World's Finest Comics #111 (August 1960)
Teen Titans #56 (April 2008)
France Herron (writer)
Lee Elias (artist)
Sean McKeever (writer)
Eddy Burrows (artist}
|Alter ego||- William Tockman
Uses clock-related gadgetry
Absolute time sense
The Clock King is the name of two fictional characters, both of whom are supervillains published by DC Comics. The first, created by Bill Finger, appeared in Star Spangled Comics #70 (July 1947) and fought Robin. The second Clock King was a villain and enemy of Green Arrow, and debuted in World's Finest Comics #111 (August 1960), and was created by France Herron and Lee Elias.
The character, originally called simply "the Clock", appeared in Star Spangled Comics #70 (July 1947). He had no super-powers or abilities other than a rigid sense of order and timing. He wore a blue business suit, an orange fedora, glasses and a red tie with a picture of a clock. Clock King is a master planner and sometimes uses clock-themed gadgetry. The Clock King eventually became a member of the Terror Titans, but has become more identified by his appearances in Justice League International and Suicide Squad, and subsequent adaptations in Batman: The Animated Series.
The second Clock King was originally an enemy of Green Arrow. He also has no super-powers or abilities. He wears a clock mask, a cape, and a blue suit with clock drawings on it.
Fictional character biography
Born William Tockman, Clock King spends his early years taking care of his invalid sister. One day he finds out from a doctor's visit that he himself only has six months to live. Despairing for his sister's future, he watches the timing of a local bank's vault in order to rob it, hoping the money would provide for his sister after he was gone. His caper would have gone successfully, had he not tripped a silent alarm and been caught by the Green Arrow.
While he is incarcerated, his sister dies alone. In further hideous irony, Tockman discovers that he really isn't terminally ill; his doctor had accidentally switched his papers with those of another patient. Infuriated, he escapes, later futilely attempting revenge on the Green Arrow.
With several other villains, the Clock King becomes a member of the Injustice League, a team of out-of-luck supervillains who, when banding together, become even less successful than they have been in their individual careers. The Injustice League is defeated time and again by the Justice League International, at least when they are not making laughingstocks of themselves. Trying to reform, the members later become the core of the equally laughable hero team Justice League Antarctica. This JLA includes G'Nort, who ends up saving the lives of the entire team. Like his compatriots, Clock King becomes an ardent supporter of Maxwell Lord, partly due to the fact he is the only one willing to hire them. His group even guards Lord when he is incapacitated by a bullet wound. The villains again later reform as the Injustice League as henchmen of Sonar.
Later, Clock King leads his own, separate team of villains in a mission. They consist of Radiant, Sharpe, Acidia and Crackle. They are not as well-organized as even the Injustice League. For example, Crackle still lives with his mother and they have to take the bus to their fight. It takes place at a Metropolis toy store. They end up fighting one of the many incarnations of the Teen Titans, the heroes Booster Gold and Firehawk and DEO agent Cameron Chase. An unclear super-effect from Chase ultimately neutralizes Clock's team and they are all imprisoned. Clock himself escapes on another bus.
Still later, Clock's friends are transformed into the new Suicide Squad. They are sent to a remote research facility where a genetic monstrosity is holding its creator hostage. Its main defenses are spawned "children" that could explode. During the mission, most of the team are seemingly killed, including Clock King, who is shot repeatedly in a retreat attempt. He is seen still alive after his brutal wounds but, in the end, Major Disaster believes he is the only one who survives. It turns out Cluemaster, shot in a similar manner as Clock King, survives, albeit with drastic scarring. (Suicide Squad (second series) #1). Multi-Man also survives due to his ability to be reborn with new powers after dying.
Clock King is not seen for a period of time after Infinite Crisis. In an issue of 52, one character decides to kill all the time-travelers, and mentions someone "ending up like Time Commander and Clock Queen."
A new version of the original Clock King reappears in Gotham City in The New 52 (which takes place after the events of Flashpoint) now amped up on Venom. He is shown battling the newest incarnation of the Birds of Prey.
A new Clock King appears in Teen Titans #56 as the head of a team of legacy villains named the Terror Titans. In an interview with Teen Titans writer Sean McKeever, he described this Clock King as "...Very smart. He sees things differently than others." Although his full name has not been confirmed, Disruptor did refer to him as "Tem" before being killed. His costume is similar to the suit worn by the Clock King seen in Batman: The Animated Series, although with clock faces on the tie and lapel. After his group defeats and captures Kid Devil, Clock King conditions the hero to be sold as a fighter to a group called "The Dark Side Club". Clock King then brings the Titans to his base of operations, a dimension outside of time. After besting Robin, Clock King is stymied by Ravager, who possesses similar precognitive abilities. He offers Ravager a chance to join him, but she refuses. Clock King then removes the Titans from his base and decides to move on to new plans. Ravager ultimately reconsiders his earlier offer. In the Terror Titans miniseries, Clock King takes over The Dark Side Club, and uses it to brainwash young metahumans, turning them into his very own "Martyr Militia". He sends the Militia to attack the city Los Angeles, for no reason other than to amuse him. Clock King's plans are eventually undone by Miss Martian, who was posing as one of the captured Metahumans, and Ravager, who attacks and defeats him, forcing him to flee his base of operations.
Powers and abilities
- The original Clock King has no metahuman powers or abilities, although he is athletic and extraordinarily smart. He extensively uses clock and time related gimmicks to devastating effect.
