A chemist who discovered the miraculous chemical Miraclo, Rex Tyler became the super-hero Hourman, able to use extraordinary abilities for an hour at a time. He became a valued member of the Justice Society and the All-Star Squadron.
Man of the Hour
Raised in upstate New York, young Rex Tyler found an affinity for the sciences, particularly those areas involving chemistry and biology. Working his way through college, he landed a job researching vitamins and hormone supplements at Bannerman Chemical. A series of discoveries and accidents led him to the "miraculous vitamin" or Miraclo. He found that concentrated doses of that "vitamin" gave a strength and vigor to laboratory mice several times that of normal. Taking a dose, Rex found that his strength, vitality and speed increased to super-human levels. However, the human body could only process the Miraclo for one hour at a time, after which the subject was left weakened and returned to human strength levels.
Keeping his discovery of Miraclo a secret, Tyler decided that human trials could be limited to the only subject he could trust... himself. Feeling that the Miraclo-induced abilities should be used for good purposes, he decided to use the abilities to help those who needed it. His first mission came as a result of Tyler's placing an ad stating that "The Man of The Hour" would help those that needed it. Tracking down one respondent to the ad, he aided a housewife whose husband was falling in with the wrong crowd, and stopped a robbery. Using a costume he found in an abandoned costume shop, he started to adventure as The Hour-Man (later dropping the hyphen).
Nearly eleven months later, after becoming noted for helping the "common man" and battling weird menaces, Hourman became a charter member of the Justice Society of America. Faced with heroes that used magic, flew and wielded mystical rings, Hourman further strengthened his Miraclo and this led to it slowly becoming addictive.
During one case, Tyler's heart gave out, his system poisoned with the toxic side effects of Miraclo. Doctor Fate, through mystical means, cleansed Hourman, and after the case, he retired from active crime fighting, taking a leave of absence from the JSA. During that final case, he was irradiated with chronal energies that slowed his aging later in life.
Even as diminished use and refinement led Rex to abandon his Hourman identity in 1943, the physical and emotional strain too great even for occasional use. He did assist the JSA on occasion, but after 1945, he devoted his time and effort to biochemical advances. Using independent patent royalties, he purchased Bannerman Chemical and renamed it Tyler Chemical Company (later TylerCo). With branch labs around the US, Rex Tyler had little time to relive his wartime glory days.
About twenty five years ago, Rex began to take up company with Wendi Harris, an up-and-coming stage actress. During one of their dates, they ran across The Psycho-Pirate, a modern criminal whose mentor was an old Justice Society foe. Along with a recently empowered Doctor Fate, the duo defeated the villain and Rex worked up the courage to ask Wendi to marry him, despite the twenty-some odd year difference in their ages. Wendi agreed, and they were soon blessed with a son, Richard. To Rex's consternation, Rick showed no interest in things academic, instead leaning towards sports and art. This was a major source of friction between father and son for most of their lives.
Seeing that one day his son might want to take up the cause and fight for justice, Rex began secretly tailoring the Miraclo formula using genetic engineering for use by Rick or his descendants. He forbade Rick from taking up the Miraclo Pill, citing its side-effects. However, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, to save the lives of people trapped during one of the time-storms, Rick took the pills and began to adventure as Hourman as his father and his fellow Justice Society members were caught in a limbo-like dimension.
Reports of My Death
He was seemingly killed along with other Golden Agers fighting a time traveling villain named Extant during the events of Zero Hour. He was recently rescued from that fate by the third Hourman who took his place in that battle. Rex now lives in semi-retirement with his wife Wendi.
- 60 Minute Time Limit: After a 60 minute time period, the "AQP" burns itself out, and the waste toxins generated need to be eliminated in the bloodstream over about a 24 hour period.
- Miraclo: Hourman derives all his superhuman abilities from the "miracle vitamin" Miraclo. The active ingredient is a special form of phosphorus, which bonds temporarily with the ATP in muscle cells to create a "Adenosine Quad-Phosphate" which energizes the cells.
- Superhuman Strength: The energy released gives the subject increased strength.
- Superhuman Durability: The energy released gives the subject limited invulnerability.
- Superhuman Stamina: The energy released gives the subject heightened stamina.
- Superhuman Agility: The energy released gives the subject increased agility.
- Night Vision: The energy released gives the subject the ability to see at night.
- Aquatic Adaptation: The energy released gives the subject the ability to breath underwater.
- Tear Gas Ring: During his early adventures, Hourman used a ring capable of emitting a tear gas to overcome his foes.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
- Rex has gone by a few nicknames during his Golden Age career such as Tick-Tock and The Man of The Hour.
- Recently, it was discovered that Venom, a super-steroid compound was derivative of Miraclo, and the street drug A39, which was a form of Venom, gave the second Doctor Mid-Nite his heightened strength and night vision.
- Rex and Rick both wore an hourglass around their necks given to them by the Hourman Android. It was filled with energized tachyons, time in its most basic form.
- 300 Appearances of Rex Tyler (New Earth)
- 57 Images featuring Rex Tyler (New Earth)
- 6 Quotations by or about Rex Tyler (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Rex Tyler (New Earth)
Hourman (Rick Tyler)
|Freedom Fighters member |
This character is or was a member of the Freedom Fighters, a team of American super-heroes who fight threats to the nation and its ideals under the leadership of Uncle Sam. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Freedom Fighters members" category.
Justice Society of America member