Dial H for Hero

Dial H for Hero

Dial H for Hero is a comic book feature published by DC Comics about a mysterious dial that enables an ordinary person to become a superhero for a short time, by selecting the letters H-E-R-O in order. Each time it is used, the dial causes its possessor to become a superhero with a different name, costume, and powers. These superheroes are usually new, but on one occasion the dial caused its user to become a duplicate of an existing superhero, Plastic Man.[1] Some versions of the dial contain additional letters, allowing other kinds of transformations.[2]


Original series

Cover of House of Mystery #156 (January 1966). Art by Jim Mooney.

The original series debuted in House of Mystery #156 (January 1966), and continued until issue #173 (March–April 1968). The art was by Jim Mooney (though he did not finish the run), with scripts by Dave Wood. The original owner of the dial is Robert "Robby" Reed, a smart teenager from Littleville, Colorado, who has a penchant for exclaiming, "Sockamagee!", and who discovers the dial in a cavern. Resembling an old telephone dial, this device is hand-held and covered in unknown symbols (that Robby was able to decipher into modern letters). In issue #9 of the current volume of The Brave and the Bold, Robby reveals to Tin of the Metal Men that the symbols are Interlac, suggesting at least some relevance between the later 31st Century of the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Dial's construction.

How the dial got there or who created it is never revealed. Each time he dials the letters H-E-R-O, Robby finds he turns into a different super-powered being; dialing O-R-E-H makes him revert to his normal form. Under the guises of numerous superheroes, Robby soon uses the dial to protect Littleville.

Robby's H-Dial was once used by his foe, Daffy Dagan, who in House of Mystery #158 (April 1966) briefly becomes a supervillain known as Daffy the Great after dialing V-I-L-L-A-I-N. In House of Mystery #169 (September 1967), Robby's girlfriend Suzie uses the dial, dialing H-E-R-O-I-N-E to temporarily transform into Gem Girl in order to help defeat Toymaster. At the end of the story, Suzie receives a blow to the head that causes her to forget about the secret of the device.

After the series ceased its run in House of Mystery, Robby appeared in Plastic Man #13 (June–July 1976). Recovering from an attack of amnesia, Robby retrieves his dial, which has become corroded with rust. The corrosion causes Robby to turn into an evil version of Plastic Man, and he attacks the real Plastic Man. After defeating Robby and returning him to normal, Plastic Man confiscates the dial from Robby for using it irresponsibly. It is never explained how Robby is seen with the dial in later stories.

During the Silver Age cross-over event, Robby encountered his old House of Mystery co-star J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, in Silver Age: Dial H for Hero #1. Believing that he—and the rest of the Justice League—had gone bad, Robby turns into a superhero to stop him. Actually, the Martian has been mind-swapped with Dr. Light (the other JLAers have undergone similar mental transpositions, but those seen here are only Light's illusions). Subsequently, in Silver Age 80-Page Giant #1 (July 2000), Robby lends the Dial to the now mind/body restored Justice League, allowing several of its members to transform themselves into new superheroes to defeat Agamemno's Injustice League at a time when they had learned how to defeat the Leaguers in their normal forms. Their respective new identities are:

1980s series

Cover of Adventure Comics #479, featuring Chris King and Vicky Grant. Art by Carmine Infantino and Bob Smith.

The second Dial H for Hero series debuted in the 1980s, in a special insert in Legion of Super-Heroes #272 (February 1981),[3] then ran in Adventure Comics #479-490 and continued in New Adventures of Superboy #28-49; the duo also appeared alongside Superman in DC Comics Presents #44. A new feature of this series was that the readers could submit new hero and villain characters, which were then used in the stories. The submitters were given credit for their creations (and a t-shirt with the series logo), but the characters became DC Comics' property. The original writer and artist in the series were Marv Wolfman and Carmine Infantino.

In this series, two other dials are discovered years later by teenagers Christopher "Chris" King and Victoria "Vicky" Grant of the New England town of Fairfax in a 'haunted' house. These dials — disguised as a watch and a necklace — only have the letters H-E-R-O on them, and work only for an hour, after which they will not work for another hour. King and Grant begin protecting Fairfax from a number of menaces. Unknown to them, most of these villains are created by a mysterious villain known only as The Master, who is obsessed with the H-dials for reasons unknown for most of the series.[2]