- The new Clock King has the always-active ability to see what is about to happen four seconds or so into the future, allowing him to anticipate an opponent's every move. He is also a technological genius, creating devices such as teleporters, communications jamming equipment, and even an anti-gravity platform, all of them modelled after timepieces.
In other media
- In the 1960s Batman TV series, the Clock King was portrayed by Walter Slezak in the season two consecutive episodes, '"The Clock King's Crazy Crimes" and "The Clock King Gets Crowned," which ABC transmitted on October 12 and October 13, 1966. The two-parter was written by Batman co-creator Bill Finger and Charles Sinclair and directed by James Neilson. In the episode, the Clock King, disguised as a pop artist, tries to rob a gallery of a time-related surrealist painting. Batman and Robin are stuffed into the bottom of an oversized hourglass, stripped of their utility belts, and left to be drowned in sand as the Clock King plots to filch Bruce Wayne's collection of antique pocket watches, only for the duo to escape the trap later. Later in the episode, he starts his masterplan, to steal the atomic-powered Cesium clock. As the Clock King, Slezak wore a black cape and a top-hat with a clock inside it. He had many weapons such as "Super Slick Watch Oil," "Knock Out Gas," and "Super Sonic Sound." No reference was made to the fact that the Clock King was originally one of the Green Arrow's enemies, and his real name was never revealed, in either of the episodes.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, the Clock King is recreated as Temple Fugate (the name being a play on the Latin phrase tempus fugit, meaning "time flies") who first appears in the episode "The Clock King" and later returns in the episode "Time Out of Joint" voiced by Alan Rachins. In both appearances, the Clock King commonly dresses in a three-piece suit and bowler hat, with a pocket watch and glasses resembling clock faces. In his debut episode "The Clock King", Temple Fugate is a head of a time and motion study consulting company who has been fined $20 million dollars in court, but is now appealing against it. Fugate is an odd, lonely man obsessed with time and punctuality; his every waking moment is pre-planned on a "to do" list broken down into precise blocks. Future Gotham mayor Hamilton Hill convinces Fugate to break his schedule and take his coffee break at a slightly later time. However, due to a string of terrible luck, Fugate shows up late for his court appointment, loses his appeal and going bankrupt as a result. Fugate swears revenge on Hamilton Hill for making him late, and later finds out that Hill's firm represented the plaintiff for the case Fugate was late for (even though Hill himself had nothing to do with that case). Seven years later, Fugate becomes the Clock King, and dedicates his life to getting revenge on Hill. In "Time Out of Joint," Fugate is armed with a device which he can use to slow down or speed up time at his discretion, but is ultimately defeated by Batman and Robin and sent to Arkham Asylum.
- Alan Rachins reprised his role as The Clock King (Fugate) in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X." He has been recruited by Project Cadmus as part of the Suicide Squad to coordinate the mission and its timing is largely down to the second, except for a few minutes Fugate allotted for contingencies in the field. The timing for the plan was so important that the members are ordered to go on without a teammate if they are even one second late.
- The original Clock King (William Tockman) first appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Rise of the Blue Beetle!" voiced by Dee Bradley Baker with a German accent. Like his original version in the comics, he possesses many clock-themed weapons and gadgets, and wears a modified version of his original costume. To keep with the clock theme, he has two henchmen named Tick and Tock. The Clock King is defeated by Batman and Green Arrow after they escape his trap. He later appears in "Day of the Dark Knight!", trying to escape from Iron Heights Penitentiary, but was thwarted by Batman and Green Arrow. A heroic version of Clock King appears in "Deep Cover for Batman!", but is taken down by the Injustice Syndicate. Clock King joins forces with Owlman and an army of villains in "Game Over for Owlman!". He also briefly appears in "Mayhem of The Music Meister!", having teamed up with Black Manta and Gorilla Grodd to hijack a communications satellite before falling victim to the title villain's hypnotic powers. In "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure!", Aquaman helps Green Arrow fight the Clock King. When they pursue him to a nearby store and Clock King threatens a woman, Aquaman contacts the lobsters in a nearby tank and has them attack Clock King.
- The Clock King is a boss in Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In the Wii version, he is hired by Gentleman Ghost to lure Batman to London, England by capturing Hawkman and threatening to blow up Big Ben. In the DS version, he and Morgaine le Fey team up on Dinosaur Island but are defeated by Batman and the Red Tornado.
- The Clock King also makes an appearance in a 2004 The Batman Adventures comic. In this issue, he finally gets his revenge on Hill by rigging the mayoral election so that it seems that Oswald C. Cobblepot (The Penguin) has won.
- In February 2009, Mattel released an action figure from the Batman: The Animated Series/Justice League Unlimited incarnation of Clock King in the Justice League Unlimited toyline in a Matty Collector exclusive four pack along with Bane, Harley Quinn, and the Scarecrow.
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- Justice League America Annual #4 (October 1990)
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- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #58 (June 2008)
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #59 (July 2008)
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- Terror Titans #5 (April 2009)
- Terror Titans #6 (May 2009)
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- The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe's biography for the Clock King
- The DC Database's article on the Clock King's debut
- Clock King on DC Database, an external wiki, a DC Comics wiki
- Stupid Villain Showcase Satirical analysis of the first Clock King by Seanbaby
- Clock King on the Batman: The Animated Series official page