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Hello reader! Robby Reed here. Today, we're going to look at one of my favorite Golden Age superheroes -- Hourman! The Man of the Hour was created in 1940, by writer Ken Fitch and artist Bernard Baily, who also drew the Spectre.

Hourman was Rex "Tick-Tock" Tyler, a chemist who discovered a miracle vitamin pill he called Miraclo. Taking this pill gave Tyler extraordinary abilities, but for only one hour at a time. After his hour of power ended, Tyler reverted back to normal. The hour was usually marked with a running "caption clock," appearing in every panel after Tyler first took the pill.

In 1999, Grant Morrison, Tom Peyer and Rags Morales reinvented the Man of the Hour as a time-traveling, living machine colony -- but I'm getting ahead of myself, reader. Let's start at the beginning of Hourman's illustrious career...

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Adventure #48
All-Star #4
Adventure #59
Hourman made his debut in Adventure Comics #48, March 1940 (cover pictured above). He also has the distinction of being a founding member of the legendary Justice Society of America. Below are some panels from Adventure #48, featuring the creation of the famous Miralco pill and the first adventure of Hourman:
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Hourman was cover-featured regularly in Adventure and All-Star Comics until Jan 1942, when he was replaced by Starman, who also pushed him off the cover of Adventure and out of the JSA. Hourman continued appearing as a back-up strip in Adventure until #83 (1943), when the character went into limbo for two decades. Then, in 1963, the JSA was reintroduced (cover pictured below), and Hourman was there for the JSA's first big meeting with the JLA. Two years later, the "Tick-Tock Terror" teamed up with and his old JSA pal, Golden Age magician Doctor Fate, in Showcase #55 and #56 (pictured below).
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JLA #21
Showcase #55
Showcase #56


Here's a page of original art from a rare Hourman solo story written by Denny O'Neil, drawn by Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. This story originally ran in Justice League of America, first series. By the way, as you might guess, Hourman actually didn't die in this story, despite its title.
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In 1999, Grant Morrison created a new version of Hourman: an insecure, time-traveling "living machine colony" who hung around with former JLA mascot Snapper Carr. This Hourman also joined the JSA, and starred in his own title for several years, written by Tom Peyer and drawn by Rags Morales. The new Hourman tried to help Snapper break free of his lingering guilt over betraying the Justice League to the Joker years ago (Justice League #77) in Hourman #16, cover pictured below right.
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Hourman #5
JSA #38
Hourman #16


In this brilliantly innovative story, Hourman tries to help Snapper by using a method that can only be described as "Interactive free-association analysis through old JLA comic books covers." In the analysis sequence, each panel recalls an old Justice League scene. As Snapper talks through his numerous psychological problems with the new Hourman, they appear in a sort of free-association of old JLA covers. It all starts with a masterful parody of the old JLA membership certificate ...
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ABOVE: The JLA welcomes Green Arrow to the club with smiles, cheers, and an official Membership Certificate.

RIGHT: The JLA rejects Snapper
Carr with frowns, jeers, and an official "Divestiture of Membership" certificate.


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ABOVE: The all-tree JLA

RIGHT: Guilt-tree Snapper
Carr and the new Hourman


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ABOVE: Funhouse mirror JLA

RIGHT: Funhouse mirror
Snapper and Hourman


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ABOVE: Prof Ivo has the JLA in tubes

RIGHT: Hourman has
Snapper on the couch


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ABOVE: Faust's JLA fingers

RIGHT: Hope Hourman
doesn't snap THESE fingers!


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ABOVE: GA frees JLA from the Doom of the Star Diamond

RIGHT: Hourman frees Snapper
from the "guilt" diamond



.Freed from his destructive guilt over betraying the JLA, Snapper Carr went on to lead a happy and productive life with his new pal Hourman -- for six more issues, at least. .Unfortunately, the title was cancelled with #22. The new Hourman and/or his offspring continue to appear in the pages of JSA.

Snapper Carr's current location is unknown. He was last seen somewhere in Happy Harbor, wearing a green jacket, and snapping his fingers. Yeah, baby!


NEXT on DIAL B for BLOG:

DC'S IN-HOUSE FANZINE OF THE 1970s
Amazing World of DC Comics!

AND COMING SOON...

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