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. Some versions of the dial contain additional letters, allowing other kinds of transformations.
- 1 Original series
- 2 1980s series
- 3 2003 series
- 4 2012 series
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Hero forms
- 6.1 Robby Reed
- 6.2 Suzy Shoemaker
- 6.3 Chris King
- 6.4 Vicki Grant
- 6.5 Thomas Banker / Dial Man
- 6.6 Lori Morning (in Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4)
- 6.7 Travers Milton
- 6.8 Jerry Feldon (in H.E.R.O.)
- 6.9 Matt Allen (in H.E.R.O.)
- 6.10 Andrea Allen (in H.E.R.O.)
- 6.11 Captain Chaos (in H.E.R.O.)
- 6.12 Tony Finch (in H.E.R.O.)
- 6.13 Joe Walker (in H.E.R.O.)
- 6.14 Nelson Jent (in Dial H)
- 6.15 Manteau
- 6.16 Mason Jones
- 7 Villains
- 8 In other media
- 9 In popular culture
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
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 lived with his grandfather "Gramps" Reed and their housekeeper Miss Millie. Having a penchant for exclaiming, "Sockamagee!", Robby discovered 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 Mark Waid's "Silver Age" mini-series, it is revealed that the symbols on the dial 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:
- Superman becomes Doc Fission
- Batman becomes Minuteman
- Flash becomes Marionette
- Atom becomes Mod-Man
- Black Canary becomes Miss Fortune
- Aquaman becomes Terra-Firma
- Green Arrow becomes Poltergeist
- Martian Manhunter becomes Go-Go
The second Dial H for Hero series debuted in the 1980s, in a special insert in Legion of Super-Heroes #272 (February 1981), 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 "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.
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 Vicki began experiencing mental problems. Vicki 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 Vicki 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.
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.
In 2012, 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 young 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.
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 will publish Justice League #23.3: Dial E, a coda to the series.
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 uses the dial to see the future however realizing that something will kill him while using the dial he decided to let the dial be 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 who refused it because even though it prevents his eventual fate he didn't want to let it affect to anyone else but batman tells him that it gave Travers what he had always wanted; the chance to be a hero that Robby will do the same thing. 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.
- Giantboy – A giant hero with super-strength. Fatally poisoned in his 2nd appearance.
- Cometeer – A superhero that is a "Human Comet."
- 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.
- Quake-Master – A superhero that releases energy that cause objects to "shake."
- Squid – A superhero that has a helmet that release liquids. He can also fly via a special sled.
- Human Starfish – A humanoid starfish with superhuman strength.
- Hypno Man – A superhero that had mind control ability.
- Mighty Moppet - A baby-like hero with squirt bottles that turn their targets into babies or back into adults.
- King Kandy – A superhero that has candy-themed weapons.
- Plastic Man – Robby Reed became Plastic Man and had his stretching abilities.
- Magneto – A superhero that has magnetic manipulation.
- Hornet Man – A superhero that could fly and had a paralyzing stinger on one finger.
- Shadow Man – A superhero that is a living shadow.
- Mr. Echo – A superhero that could absorb and deflect forces. Looks like a man-shaped sponge.
- 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. Resembles the "Slinky" toy.
- Zip Tide – A superhero that is a living ocean wave.
- Super Nova – A superhero with the abilities of flight, super speed and atomic power.
- Robby the Super Robot – A superhero that has flight, limited molecular control, and super strength.
- Whozit, Whatsit, and Howsit – Freak super heroes. The dial was temporarily addled by a solar disturbance.
- Whozit – A superhero that bounces. Body shaped like a rubber ball.
- Whatsit – A superhero that flies. Body was a glider.
- Howzit – A roughly humanoid robot that is a living pinball machine with various super powers, activated by pulling and releasing the appropriate plunger.
- Yankee Doodle Kid – A superhero that can fly and could create "fireworks."
- Chief Mighty Arrow – A superhero that uses Native American-themed weapons and has a flying horse, "Wingy."
- Balloon Boy – A rotund superhero with the power of flight.
- Muscle Man – A superhero that can emit energy blasts.
- Hoopster – A superhero who tosses hoops with special powers.
- Mole-Cometeer – A hybrid of Mole and Cometeer.
