Over the years, there have been a number of heroes who have received their powers through some magical device.  Few have had devices that actually allowed them have multiple powers, or even completely different powers depending on the situation. Which bring us to Ben Tennyson and Robby Reed.  Both heroes, both with gizmos that allow them to literally dial in the hero/power they want.

Two kids. Two devices. One championship belt.


Dial H for Hero is a comic book feature published by DC Comics about a mysterious dial that enables an ordinary person to become a superhero for a short time, by selecting the letters H-E-R-O in order. Each time it is used, the dial causes its possessor to become a superhero with a different name, costume, and powers. These superheroes are usually new, but on one occasion the dial caused its user to become a duplicate of an existing superhero, Plastic Man. Some versions of the dial contain additional letters, allowing other kinds of transformations.

BEN 10

The franchise is about a boy who acquires a watch-like alien device called the Omnitrix (later the Ultimatrix) attached to his wrist that allows him to turn into alien creatures. In April 2008, Ben 10 (the original television series) was succeeded by Ben 10: Alien Force, which itself was succeeded in April 2010 by Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.


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  1. I’m going to have to go with Ben, because I don’t know who Robby is.

    Ok, now that Matthew’s off in a rage, I’ll state my actual reason. I’m going with Ben because he at least has some choice and familiarity with who he is going to turn into. The Hero Dials seems to be pretty random and that aspect of choice might give Ben the edge in this situation.

  2. I’ve always described Ben 10 as “Dial H for Hero done right”, and I will stand by that. And anyone who whines about how the sequel series “suck” because they’re better than the original one & have better characterization can eat fist; I am so sick of that crap, and Major Spoilers is literally the ONLY place anyone else has anything good to say about them.

  3. I went with Ben, but I this only I really wanted to vote “It depends on who is writing it.” I mean, Dial H for Hero is a much more meta hero than most. His power of the month depending on fans writing in ideas. So if someone writes in something like “the power to make all alien gadgets turn into butterflies and super-speed to boot” He wins. If the power is “reverse the colors of the rainbow, then he can take out the lantern corps, but not Ben.

  4. Ben 10 mainly because I know who he is. A wiki no matter how well writen just can’t get you to know who a charater truely is, sorry Matthew. For that you really need to have read the original issues (or watched the oringal show).

  5. I don’t know, nor care about either of these jabroneies, but I’m going with Ben as his transformajigger is on his wrist and the other looks like a bulky hunk of aluminum. Also the the description of alien tech vs. mysteriousness-ness is so anticlimactic that I went for the popular vote so I’ll stop feeling so alone.

  6. Well, if we’re talking about G1 Ben 10 and it’s G1 Robby Reed, I would have to go with Robby Reed since the Omnimatrix at that point had a time limit. However, Ben 10 will win because he has the better picture.

    P.S. : The Gokaigers and Kamen Rider Decade could kick both their buttocks with ease and twice on Sunday. Now you have to look that up. ;p

  7. If I am not mistaken Robby has turned into both Superman AND Plastic Man. We all know that Batman proved Plastic Man the most powerful being in the DCU. My money is on Robby. Also for Matthew’s time honored tradition of picking the source rather than the copy.

  8. I Diald H. Even though Ban 10 has the better picture, I believe the age and experience of Robby helps out slightly. Additionally, dialing H-E-R-O even though it is four letters has given a greater variety and the ability to pass the power from user to user. as far as I know, Benny is stuck.
    Furthermore Dialing O-R-E-H gives you Super-Villains thereby giving you a greater responsibility for which Robby has chosen.
    If Ben 10 wins, it will be because of the better picture even though he doesn’t deserve to.

  9. Robby, because his is a bit goofier and a little more fun in my book. I’d honestly never thought about the similarities in the concepts before now. Just goes to show that a slight spin on any concept can take you to very different places. Neat.

  10. Didn’t they have a comic a few years ago where Robby was grown up and insane?

    Either way, I voted for Ben Tennyson despite believing that the two wouldn’t fight for long before teaming up and fighting whatever the real enemy might be. Both devices he’s used, the Omnitrix and Ultimatrix, have access to thousands of various aliens with almost any power imaginable (even if it doesn’t always give him what he wants), and with the Ultimatrix he’s got access to a more powerful version of some forms.

    Additionally, if Ben leaves his reality and enters the DCU for the fight, the device might even alter and instead of giving him the usual aliens, it might give him DCU aliens. If he gets a Kryptonian, Robby wouldn’t stand a chance.

    • “Additionally, if Ben leaves his reality and enters the DCU for the fight, the device might even alter and instead of giving him the usual aliens, it might give him DCU aliens.”

      Cartoon Network should seriously consider this crossover to promote their DC Nation block. It’d be awesome.

  11. Ben, the most power beings in most comic book universes are aliens, he could literally just ask for their DNA an copy all their powers as a fellow hero.

  12. I’m going to have to go with Ben for these reasons. 1) He has choice when it comes to what he transforms into (although the omnitrix and later the ultimatrix has transformed him into something else without his consent) 2) Looking at the picture it would seem that Robby is holding his device while Ben has it strapped to his wrist. This give Ben the edge if they did a classic western showdown with them pulling out their devices and transforming. 3) Robby needs to press in a code to transform. Ben hits a button, turns the dial, then hits the button down again. My assumption is that this way of selecting your transformation is faster, although I am not infallible regarding any of this. Debate it as you will.

    • Ben can also simply use voice commands to activate the device (although he doesn’t usually do so, but it was shown in an episode of Ben 10: Alien Force that he could).

  13. I am going to annoy Matthew by saying I decline to vote since I don’t know who either of these idiots are. Neither do I care enough to look them up.

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