While anyone could use Chris and Vicki's H-dials, they always turned the user into a hero, regardless of his or her personality; even The Master was temporarily made good by one. This fact has been ignored in later stories. On one occasion, a hero's persona overwhelmed the heroic Chris' own personality; as "Ragnarok, the Cosmic Viking", he possessed no awareness of Chris King's memories and acted with disregard for others' property and safety, going so far as to threaten police officers and swat away Vicki (as the miniature heroine "Pixie") when she attempted to talk him down, failing to recognize her as an ally.[4] On a side note, it was a matter of contention with Chris when he first started using the dial that while Vicky changed into useful heroes with applicable powers, Chris's powers tended to be obscure and not particularly useful to defeat his opponent, such as when he changed into a super hero that could duplicate things and he outright began complaining about his useless ability. Indeed, it was that issue where Vicky showed Chris to think "outside the box" and use his temporary gifts creatively so they could be useful, at which point he helped defeat that issue's bad guy. Once this lesson was learned, Chris's super-hero changes became more relevant to the situation, but no explanation was given as to why this was.

Eventually Chris and Vicki discover that a fellow student named Nick Stevens has been drawing up superheroes as a hobby — and somehow, the dials turn them into those heroes. With Nick's help, they find out that their dials were created by a being called The Wizard (not to be confused with the DC Comics villain of the same name), whom the Master thought he'd killed years before. In truth, The Wizard faked his death while he looked for the original Hero Dial. With it, he merges with The Master — and transforms into Robby Reed, who explains that years before, he had used the dial to split in two so that he could disarm a dead man's switch, while his other self, the Wizard, defeated the villain who set it. However, the Wizard carried all of Robby's inherent goodness, while the Robbie that remain possessed only evil impulses; the original Hero Dial was lost when this Robby, renaming himself The Master, dialed "hide yourself", causing the dial to vanish along with The Master's and The Wizard's memories of their former life as Robby Reed. While The Master learned genetic techniques that allowed him to create his army of super-villains, the Wizard was driven to create the new H-dials, unconsciously designing limitations into them to prevent what happened to Robby from recurring (only heroic identities, a time limit, and the exclusion of letters other than H-E-R-O; the latter, however, did not prevent Chris from experimenting on one occasion and dialing H-O-R-R-O-R, with disastrous results[5]). With Nick developing the ability to actively influence the dials' results (rather than subconsciously as before), Robby passes his dial to Nick, and retires as a hero.[2]

In New Teen Titans #45 (June 1988) Victoria and Chris' history after the end of their series is revealed. After the two teens graduated from high school, they found they had gained the ability to transform without the dials — apparently because of their extensive use — but as a side-effect Vicky began experiencing mental problems. Vicky later joins a cult called the Children of the Sun, where she is physically and mentally abused, deranging her even more. She seeks out her former partner Chris in order to kill him. With help from the Teen Titans, Chris rescues her (in New Teen Titans #46). Chris now finds that he changes into a new superhero every hour, without the dial, and remains that way until he expends an unspecified amount of energy. He decides to continue his superhero career, using a suit provided by S.T.A.R. Labs to monitor his changes.

In Superboy and the Ravers #5 (January 1997), Hero Cruz finds Vicki's H-dial in the lair of Scavenger, and uses it to gain superpowers. A still deranged Vicky returns in Superboy and the Ravers #13 (September 1997) to get her dial back from Hero, but she regains her sanity once she uses the device. She is last seen in the care of the Forces, a family of metahumans.

2003 series

DC relaunched the series again in 2003, this time simply titled H.E.R.O.. The new series, written by Will Pfeifer with art by Kano, focused on the effect the H-Dial has on a series of average people, whose lives are usually ruined by the pressures of superherodom. Robby Reed, now grown old and bitter, is searching for the missing dial, determined to retrieve it and keep a serial killer from getting his hands on it. The series lasted 22 issues with it ending with the H-Dial's powers internalized into Robby Reed and some other people who have come across it after the serial killer that was using it was stopped. The H-Dial ends up being sent back in time to 50,000 BC. Superman is featured in one of the stories.