- Velocity Kid – A siren device on his chest propelled him through the air at the speed of sound.
- Astro: Man of Space – A superhero with a teleportation ability and other mental powers.
- Baron Buzz-Saw – A superhero who wore buzz-saws on his wrists and belt. He can also fly.
- Don Juan – A superhero with a magic sword. Sword was stolen by groupies.
- Sphinx Man – A superhero that has a stone body, and wings that allowed him to fly. He could ask a person the "Riddle of the Sphinx," and the victim would vanish into limbo if he didn't answer correctly.
- King Viking – A sword-wielding superhero that can fly.
- Robby Go-Go – A super-fast, disco-dancing martial artist.
- Whirl-I-Gig -non-humanoid being with spinning blades for limbs.
- Pendulum – A superhero that is a human pendulum.
- Human Solar Mirror – A superhero that can focus sunlight 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) – A hero composed of several layers of rock-like substance, each with different properties.
- Tommy Tomorrow – A duplicate of the DC Comics space hero of the early 1960s.
- Twilight – 
- Pyronic Man – 
- Giant – 
- Quadruplets – 
- Circumference - A weird superhero with a spherical head and fingerless spheres for hands.
- Wizard – Robby Reed's hero half. Created the dials used in the 80's series, Wizard hid them in an abandoned house. He had the house guarded by spooks until the right people came to move in.
- 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.
- Gem Girl – Robby's girlfriend dialed H-E-R-O-I-N-E on two separate occasions. The first time, she became a superheroine who wore an assortment of jewels that each released a different power when touched.
- Supergirl – The second time Suzy used the dial, she became a duplicate of Superman's cousin (This was shown in a flashback that allegedly took place before Supergirl first arrived on Earth).
- Moth – A superhero with flight ability.
- Mega Boy – A superhero that could shoot powerful beams from his hands.
- Color Commando – A superhero who used a variety of color-based weapons with different effects.
- Doomster: Master of the Cosmic Lightning – A superhero that could shoot and ride lightning bolts.
- Composite Man – A superhero who could create miniature duplicates of himself.
- Captain Electron – A superhero that could shoot destructive electron-blasts from his hands.
- 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. Partner of Goldgirl.
- Sixth Sensor – A mind-reading superhero.
- Volcano – A superhero with power over the earth, specifically lava.
- Mister Thin – A two-dimensional creature that could stretch like a rubber band. Four legs and a freakish face.
- Anti-Man – A flying superhero with anti-matter blasts.
- 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. He had the power to bounce.
- Lightmaster – A superhero. No other details given. This character and the next in this list were dismissed in but one panel.
- Molecule Man – A superhero. No other details given.
- Music Master – A superhero with a radio that turned sound into energy he could manipulate.
- Gladiator – A superhero with a sorcery-spawned power sword. This character could not fly.
- White – A superhero who emitted a beam of white energy that was harmless until it crossed a similar beam from his partner, Black.
- Waspman – A flying superhero who fired "wasp stingers".
- Vibro the Quakemaster – A superhero with vibration power.
- Steadfast – A superhero with the power to immobilize anything moving.
- Gravity Boy – A superhero that controlled 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 create solid light shapes.
- 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 – A superhero that could cause metal to rust.
- 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 control giant flying rings that could bind enemies.
- Moonlight – A superhero with the power to project either bright light or darkness.
- Mental Man – A superhero with goggles that allowed him to project realistic illusions.
- Neon – An energy-blasting superhero.
- Phase Master – a superhero who could turn anything into solid, liquid or gas
- Multi-Force – A superhero who could create a duplicate of any object.
- Gemstone – A superhero with a super-hard crystalline body.
- Hasty Pudding - A superhero who could not move normally. He either stood rock still or ran like the Flash.
- Radar Man – A superhero that is able to locate things and teleport to their location.
- Stuntmaster – A superhero that rode a high-tech motorcycle and had an energy-firing scepter.
- 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 – A superhero that could create projective force-fields that would deflect anything thrown at him.
- Worm Man – A superhero that is half-human, half-giant worm. He could eat/dig his way through earth at super-speed.
