Real Name: Rex Tyler
Class: Human technology-user
Occupation: Chemist, President of Tyler Chemical Company, Mysteryman
Group Affiliation: All-Star Squadron, Justice Society of America
Known Relatives: Rebecca Tyler (grandniece), Richard Tyler (Hourman II, son), Wendi Harris Tyler (wife), unnamed father, unnamed father-in-law (presumed deceased), unnamed grandfather, unnamed grandmother, unnamed mother, unnamed mother-in-law (presumed deceased)
Aliases: Man of the Hour
Base of Operations: New York City
First Appearance: Adventure Comics I #48 (March, 1940)
Powers: By taking Miraclo pills Hourman gained the strength of ten men, superhuman speed, stamina and invulnerability all for exactly one hour. The original Miriclo pills proved to be highly addictive, so he later invented a Miraclo machine which projected ultraviolet light that activated the Miraclo residue in his body, giving him power with no side effects.
History: (Sandman Mystery Theatre #29, 30) - Rex Tyler, nicknamed "Tick-Tock" for the long hours he put into his work, was a chemist at Bannermain Chemical Company who invented the chemical compound Miraclo that gave him superhuman powers for one hour. Naming himself the Man of the Hour, he used the powers of Miraclo to aid those in need of his help, putting out ads in the newspaper to find worthy clients. While working at Bannermain on a lighter more durable plastic he met Wesley Dodds, secretly the mysteryman Sandman. He got a letter from Rosie Kenton, who was suffering spousal abuse, and whose husband Jerry had fallen in with the Breezy Boys gang. He talked to her to get details, and then confronted Lenny, leader of the Boys. He told Jerry to stay away from them, and when Lenny objected to his interference he severely beat him and his gang, warning them that they'd be sorry if he had to come back. Rex took Jerry to a diner, and said he could get a job at Bannermain Chemicals, and Jerry spilled that a criminal named the Hood was planning a job using the Breezy Boys. Wesley had one of his dreams that helped him solve crimes, and Rex was in the dream, so he called him up for dinner. After some good conversation and a parting of ways Wesley tried to trail Rex, but he soon lost Dodds after taking a Miraclo pill. He checked in on Rosie only to learn that Jerry had gone right back to the Breezy Boys, who roughed him up, and she blamed the Man of the Hour. Rex found Lenny in a cathouse and gave him a beating before a prostitute shot him and he was forced to flee. He was amused to see that the bullet only left a bad bruise.
(Sandman Mystery Theatre #31, 32) - Sandman followed Rex while he confronted by the Breezy Boys, who ran him over with a car. Sandman gassed him, and learned that he was the Man of the Hour, another vigilante out to right wrongs like him. Rex had learned from the Breezy gang that they intended to steal Dorothy Bannermain's jewels during Bannermain's New Year's Eve ball. He put Rex to sleep and left him in his apartment. Rex was inspired by the Sandman, and the name he'd called him, Hourman. He intended to be at the ball, and sewed a costume, gold and black with a cowl to hide his face. He thought the outfit suited Hourman, and added an hourglass around his neck. Wes attended the ball in a gaudy outfit, and was ambushed by Rex, who recognized the gun he had holstered as belonging to Sandman, and showed off his new identity as Horman that Wes had inspired. They agreed to keep Dot safe. The Breezy Boys dragged Dot to the roof and Dian alerted Wes. The Boy's boss Hood had also hired the Face to behead Dot, but the heroes put him down. The Hood appeared, aghast at his schemes going awry, and Lenny shot him, knowing he'd been double-crossed. Hourman tackled him off the roof, the Face slipped away, and Sandman exited the party with Dian, who was thrilled to be part of his escapades. Wes met Rex later for a bite, and Rex admitted he was amazed that he'd survived. Wes had convinced him that he wasn't quite ready to be a hero, and would research the Miraclo pills that gave him powers before returning to the game.
As his fame grew he was invited to join the Justice Society of America, and participated in a number of their early adventures. When he found himself becoming addicted to Miraclo, he took a leave of absence from the team to work on a non-addictive substitute. Once his Miraclo machine was invented, he served with the All-Star Squadron during WWII.
(DCU Holiday Bash #2) - <December 24, 1944> Hourman and the Justice Society put on the Justice Society Canteen for troops home for the holidays. They helped foil nazi saboteurs that tried to blow up the canteen, thanks to the help of Ensign James Gordon.