Other appearances

As an epilogue to the Chris King/Vicki Grant Dial H series, The New Adventures of Superboy #50 features a story in which Chris King's watch is stolen from the Space Museum of the Legion of Super-Heroes' time period by a thief named Nylor Truggs, who flees with the dial to the ambiguous late 1960s/early 1970s era-Smallville of the original (Earth-One) Superboy by altering the dial's functions in some unexplained manner, allowing him to travel in time. Truggs further alters the H-dial to break the restriction that users can only transform into heroic identities, changing the "H" in the center of the dial to "V" for "villain". Truggs also makes the dial capable of changing individuals other than himself into villains if he desires; those transformed would then be under Truggs' control. Truggs transforms several of Clark Kent's high school friends, and forms a temporary alliance with a teenaged Lex Luthor, in a scheme to plant seismic devices in their time period so that Truggs can use those devices against the people of his own future time upon his return. Truggs' plan is foiled by Superboy, several members of the Legion, and Krypto the Superdog, the latter of which destroys the stolen H-Dial by crushing it in his jaws. Vicki Grant's H-Dial is also shown to have survived to the Legion's time—it is slated to replace King's dial in the museum display. As this story was published before the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths (which erased the Earth-One Superboy from continuity) and the subsequent rebootings of the Legion of Super-Heroes' history, it is unlikely that any elements of this story exist in current continuity.

In Legionnaires #69, Lori Morning uses an H-dial that was given to her by the Time Trapper to gain superpowers, and becomes a member of Workforce. Lori gives the H-dial to Brainiac 5.1 to use against the Rift; the device is destroyed in the process. This timeline was also erased in the Legion reboot.

In a One Year Later storyline the H-Dial comes into the possession of Father Time, who hopes to clone the device and create an entire army of "one man Justice Leagues". However the device is stolen, and Johnny Mimic (the reformed Green Lantern villain called to act as a profiler) dupes Alan Scott into killing him while holding the device, destroying it for good.

Later, in The Brave and the Bold #9, February 2008, Robby Reed teamed up with the Metal Men, even lending the dial to Tin to allow him to transform into a more resilient superhero to defeat the monster conjured by the deranged alchemist Megistus. The dial, due to its transformative abilities, bore an optional part in Megistus' plans to draw the storm that brought about the genesis of Red Kryptonite upon Earth, warping it as to protect it from the events of the Final Crisis.

Dial H appeared again in issue 27 of the same series, this time in a team-up with Batman. While staying at a hotel in Gotham City, Robby's Dial is stolen by a down on his luck young man named Travers Milton. After using the Dial to transform into a Superman-esque flying hero named the Star, Travers assists Batman in defending Gotham after the Joker arranges a series of violent crimes to be committed throughout the city in order to break Batman. After discovering that the final challenge for Batman is a remote-controlled bomb placed over a group of bound and gagged men and women, Travers heroically sacrifices his life by flying out into the night sky while clutching the bomb, saving Batman and the hostages seconds before it detonates. Afterwards, Batman returns the H-Dial to Robby and tells him that it gave Travers what he had always wanted; the chance to be a hero. There is no indication given as to where either of the Brave & the Bold stories fit into Robby Reed's personal timeline, however.

In JLA: Another Nail, the H-Dial made a brief appearance when all time periods meld together. A hand can be seen barely clutching it.

Hero forms

Robby Reed

  • Cometeer - A superhero that is a "Human Comet."
  • Giantboy - A giant hero with super-strength.
  • Mole - A superhero that could dig underground at super speeds.
  • Human Bullet - A superhero with flight and super endurance
  • Super Charge - A superhero of living energy.
  • Radar-Sonar Man - A superhero that can fly and emit a radar and sonar to guide himself as he was blind.[6]
  • Quakemaster - A superhero that releases energy that cause objects to "shake"
  • Squid - A superhero that has a helmet that release liquids. He can also fly.
  • Human Starfish -
  • Hypno Man - A superhero that had mind control ability.
  • Mighty Moppet -
  • King Kandy - A superhero that has candy-themed weapons.
  • Plastic Man - Robby Reed one time became Plastic Man and had his super stretch abilities.[1]
  • Magneto - A superhero that has magnetic manipulation.
  • Hornet Man - A superhero that could fly.
  • Shadow Man - A superhero that is a living shadow.
  • Mr. Echo - A superhero that could absorb and deflect forces.
  • Future Man - A superhero that has illusion casting abilities and telekinesis.
  • Castor and Pollux - Twin superheros that have flight and super strength. Pollux was immortal.
  • King Coil - A superhero that is made out of iron coils.
  • Zip Tide - A superhero that is a living wave.
  • Super Nova -
  • Robby the Super Robot - A superhero that has flight, limited molecular control, and super strength.
  • Whozit, Whatsit, and Howsit - Freak super heroes.
    • Whozit - A superhero that bounces.
    • Whatsit - A superhero that flies.
    • Howzis - A roughly humanoid that is a living pinball machine with various super powers.
  • Yankee Doodle Kid - A superhero that can fly and could create "fire works"
  • Chief Mighty Arrow - A superhero that uses Native American-themed weapons.
  • Balloon Boy - A superhero with the power of flight.
  • Muscle Man - A superhero that can emit energy blasts.
  • Hoopster - A superhero that can created "hoops."
  • Mole-Cometeer - A hybrid of Mole and Cometeer.
  • Velocity Kid -
  • Astro: Man of Space - A superhero with a teleportation ability.
  • Baron Buzz-Saw - A superhero that had buzz-saws coming out his body. He can also fly.
  • Don Juan - A superhero with a magic sword.
  • Sphinx Man - He could teleport. However, he got his riddle wrong to "never never land."
  • King Viking - A superhero that can fly.
  • Robby Go-Go -
  • Whirl-I-Gig -
  • Pendulum - A superhero that is a human pendulum.
  • Human Solar Mirror - A superhero that can focus solar energy into a heat beam.
  • Gillman (hero, then villain) - He breathes under water and swims super fast.
  • Human Icicle (hero, then villain) - A superhero that can generate cold.
  • Strata Man (hero, then villain) -
  • "Tommy Tomorrow" -
  • Twilight - [6]
  • Pyronic Man - [6]
  • "Giant" - [6]
  • "Quadruplets" - [6]
  • Circumference -
  • Wizard - Robby Reed's hero half.
  • Master - Robby Reed's villain half. He was responsible for creating most of the villains that Chris King and Vicki Grant fight.
  • Great Jupiter - A heroic identity assumed by Robby Reed's Master form using Chris King's H-Dial. He has powers related to the planet of the same name.