- Spectro – A superhero whose powers were never shown. This and the next 3 are another instance where characters that somebody took the trouble to create was dismissed in but one panel. These were on a world where time works differently.
- Airmaster – A superhero whose powers were never shown.
- Sting – A superhero whose powers were never shown.
- Attacko – A superhero whose powers were never shown.
- Galaxy – A superhero that is able to teleport himself and others travel across space and back to Earth. This hero managed to escape the strange time-altered world.
- Topsy-Turvy – A superhero that causes others to feel extremely disoriented.
- Beast-Maniac – Chris King jokingly dialed "H-O-R-R-O-R" and became an evil creature that was super-strong and could fly with arm-wings. It took Superman to stop & restrain him and then try to analyze the dials (he found no internal mechanisms whatsoever).
- Prism – A superhero that could absorb energy and then return it magnified one hundred-fold.
- Essence – A superhero that could suck the lifeforce from his enemies with his scepter.
- Red Devil – Could turn into a variety of demons including invisible and large spikey
- Tar-Man – Living tar, could become super hard or soft and squirt tar
- 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 – A superhero that was able to manipulate the Earth's gravitational and magnetic fields.
- Any-Body – A superhero could duplicate the appearance of any other person.
- Jimmy Gymnastic – A superhero that was a super-athlete.
- Trail Blazer – A superhero able to fly and track villains, causing their trails to be outlined in flame.
- Roll – A superhero with super-speed.
- Kinetic Kid –
- Glassman –
- X-Rayder –
- Spheror –
- Fuzz-Ball - A superhero that was a fuzzy head with feet but no body or arms. He is the partner of "Raggedy Doll."
- Trouble-Clef: Master of Magical Music –
- Serrator –
- Synapse the Energy Man –
- Martian Marshall – A Western version of the Martian Manhunter.
- Rubberneck – A stretchable superhero.
- Futura – A superheroine with flight, precognition, possibly other psionic powers.
- Sunspot – A superheroine with solar-energy powers.
- Ice – A superheroine with cold-based powers & flight.
- Grasshopper – A superheroine with super-leaping & agility.
- Twilight: Mistress of the Dark – A superheroine with shadow powers.
- Windsong – A superheroine with the ability to control winds.
- Molecule Maiden – A superheroine with the ability to control molecules.
- Hypno Girl – A superheroine with hypnotic abilities. This identity couldn't fly, much to Vicki's annoyance.
- Midnight Wisp – A superheroine who is the "Fastest girl in Fairfax."
- Strato-Girl: Mistress of the Wind – A superheroine that can control winds.
- Goldgirl – A superheroine that has flight & generation of "gold" constructs. Partner of Goldman.
- Alchemiss – A superheroine that with command of the Earth's four ancient elements.
- Dimension Girl – A superheroine who is able to generate other-dimensional portals.
- Stellar – A superheroine able to control the air.
- Ultra Girl – A gorgeous superheroine with super-strength.
- Starlet – Another superheroine with super-strength and the ability to "know a target's weakest point".
- Cardinal – A telekinetic superheroine.
- Ani-Woman – A superheroine that is able to bring inanimate objects to life under her control.
- Thumbelina – A tiny superheroine with full-sized strength.
- Tiara Star – A superheroine, no other description given.
- Matter Girl – A superheroine, no other description given.
- Echo – A superheroine with energy-repelling powers.
- Ariel – A flying superheroine with energy powers.
- Black – A superheroine who emitted a beam of black energy that was harmless until it crossed a similar beam from her partner, White.
- Weather Witch – A superheroine who controls the weather.
- Emerald Tiger – A superheroine with enhanced speed & strength.
- Rainbeaux: Mistress of Color – A superheroine that projects different colored beams, each with a different power.
- Hummingbird – A superheroine who could fly and move her wings at super-speed.
- Hydra: Goddess of the Sea – A superheroine that can control water.
- Hyptella – A superheroine who is the Mistress of Hypnotism. Unlike Vicki's previous hypnotism-based identity, Hyptella could fly.
- Sonik – A superheroine that can control sound.
- Puma the She-Cat – A superheroine with super-agility.
- Sulphur – A superheroine that can generate a cloud of sulphur. She couldn't fly and actually oozed sulphuric acid out of her feet.
