With only one functioning Dial, Nelson and Manteau would take turns on who would use it as they learned more about its properties until Manteau thought she found a new one. They traveled all over the globe, tracking down leads and discovering cults that worshipped the Dial while not actually finding a Dial. In Paris, they used a Dial to pose as an angel to a high ranking member of one of the cults and convinced him to reveal the of a Dial. They headed to the sunken city of Atlantis and used the Dial to descend only to discover that somebody, seemingly Canadian Special Forces, had gotten there first and taken whatever was there.
In Canada, they search for the other user of the H Dial and Nelson becomes Flame War to do so. While fleeing authorities, he has visions of Flame's War past in the shape of two allies of the identity, Trash Talk and Wolf Ticket. Nelson manages to reestablish control over the persona and is confronted by the other user of the H Dial and tries to get him or her to stop fighting when authorities converge upon them and take the rookie user. Nelson manages to escape and dials out of the persona but as he is heading back to meet up with Roxie, the Centipede steals the Dial from him.
He distracts the Centipede long enough for Roxie to tase him and take the Dial, using it to become Minotaura to trap him. They abandon their hotel room and found that the Centipede and the people who employed him were operating out of the Government Payroll Center. They rented a room in the building across from it, and Nelson dialed several times searching for a good form to sneak into the building before managing to come across The Glimpse. He infiltrated the building and managed to make it into the lower levels where he found the Dial that they had acquired. Nelson tried to grab it, but the soldier used it and became the Bristol Bloodhound, a form able to smell The Glimpse.
The two engage in a short fight, but Bloodhound seems confused. Nelson is shot by the Centipede in the leg, but he manages to escape with the assistance of the Bloodhound, directing him towards his and Roxie's rendezous point where he has him sit down and restrains him. Nelson dials back into himself and after he is joined by Roxie, they discover that the Dial activates when 7-4-3-3 is dialed into it, turning the user into a sidekick. He offers to use it first, letting Roxie use the H Dial, and they venture out to stop several minor crimes. After returning but before dialing back, Nelson's identity of Copter kisses Roxie's identity.
Major Story Arcs
Nelson Jent was an overweight smoker who had already had a heart attack before the age of 30. His friend, Darren Hirsch, was trying to help him improve his life following the loss of his job and girlfriend. After running after his friend to apologize for his behavior, Nelson found him being beaten by several gang members working for Ex Nihilo, also Darren's employer. Rushing into a nearby rotary dial phonebooth, he attempted to call the police, but instead dialed 4376 (HERO), which turned him into Boy Chimney. He defeated the thugs and then took Darren to the hospital. After discovering that his friend was being run by a man named Vernon Boyne who Nelson then went, as Captain Lachrymose, to threaten them away from Darren.
Using the powers of the H Dial, he was exploring its capabilities as well as stopping crime when he discovered that Darren and X.N.'s other men were being hired to break into the houses of recent coma patients, an endemic that seems to be striking Littleville. While investigating one of the places as Control-Alt-Delete, he comes into conflict with a superheroine named Manteau. Later, he tried to call Darren at the hospital, but the nurse was unable to open the door as the Squid was killing the man. Nelson went to save his friend as the Iron Snail and he fought X.N.'s men as well as the Squid, but had to leave when he felt his powers about to go out. Back at the phone booth, he encountered Manteau again, but Vernon Boyne and his thugs followed him there and shot the H Dial. Nelson removed the Dial and then fled with Manteau.
They retreated to her home and Manteau explained some history of the telephone and the Dial, expaining that all the candidates for the creation of the telephone were contacted by a figure named O. Manteau and Nelson decide to start working together. He was trying to work out when his new partner managed to track X.N. and the Squid who they set out to stop with Nelson becoming Baroness Resin at which he complains that the Dial is still busted. They attack the villains but are too late to stop the appearance of the Abyss.
After X.N.'s failed attempt to capture the Abyss and Nelson and Manteau's failed attempts at restraining it, it teleported away. X.N. subsequently took Manteau hostage as well as her Dial but didn't bother with Nelson as she viewed him as 'nothing.' The Squid sprayed a non-toxic mix of chemicals in his face and Nelson left. He tried to dial up a hero to save Manteau, but it wasn't working and he wandered back to her house where he saw the Abyss on television. Shortly afterwards, the Squid showed up and explained the history of himself and the Abyss. Being hurt, he enlisted Nelson's help in stopping X.N. and they headed to Vernon's base to rescue Manteau so she could fix the Dial. As they were making their escape, they were confronted by X.N. who had used the Dial to become some sort of Swiss-Army Knife character.
The Squid stayed behind to distract X.N. while Nelson and Manteau returned to the latter's house where she fixed the Dial and Nelson kept an eye on the feeds. He suggested they toss a coin as to who would dial up a hero but as she searched for one, he took the Dial and became Cock-a-Hoop. As he attacked X.N., who had dialed up Hairbringer, his started to shift back into Nelson Jent but managed to get a hold on his form. He circled a young nothing, confusing it and enabling X.N. to send them back the Abyss who they tried to consume. Nelson turned back to his true self, the Abyss was consumed and thereby turned to matter, releasing a creature that Manteau called 'the shadow on the line.' The malfunction of Nelson's Dial prevented the shadow from sensing and attacking him, so he and Manteau escaped its assualt though he planned for her to fix the Dial.