Chris King

  • Moth - A superhero with flight ability.
  • Mega Boy - A superhero with powerful blast beams.
  • Color Commando - A superhero who used a variety of color-based weapons with different effects.
  • Doomster: Master of the Cosmic Lightning - A superhero that controls lightning including riding it.
  • Composite Man - A superhero who could split into smaller duplicates of himself.
  • Captain Electron - A superhero with electric-based powers.
  • Mister Mystical: Master of Magic - A superhero who possessed magical abilities.
  • Star Flare - Described by Chris as "the Human Missile" and "the greatest hero since Superman." This identity allowed Chris to fly and wield a star sword.
  • Solar Flare - A superhero with the ability to fly and a power punch (although Chris was only shown using the latter).
  • Wrangler - A "cosmic cowboy" that Chris became to battle Battering Ram.
  • Goldman - A flying superhero who created "gold" constructs.
  • Sixth Sensor - A clairvoyant superhero.
  • Volcano - A superhero with power over the earth, specifically lava.
  • Mr. Thin - A "rubber-band" man.
  • Anti-Man -
  • Dragonfly - A winged superhero with multi-directional sight.
  • Teleman - A teleporting superhero.
  • Zeep The Living Sponge - He was created by future comic-book artist Stephen DeStefano, Zeep later appeared in DeStefano and Bob Rozakis's Hero Hotline series.
  • Lightmaster -
  • Molecule Man -
  • Music Master -
  • Gladiator -
  • White -
  • Waspman - A flying superhero who fired "wasp stingers".
  • Vibro the Quakemaster - A superhero with vibration power.
  • Steadfast -
  • Gravity Boy - A superhero that controls gravity.
  • Blast Boy - A superhero with an explosive punch.
  • Electrostatic - A superhero that is the master of all electromagnetic waves.
  • Lumino - A superhero that is able to shape light.
  • Enlarger Man - A superhero that is able to enlarge things.
  • Brimstone - A superhero that can fly and control lava.
  • Avatar - Master of the four elements. He rode Sahri the Spirit Tiger.
  • Wind Rider - A superhero that is able to fly and control air.
  • Psi-Fire - A superhero that could solidify or become intangible with his mental powers.
  • Oxide -
  • Ragnarok the Cosmic Viking - A mystical superhero with enhanced strength and a magical battle axe. Notable in that Ragnarok's self-identity completely suppressed Chris' own personality, including his knowledge that Vicki (as Pixie) was an ally.
  • Captain Saturn - A superhero who could fire rings that bound enemies.
  • Moonlight -
  • Mental Man -
  • Neon -
  • Phase Master -
  • Multi-Force -
  • Gemstone -
  • Hasty Pudding -
  • Radar Man - A superhero that is able to locate things and teleport to location in question.
  • Stuntmaster - A superhero that rode a hi-tech motorcycle and had a energy-firing sceptre.
  • Shadow Master - A superhero that is able to create shadows.
  • Centaurus: Master of Vibration - A superhero with the ability to absorb vibration and use it as an energy blast.
  • Deflecto -
  • Worm Man - Half human, half giant worm. He could dig through earth at super-speed.
  • Spectro - His powers were never shown.
  • Airmaster - His powers were never shown.
  • Sting - His powers were never shown.
  • Attacko - His powers were never shown.
  • Galaxy - A superhero that is able to travel across space.
  • Topsy-Turvy - A superhero that is able to leave people turned upside-down.
  • Beast-Maniac - Chris King jokingly dialed in H-O-R-R-O-R and became this villain.
  • Prism -
  • Essence -
  • Red Devil -
  • Tar-Man -
  • Mr. Opposite - A superhero that is able to make anything act in the opposite way to what it naturally does. Vicki dialed Chris into this identity and Chris wondered if the fact that Vicki was the 'opposite sex' may have influenced the transformation.
  • Power Punch -
  • Cold Wave -
  • Earthman -
  • Any-Body -
  • Jimmy Gymnastic -
  • Trail Blazer - A superhero able to fly and track villains, causing their trails to be outlined in flame.
  • Roll - A speedster superhero.
  • Kinectic Kid -
  • Glassman -
  • X-Rayder -
  • Spheror -
  • Fuzz-Ball -
  • Trouble-Clef: Master of Magical Music -
  • Serrator -
  • Synapse the Energy Man -
  • Martian Marshal -
  • Rubberneck -