- Sparrowhawk – A superheroine with wings.
- Kismet: Mistress of Mind Wave – A superheroine who possessed clairvoyance.
- Plant Mistress – A superheroine able to control any plant that grows.
- Sea Mist – A superheroine able to create watery vapors.
- Harp – A superheroine with winged flight and a magical harp that calmed targets.
- Pixie – A tiny superheroine with magical "fairy dust".
- Snowfall – A superheroine with ice powers.
- Glass Lass – A crystalline superheroine with "glass" skin and power to amplify light into laser beams.
- Unicorn – A superheroine whose horn healed with a touch.
- Queen of Hearts – An emotion-controlling superheroine.
- Blue Biker – A superheroine that drove a high-powered bicycle, but had no powers whatsoever. She pretended to be Unicorn to testify in a court case against Tsunami and Distortionex.
- Weaver – A superheroine who could weave webs into different shapes.
- Frosty – A superheroine whose eyes 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 phenomena.
- Starburst – A superheroine with flight and energy blast powers.
- Spinning Jenny – A superheroine that could fly and spin at super-speed, so fast that she could even travel through time.
- Scylla – A superheroine that had mechanical serpent heads with laser eyes attached to her sides.
- Sphera – A superheroine who could create spheres of any material for a variety of effects.
- Blazerina – A superheroine who could dance and spin to build up a powerful blast of laser energy.
- Thundera – A superheroine with thunderous shout and destructive eye-beams.
- Monarch – A superheroine who could fly with large butterfly-like wings.
- Miss Hourglass – A superheroine with the ability to control time.
- Sirocco the Desert Wind –
- Infra-Violet –
- Gossamer – A flying superheroine who could weave cocoons.
- Fan –
- Visionary – A superheroine who could see several seconds into the future.
- Spyglass –
- Psi-Clone – A superheroine with psychic powers and the ability to create duplicates of people.
- Rock – A fun-loving superheroine with super-strength.
- Genesis – A superheroine able to transform living beings to stone and back and bring inanimate objects to life.
- Ms. Muscle –
- Lavender Skywriter – A superheroine who could cause objects to appear by skywriting their names with purple mist.
- Turnabout –
- Raggedy Doll – A living rag doll with no ability to move at all, let alone any powers. Partner of "Fuzzball"
- 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 villainess with sharp shears for arms that could cut through most materials.
- Cobress (villainess) – A reptilian villainess with hypnotic gaze.
Thomas Banker / Dial Man
- Kinovicher –
- Jollo –
- Mangastanga –
Lori Morning (in Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4)
- Fireball – A flying pyrokinetic superheroine who could animate & control "living fireballs."
- Slipstream – A flying superheroine with super-speed.
- Dyna-Soar –
- Chiller – A female superhero with ice-controlling.
- Ink – A female superhero who fired sticky "ink" to ensnare enemies.
- Galaxy Girl – A super-child with high-end cosmic powers, including a "cosmic hammer."
- Blip – A teleporting superheroine.
- Plasma – A superheroine with energy-based powers.
- Helios –
- 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.
- The Bouncer – A superhero who could jump very high.
- The Blur – A superhero with super-speed.
- The Wake – 
- Winged Victory – A superhero who could fly.
- The Wrecker – 
- Powerhouse – 
Matt Allen (in H.E.R.O.)
- The Protector – 
Andrea Allen (in H.E.R.O.)
- Nocturna – A superheroine with "The power of Darkness"
- Illusia – A superheroine capable of creating illusions.
- Cloud – The superhero form of Mark.
- Fusion – The superhero form of Jay.
- Photon – The superhero form of Galen.
- Ingot – The superhero form of Galen.
- Howitzer – The superhero form of Mark.
- 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.)
Joe Walker (in H.E.R.O.)
Nelson Jent (in Dial H)
- Boy Chimney – A skeletal gentleman with superhuman reflexes and flexibility, poison gas, smoke manipulation, brick-hard skin, smoke-based clairvoyance, and the ability to travel on chimney smoke.
- Captain Lachrymose – An "emo" who draws amazing physical strength from people's most traumatic memories, forcing them to experience an emotional breakdown.
- Skeet – A superhero resembling a red shotgun skeet/clay-pigeon. Can reassemble himself upon explosion.
