Two H-Dials are discovered by teenagers Christopher "Chris" King and 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.
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 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 dail 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). 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.
Chris eventually parted company with Vicki and Nick only to discover that his body had internalized the power of his H-Dial, condemning him to become a new hero every hour whether he needed to or not. S.T.A.R Labs gave him a suit designed to help him monitor his changes and set about trying to cure his condition.
Chris assumed the identities of dozens of superheroes through the use of the Hero Dial:
- Mister Thin
- Power Punch
- Trouble Clef
- Kinetic Kid
- Jimmy Gymnastic
- Red Devil
- Mister Opposite
- Hasty Pudding
- Music Master
- Radar Man
- Shadow Master
- Worm Man
- Air Master
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 50 Appearances of Christopher King (New Earth)
- 11 Images featuring Christopher King (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Christopher King (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Christopher King (New Earth)
- Chris King at dccomics.com
- Dial H for Hero at Wikipedia.org
- Dial H for Hero article
- Chris King article at Titanstower.com
- Chris King bio at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
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