Vicky Grant

  • Futura - A female superhero with flight, precognition, possibly other psionic powers.
  • Sunspot - A female superhero with solar-energy powers.
  • Ice - A female superhero with cold-based powers & flight.
  • Grasshopper - A female superhero with super-leaping & agility.
  • Twilight: Mistress of the Dark - A female superhero with shadow powers.
  • Windsong - A female superhero with the ability to control winds.
  • Molecule Maiden - A female superhero with the ability to control molecules.
  • Hypno Girl - A female superhero with hypnotic abilities. This identity couldn't fly, much to Vicki's annoyance.
  • Midnight Wisp - A female superhero who is the "Fastest girl in Fairfax."
  • Strato-Girl: Mistress of the Wind - A female superhero that can control winds.
  • Goldgirl - A female superero that has flight & generation of "gold" constructs.
  • Alchemiss - Mistress of the Elements.
  • Dimension Girl - A female superhero that is able to generate other-dimensional portals.
  • Stellar -
  • Ultra Girl - A female superhero with enhanced strength.
  • Starlet - A glamorous female superhero with super-strength and the ability to "know a target's weakest point".
  • Cardinal - A female telekinetic superhero.
  • Ani-Woman - A female superhero that is able to bring inanimate objects to life.
  • Thumbelina -
  • Tiara Star -
  • Matter Girl -
  • Echo -
  • Ariel -
  • Black -
  • Weather Witch - A female superhero who controls the weather.
  • Emerald Tiger - A female superhero with enhanced speed & strength.
  • Rainbeaux: Mistress of Color - A female superhero that projects different colored beams with a different power per beam.
  • Hummingbird -
  • Hydra: Goddess of the Sea - A female superhero that can control water.
  • Hyptella - A female superhero who is the Mistress of Hypnotism. Unlike Vicki's previous hypnotism-based identity, Hyptella could fly.
  • Sonik - A female superhero that can control sound.
  • Puma the She-Cat - A female superhero with super-agility.
  • Sulphur - A female superhero that can generate acid. She couldn't fly.
  • Sparrowhawk - A female superhero that has wings.
  • Kismet: Mistress of Mind Wave - A female superhero who possessed clairvoyance.
  • Plant Mistress - A female superhero that is able to control anything that grows.
  • Sea Mist - A female superhero that is able to create watery vapors.
  • Harp - A female superhero that has winged flight & a magical harp that calmed targets.
  • Pixie - A tiny female superhero with magical "fairy dust".
  • Snowfall - A female superhero with ice powers.
  • Glass Lass - A female crystalline superhero with "glass" armor and power to amplify light into laser beams.
  • Unicorn - A female superhero whose horn healed upon touch.
  • Queen of Hearts - An emotion-controlling female superhero.
  • Blue Biker - A female superhero that drove a high-powered bicycle.
  • Weaver - A female superhero who could weave webs & different shapes.
  • Frosty - A female superhero who had white irises and blue sclera. Her icy gaze could shatter any substance at will. The original creation (which never made it to the printed page) also included telepathic powers and the ability to teleport short distances. Frosty was created by Ann-Marie Roy (née leslie) from Scotland.
  • Tempest - The 'Hair' on her head transformed into various kinds of weather.
  • Starburst - A female superhero with flight and energy blast powers.
  • Spinning Jenny - A female superhero that could fly and spin at super-speed (was even able to travel through time using this power).
  • Scylla - A female superhero that had mechanical serpent heads with laser eyes attached to her costume.
  • Sphera - A female superhero who projected colorful spheres for a variety of effects.
  • Blazerina -
  • Thundera - A female superhero with sonic shout.
  • Monarch -
  • Miss Hourglass - A female superhero that has the ability to control time.
  • Sirocco the Desert Wind -
  • Infra-Violet -
  • Gossamer - A flying superhero who could weave cocoons.
  • Fan -
  • Visionary -
  • Spyglass -
  • Psi-Clone - A female superhero that has psychic powers and the ability to create duplicates of people.
  • Rock - A fun-loving female superhero with super-strength.
  • Genesis -
  • Ms. Muscle -
  • Lavendar Skywriter -
  • Turnabout -
  • Raggedy Doll -
  • Venus the Flying Trap -
  • "Fish-Girl" (villainess) -
  • "Fire Girl" (villainess) -
  • "Water Girl" (villainess) -
  • "Diamond Girl" (villainess) -
  • "Electrical Girl" (villainess) -
  • "Machinery Girl" (villainess) -
  • Harpy (villainess) -
  • Volcano Girl (villainess) -
  • Sister Scissor-Limbs - A female villain with sharp shears for arms that could cut through most materials.
  • Cobress (villainess) - Reptilian villain with hypnotic gaze.

