|Publication date||April 2003 – January 2005|
|No. of issues||22|
|Written by||Will Pfeifer|
|Power & Abilities||ISBN 1-4012-0168-7|
H.E.R.O. is an American comic book series published by DC Comics that started in 2003 and ran for 22 issues. The series was written by Will Pfeifer. Artists included Kano, Leonard Kirk and Dale Eaglesham.
The series' focus was the "H-Dial" that DC had first introduced in "Dial H for Hero" in House of Mystery in the 1960s. For this series the Dial was depicted as an object with buttons instead of a dial and was referred to as the H-Device.
Storyarcs and characters
Unlike earlier stories, H.E.R.O. did not have one or two protagonists being turned into a new hero every issue, but showed the H-Device passing from bearer to bearer, examining how different people react to the sudden gift of supernatural powers. There was a subplot involving Robby Reed (the main character from the original Dial H for Hero) that ran through most issues and led to the series' final storyline as he tries to find the H-Device.
- Issue #1–4: Jerry Feldon, a minimum wage earner from the fictional city of Heaton, Pennsylvania, works as an ice cream vendor and soda jerk. He uses the H-Device in order to impress a co-worker named Molly. His superhero work was unsuccessful with the bad guys getting badly hurt. After Molly was shot in a non-fatal way during a robbery on the ice cream parlor that he worked at, Jerry flew into space and return to normal in mid-air to commit suicide only to be saved by Superman. Following this incident and Molly recovering, Jerry resumed his normal life and began dating Molly.
- Issue #5: Matt Allen, the vice-president of the Chicago-based Edutech, finds and becomes obsessed with using the H-Device which landed in front of him following Jerry Feldon's suicide attempt. In the end, his wife Claire leaves him taking their daughter with her.
- Issue #6: Andrea Allen, the daughter of Matt Allen and Claire, finds the H-Device while leaving with her mother. She uses it with two of her friends Julie and Denise, but they begin to fight over it and lose it as a result.
- Issue #7–8: Captain Chaos, the communal code name of a group of friends named Mark, Jay, Galen, Craig, and Wayne. They use the H-Device to create a website showing them doing superpowered stunts which seem to be inspired by the television show Jackass.
- Issue #9–10: Tony Finch, a small-time Gotham City criminal whose claim to fame is that he was a henchman for Joker at one point. He uses the H-Device in an effort to become a player in the Gotham City underworld, but gives it up when the Joker becomes interested in his ex-henchman and ends up remanded to Arkham Asylum.
- Issue #11: A Neanderthal caveman from 50,000 years ago in what will become Germany finds the H-Device and become his era's version of Superman. He never transforms back and as an old man throws the H-Device into space and leaves Earth to go to the Moon where he dies.
- Issue #12–14: Joe Hamill is a construction worker who found the H-Device in the building where Tony Finch was last in. He uses the H-Device to become a superpowered woman named Shocking Suzi. He loses the H-Device and becomes trapped in female form.
Final story arc
Issues #15–22 bring together all the elements presented in the previous issues. Robby Reed is the featured character as he attempts to stop a serial killer who has obtained the H-Device and gained the power to use any power he can think of. Most of the other characters from the previous storyarcs are either recruited by Reed or killed by the serial killer. Robby starts by telling Jerry Feldon his past which causes his superpowers to kick in. Robby and Jerry travel to find the serial killer while avoiding the police. Robby and Jerry encounter the serial killer and were able to fight him until the serial killer gets away upon killing Jerry. Tony Finch agrees to work for the serial killer upon being sprung from Arkham Asylum. Wayne of Captain Chaos sides with Robby Reed after the serial killer killed Mark, Jay, Galen, and Craig and after Wayne's superpowers. After his powers kick in, Matt Allen agrees to help Robby Reed after Andrea is captured by the serial killer. Robby and Matt were successful at rescuing Andrea at the cost of Wayne's life. Tony does turn against the serial killer by buying Robby Reed, Matt Allen, and Andrea Allen time to defeat him by sacrificing his life. It was also shown that the H-Device's powers had been carried into Jerry Feldon's son. The series ends with the H-Device being sent back in time by Robby Reed where it is found by the Neanderthal from issue #11.)
Part of the series has been collected as a trade paperback:
- Power & Abilities (collects H.E.R.O. #1-6, 144 pages, DC Comics, November 2003, ISBN 1-4012-0168-7)
- H.E.R.O. #15 (June 2004)
- H.E.R.O. #16
- H.E.R.O. #18
- H.E.R.O. #19 (October 2004)
- H.E.R.O. #20 (November 2004)
- H.E.R.O. #21
- H.E.R.O. #22 (January 2005)
- Power & Abilities profile at DC