Prez and the freakin' Green Team, but not the Hero Hotline?  If ever there was a time where some Bob Ro magic could have been of use was in the post-Flashpoint DC Universe.  DCYou needed 'Mazing Man and the Hero Hotline!

Hero Hotline continues to be almost too fun.  We're at the halfway point, and I'm afraid I may be forming an unhealthy attachment to our cast.  This was a highly entertaining chapter, providing closure on some old (no pun intended) cases, and adding new layers to others.

I am curious if Private-Eyes' injury will be followed up on, or given the somewhat episodic nature of this title, not mentioned in the remaining issues.  The one character I really didn't care for in the opening chapter is rapidly becoming a favorite... Stretch's entire entanglement (again... no pun intended) with the Hotline is becoming quite engaging.  Why does he still do what he does here?  He is clearly unhappy... and is quickly wearing away at whatever "fuse" he may have had.  Does he owe the Coordinator anything?  Is it about his family?  Am I putting more thought into this than perhaps the writer did?  I don't know... but, I'm looking forward to finding out.

This book is an absolute treat.  Still recommended... grab it if you can find it.


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