Thomas Banker / Dial Man

  • Kinovicher -
  • Jollo -
  • Mangastanga -

Lori Morning (in Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4)

  • Fireball - A flying pyrokinetic who could animate & control "living fireballs".
  • Slipsttream - A super-speedster heroine who flies.
  • Dyna-Soar -
  • Chiller - A female superhero with ice-controlling.
  • Ink - A female superhero who fired sticky "ink" to ensnare enemies.
  • Galaxy Girl - A female child superhero with high-end cosmic powers, including a "cosmic hammer".
  • Blip - A teleporting superhero.
  • Plasma - A female superhero with energy-based powers.
  • Helios -

Travers Milton

  • Star - A superhero with powers similar to Superman.

Jerry Feldon (in H.E.R.O.)

  • Afterburner - A superhero who could fly and had super-strength but not invulnerability.[7][8]
  • Jumper - A superhero who could jump very high.[8]
  • Winged Victory - A superhero who could fly.[8]
  • Demolisher - [8]
  • Powerhouse - [8][9]

Matt Allen (in H.E.R.O.)

  • The Protector -

Andrea Allen (in H.E.R.O.)

  • Nocturna -
  • Illusia -

Captain Chaos (in H.E.R.O.)

  • Cloud - The superhero form of Mark.
  • Howitzer - The superhero form of Mark.
  • Fusion - The superhero form of Jay.
  • Photon - The superhero form of Galen.
  • Ingot - The superhero form of Galen.
  • Tidal Wave - The superhero form of Galen.
  • Captain Noir - The superhero form of Craig.
  • Blink - The superhero form of Craig.

Tony Finch (in H.E.R.O.)

  • Slider -
  • Stretcher -

Joe Walker (in H.E.R.O.)

  • Shocking Suzi -


The ones that wielded the H-Dial had encountered various villains in their adventures:

Robby Reed

  • Thunderbolt Organization -
    • Mr. Thunder - The head of the Thunderbolt Organization. He later becomes Moon Man upon a chemical accident that gave him lunar powers.
  • Daffy the Great - Daffy Dagen once used the H-Dial to become Daffy the Great.
  • The Clay-Creep Clan - A group of villains that can mold their pliable bodies into any shape.
  • The Wizard of Light - Dr. Drago is a supervillain that uses light-based weapons.
  • Mummy - Joe Beket is a mummified villain that wields ancient magic.
  • Professor Nabor -
  • Baron Bug - A supervillain who enlarges insects to do his bidding.
  • Doctor Cyclops - A supervillain with strange vision powers.
  • Super-Hood - A monstrous criminal android.
  • Cougar Man - Justin Mudd is a gangster who steals Professor Morgan's device that makes legends come to life.
  • Rainbow Raider - Dr. Quin is a supervillain who gains a different power for every color of the rainbow that he assumes.
  • Toymaster - A supervillain that uses toy-based or toy-themed devices and gimmicks in his crimes.
  • Dr. Morhar -
  • Jim - A villain that has turned into different monsters every time Robby Reed uses the H-Dial.
  • The Speed Boys -
  • Shirkon - A supervillain that Robby Reed fought. His battle with him resulted in Robby Reed splitting into Wizard and Master.

