The original owner of the H-Dial is Robert "Robby" Reed, a teenager from Littleville, Colorado, who discovers the dial in a cavern. Resembling an old telephone dial, this device is hand-held and covered in unknown symbols (that somehow Robby was able to understand as modern letters.) 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 superpowered being; dialing O-R-E-H makes him revert to his normal form. He quickly uses it to protect Littleville under the guises of numerous superheroes.
Robby's H-Dial was once used by his foe, Daffy Dagan, who briefly becomes a supervillain known as Daffy the Great after dialing V-I-L-L-A-I-N. Robby's girlfriend Suzie uses the dial, dialing H-E-R-O-I-N-E to temporarily transform into Gem Girl. In the end, Suzie receives a blow to the head that causes her to forget about the secret of the device.
Eventually, Robby stopped using the Dial, developing partial amnesia. He later found it again and dialled once more, but the Dial had become rusty and the damaged Dial transformed Robby into a deranged duplicate of Plastic Man, a hero whose identity Robby had assumed once before. The real Plastic Man defeated his doppelganger and confiscated the H-Dial, judging Robby too irresponsible to own it, though Robby later apparently regained it under unrevealed circumstances.
Still later, with the Dial apparently working normally again, Robby used it to transform himself into two people: unfortunately, the result was the creation of two entirely separate entities, the Master and the Wizard, who represented the good and evil sides of Reed's personality, neither remembering who they really were. While Wizard was apparently killed, Master had a short time working at Project Cadmus where he learned how to make his own supervillains from the cell samples of unidentified people. Robby was eventually restored to normal by Chris King and Vicki Grant, the holders of two newer H-Dials created by the Wizard. Reed gave his original H-Dial to Grant and King's friend Nick Stevens, though many years later an older Robby (who had somehow ended up in prison) tracked down the Dial once more in order to keep it out of the wrong hands (evidently believing, despite all past evidence to the contrary, that his were the right hands) and ended up internalizing its power within his own body.
Can use the H-Dial to transform into different superheroes, but it is totally random which hero he'll become. Can even become duplicates of other existing heroes as his transformation into Plastic Man shows.
- Robby's eventual recovery of the Dial as an adult may or may not still be in continuity. No specific time frame was ever given for these events.
- 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.
- Robby has transformed into the following heroes:
- Human Bullet
- Radar-Sonar Man
- Human Starfish
- Mighty Moppet
- King Kandy
- Plastic Man
- Mr. Echo
- Castor and Pollux
- King Coil
- Robby the Robot
- Whoozit, Whatsis, and Howsis
- Chief Mighty Arrow
- Yankee Doodle Kid
- Balloon Man
- Muscle Man
- Radar-Sonar Man (again)
- Velocity Kid
- Don Juan
- Human Buzzsaw
- King Viking
- Chief Mighty Arrow (again)
- Pendulum Man
- Human Solar Mirror
- Human Icicle
- Mental Man
- 47 Appearances of Robert Reed (New Earth)
- 13 Images featuring Robert Reed (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Robert Reed (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Robert Reed (New Earth)
|Dial H for Hero Villain|
This character is or was primarily an enemy of the bearers of the Hero Dial; Robby Reed, Chris King and Vicki Grant. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Dial H for Hero Villains."