Dial H for Hero X

Though we saw Chris nab the pendant Dial in New Teen Titans, it doesn't feature in his next appearance, Hawk and Dove Annual #1. Instead, he's gained the POWERS of the H Dial, no Dial necessary. Here begins his association with Titans West, which might have amounted to something if the concept had been used more than a couple times. Vicki is all but forgotten in this part of the story, so it's just Chris, being examined by Bumblebee at S.T.A.R. Labs San Francisco. Though Chris King makes more appearances after this, we never get to see another superhero identity. So let's go through them, and then we'll pick his story up again.

Case 60: Hawk and Dove Annual #1
Dial Holder: Chris King
Dial Type: No Dial
Dialing: Without explanation (effects of the Dominators' gene-bomb?), Chris now has the powers of the H Dial, uncontrollably changing identities as if he'd dialed them, though with some differences. An identity only lasts until he expends all its "energy", so not necessarily an hour. However, it takes one hour for the power to recharge, at which point Chris becomes a superhero again. He explicitly states he doesn't remain a normal person for more than an hour at a time, so presumably, he wastes a lot of heroes during his sleep cycle (unless then don't spend any energy and he wakes up every morning in someone else's shoes). The suit he wears monitors his vital signs and powers so they can be studied. As before, Chris innately knows his identity's name and power set. While in a dimension where time doesn't work the same way, he can change identities more rapidly; we've seen this before. Unusually, one of his identities seems to spoof a well-known hero.
Name: The Serrator (he is also called Sawblade, which appears to be an error in scripting, lettering or editing, both are irredeemably 90s)
Costume: A huge dude with a furry mohawk and a purple suit with giant shoulder pads, white studs, and a red opal-like beltless belt buckle. He has giant razor blades all over his arms and legs, and popping out of his feet like skates.
Powers: Serrator skates around on any surface, cutting through it like soft ice, and uses the blades on his body to cut other things. Apparently, this is less a matter of sharpness than of them vibrating rapidly.
Sighted: At S.T.A.R. Labs in San Francisco, showing off his powers for scientists.
Possibilities: Feels like a Bloodlines character, and indeed, there's already one with similar powers (Edge, though he's more hardcore-looking and can throw his blades). We could go even darker with it - a kid who used to cut himself, captured by aliens and mutated in a way they thought was natural, he was to be a super-soldier, escaped, and now he's on Earth, not possibly holding his own series... Though it was the 90s, anything's possible.
Integration Quotient: 10% (no it's not - Serrator is more parody of the 90s aesthetic than viable hero)
Name: Synapse, the Energy Man (not sure the subtitle truly fits, but a good strong name)
Costume: Just orange and purple boots, gloves and goggles, because his body is entirely made of what looks like electricity. Though humanoid, the glasses do tend to move around every which way inside what passes for his "mass".
Powers: Synapse is made of electrical energy and can send himself from any electric emitter to any electric receiver. He doesn't need to know of the receiver's existence and can just ferret around in the ether to see what could pick him up. One might imagine he's also got offensive electrical powers, but this isn't shown, and he's zapped unconscious BY an electrically-powered villain.
Sighted: In a dimension that could be Purgatory, fighting and losing to the dead villain known as the Electrocutioner.
Possibilities: Let's say he really does have a full suite of electrical powers. He's probably a scientist who got his ass zapped and turned into energy, though my inclination is to make him an electrical signal that somehow gained sentience. Perhaps it's both, and the resulting merged hero can have a civilian identity too. The cool shades make me want to make him a fun, sort of goofy hero, someone who, in this era, might have had a go at a short-lived series, like the Heckler, Vext or even Aztek.
Integration Quotient: 75% (a cool look and power set might make him a minor, low-selling, but by some, well-remembered hero)
Name: The Martian Martial (sounds familiar...)
Costume: A riff off the Martian Manhunter's trademark look, the Martial looks like J'Onn J'Onzz, but he has a sheriff's badge in the middle of his crossed suspenders, and his cape is instead a  short leather jacket. He wears baggy brown pants and a large cowboy har with the front pinched by yellow wire. His belt buckle is gigantic and features a pair of golden "M"s.
Powers: A glowing lariat that can act as a shield, and two laser pistols at his hips. Presumably, he would have the entire Martian powers suite, but this is never shown.
Sighted: In a dimension that could be Purgatory, fighting the dead western villain El Papagayo and the Golden Age Icicle.
Possibilities: The Justice Riders Elseworlds showed us a western-themed Martian Manhunter who wasn't so... so rodeo. In the regular universe, maybe more Martians survived (whether green or white) and he took his cue from J'Onn to become a hero in the Midwest. Smacks of the Batmen or Green Arrows of All Nations, but that's all I've got to work with here.
Integration Quotient: 35% (in the Silver Age, DC didn't shirk from showing one-off analogs)
Name: Rubberneck (fun and goofy, a natural)
Costume: Derivative of Plastic Man with similar goggles and powers, his costime is blue, with exposed hands, a yellow belt and trim, and a black plunging neckline.
Powers: Stretching. There's no indication he can change shape the way Plas can, so he's instead supposed to evoke Mister Fantastic or Elongated Man.
Sighted: In a dimension that could be Purgatory, fighting the dead Flash villain known as the Top.
Possibilities: I've always wondered why more people didn't get stretching powers from gingold soda. So why not make go that route (since the other is giving Plas a son, which is already Offspring's thing) - a Ralph Dibny superfan who drinks as much gingold as he can and, one day, really does get stretching powers. I would put him to work as a nuisance type always stumbling onto Ralph's cases trying to join him as a sidekick or partner.
Integration Quotient: 50% (highly derivative, but sometimes, that makes a hero easier to integrate)

After this, The New Titans kept Chris around, mostly strapped to a power-draining machine between #78 and #84, showing up at a funeral in the next issue. A coupe years later, he was seen as a member of Titans West, sporting the moniker Hero X (and a costume?), but no action.
That was 1994's Team Titans #22. Five years later, his involvement in Titans West scored him a disappointing cameo in JLA/Titans #2, back in the S.T.A.R. Labs suit, disappointing because though recruited, he is not then seen in action in the rest of the mini-series. Seems like some people really wanted him to be a thing, but it just never panned out.

Next: A new Dialer takes the stage.



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