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.
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.
Storyarcs and characters
- Issue #1-4: Jerry Feldon, a minimum wage earner from the fictional city of Heaton, Pennsylvania, uses the H-Device in order to impress a co-worker.
- Issue #5: Matt Allen, a businessman finds and becomes obsessed with using the H-Device. In the end his wife leaves him taking their daughter with her.
- Issue #6: Andrea Allen, the daughter of Matt Allen, finds the H-Device while leaving with her mother. She uses it with two of her friends 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 who find the H-Device. They use the 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 the 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.
- Issue #11: A 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, a man who uses the H-Device to become a superpowered woman. He loses the H-Device and becomes trapped in female form.
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
. Tony Finch is one exception to this when he agrees to work for the serial killer.
The series ends with the H-Device being sent back in time where it is found by the caveman 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 1401201687)
- Review of issue #1
- Review of issue #2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 11, 15, 19, 20, 21 and 22, Comics Bulletin