Tell me if you’ve heard this one: a kid stumbles onto a piece of Alien technology, and when he uses it he becomes a different Super Hero. Sound familiar? Ben 10, right? Not this time. Robby Reed (60’s alliteration-gotta love it) who began his Hero career back in 1963 in House of Mystery 156 – sharing the bill with a Martian Manhunter in a second story (back in the day it was common for comics to have more than one story in each issue).
The story goes along the lines that one day, in the life of an ordinary boy in a typical small town who, while witnessing the rampage of a giant robot terrorizing and robbing said town, falls into crack in Earth made by previously mentioned giant robot, and discovers what looks like a Rotary Dial with alien symbols. A Rotary dial is …..look at the picture, the round thing.
Robby figures out that if he dials it in what he thinks he’s translated as H-E-R-O in sequence, he transforms into different super-powered bodies, until he dials O-R-E-H. In his run on House of Mystery, 18 issues, he changed three times each story, (and yes, he does start to eventually get heroes he’s had before, and then he was Plastic Man…) so we had a bunch of heroes that weren’t….well thought out. Here are a few of the more awful choices…
Now, as FASCINATING as Robby Reed is, this series is NOT about him, but that crazy H-Dial, and it’s journey through the DCU.
NEXT TIME: The Twins!!
And a little more on Robby Reed, he lets the Dial get away from him TWICE, first when the oddly named Daffy Dagan, leader of the Siren Gang, a group of robbers with noise canceling headsets, some sign language and a loud siren…discovers it in on the person of one of Robby’s many guises- Quake Masker, (who’s not that great with his powers, because he pins himself under a tree) and SOMEHOW figures out, somehow to dial V-I-L-L-A-I-N to become a Super Villain with Earth controlling powers, boulders, magma, etc., and decides to call his new villainous self: Daffy the Great!! (yikes).
Reed eventually gets the Dial back, and the less said about how, the better.
On a second occasion, his girl crush, Suzy, sees him change and wants in. After some coaxing, he gives in and has her dial H-E-R-O-I-N-E, and she changes into Gem Girl! She has her adventures, hits her head, Robby (the cad) takes her finger, dials it backwards, she forgets the whole thing, or did she? Probably….yeah.