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ASK…THE QUESTION: How Many Superheroes Has the H-Dial Produced?

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Ah, it’s good to be home! Hello, I’m Alex Jaffe. Welcome back once more to “ASK… THE QUESTION,” a monthly feature here on DCComics.com where I answer all the questions about the breadth and depth of DC Comics lore and history that keep you up at night, no matter how granular or obscure. How to reach me? Why, it’s as easy as navigating over to our illustrious Community, where as “HubCityQuestion” I hold court night and day in a topic dedicated to this very column. Enough with the preamble. Let’s get you some answers!
 

Where to Continuity Cop?

OG_Original Gabe asks:

In pre-New 52 continuity, Batman was sent back in time by Darkseid after the events of Final Crisis. In the New 52/current Rebirth/Infinite Frontier continuity it has been established that he was indeed sent back in time. (In Dark Nights: Metal, Batman confirms that he was sent back in time and was exposed to Barbatos and one of the metals when it happened.) We additionally know that he was absent because Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne worked together during his absence, established by the New 52 series Batman and Robin when Damian talks about working with Dick (as in previous continuity). My question is: since in New 52 continuity Darkseid seems to be a totally “new” villain for the Justice League (indicating that Final Crisis didn’t happen), then how was Batman sent back in time? Did the Court of Owls do it instead of Darkseid? Did he do it to himself by accident?

DC continuity has undergone a series of dramatic makeovers since the “Flashpoint” of 2011, but this gap in time from Darkseid’s reintroduction to a blank canvas continuity at the very beginning of the New 52 Justice League title, to later storylines which necessitated a familiarity with Darkseid’s history, was already accounted for from the start. Unlike most other titles in the line-wide New 52 launch, which take place more or less concurrently, the first story arc of Justice League was set five years prior to the rest of the line. That five-year gap was established to allow for events such as Final Crisis to occur, necessitating Batman’s trip through time.

This gap was later widened further still in 2016’s DC Universe: Rebirth #1, where Wally West begins to identify a whole decade of time which was stolen through cosmic interference from everyone’s personal timeline and which gradually reinstated itself between that 2016 revelation and last year’s Dark Nights: Death Metal.

So, to precisely answer your question, as envisioned in 2011, Darkseid sent Batman back through time sometime between his first encounter with Batman in 2011’s Justice League #1-6 and 2011’s Batman #1, which occurred five years later in his personal timeline.
 

Cosmic Home Gym Essentials

Discordia57 asks:

Recently, I’ve been thinking, has Superman ever used the Cosmic Treadmill? Because, I have to imagine, that if Flash can traverse time with it, then Superman could too, right? He’s fast.

In Silver Age comics, Superman didn’t need a Cosmic Treadmill—he could just fly so fast that he’d go back in time on his own whenever he wanted. The most famous example of this, of course, being Superman’s trip through time to save Lois in 1978’s Superman: The Movie. And yet, to answer your question, yes. Superman’s trips through time by his own power have become less frequent over time, due to the question they beg about why he doesn’t simply solve all of his problems that way. But in 2017’s Action Comics #992, Superman borrows Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill in order to address some unanswered questions of his own regarding the destruction of Krypton and if his father Jor-El could have possibly survived it.
 

Dial H for Hoo, Boy

AhlGodOfSuperheroes asks:

How many superheroes have been introduced using the H-E-R-O Dial? And do you personally have a favorite?

Oh boy, one of THESE questions. I’m not complaining, I love ‘em. It may surprise you to learn that this isn’t something I just know off-hand, so we’re going to have to count every single hero in a comic that the H-Dial has appeared in. All right, as usual with these particularly broad questions, let’s establish some ground rules.

To be clear, we’re only counting heroes that the H-Dial itself has introduced by name, and not any of its variants. For instance, the heroes who Manteau channels under her mask in 2012’s Dial H series are impossible to account for. Any heroes who are associated with the dialed heroes but who were not accessed through the dial directly are similarly discounted. And as variants of the H-Dial change hands, such as how Nelson and Roxie swap the H-Dials and S-Dials back and forth in Dial H, it can be difficult to keep track of who’s currently possessing which dial, but I did my best.