(JSA #69-72)- <October 28-30,1951> Hourman went to Washington, D.C.hoton the trail of Per Degaton. He called his wife who was hysterical because he hadn’t been home in weeks. He told her what he was doing was important. Hourman broke into Degaton’s headquarters, but was subdued by the Red Morgue. Degaton tortured Hourman by sending the Red Morgue back in time and eliminating his childhood friends one by one. Hourman learned Degaton was planning to alter history by assassinating the President and blaming it on the Justice Society, forever ending the team. Time-traveling Hourman II saved his father from Degaton and brought him to the JSA Brownstone where the reformed Justice Society and the time-traveling JSA were planning how to stop Degaton. The Justice Society and JSA went to Washington to warn Truman that his life was in danger. Degaton and the Red Morgue attacked Washington, but the teams were ready for him. Degaton used a time-disc to speed up Atom’s metabolism and turn him into a nuclear bomb ready to go off. If he exploded millions would die, but J.J. Thunder and Johnny Thunder summoned the Thunderbolt to turn Atom back to normal. Hourman and the other heroes defeated Degaton, who fled into the timestream. The resulting time distortion caused Hourman and the other Society members to forget their adventure with the JSA. The Justice Society and JSA went to Washington to warn Truman that his life was in danger. Degaton and the Red Morgue attacked Washington, but the teams were ready for him. Degaton used a time-disc to speed up Atom’s metabolism and turn him into a nuclear bomb ready to go off. If he exploded millions would die, but J.J. Thunder and Johnny Thunder summoned the Thunderbolt to turn Atom back to normal. Hourman and the other heroes defeated Degaton, who fled into the timestream. The resulting time distortion caused Hourman and the other Society members to forget their adventure with the JSA.
After the war he retired his Hourman identity, and would eventually become president of Bannermain Chemical, renaming it Tyler Chemical.
(Starman II #11) - <13 years ago> Hourman joined Green Lantern I, Dr. Mid-Nite and Flash I in aiding Starman's effort to stop the murderous cult of the Rag Doll. Hourman defended the Grail, a retirement community, from being overrun by cultists.
Hourman returned to action in the Justice Society to help the new generation of superheroes the Justice League of America on a number of cases. By then he married noted actress Wendi Harris and had a son named Rick.
(All-Star Comics I #62) - When Hourman heard that Dr. Fate was deathly ill he visited his old JSA teammates to see if he could offer help. He performed guard duty watching over Fate while the other members pursued different cases. Hourman found the JSA radically different from his day, and didn't like seeing how they bickered with each other.
(DC Comics Presents #25) - Rex Tyler was reading Tyler Chemical mail when he came across a threat to stop his development of TCR-113. He tried to phone the police, but the line got cut, and he realized the terrorists were in the building. Although long retired as Hourman he kept a Miraclo pill in case of emergency, and after taking it he donned his Hourman costume. He confronted the terrorists, who were trying to burn his TCR, fearing it would be dangerous if it got into the wrong hands. One of the thugs knocked out Hourman, and dumped him outside Tyler Chemical. He came to, and not knowing how much longer his Miraclo would last, he quickly took care of the misguided criminals. He checked the clock, and saw that his power hour had already run out, but he learned he was still pretty capable for an old dog.
As a teenager Rick expressed an interest in continuing the family heroic tradition. Despite his initial objections, Rex developed non-addictive Miraclo pills for his son, and Rick became Hourman II.
(JSA #66 (fb)) - The time traveling Hourman III plucked Hourman from the present, right before he was fated to be killed by Extant. Hourman III brought him to Time-Point, where he would have the opportunity to spend an hour with his son Hourman II before being returned to the present.
(JSA #38) - Time-Point, Hourman was visited by his son, who wanted to catch up on some long overdue heart-to-heart talks. Hourman apologized for not having been around more when Rick was growing up, and admitted being a mysteryman was a lot easier for him than being a family man. Dedicating himself to work was all he knew. He was proud of his son, and told him he’d gone further in his career as Hourman than his old man. He gave Rick a pocket watch that used to belong to his father, and told him to make whatever he wanted out of life. If that meant being the second Hourman he was happy for him, but if Rick wanted to do something else he was fine with that as well. Hourman and Rick hugged, and Rick left Time-Point.
(Hawkman IV #23) - Rick visited Hourman at Timepoint and told him he was struggling against the temptation to use his power to see into the future to gamble in St. Roch. Hourman told him he was making the right choice by avoiding temptation, because the Tylers were prone to having addictive personalities, and had to spend their lifetimes fighting compulsions.
(Hawkman IV #24, JSA #58, Hawkman IV #25)- Hourman II was grievously injured, so he traveled to Timepoint and switched places with his father to preserve his life.Hourman I found himself in Khandaq, where his son’s JSA teammates were battling Black Adam and his team. He leapt into the fray with a smile and helped the JSA fight Adam to a standstill.
(JSA #59) - Hourman went to see Atom II to use his time pool to return to Timepoint, but Atom told him the time pool was too limited in function to help him. Mr. Terrific II suggested that Hourman take the opportunity of being time displaced to say goodbye to his wife. Hourman snapped that he was dead to Wendi, and meeting her would only bring her more suffering. The time-traveling Per Degaton appeared to Hourman to taunt him, and Hourman attacked him. Hourman was in possession of his son’s hourglass filled with tachyon particles, so he was actually able to connect with Degaton. Degaton was appalled at having Hourman lay hands on him, and vanished into the timestream.