Powers and Abilities
Every time Nelson dials number 4376, he transforms into a superhero for a short amount of time.
List of superhero identities created by the H Dial (in chronological order):
The very first hero that Nelson Jent turned into when he tried to call the police to save his friend. He managed to defeat the thugs though Vernon Boyne escaped, but he was lost in the new thoughts of Boy Chimney before remembering Darren. Rushing him to the hospital, he did pause to stop the smoke from killing the thugs. After dropping him off, he returned to being Nelson shortly thereafter. As his first transformation, Nelson's thoughts were very jumbled and there was a distinct separation between his persona and that of Boy Chimney, which was dominant.
Later, when Manteau asked Nelson of his biggest fight, he recalls a battle of Boy Chimney alongside Team House with the Rake Dragon.
When he becomes Boy Chimney, Nelson mentions that his skin is made of brick and he does appear highly resistant to attack. He also demonstrates super strength. His most prominent ability is the generation and manipulation of smoke, which he can fly on, sense the environment through, and create figures from that take the form of large beasts.
Nelson Jent dialed up Captain Lachrymose when he went to attack Vernon Boyne and his gang, warning them to back off of Darren. He came into conflict with one of the people who housed nothingness but had enough strength to manage an escape.
Captain Lachrymose's presence dredges forth the saddest memories of a person's life. He then taps into the misery and uses it to empower himself, substantially increasing his strength. His powers do not work on the lifeless.
A creature with the symbol of biological hazard on his chest who is supposedly able to release various pathogenic viruses.
An anthropomorphic manticore with a magic staff.
A man with the power to control pelicans.
A gambler who controls a deck of cards.
A three-handed monstrous being whose fists are replaced with sledgehammer heads.
A superhero identity used by Nelson Jent in past which he considers embarassing.
A hero spinning at superhuman speeds who is able to explode into small pieces, then reassemble himself at will. Nelson Jent took on this form to foil a bank robbery.
Skeet has a disc that rotates about his body and he can fly. His primary power seems to be his ability to blow himself up, launching shards of himself like shrapnel. His body then reconstitutes itself.
Adopting the form of Control-Alt-Delete, Nelson Jent investigates one of the houses that his friend, Darren Hirsch, broke into. He realized he had no idea what he was doing when he was attacked by Manteau who had misconstrued him as an ally of X.N. He 'rebooted' her, which took away the powers that she'd gained from her H Dial. Nelson returned to his self shortly afterwards.
A military themed character with a shell full of armaments and a ferrocochlean sense. When Nelson heard that the nurses could not get into Darren's room, he turned into Iron Snail and smashed into the hospital. He battled Vernon Boyne and the thugs before coming into conflict with the Squid. Just as he gained the upper hand in the fight, he felt his change back into Nelson coming on and fled back to the phonebooth.
Iron Snail can move at high speeds, has high endurance, a shell full of weapons, a ferrocochlean sense, and is immune to poisons.
A heroine who fires some sort of blast from her hand that is likely resin. Nelson Jent was unhappy to have to switch genders during the change.
Nelson Jent dialed up Cock-a-Hoop to battle the Abyss and Hairbringer though Manteau called the form a 'bad pun,' and didn't express much faith in Nelson's ability to handle the threats. He ended up being able to confuse the small nothings, which Hairbringer then sent back at the Abyss, causing them to devour it.
Cock-a-Hoop moves in a rapid, bouncing motion and can use it to fly. He has a sonic cry and he can also encircle and spin about a target, causing him or her to experience intense dizziness.
A stout man with tugboats for arms who has rather horrific nightmares. Nelson fell asleep as this hero and experienced particularly terrifying nightmares that has prompted him to never fall asleep as a hero again.
Chief Mighty Arrow
Nelson Jent ended up dialing a hero that seemed to exemplify Native American stereotypes and Roxie convinced him to stick around home except in the cases of extreme danger. He spent the day, hoping to leap into action but every chance was foiled. When a chance finally arose, Nelson became his true self once again and it was Roxie's turn with the Dial.
Chief Mighty Arrow's powers are derived from his headdress and are numerous. He has an array of super arrows (he lists Spirit of Waters and a ladder arrow), jet propelled explosive arrows, can create a whirlwind, and possesses a winged horse named Wingy. Wingy does actually get a chance to stop crime but dropping feces on a group of armed men who took religious leaders captive.
A man who seems to be a living tree attired in armor and equipped with a sword
A sharply dressed individual with daffodils for head whose power is 'to entrance mine enemies in poetic reverie'
A hero who can make things catch on fire by insulting them. He travels around on jets of flame. In his home dimension, he is a member of a group known as The Insult. His allies include Wolf Ticket and Trash Talk as well as two more unknown individuals.
A tall, bearded figure who seems to be able to control the weather. Nelson dialed him when trying to find a suitable form with which to break into Canada's Government Payroll Center.
A swift hero who has the ability to go mostly unnoticed, by sight or sound, and was used to infiltrate the Government Payroll Center. True to his name, people always think they see or hear something whenever he is about, but never fully see him. However, Bristol Bloodhound was able to smell him, and the Centipede used his mask to find him.
The first id that Nelson dialed up using the S-I-D-E Dial, he is the sidekick of Gunship but is considerably powerful in his own right, able to unleash bolts of electricity and flying via helicopter blades.