Chris King and Vicky Grant

  • Gordanian Robots -
  • Silver Fog - A supervillain that could take the form of a mist-like substance. This character was created by Harlan Ellison.
  • Red Death - A scientist cursed with a disintegrating touch.
  • Thunder Axe - A criminal that once captured Vicki's parents.
  • Sphinx - An energy-draining extraterrestrial who emerged in modern times after crash-landing in Ancient Egypt. He went home peacefully after Vicki and Chris used their powers to make him a spaceship.
  • Battering Ram - Hogan is a former circus star that was fired from the circus and vowed revenge.
  • Aquarians -
    • Largo -
  • Destructess - A mentally-ill woman endowed by Aquarians with energy blasts.
  • Interchange - A supervillain with metamorphic powers that once threatened Washington DC.
  • Silversmith - A supervillain with the power to encase his enemies in silver.
  • Blade Master - A supervillain hired by the H.I.V.E. to kill Professor Oxford.
  • Gamesmaster -
  • Wildebeest - A poacher who comes to America to hunt in a game preserve (Note: This Wildebeest has no known connection to the Wildebeest Society that menaced the Teen Titans and was responsible for the creation of Pantha).
  • Bounty Hunter - A costumed vigilante who targets a mobster.
  • Master - Robby' Reed's supervillain form that was a recurring antagonist of Chris King and Vicki Grant. He was responsible for creating most of the villains that Chris King and Vicki Grant fight. The Master once used Chris King's dial and, due to the dial's restriction to create only heroic identities, briefly became the superhero Great Jupiter.
  • The Evil Eight - The Master's team of supervillains.
    • Chondak - An ape-like blue monster.
    • Ice King - A supervillain able to control ice.
    • Piledriver - A supervillain with superstrength.
    • Maniak - An acrobatic supervillain.
    • Phantasm - A ghost-like supervillain.
    • K-9 - A supervillain with razor-sharp claws.
    • Arsenal - A supervillain armed with various weapons.
    • Familiar - A female supervillain able to become any substance she touched.
  • Grockk the Devil's Son - A villain that apparently comes from the pit of Hades.
  • Firegirl - A villainess that Grock created. She wasn't really evil and sacrificed herself to stop Grocck.
  • Sky Raider - A flying thief who had stole a rembrandt from Vicki's father.
  • Crimson Star -
  • Radiator -
  • Snakeman - Professor Charles Ralston is a scientist who had been transformed into a giant serpent.
  • Jinx - A supervillain who had the power of jinx.
  • Cancero - An aquatic villain in a crab-themed powered armor.
  • Jelly Woman - A weird female supervillain with a body composed of gelatinous substance.
  • Belladonna - Angela Wainwright is a chemist turned criminal who carries poisonous substances in weaponized forms.
  • Tsunami - A female supervillain who could create destructive tidal waves similar to her namesake. Partnered with Distortionex to create disaster situations while he robbed deserted businesses.
  • Distortionex - A male supervillan with the power to disintegrate matter. He was partnered with Tsunami.
  • Controller - An artificial intelligence created by the Marionette to assist in operating his android body. The Controller became insane and directed the Marionette to commit criminal acts.
  • Marionette - An alien who placed his mind in an android body controlled by the Controller's "marionette strings."
  • Squid -
  • Abyss - A living gateway between worlds.
  • Blackjack -
  • Serpent -
  • Senses-Taker - A supervillain with the power to negate the senses.
  • Disc Jockey - A supervillain that flies on a giant flying record player and can force any device that produces sound to play his transmissions.
  • Whitefire - A supervillain who can transport anything to his dimension by exchanging something from another dimension with something from his own.
  • Naiad - Diana Luon is a female supervillain who has water-based powers.
  • Marauder - A supervillain that Master once used to spring Naiad from jail.
  • Blade - One of the Master's minions. He is a supervillain who wielded an array of bladed weaponry.
  • Kaleidoscope - One of the Master's minions. She is a female supervillain who could create hallucinations and illusions through a light display reminiscent of her namesake.
  • Chain Master - One of the Master's minions. He is a supervillain who wielded a ball and chain.
  • Silhouette - One of the Master's minions. He is a supervillain who could absorb victims into his "shadow box" while transforming their shadows into duplicates under his control. His duplicates could be detected by the fact that they cast no shadows of their own.
  • Firecracker -
  • Windrider -
  • Istanbul Frankie Perkins - A small-time criminal that the Silhouette (using a duplicate of Detective Greg King) tried to frame for a robbery.
  • Coil - A supervillain that once kidnapped Detective Greg King. He has the ability to extend and compress his body like a coil spring.
  • Firedevil - A demonic villain with fire-based powers.
  • Pod - One of the Master's minions. He is a plant-like, tentacled creature.
  • Golden Web - One of the Master's minions. He is a supervillain who could weave golden webbing.
  • Swarm - One of the Master's minions. She is a an flying insectoid woman who could split herself into many insect-sized, spear-wielding duplicates with a collective mind.
  • Power Pirate - One of Master's minions. He is a supervillain who could drain superhuman abilities. However, if targets concentrate on their weaknesses rather than their strengths, he would absorb those weaknesses instead.
  • Master's Unnamed Supervillain Army
    • Hitpin - A female supervillain who threw weighted objects similar to bowling pins.
    • Decible - A supervillain who possesses a sonic scream.
    • Electron - A supervillain who could generate electricity.
    • Overseer - A female supervillain in a dominatrix-styled costume wielding an energized chain.
    • Metalliferro - A supervillain who could coat targets in metallic substances of his choice.
    • Darkstar - A supervillain with unspecified energy projection abilities.
    • Spyderr - A supervillain with six super-strong arms.
    • Titaness - A size-changing female supervillain.
    • Solar Dynamo - A supervillain with unspecified (presumably solar-based) energy projection abilities.
    • Trojan - A supervillain with unspecified energy projection abilities.
    • Blue Damsel Fly - A female flying insectoid supervillain who could fire energy beams from her hands.
    • Serpentina - A female supervillain with a petrifying gaze.
    • Cableman - A supervillain who could release an entangling cable from his right hand.

