Posts tagged ‘HERO Dial’

Adventure 485 – The Master goes after Dial “H” for Hero


A full-length story, a George Perez cover, but there still isn’t that much to say about Adventure 485 (Sept 81).

Marv Wolfman and Cramine Infantino have the Master send out the “Evil Eight” to take down Chris King and Vickie Grant, but they fail pretty dismally.


The Master is still not shown clearly, but we do learn that he is aware of the HERO Dials, the source of the kids’ powers, and has been hunting for them a while.  He also claims to have murdered the man who invented the Dials.

The Master returns in a year, in the DC Comics Presents that teams Superman with Chris and Vickie.

Adventure 482 – H-E-R-O vs H.I.V.E


The H.I.V.E. make an appearance in Adventure 482 (June 1981), which is the only reason that this story by Marv Wolfman and Don Heck makes it into my blog.  The H.I.V.E. were the main enemies of the fledgling New Teen Titans in their own book at this time.

Chris’ father is assigned to guard a scientist whose new inventions the H.I.V.E.  want to steal, so they employ the Blade Master, who uses swords that can cut through anything.  When he attacks, Chris uses his HERO Dial to transform into  Teleman, with teleporting abilities.


Figuring that he needs help, he teleports to the summer camp where Vickie is, and she transforms into Aniwoman, who has powers much like Life Lass from the Heroes of Lallor, to animate and control objects.


She animates his blades and uses them to capture him, while Chris uses his teleportation powers to fool his suspicious father into thinking he is safe at home.

OK, so the H.I.V.E. is in a mere two panels.  Maybe this story wasn’t worth it.


Adventure 479 – Dial “H” for Hero begins


Dial “H” for Hero begins its run in Adventure Comics with issue 479 (March 1981).  It retains the HERO dial from the earlier House of Mystery series from the 1960s, and the concept that the Dial temporarily transforms the dialer into a variety of different heroes, but not the characters from the original series.


Chrisopher King and Victoria Gratnt have a pair of dials, which they acquired in a preview story published in Legion of Super-Heroes, so no origin story is given in this issue, despite the fact that there are three tales in this comic, all by Marv Wolfman and Carmine Infantino.


The heroes the two kids change into are not Wolfman creations, though.  Instead, they are submitted by readers.  The two Dials are attuned, so when one of the kids uses theirs, the other is alerted.

Even at 15 years old, this struck me as a cheap way of luring readers.  Nor was I inclined to come up with a character, but have no control over the story it was in, or have it merely appear for a page or two before being consigned to oblivion.


The one thing I did notice, reading this issue again as an adult, was that the villain of the third and final story in the issue, Silver Fog, was created by Harlan Ellison, although he is credited as if he were one of the readers who sent in ideas.  Cute.


The destruction caused by the Silver Fog means the family has to re-furnish their house, and readers are invited to design the furniture as well!  Really?  Let’s get real.

This comic completely turned me off, and I did not read another issue of it, until now, for this blog.  Sacrifices must be made.  As well as disliking the concept, Infantino’s art looked like an ugly parody of his classic work in the 50s and 60s, though I found that true for all of Infantino’s stuff from the 80s.

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