In 2003’s H-E-R-O, most of the heroes summoned by the dialers are never mentioned by name—and even when they are named, they’re often names invented by the dialer, as opposed to the name that came with the hero themselves. In 2019’s Dial H for Hero, the H-Dial only figures into the first few issues until it shifts focus to other variants. Sometimes, a multitude of characters will use the H-Dial at once, and not all of the heroes who appear on panel are named. Rarely, two heroes will show up with extremely similar or even identical names, but it’s unclear if it’s meant to be the same hero or just a coincidence. I also didn’t count superhero fusions, or the occasions where the Dial channeled an existing hero such as Plastic Man or the Flash. Regardless, even if not exact, this final tally should be pretty close to the number you’re looking for.

So! With all of that in mind, let’s present my pretty-close-to-full accounting:

  1. Giant Boy (House of Mystery #156)
  2. Cometeer (House of Mystery #156)
  3. The Mole (House of Mystery #156)
  4. The Human Bullet (House of Mystery #157)
  5. Radar-Sonar Man (House of Mystery #157)
  6. Super-Charge (House of Mystery #157)
  7. Quake-Master (House of Mystery #158)
  8. The Squid (House of Mystery #158)
  9. Human Starfish (House of Mystery #159)
  10. Hypno-Man (House of Mystery #159)
  11. Mighty Moppet (House of Mystery #159)
  12. King Kandy (House of Mystery #160)
     

     
  13. Hornet-Man (House of Mystery #161)
  14. Magneto (House of Mystery #161)
  15. Shadow-Man (House of Mystery #161)
  16. Future-Man (House of Mystery #162)
  17. Mr. Echo (House of Mystery #162)
  18. Castor, Gemini Twin (House of Mystery #163)
  19. Pollux, Gemini Twin (House of Mystery #163)
  20. King Coil (House of Mystery #163)
  21. Robby the Robot (House of Mystery #164)
  22. Super-Nova (House of Mystery #164)
  23. Ziptide (House of Mystery #164)
  24. Whoozit (House of Mystery #165)
  25. Whatsis (House of Mystery #165)
  26. Howsis (House of Mystery #165)
  27. Chief Mighty Arrow (House of Mystery #166)
     

     
  28. Yankee Doodle Kid (House of Mystery #166)
  29. Balloon Man (House of Mystery #167)
  30. Muscle Man (House of Mystery #167)
  31. Hoopster (House of Mystery #168)
  32. Astro (House of Mystery #169)
  33. Gem Girl (House of Mystery #169)
  34. Don Juan (House of Mystery #170)
  35. Human Buzzsaw (House of Mystery #170)
  36. Sphinx-Man (House of Mystery #170)
  37. Go-Go (House of Mystery #171)
  38. King Viking (House of Mystery #171)
  39. Whirl-I-Gig (House of Mystery #171)
  40. Pendulum Man (House of Mystery #172)
  41. Human Solar Mirror (House of Mystery #172)
  42. Gill-Man (House of Mystery #173)
  43. Human Icicle (House of Mystery #173)
  44. Strata-Man (House of Mystery #173)
  45. The Moth (Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2 #272)
  46. Futura (Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2 #272)
     

     
  47. Megaboy (Adventure Comics #479)
  48. Sunspot (Adventure Comics #479)
  49. Ice (Adventure Comics #479)
  50. Color Commando (Adventure Comics #479)
  51. The Grasshopper (Adventure Comics #479)
  52. Doomster (Adventure Comics #479)
  53. The Composite Man (Adventure Comics #479)
  54. Twilight (Adventure Comics #479)
  55. Windsong (Adventure Comics #479)
  56. Captain Electron (Adventure Comics #479)
  57. Mister Mystical (Adventure Comics #480)
  58. Molecular Maiden (Adventure Comics #480)
  59. Hypno Girl (Adventure Comics #480)
  60. Star Flare (Adventure Comics #480)
  61. Midnight Wisp (Adventure Comics #480)
  62. Solar Flare (Adventure Comics #480)
  63. Strato-Girl (Adventure Comics #480)
  64. The Wrangler (Adventure Comics #480)
  65. Goldman (Adventure Comics #481)
  66. Goldgirl (Adventure Comics #481)
  67. Alchemiss (Adventure Comics #481)
  68. The Sixth Sensor (Adventure Comics #481)
  69. Dimension Girl (Adventure Comics #481)
  70. Volcano (Adventure Comics #481)
  71. Stellar (Adventure Comics #481)
     