In other media


  • An alternate take on Robby Reed and Dial H For Hero was used in Teen Titans Go #52. This version of the character unknowingly drew his powers from other heroes who were close by. As a result of discovering his power source, Robby gave up his dial and signed up for Cyborg's new Teen Titan's Training program. His identities in the issue were Changeling (the powers came from Beast Boy), Lagoon Boy (the powers came from Aqualad), Jesse Quick (the powers came from Kid Flash), Power Boy (the powers came from Wonder Girl), and The Protector (the powers came from Robin). In Teen Titans Go #55, Robby Reed returned in a nightmare sequence of Cyborg's (caused by the villainous Phobia). In the dream after having had his Hero Dial taken away, he joined the "New Teen Titans" program under the guise of The Protector.

In popular culture

  • Dial B for Blog is an extensive, popular comics blog run by Kirk Kimball, who blogs under the name "Robby Reed."
  • "Dial M for Monkey" was a segment on Dexter's Laboratory in which Dexter's lab monkey would become the superhero Monkey whenever there was trouble.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, there is a set of cards that pay homage to this comic: H-Heated Heart, E-Emergency Call, R-Righteous Justice, O-Oversoul. The card HERO Flash uses these four cards to summon an "Elemental Hero" monster from your deck.
  • In Simpsons Super Spectacular # 12, there's a story called "Dial M for Milhouse" that parodies Dial H for Hero. In the story, Houseboy gets a phone that allows him to transform into various superheroes, but he goes power mad. So Bartman ends up trying to stop him.

See also

  • Ben 10 - This franchise features an alien watch that allows for one to become different heroes, similar to hero dials.
  • Kamen Rider Decade - Features a protagonist who, by inserting cards into a rotating belt, can turn into other heroes from the franchise.
  • Kid Chameleon - Features a protagonist that transforms into different heroes by wearing different masks.


  1. ^ a b House of Mystery #160 (July 1966)
  2. ^ a b c Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Dial "H" for Hero", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 101, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017 
  3. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Within a sixteen-page preview in Legion of Super-Heroes #272...was "Dial 'H' For Hero," a new feature that raised the bar on fan interaction in the creative process. The feature's story, written by Marv Wolfman, with art by Carmine Infantino, saw two high-school students find dials that turned them into super-heroes. Everything from the pair's civilian clothes to the heroes they became was created by fans writing in. This concept would continue in the feature's new regular spot within Adventure Comics." 
  4. ^ Adventure Comics #488
  5. ^ DC Comics Presents #44
  6. ^ a b c d e Silver Age: Dial H for Hero (July 2000)
  7. ^ H.E.R.O. #1 (April 2003)
  8. ^ a b c d e H.E.R.O. #2 (May 2003)
  9. ^ H.E.R.O. #3 (June 2003)

External links

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