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H-Dial

H-Dial

Owner
Robby Reed, Christopher "Chris" King, Victoria "Vicky" Grant, many others
First Appearance
House of Mystery (Vol. 1) #156 (January, 1966)
Uses/Features
Capable of Turning It's User Into One Of Countless Superheroes
Materials
Unknown
Full Name
Hero Dial
Inventor/Designer
The Wizard

The H-Dial is an artifact in the DC Universe and is most famously was owned by Robby Reed.

HistoryEdit

Original seriesEdit

Who created the dial, how and why remains unknown. It eventually found its way into the hands of a bright young boy named Robby Reed when he discovered it in an old cavern in Littleville, Colorado. Robby discovered that when the letters H-E-R-O are dialed on the H-Dial (which looks like a detached telephone dial). It could turn him into any number of superheroes. Robby goes on to protect his home town of Littleville as a number of superheroes.  The Dial was also taken by criminal Daffy Dagan for a while, who discovered by dialing V-I-L-L-A-I-N could turn him into a number of different villains until Robby recovered it. Robby's girlfriend Suzie also borrowed it for a while, turning into heroes after dialing the world H-E-R-O-I-N-E.

1980s series Edit

n this series, two other dials are discovered years later by teenagers Christopher "Chris" King and Victoria "Vicki" 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) who creates them from the cell samples of unknown people. 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. On a side note, it was a matter of contention with Chris when he first started using the dial that while Vicki 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 Vicki 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 (dialing "S P L I T") 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 Robby that remained 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). 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.

Silver age Edit

During the 2000 Silver Age cross-over event, Robby encountered his old House of Mystery co-star 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, Martian Manhunter has been mind-swapped with Dr. Light (the other Justice League 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 H-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 Justice League members in their normal forms. In these new forms, the Justice League were able to defeat the Injustice League.

Post-Crisis Edit

In these comics this object is necessary both for Robby to transform and to transform himself and his superhero form can be either a man or a woman, there was a story in which he lost it and was stuck in super form until he found it again. (The joke was that the form was a heroine and when she tried to borrow clothes from her girlfriend as the heroine had breasts, she had very big breasts, the shirts didn't fit).

New 52 Edit

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, DC began publishing a reboot of the series titled Dial H, written by China Miéville with art by Mateus Santolouco. The series focuses on Nelson Jent, an out-of-shape, unemployed middle-age man who accesses superpowers by dialing seemingly random numbers in an old phone booth. Another main character is an older woman named Roxie Hodder who takes the identity of "Manteau" regardless of what powers the dial calls up and acts as an advisor to Nelson. Following the fight against Ex Nihilo and Abyss, Nelson and Roxie work to figure out the secrets of the H-Dials. Later issues of the series introduces the S-Dial which turns anyone who uses it into a superhero sidekick to match the person's superhero form. When it comes to Nelson and Roxie's encounter with the Fixer (who is associated with the different dials), both of them have an encounter with a group of superheroes called the Dial Bunch who have fought the Fixer before. There is also an introduction to the J-Dial (which enables the user to jump through worlds), the G-Dial (which can summon any technological gadget), the Dial-Tapper (which can copy any H-Dial in range), and the Auto-Dialer. To tie-in with DC's Villain's Month event, DC published Justice League #23.3: Dial E, a coda to the series. It featured the Q-Dial in which a person must be evil to use it. The Q in Q-Dial is for "Qued" which is an old word for bad.

In other Media Edit

In the comic books based on the Teen Titans cartoon, this object temporarily stole the powers and tricks of nearby superheroes and created superhero identities based on those powers: Protector for Robin, Power Boy for Wonder Girl, Jesse Quick for Kid Flash and Lagoon Boy for Aqualad when the owner discovered it stopped using it.

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