     
  72. Mister Thin (Adventure Comics #482)
  73. Ultra Girl (Adventure Comics #482)
  74. Starlet (Adventure Comics #482)
  75. Anti-Man (Adventure Comics #482)
  76. Dragonfly (Adventure Comics #482)
  77. The Cardinal (Adventure Comics #482)
  78. Aniwoman (Adventure Comics #482)
  79. Teleman (Adventure Comics #482)
  80. Zeep (Adventure Comics #483)
  81. Thumbelina (Adventure Comics #483)
  82. Lightmaster (Adventure Comics #483)
  83. Tiarra Star (Adventure Comics #483)
  84. Matter Girl (Adventure Comics #483)
  85. Molecule Man (Adventure Comics #483)
  86. Echo (Adventure Comics #483)
  87. Music Master (Adventure Comics #483)
  88. Ariel (Adventure Comics #483)
  89. Gladiator (Adventure Comics #483)
  90. Black (Adventure Comics #483)
  91. White (Adventure Comics #483)
  92. Waspman (Adventure Comics #484)
  93. Weather Witch (Adventure Comics #484)
  94. The Emerald Tiger (Adventure Comics #484)
  95. Rainbeaux (Adventure Comics #484)
  96. Steadfast (Adventure Comics #484)
     
     

  97. The Hummingbird (Adventure Comics #485)
  98. Gravity Boy (Adventure Comics #485)
  99. Hydra (Adventure Comics #485)
  100. Blast Boy (Adventure Comics #485)
  101. Hyptella (Adventure Comics #485)
  102. Electrostatic (Adventure Comics #485)
  103. Lumino (Adventure Comics #485)
  104. Sonik (Adventure Comics #485)
  105. Puma the She-Cat (Adventure Comics #486)
  106. Enlarger Man (Adventure Comics #486)
  107. Brimstone (Adventure Comics #486)
  108. Sulphur (Adventure Comics #486)
  109. Sparrow Hawk (Adventure Comics #486)
  110. Kismet (Adventure Comics #487)
  111. Avatar (Adventure Comics #487)
  112. Plant Mistress (Adventure Comics #487)
  113. Wind Rider (Adventure Comics #487)
  114. Psi-Fire (Adventure Comics #487)
  115. Sea Mist (Adventure Comics #487)
  116. Oxide (Adventure Comics #488)
  117. The Harp (Adventure Comics #488)
  118. Ragnarok (Adventure Comics #488)
  119. The Pixie (Adventure Comics #488)
  120. Captain Saturn (Adventure Comics #488)
  121. Snowfall (Adventure Comics #488)
  122. Moonlight (Adventure Comics #488)
  123. Glass Lass (Adventure Comics #488)
  124. Mental Man (Adventure Comics #488)
  125. Neon (Adventure Comics #489)
  126. The Unicorn (Adventure Comics #489)
  127. Phase Master (Adventure Comics #489)
  128. Queen of Hearts (Adventure Comics #489)
  129. Multi-Force (Adventure Comics #489)
  130. Blue Biker (Adventure Comics #489)
  131. Gemstone (Adventure Comics #489)
  132. The Weaver (Adventure Comics #489)
  133. Frosty (Adventure Comics #489)
  134. Hasty Pudding (Adventure Comics #489)
     

     
  135. Tempest (Adventure Comics #490)
  136. Radarman (Adventure Comics #490)
  137. Stuntmaster (Adventure Comics #490)
  138. Starburst (Adventure Comics #490)
  139. Shadow Master (Adventure Comics #490)
  140. Centaurus (Adventure Comics #490)
  141. Worm Man (Adventure Comics #490)
  142. Spinning Jenny (Adventure Comics #490)
  143. Spectro (Adventure Comics #490)
  144. Air Master (Adventure Comics #490)
  145. The Sting (Adventure Comics #490)
  146. The Attacker (Adventure Comics #490)
  147. Galaxy (Adventure Comics #490)
  148. Scylla (Adventure Comics #490)
  149. Topsy-Turvy (Adventure Comics #490)
  150. Sphera (DC Comics Presents #44)
  151. Prism (DC Comics Presents #44)
  152. Blazerina (DC Comics Presents #44)
  153. Essence (DC Comics Presents #44)
  154. Thundera (DC Comics Presents #44)
     