(JSA #60-62) - Hourman I celebrated his return to the present by spending all night with the JSA hunting down bad guys. They took down Deathbolt, Red Scare and Rag Doll. Despite Flash and Green Lantern’s insistence that he see his wife one last time, Hourman insisted he’d rather be doing his job than bringing her grief. The Spirit King rose from Hell and brought an army of souls damned by the Spectre to destroy the JSA. Hourman and the JSA fought the army of the dead, but knew it was the Spectre who had to return them to Hell. Spectre banished the undead army and destroyed the Spirit King. Afterwards Hourman went to his wife’s house in CT, but couldn’t bring himself to see her.
(JSA #63,64) - Hourman, the JSA and Cave Carson’s crew traveled hundreds of miles under the Earth to find Sand, and they found Sand’s body, which in its mindless state was generating an army of rock creatures to protect itself. Hourman and the JSA fought off the rock creatures long enough for Power Girl to take Sand’s body up to the surface. Sand recovered, and the JSA threw a party to celebrate. Hourman went to his wife's home and greeted her at the door.
(JSA #65, 66) - Hourman explained to his wife that he was displaced in time, and he still had to save his son’s life and meet his fate, dying at Extant’s hand. He told her he’d never stopped loving her despite their marital difficulties, and apologized for always being to busy with work and heroics to be there for her. Hourman III appeared to him, and took him to Time-Point, along with several JSAers. Dr. Mid-Nite saved Hourman II’s life, but in the process Hourman’s allotted hour at Time-Point ran out. A door to the past opened, and he prepared to go back in time, but his son refused to let him. Hourman II jumped into the past, intending to be the one Extant killed. Hourman I followed, and they tussled, each refusing to let the other die. Hourman III stopped them, set up a holographic field, and took Hourman I’s place as the one murdered by Extant. The JSA returned home with the remaining Hourmen. Hourman I told his son he was retiring unless he was desperately needed. He looked forward to watching his son continue his legacy and spending time with his family. Hourman III gave him his hourglass before sacrificing himself, and Hourman I intended on one day rebuilding him.
(JSA #67) - Hourman was ready to go into action when a bomb threat shut down Tylerco. A phone trace on the threat revealed it was a hoax perpetrated by the Ghost, who had a grudge against Tylerco because he lost his fortune investing in Tylerco’s competitors.
(Starman II #37) - Hourman I befriended Starman II in the afterlife. Starman II brought his brother Starman VIII to a banquet in limbo attended by Hourman and several other deceased mysterymen. Hourman reminisced about how adventuring became an addiction for him, and warned Starman VIII about neglecting other aspects of life.
(Day of Judgment #2) - When several heroes traveled to the gates of Heaven to meet Jim Corrigan, Hourman and other dead JSAers met their old friends at the gate. They enjoyed a brief reunion.
Comments: Created by Bernard Baily & Ken Fitch
In the pre-Crisis DC Universe Hourman I lived on Earth-2.
Hourman received a profile in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #10. He received a profile in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #12 under the Justice Society of America entry. Hourman was featured in the Crisis on Parallel Earths and Zero Hour entries in JLA in Crisis Secret Files #1.
A portrait of Hourman I was seen in Tyler manor in Hourman #4 and Hourman #9. A picture of Hourman I was seen in Hourman II’s hospital room in Hourman #8.
In Justice Leagues: JLA #1 the JLA had their memories restored after Advance Man tampered with their minds and they recollected several past adventures. Hourman and the JSA were featured in once of their remembrances.
JSA #2 and JSA #87 showed a portrait of Hourman and the original JSA lineup hanging in JSA Headquarters. Green Arrow III #12, JSA #57 and JSA #73showed a solo portrait of Hourman in the JSA Headquarters. A statue of Hourman was seen in the JSA Museum in JSA #26, JSA #52 and JLA / JSA: Virtue and Vice.
Flash II #230 showed a picture of Hourman and the Justice Society in the New Flash Museum.
JSA #15 and Flash II #200 showed a memorial to Hourman in Valhalla, the superhero cemetery.
Impulse #44 showed children trick-or-treating as various superheroes, including Hourman.
Sentinel created a green flame duplicate of Hourman to battle Extant in JSA #13.
There was a flashback of Hourman and the JSA’s battle with Ian Karkull in JSA #7.
A photo of Hourman was shown in Red Tornado I’s home in JSA #55.
Hourman had cameos in JSA #56, JSA All-Stars #8 and Spectre III #24.
Hourman was pictured on the cover of JSA #68.
Bizarro-Superman wrote and illustrated a comic book titled “Captain Marvel and the Sham Shazam” featuring Hourman in Bizarro Comics #1.
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