ACW #640 – Hero Hotline

Action Comics Weekly #640 (Hero Hotline)
Writer/Colors – Bob Rozakis
Pencils – Stephen DeStefano
Inks – Kurt Schaffenberger
Letters – Agustin Mas
Editor – Brian Augustyn

It feels like just yesterday that we introduced the Hero Hotline into the rotation… and here we are, ready to bid ’em adieu!  Guess that’s just the name of the game when it comes to the four-part “Showcase Presents” features… no sooner do we get comfortable with ’em, they’re yanked away.

Oh well, let’s do it!

We open with the “Master Inventor” Roderick C. Broderick arriving at Hero Hotline Headquarters (HHHQ?  Triple-HQ?).  With him, he’s got his dog, Astro… inside an impenetrable transparent box.  Ya see, he just invented this plastic that is impervious to destruction… only, when testing it (by putting his pup into a box made out of the stuff), he forgot to pop any airholes into the thing.  So, ya know… time is of the essence.  Flex heads over to get a better look… and does his darnedest to bust the pup out… without any success.  Thankfully, Diamondette is nearby to use her diamond-hard hands to slice through the adhesive holding the crate together, and setting the dog free.  Astro then b-lines it to Roddy… and starts chewing on his lab coat.

We shift scenes over to the subway, where Hotshot and Stretch have confronted that one anti-smoking dude stalking the area with a squirt gun full’a gasoline.  Since he won’t listen to reason (imagine that), Hotshot pulls a distraction, and Stretch nyoinks the pistol away.  Kinda underwhelming as a cliffhanger pay-off, but whattayagonnado?

We head back to HHHQ, where Ms. Melanie Boulder… the Siren of Satan, herself… arrives to express her gratitude for her new hero.  Flex prepares himself for a hug… but, naturally, she stomps right past him and plants one on Private-Eyes.  She also winds up joining the team, sorta.

Now, Boulder’s got some problems… and I’m not talking about back pain… though, she probably deals with a bit of that as well.  Ya see, since she was stuck in the frigid meat locker, it seems she’s lost her voice.  Can’t put on a country concert without a voice, can ya?  Well, lucky for her… Voice-Over has the ability to throw his voice, and mimic anybody!  Ms. Melanie’s agent is overjoyed… the show will go on!

This comic, however, will not.  We wrap up with the Hero Hotline operators informing us that the story is over… but, not to fret because there’s going to be a six-issue miniseries featuring the team before ya know it!

Gotta say… after last week’s heavier-than-expected chapter, I was a bit let down by this.  That was poignant, tragic… really strong stuff.  Here?  It’s back to the funny ha-ha’s, which isn’t necessarily bad… but, just doesn’t quite measure up to the expectations set last time.

What’s more, there’s really just not a whole lot more to say about it!  It ties a neat and tidy bow on the arc, which is a good thing… but, doesn’t really incentivize coming back for the promised miniseries.  I suppose if you liked this, and want more of the same… you’re good to go!  If you wanted something more… well, no promises.

I don’t want it to sound like I didn’t enjoy this… because I did.  There’s a definite charm to this story, and these characters… however, after last week’s exceptionally strong outing, it’s hard for me not to be a bit disappointed.

Tomorrow: The… penultimate Supermanning!

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