     
  155. Red Devil (Superboy Vol. 2 #28)
  156. The Monarch (Superboy Vol. 2 #28)
  157. Tar-Man (Superboy Vol. 2 #29)
  158. Miss Hourglass (Superboy Vol. 2 #29)
  159. Mister Opposite (Superboy Vol. 2 #30)
  160. Power Punch (Superboy Vol. 2 #31)
  161. Sirocco (Superboy Vol. 2 #31)
  162. Cold Wave (Superboy Vol. 2 #33)
  163. Infra-Violet (Superboy Vol. 2 #33)
  164. Earthman (Superboy Vol. 2 #34)
  165. Gossamer (Superboy Vol. 2 #34)
  166. Fan (Superboy Vol. 2 #35)
  167. Any-Body (Superboy Vol. 2 #35)
  168. Great Jupiter (Superboy Vol. 2 #36)
  169. The Visionary (Superboy Vol. 2 #36)
  170. Spyglass (Superboy Vol. 2 #37)
  171. Jimmy Gymnastic (Superboy Vol. 2 #37)
  172. The Trail-Blazer (Superboy Vol. 2 #38)
  173. Psi-Clone (Superboy Vol. 2 #38)
  174. Rock (Superboy Vol. 2 #39)
  175. Roll (Superboy Vol. 2 #39)
  176. Genesis (Superboy Vol. 2 #40)
  177. Kinetic Kid (Superboy Vol. 2 #40)
  178. Glassman (Superboy Vol. 2 #41)
  179. Ms. Muscle (Superboy Vol. 2 #41)
     

     
  180. X-Rayder (Superboy Vol. 2 #42)
  181. Lavender Sky-Writer (Superboy Vol. 2 #42)
  182. Turnabout (Superboy Vol. 2 #43)
  183. Spheror (Superboy Vol. 2 #43)
  184. Raggedy Doll (Superboy Vol. 2 #44)
  185. Fuzz-Ball (Superboy Vol. 2 #44)
  186. Trouble Clef (Superboy Vol. 2 #46)
  187. Venus, The Flying Trap (Superboy Vol. 2 #46)
  188. The Shifter (Superboy Vol. 2 #48)
  189. Purple Haze (Superboy Vol. 2 #48)
  190. Freeze-Demon (Superboy Vol. 2 #48)
  191. Napalm (Superboy Vol. 2 #48)
  192. Circumference (Superboy Vol. 2 #49)
  193. Badaxe (Superboy and The Ravers #5)
  194. Human Justice (Superboy and The Ravers #5)
  195. Stormfront (Superboy and The Ravers #6)
  196. Titanic (Superboy and The Ravers #7)
  197. Feathered Serpent (Superboy and the Ravers #9)
     

     
  198. Hot Head (Superboy and the Ravers #10)
  199. Death’s Head Moth (Superboy and the Ravers #12)
  200. Ferronaut (Superboy and The Ravers #12)
  201. Captain Elastic (Superboy and The Ravers #13)
  202. Diamond Lord (Superboy and The Ravers #13)
  203. Isis (Superboy and The Ravers #14)
  204. Radio Ranger (Superboy and The Ravers #15)
  205. Faust (Superboy and The Ravers #17)
  206. Caduceus the Healer (Superboy and The Ravers #18)
  207. Viridian Paladin (Superboy and The Ravers #19)
  208. Port (Superboy and The Ravers #19
  209. Feathered Serpent (Superboy and The Ravers #19)
  210. Galaxy Girl (Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 4 #105)
  211. Fireball (Legionnaires #53)
  212. Slipstream (Legionnaires #53)
  213. Human Pterosaur (Legionnaires #54)
  214. Chiller (Legionnaires #54)
  215. Ink (Legionnaires #58)
  216. Blip (Legionnaires #69)
  217. Plasma (Legionnaires #69)
  218. Diamond (The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #45)
  219. Pyronic Man (Silver Age: Dial H for Hero)
  220. Mod-Man (Silver Age 80-Page Giant)
  221. Miss Fortune (Silver Age 80-Page Giant)
  222. Doc Fission (Silver Age 80-Page Giant)
  223. Minuteman (Silver Age 80-Page Giant)
  224. Marionette (Silver Age 80-Page Giant)
  225. Terra Firma (Silver Age 80-Page Giant)
  226. Poltergeist (Silver Age 80-Page Giant)
  227. Go-Go (Silver Age 80-Page Giant)
     

     
  228. Afterburner (H-E-R-O #1)
  229. The Bouncer (H-E-R-O #2)
  230. The Blur (H-E-R-O #2)
  231. Winged Victory (H-E-R-O #2)
  232. Power House (H-E-R-O #2)
  233. The Protector (H-E-R-O #5)
  234. Nocturna (H-E-R-O #6)
  235. Illusia (H-E-R-O #6)
  236. Photon (H-E-R-O #7)
     

