Hourman is not a name that is familiar to non-comic fans but that’s about to change, because DC Entertainment has announced that they are developing an Hourman TV series. The new CW show will join DC’s current hit program Arrow, as well their other in-development series, which include The Flash, Gotham and John Constantine. If DC is lagging behind Marvel on the big screen, they seem to be poised to take the lead on television.
Hourman was originally a character from the Golden Age of comics, although there are more modern versions. The first Hourman was Rex Tyler, a pharmacist who creates a super-steroid called Miraclo which gives him enhanced physical abilities for one hour. (It’s similar to Captain America’s super-soldier formula, except the effects are temporary.) He chooses to use his abilities to fight crime. In later interpretations of the character, he becomes addicted to his wonder-drug, and also develops pre-cognitive visions. Eventually, he passes the mantel of Hourman to his son Rick. There is also a future version of Hourman who is actually an android with a high-tech hourglass that controls time.
The premise of the new series…Hourman centers on a brilliant-yet-troubled pharmaceutical analyst who discovers that the visions that have plagued him since childhood are actually glimpses of tragic events occurring one hour in the future. Determined to win back his ex-wife and son, he heroically prevents these tragedies from unfolding, finding both purpose and redemption along the way.
The premise sounds like departure from the comic character, but its early in the show’s development, so that description that might change. It will air on the CW network. It’s too early yet to know if Hourman will be part of the DC TV-verse of Arrow and Flash, (which are on the CW) or if it will be separate, like Gotham (which will be on Fox.)