- Control-Alt-Delete – A computer-themed superhero who is able to "reboot" recent events.
- The Iron Snail – A military commando equipped with massive shell-like power armor with treads, firearms which launch noxious substances, and a ferrocochlean sense.
- Human Virus – Powers never shown.
- Shamanticore – A superhero that resembles a humanoid manticore shaman with a staff. Powers never shown.
- Pelican Army – Powers never shown, but he was accompanied by a huge flock of pelicans.
- Double Bluff – Powers never shown.
- Hole Punch – A muscular, three-armed superhero with unknown powers.
- The Rancid Ninja – Never shown, but Nelson stated that he wishes he could forget becoming him.
- Baroness Resin – Nelson Junt's first female superhero form. She fires some sort of blast from her hand that is likely resin.
- Cock-a-Hoop - A strange portmanteau of a rooster and a hula hoop that possesses a sonic cry and can cause others to become dizzy by encircling them
- Chief Mighty Arrow - A superhero that had the appearance of a Native American stereotype. He can fire an array of super-arrows (like a ladder arrow and an explosive arrow), can create whirlwinds and possesses a Pegasus helper named Wingy. Because of its potential offensiveness, Roxie forbade Nelson from leaving the house in this guise.
- Tugboat - A superhero that has tugboats for arms.
- Tree Knight - A superhero that resembles a living tree in armor that wields a sword.
- Daffodil Host - A sharply dressed superhero who has daffodils on his head. His power is to entrance his enemies in poetic reverie.
- Flame War - A superhero whose insults can make whatever he insults to catch fire.
- Cloud Herd - A tall, bearded superhero who can control the weather.
- The Glimpse - A super-fast superhero who can go unnoticed by sight or sound.
- Copter - He is the first superhero sidekick form dialed up by Nelson using the S-Dial. He acts as the sidekick to Gunship and is considered powerful in his own right where he is able to unleash bolts of electricity and use the helicopter blades on him to fly.
- Flash - A duplicate of Flash.
- ElepHaunt - An elephant-like superhero.
- Moon Monkey -
- SuperOmi: Queen of Soho -
- Secret Faction - A superhero who can cause dissent from within.
- Monodon Seer - A narwhal-like superhero who can read thoughts.
- Chimney Lachrymose - A hybrid of Boy Chimney and Captain Lachrymose.
- Pelican Bluff - A hybrid of Pelican Army and Double Bluff.
- Ctrl+Alt+Daffodil - A hybrid of Ctrl+Alt+Del and Daffodil Host.
- Cloud Skeet - A hybrid of Cloud Herd and Skeet.
- Flame Snail - A hybrid of Flame War and Iron Snail.
- Hairbringer - A long-haired superheroine that Manteau dialed up before her first appearance. Ex Nihilo also dialed up this form when fighting Abyss.
- The Prime Mover - An exceedingly powerful superheroine that Manteau once became and nearly lost herself in it.
- Doctor Cloaca - An entry in the Refusenik Dossier.
- SS Ilsa - An entry in the Refusenik Dossier.
- Captain Priapus - An entry in the Refusenik Dossier.
- Kid Torture - An entry in the Refusenik Dossier.
- Golliwog - An entry in the Refusenik Dossier.
- Exstinghuishness - A superheroine in a firefighter outfit with hoses for arms. Her hose arms can emit a large pressure of water that would be enough to make her go airborn.
- Electrocutie - An electrical superheroine. She was named by Nelson Jent who liked that form.
- Planktonian - A superheroine that is made up of a multitude of small planktons.
- Minotaura - A minotaur-like superheroine that has super-strength and can trap anyone in a maze.
- Pipe Cleaner
- Matryoshka - A Russian nesting doll-like superheroine.
- Lad Autumn
- Bristol Bloodhound - A bloodhound-themed superhero with heightened senses.
The ones that wielded the H-Dial had encountered various villains in their adventures:
- Thunderbolt Organization –
- Mr. Thunder – Eric Bolton is the head of the Thunderbolt Organization. He later becomes Moon Man upon a chemical accident that gave him lunar powers.
- Daffy the Great – Daffy Dagan 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 – Inventor of a ray device that temporarily turns people into mindless monsters.