     
  237. Ingot, The Metallic Avenger (H-E-R-O #7)
  238. Fusion (H-E-R-O #7)
  239. The Cloud (H-E-R-O #7)
  240. Captain Noir (H-E-R-O #7)
  241. The Howitzer (H-E-R-O #8)
  242. Tidal Wave (H-E-R-O #8)
  243. Blink (H-E-R-O #8)
  244. The Slider (H-E-R-O #9)
  245. The Stretcher (H-E-R-O #9)
  246. Shocking Suzi (H-E-R-O #14)
  247. Future Boy (H-E-R-O #15)
  248. The Bruiser (The Brave and the Bold Vol. 3 #9)
  249. Manbot the Mighty (The Brave and the Bold Vol. 3 #9)
  250. The Star (The Brave and the Bold Vol. 3 #27)
  251. Johnny Fireplug (JSA Classified #25)
  252. Grandfather Clock (JSA Classified #25)
     

     
  253. Boy Chimney (Dial H #1)
  254. Captain Lachrymose (Dial H #1)
  255. Human Virus (Dial H #2)
  256. Shamanticore (Dial H #2)
  257. Pelican Army (Dial H #2)
  258. Double Bluff (Dial H #2)
  259. Hole Punch (Dial H #2)
  260. Rancid Ninja (Dial H #2)
  261. Control-Alt-Delete (Dial H #2)
  262. Iron Snail (Dial H #2)
  263. Baroness Resin (Dial H #3)
  264. Bumper Carla (Dial H #0)
  265. Hairbinger (Dial H #5)
  266. Cock-a-Hoop (Dial H #5)
  267. Doctor Cloaca (Dial H #6)
  268. SS Ilsa (Dial H #6)
  269. Captain Priapus (Dial H #6)
  270. Kid Torture (Dial H #6)
  271. Gollywog (Dial H #6)
  272. ElectroCutie (Dial H #6)
  273. The Prime Mover (Dial H #6)
  274. Tugboat (Dial H #6)
     

     
  275. Tree Knight (Dial H #7)
  276. Daffodil Host (Dial H #7)
  277. The Planktonian (Dial H #7)
  278. Flame War (Dial H #8)
  279. Lad Autumn (Dial H #8)
  280. The Minoan (Dial H #9)
  281. Cloud-Herd (Dial H #9)
  282. The Glimpse (Dial H #9)
  283. Bristol Bloodhound (Dial H #9)
  284. ElepHaunt (Dial H #14)
  285. Pipe-Cleaner (Dial H #14)
  286. SuperOmi (Dial H #14)
  287. Secret Faction (Dial H #15)
  288. Blink Centurion (Dial H #15)
  289. Matroyshka (Dial H #15)
  290. Captain Baker (Dial H #15)
  291. Girl Coelecanth (Dial H #15)
  292. Pie Chart (Dial H #15)
  293. Kid Red (Dial H #15)
     
  294. Monster Truck (Dial H for Hero #1)
  295. Jobu, The Zonkey King (Dial H for Hero #2)
  296. The Iron Deadhead (Dial H for Hero #2)
  297. The Bluebird of Happiness (Dial H for Hero #3)
  298. Chimp Change (Dial H for Hero #4)
  299. Alien Ice Cream Man (Dial H for Hero #4)
  300. Lil’ Miguelito (Dial H for Hero #4)
  301. Tea Rex (Dial H for Hero #8)
  302. General Electric (Dial H for Hero #8)
  303. Supermiguel (Young Justice Vol. 3 #14)*
  304. Lo Lo Kick You (Young Justice Vol. 3 #14)*

*Using the regular H-Dial

So, still keeping in mind all the caveats and omissions to keep this list as minimal as possible, we’ve still got over 300 dialed heroes!

Oh, yeah. As for my personal favorite… probably this guy.

Okay, with that, I’m going to dial up a nap or maybe a nice plate of pasta, but don’t worry. I’m leaving you with a nice surprise. Since that last answer was so long, we’re splitting up the July column into two! So, expect an all-new edition of “ASK…THE QUESTION” in just two weeks. And in the meantime, if you have a DC comics query that you just can’t quench, head on over to the Community and let me know about it. Who know, it just may wind up in a future installment of…well, you know!
 

Got something that’s keeping you up nights? If you have a question about the DC Universe that you’d love to get answered, you can head on over to the DC Community and ask it here.

Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly “Ask the Question” column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DCComics.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCItyQuestion.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.

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