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Hero Cruz

Hero (yes, that’s his real name – Greek, ya know?) was introduced in the completely uneccessary (yet ultimately a guilty pleasure anyway) Superboy And The Ravers title from DC Comics. When we first met Hero, he seemed like a  typical embarrassing stereotype of a young African-American male. With baggy pants and a “Superboy is in the house!” lingo, it was hard to expect much from this character at first. We immediately learned that Hero was already deeply involved from the get-go in “The Event Horizon” – an intergalactic “rave” composed of the most hip, happening and partying aliens throughout the universe. Yes, it really was as lame as it sounds.

It was unclear at first what Hero’s powers were even, and whether they came from his cheesey-looking vest or not. All we could see was that some strange aura was surrounding him at certain times. Eventually, we learned that his vest was some kind of protective force field – and that he somehow got a hold of it from the lair of The Scavenger (a sometimes Superboy adversary). The Scavenger is a collector of all kinds of strange weapons and artifacts that have appeared throughout the DCU  and when Hero came across him again in issue #5, he somehow lost the vest, but stumbled across the even cooler Hero-Dial from “Dial ‘H’ For Hero” fame. In typical comic book fashion, he quickly learned that by dialing H-E-R-O on the dial, he could transform into any one of a gazzillion random superheroes. In that one issue alone he became the big, buff, axe-wielding Bad Axe as well as the human deity Human Justice. From then on, he was known as the newest hero in a long line of adventurers to wield a Hero Dial (and slowly, but surely, he became one of the most likeable characters on the team).

During the course of the series, we learned that Hero’s fellow Raver teammate D.C. (aka “Sparx”) had a big ol’ crush on him. She was hardly subtle in her obvious attraction to him, and when Hero dialed up and became Titanic, a macho man of power, he took it upon himself to take her in his arms and give her a kiss she’d never forget. In the following issues, we had assumed the two young Ravers would become an “item”, but Hero suddenly seemed very uncomfortable around the gushing D.C., and did his best to not ever be alone with her. When D.C eventually got some quiet time with Hero at her family ranch in Canada, Hero finally admitted to his friend that he was actually… gay!!!

Unfortunately, six issues later, the series was cancelled – leaving the fate of Hero a big ol’ question mark. By the last issue, we learned that Hero had hooked up with an alien named Leander, and had decided to stay on with the Rave. Meanwhile, his once best friend D.C. lost her powers at the end and became a total psycho bitch, telling Hero that what he does is disgusting and not natural. Hopefully the next time we see her, she’s an evil villainess!!

Hero is in possession of an “H-Dial”, an amazing alien artifact of unknown properties. Whenever a possessor of an H-Dial dials up the word H-E-R-O, they immediately become “a totally different, all-new, superhero!” – but Hero was different than the other H-dialer’s that we’ve seen in that he was able to retain some of his personality as the new hero. Each new “persona” dialed up had a different name and a different power. When the Dial-H-For-Hero comic was around, DC had kids create their own superheroes and send them in – and those heroes would end up as the dialed-up “personas” in the stories. It’s assumed that Hero is merging with other heroes from Hypertime whenever he uses his dial.

In the promotional ads for the Ravers title, Hero was initially called “Hard Luck,” and was originally meant to have “bad luck” powers – but The Powers That Be nixed that idea since they knew of Hero’s eventual sexual orientation, and decided that it probably wasn’t the best idea to have a gay hero with such a “problem” power.

Hero first appeared in Superboy and the Ravers #1 and comes out in #13. This bio was possibly written by Anton K.

Hero created by Karl Kesel, Steve Mattsson, and Paul Pelletier. Art by Pelletier, Dan Davis, and John Kalisz from Superboy & The Ravers #2.

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