- Baron Bug – A supervillain who enlarges insects to do his bidding. He later appeared in 52 as a member of the Science Squad.
- Doctor Cyclops – A one-eyed supervillain with strange vision powers. He later appeared in 52 as a member of the Science Squad.
- Super-Hood – A monstrous criminal android.
- Dr. Rigoro Mortis – A mad scientist who was the creator of Super-Hood. He later appeared in 52 as a member of the Science Squad.
- 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 friend of Robby Reed's who turned into different monsters every time Robby turned into a hero because of a temporary defect in the H-Dial.
- The Speed Boys – A criminal gang known for using high-speed getaway vehicles.
- Shirkon – A supervillain that Robby Reed fought. His battle with him resulted in Robby Reed splitting into Wizard and Master.
Chris King and Vicki Grant
- Flying Buttress – A flying metallic warrior from another galaxy and servant to G.L.U.N.K.
- G.L.U.N.K. – Shorf for the Galactic Logistic Unit for Navigation and Knowledge, it is a talking spaceship with a freeze ray.
- Gordanian Robots – Robot sentries sent to Earth to protect Gordanian technology.
- Silver Fog – Samuel Toth is 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. He wielded an axe that he could throw and control across distance.
- 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 – Bruno Hogan was a mutant and former circus star that was fired for theft and vowed revenge. He has ram horns on his head and has super-strength.
- Aquarians – Sea-dwelling aliens intent on colonizing the Earth using artificial storms and an Earthling agent, Destructress.
- Largo, The Invincible – The greatest warrior of Aquaria.
- Destructess – Martha Winters is a mentally ill woman endowed by Aquarians with energy-shooting bracelets.
- Interchange, The Metamorphic Man – A supervillain with shape-changing powers that once threatened Washington D.C.
- 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 – Gary Ames is a supervillain who uses game-themed weapons. He was mentioned to have been a former henchman of Joker.
- Wildebeest – A poacher who comes to America to hunt in a game preserve. 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.
- Pupil – A floating computer that looked like a giant eye wearing a graduation cap!
- 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 from the cell samples of unknown people. 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.
- Mr. Negative – A man whose negative attitude and exposure to radiation made those around him feel suicidal.
- The Evil Eight – The Master's team of supervillains which he created from the cell samples of unknown people. Upon their defeat and exposure as clones, the Evil Eight were handed over to S.T.A.R. Labs for further study and psychic evaluation in hopes that they might be rehabilitated and returned to society as useful citizens.
- Chondak – An ape-like blue monster created by the Master.
- Ice King – A supervillain with the ability to generate and control ice.
- Piledriver – A supervillain with super-strength.
- Maniak – An acrobatic supervillain.
- Phantasm – A ghost-like supervillain with ghost-like abilities.
- K-9 – A dog-themed supervillain with razor-sharp claws.
- Arsenal – An armored supervillain 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 stolen a Rembrandt from Vicki's father. He uses a jet pack to fly.
- Crimson Star – A supervillain created by the Master. His powers derive from the stars.
- Radiator – A supervillain created by the Master. His suit contains different radiation beams.
- Snakeman – Professor Charles Ralston is a scientist who had been transformed into a giant serpent after getting cut upon accidentally smashing a serum vial.
- Jinx – A supervillain who had the power of jinx. He was created by the Master.
- Cancero – An aquatic villain in a crab-themed powered armor.
- Jelly Woman – A weird villainess with a body composed of gelatinous substance.
- Belladonna – Angela Wainwright is a chemist turned criminal who carries poisonous substances in weaponized forms.
- Tsunami – A supervillainess who could create destructive tidal waves similar to her namesake. She was a servant of the Master and was partnered with Distortionex to create disaster situations while he robbed deserted businesses.
- Distortionex – A male supervillan with the power to disintegrate matter. He was a servant of the Master and was partnered with Tsunami to create disaster situations while he robbed deserted businesses.
- 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."
- Abyss – A living gateway between worlds. In The New 52, Abyss returns as an opponent of Nelson Jent.
- Blackjack – A villain from another planet who utilized deadly casino-based objects against his enemies.
- 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 it with something from his own.
