Though it has yet to officially air, many DC fans are anxiously awaiting the new Stargirl series to officially debut as part of the DC Universe streaming service. With a strong focus on some classic and underrated heroes within the DC universe in general, a lot of fans are excited to see some of their favorite characters in live action for the first time.
However, one hero that looks to have a larger presence within the upcoming series is Hourman, another common member of the Justice Society alongside Stargirl. Though he has been seen before in other shows, not many people are that familiar with the overall character. To help shed some light on his extensive comic book history, here is our list of 10 things to know about DC’s Hourman.
10 He is a Golden Age Hero
Like many other heroes commonly associated with Justice Society, Hourman is actually one of the oldest comic book heroes around. Debuting in the pages of Adventure Comics #48, the original Rex Tyler version of the character was first seen in 1940.
Created by Bernard Baily, the character then came to play a major role during this classic era of comic books. Eventually though, like many other characters of the time, Hourman would come to fade from memory, occasionally reappearing in more modern series, but never quite living up to the same standards as other members of the Justice Society in terms of popularity.
9 Powers and Abilities
Though there have been some tweaks to Miraclo over the years, the drug generally grants the user superhuman abilities of great scale, but only for an hour at a time. Some of these abilities have been enhanced strength, speed, and endurance, but not quite to the level of other characters like Superman.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the drug itself, a normal human body can only withstand so much before needing to rest. However, this is also part of what makes the drug so addictive. With a complex relationship with his own abilities, it is easy to see why Hourman is such an intriguing character.
8 Rex Tyler
As the original Hourman, Rex Tyler really set the standard for the character overall. For years, the hero would fight valiantly, while also serving a great role on the Justice Society and other teams like the Freedom Fighters.
Having created the Miraclo drug that gives Hourman his abilities, Rex would set the standard for the other Hourmen who followed him. With a brilliant mind and great heart, Rex Tyler made for a great addition to the Justice Society, even though he isn’t as recognized as other characters may be.
Due to the unique nature of Miraclo, Rex found himself to be an addict at one point. In his efforts to balance his roles as a scientist and a hero, Rex often ignored his son, Rick, causing great strain on their relationship as Rick was growing up.
However powerful the drug may have made him, Rex really struggled at times as an addict, making it easy to see why he never wanted Rick involved in the first place. Though it isn’t quite clear how the show will approach this chapter in Hourman’s life, it would certainly make for an interesting plot point within the Stargirl series overall.
For a time, Rex Tyler was actually presumed dead along with several other members of the JSA. Following the events of Crisis On Infinite Earths, Rex and the others vanished, paving the way for his son to assume the mantle of Hourman. After several years, Rex and his team would eventually return and resume their work as superheroes.
Unfortunately, Rex would once again meet a tragic fate after a battle with extant. Thankfully, he would be rediscovered and rescued by the Matthew Tyler version of Hourman, reuniting him with his son and allowing him to resume his place in the DC universe. Since then, however, Rex has retired within the comics, and it will be interesting to see where the show will pick up with him.
5 Rick Tyler
Growing up with a complicated relationship with his father, Rick Tyler would have an equally complex relationship with his time as Hourman. Towards the end of the Crisis On Infinite Earths event, Rick would take Miraclo for the first time, using the abilities to help those in need, despite his father’s disapproval.
Eventually though, Rick’s father would be presumed dead, leaving the character as the only Hourman within the universe for a time. During this period, Rick would actually prove to be a very complex character, and even growing rather dark at times. Thankfully, the character would eventually sort out certain aspects of his life, but it is easy to see why he made for such a compelling choice for the upcoming Stargirl series.
After assuming the role of Hourman, Rick eventually learned that he had Leukemia. Resulting directly from his use of Miraclo, Rick learned that the modifications his father had made did become less addictive, but also wasn’t without its drawbacks.
However, this didn’t stop him from fighting the good fight and continuing in his role as Hourman. Fortunately, Matthew Tyler, the third Hourman, would come to play a role in saving both Rex from death and curing Rick from his illness. Though Rick didn’t meet the same fate as many other comic book heroes have in the past, it was still a rather interesting chapter in his life, and one of the more painful moments to see him go through.
3 Married to Jesse Chambers
Though some may not be familiar with Hourman himself, they are likely to have at least heard of his wife, Jesse Chambers. Known also as Jesse Quick and Liberty Belle, the character gained a bit of popularity as she is typically associated with heroes like the Flash. Though the character did have a bigger role on The CW’s popular series, the comic book version is significantly different from this one.
On top of serving together on the Justice Society together, the duo also have a son, Johnny. Though audiences may or may not see a more accurate depiction of Jesse in the Stargirl series, there’s no denying that she has played a massive role in Rick Tyler’s life.
2 Matthew Tyler
If having two versions of Hourman wasn’t already confusing enough, a third version was eventually introduced as well. Matthew Tyler is a robotic clone of Rex Tyler from the far future. Using the Miraclo drug and a sample of Rex’s DNA, the character came to be, making him a weird, hybrid clone of the original Hourman.
Unlike the other iterations of Hourman though, Matthew actually had far more abilities, thanks to his artificial makeup. As arguably the most powerful version of Hourman, the character saw greater power with fewer limitations. Though it is unclear if he will ever come to have a presence on the Stargirl show, he still makes for an interesting chapter in Hourman’s history.
1 In Other Media
Beyond the upcoming Stargirl series, Hourman has actually appeared in several other forms of media besides the comic books. Both Rick and Rex have appeared in animated form in shows like Justice League: Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Furthermore, the Rex Tyler version has already made a live action appearance on The CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow series. Though a different actor will be portraying Rex in Stargirl, it is nice to see the character already held some place in the many forms of comic book media that are currently out there.
Hourman is one of the members of the Justice Society and will play a role in the Stargirl series. Here are some facts DC fans don't know.