Hero Hotline #4 (1989)

Hero Hotline #4 (July, 1989)
Writer/Colorist – Bob Rozakis
Artist – Stephen DeStefano
Inker – Kurt Schaeffenberger
Letterer – John Costanza
Editor – Brian Augustyn
Cover Price: $1.75

If you need to catch up, please check out the discussions on Hero Hotline #1, #2, and #3.

We open up today with news that Sturgis “Mister Mighty” Butterfield has gone missing.  SOOZ is able to locate him passed out drunk in an alley.  Stretch is sent off to pick him up.

Try as you might, you can never get the smell of alley out of zubaz.

Young Hotshot is readying to rent his first grown-up apartment, despite his mother’s reservations.  She continually nags him until he promises to call her later on.  As they walk down Hotshot’s seedy new neighborhood, we appear to get a cameo by a certain… sailor man… toot toot.

I yam what I yam

At the Hotline, Mister Mighty merrily (and soberly) strolls in, only to be met by a barrage of police officers.  They cuff him (which doesn’t go all that well) and attempt to arrest him for the murder of abusive husband scumbag, Ralph Bartoli.  The Coordinator tries to get cooler heads to prevail, and insists that Butterfield accompany the officers downtown to answer all of their questions.

SOOZ informs Hotshot of a job that just came through.  Apparently a father of three plucky boys insists on smoking in bed.  The kids are afraid their old man’s gonna burn the place down, so they enlist the Hero Hotline.  Young William is the best bet for such a fiery scenario.  Off he goes…

As he leaves, some of his fellow heroes head off to lunch.  Microwavabelle, Diamondette, Voice-Over, and Fred leave the office, discussing how recently Geraldo Rivera Alberto got punched by nazi-skinheads bigots.

Hotshot arrives at his trouble-ticket to find everything’s just ducky.  Just as the boys had reported, their Unca Donald father is smoking in bed.  Hotshot’s attempts at diplomacy are shrugged off, leading him to employ drastic measures.  He launches a fireball directly at daddy’s derriere causing all sorts of chaos.  Hotshot flees to the sounds of fire extinguishers and threats.

Waughh!

Back at HQ, Stretch is given a case.  It’s most certainly another cat… however, this one just happens to be caught in a drainpipe rather than a tree.  As he storms out some pictures fall out of his “saving cats from trees” scrapbook.  Of particular interest is a photo of him with the original Red Tornado, Ma Hunkel.

We join the lunch-gang at a nearby fast food joint.  An employee approaches and tells them they’d recently gotten an odd delivery, and asks them to take a look.  The crew follows the lad to the back room where they are shown a superhero that had been frozen in a block of ice.  There’s no shield on his chest… so it ain’t that one.  The team carries the block out with them.

Who do I gotta petition to get a Voice-Over: Rebirth?

Next, Private-Eyes and Miss Boulder are attempting to get their marriage license.  They run into some static in regard to their blood tests.  P.Eyes decides to show the poor clerk the blood of himself and his betrothed by pricking their fingers and letting the blood drip out.  Stands to reason, that should cover it!

I think that actually makes them married in some states!

Stretch arrives at the drain pipe, and meets a rather eccentric pair.

I’ve seen movies that start this way…

Back at HQ, the ice block has arrived.  SOOZ conducts a test and finds that the man inside is a patriotic superhero from a bygone time… Why it’s…Captain Mister America (aka the Americommando)!  The Coordinator repeatedly insists it’s not the real Mister America, however.

Voice-Over excuses himself to… take care of the horrendous fast-food hockey puck hamburger he’d eaten just moments prior, only to find that the restroom is locked.  He is surprised to find out that (Invisible) Fred is locked inside… and his intangibility prevents him from getting out.  A returning Stretch is able to finagle his way through the keyhole to free our man.

Shortly, the rest of the team returns and all seem to congregate around the Patriotic ice sculpture.  Despite reservations from the Coordinator, the combined forces of Hotshot and Microwavabelle melt the ice.  As the ice sheds, Private Eyes gets a good look inside the body, discovering that the Americommando’s heart is in fact a bomb.

Diamondette uses her diamond-hard hands and chops the figure in half… Stretch grabs the heart-bomb and reaches his hand wayyyyyyyyyyyyy across the city.  The bomb explodes in the water, and the day is saved.

At the police station Mister Mighty is being interrogated.  He insists he did not kill Mr. Bartoli, and attempts to give his alibi.

Chicken-Pits?

We close out the day back in HQ.  There are a few really odd things that persist throughout this issue that sorta “come to a boil” on the last page.  The HQ (and city) appears to be getting more and more infested with these odd pink and blue peeps (tribble-like creatures) who are breeding at a ridiculous rate… and there is a group of superhero rejects at the hotline who are attempting to unionize.  I’m not sure if they will be of any importance later on, or simply serve as panel-flavor.

Your guess is as good as mine…

Another fine issue of Hero Hotline… though, I must admit… it’s all getting a tad tiresome.  We’ve got two issue to go, and to my knowledge we don’t see any of these characters ever again.  Not sure how satisfying a conclusion this is going to get.  There’s really no overarching story line here, just episodes.  Episodes are great for an ongoing, or maybe even a twelve-issue maxiseries, but here… it sort of feels like wasted space.  In my opinion, a six-issue miniseries should not have any filler… and this really felt like filler.

Not all that much more to say.  The dialogue was fun, and the art still maintains its high level of quality… plus, all the cartoon-cameos are (and have been) a hoot!  Maybe this is why I don’t really review sequential issues too often… nothing much new for me to say.

Anyways, I’m still maintaining hope that there’s a method to Bob Ro’s incredible madness.  He hasn’t let me down yet… so, fingers crossed.

Interesting Ads:

They say one of the reasons Hawkworld fell, was its decadence…
Why have I never heard of this series?
Gotta revisit this one… see if it’s really as boring as I remember.

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