- Naiad – Diana Lyon is a supervillainess with water-based powers.
- Marauder – A supervillain that the Master 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 supervillainess 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 – A supervillain that uses explosive firecrackers.
- Windrider – A flying supervillain.
- 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. He was created by the Master.
- Pod – One of the Master's minions. He is a plant-like, tentacled creature created by the Master.
- Golden Web – One of the Master's minions. He is a spider-themed supervillain who could weave golden webbing.
- Swarm – One of the Master's minions. She is a flying insectoid woman who could split herself into many insect-sized, spear-wielding duplicates with a collective mind.
- Power Pirate – One of the 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 – A bunch of supervillains created by the Master from the cell samples of unknown people. Upon their defeat and exposure as clones, these supervillains were handed over to S.T.A.R. Labs for further study and psychic evaluation in hopes that they might be rehabilitated and returned to society as useful citizens.
- Aurora – A supervillainess that can project auras of different colors from her body and solidify them into weapons. She was created by the Master from the cell samples of an unknown person.
- Hitpin – A supervillainess who threw weighted objects similar to bowling pins.
- Decibel – A supervillain who possesses a sonic scream.
- Electron – A supervillain who could generate electricity.
- Overseer – A supervillainess 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-shifting supervillainess.
- Solar Dynamo – A supervillain with unspecified (presumably solar-based) energy projection abilities.
- Trojan – A supervillain with unspecified energy projection abilities.
- Blue Damsel Fly – A flying insectoid supervillainess who could fire energy beams from her hands. She was created by the Master from the cell samples of an unknown person.
- Serpentina – A supervillainess with a petrifying gaze.
- Cableman – A supervillain who could release an entangling cable from his right hand.
Nelson Jent and Manteau
- Ex Nihilo – A criminal who is the head of a gang that experiments on coma victims. Her true identity is Dr. Kate Wald who worked as Darren Hirsch's neurologist.
- Vernon Boyne – A drug lord that works for Ex Nihilo.
- Squid – A former opponent of Chris King and Vicki Grant. He is able to create a wide assortment of chemical "inks" from his fingertips.
- Abyss – A living gateway between worlds and a former opponent of Chris King and Vicki Grant.
- Centipede - Floyd Berson is a Canadian government operative that can unstick time to the extent that he can move at unusual speeds, enter past versions of himself, and get several versions of himself to help him complete specific tasks. He gained his powers when he was testing an experimental time machine for the Canadian military. General Choder later gave Centipede a centipede-like mask which also has visual filters for enhanced reconnaissance.
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 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 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 allow Elemental Hero normal Monsters to attack your opponent directly.
- 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 and Bartman ends up trying to stop him. The identities he assumes include Flasherdasher, Electroshock, Capybara Man, the Falconator, Campfire Kid, Batboy, Rubber Lad and Forkupine.
- Ben 10 – This franchise features an alien watch called the Omnitrix that allows for one to become different heroes, which was inspired by the 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.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger – Features a team of protagonists who, by selecting various "Ranger Keys", can become any member of the previous 34 Super Sentai series.
- House of Mystery #160 (July 1966)
- Jimenez, Phil (2008). "Dial "H" for Hero". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 101. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017
- 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."
- Adventure Comics #488 (December 1981)
- DC Comics Presents #44 (April 1982)
- H.E.R.O. #15 (June 2004)
- Silver Age: Dial H for Hero (July 2000)
- H.E.R.O. #17 (August 2004)
- H.E.R.O. #1 (April 2003)
- H.E.R.O. #2 (May 2003)
- H.E.R.O. #3 (June 2003)
- H.E.R.O. #5 (August 2003)
- H.E.R.O. #6 (September 2003)
- H.E.R.O. #7 (October 2003)
- H.E.R.O. #8 (November 2003)
- H.E.R.O. #9 (December 2003)
- H.E.R.O. #12 (March 2004)
- H.E.R.O. #13 (April 2004)
- H.E.R.O. #14 (May 2004)
- Dial H for Hero at the Comic Book DB
- Dial H for Hero at Comic Vine
- Dial 'H' for HERO (1997 article by John L. Censullo)
- Dark Mark's Dial H for Hero Index (Pre-Crisis only)