Hourman (Rick Tyler)
Rick Tyler on the cover of JSA #79, by Alex Ross
|First appearance||as Rick Tyler:
Infinity Inc. #20 (November 1985)
Infinity Inc. #21 (December 1985)
|Created by||Roy Thomas
|Full name||Richard "Rick" Tyler|
|Team affiliations||Justice Society of America
|Abilities||Superhuman strength and endurance, Enhanced speed and durability, Precognitive flash forwards allow foresight one hour into the future|
Hourman (Rick Tyler) is a fictional character, a superhero who was created by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas and first appeared in Infinity Inc. #20 as Rick Tyler, son of the original Hourman, who quickly joined Infinity Inc. as the second Hourman in #21 of that book.
Fictional character biography
Rick Tyler was born the child of Rex Tyler, who was a successful hero and a business man. However, Rex wasn't a very good father, something he later admitted and regretted. When Rex wasn't spending time with business, he was out doing his superhero work, as addicted to it as he was to the substance that powered him, Miraclo. This meant that Rick rarely saw his dad, even on his birthdays, and eventually Rex wasn't even sure of the age of his son.
It was no surprise that although Rick would develop into a well-balanced teen, he was consistently looking for his father's guidance and approval. Yet, Rex could not see the role model Rick really needed, and he tried to push Rick's education to its limits, an endeavor that Rick didn't wish to pursue, and he constantly felt inferior to his father.
Rick became the second Hourman when the Crisis on Infinite Earths threatened all of reality, and he used one of his dad's Miraclo pills to save the life of Beth Chapel, whom he grew quite fond of. His father strongly disapproved of Rick's actions, knowing the addictive effects of Miraclo and tried to prevent Rick from taking up the Hourman mantle. Nonetheless, Rick ended up trying to join a team of other 2nd generation heroes known as Infinity, Inc. Rex was able to temporarily convince his son not to, although Rick continued to try to persuade him. Matters became worse however when Rex, along with his teammates in the Justice Society of America sacrificed themselves to fight eternal Ragnarok in Limbo. When Northwind and Beth Chapel came to tell him of the news, Rick ran away in grief. He was later kidnapped by the new group Justice Unlimited, themselves former members of the Injustice Society and used as a hostage against Infinity Inc. Rick was able to escape, but in the process, seemingly killed the Wizard.
Rick had a hard time forgiving himself, although it would later be revealed that the Wizard was in fact still alive. Rick gave up the Hourman identity almost as soon as he assumed it, as he angrily unmasked himself before a press photographer. Luckily, Lyta was able to prevent the photo from being taken and took Rick away, trying to console him.
Nonetheless, Rick wore his Hourman outfit another time to attend the court hearing for the villain Mister Bones, although Rick feared he was just as bad as Bones as well, fearing that the Miraclo pills had simply worked on an already violent urge when he killed the Wizard. Eventually though, Rick returned to becoming Hourman, wearing an outfit similar to his father's in honor of him. Shortly afterwards, Infinity Inc. disbanded.
Retired hero and reunion
Eventually, Rex and the rest of the JSA returned from Limbo and he and Rick were reunited. In the meantime however, Rick had contracted leukaemia due to the prolonged exposure to Miraclo. With the help of Rex's old teammate, Johnny Chambers (aka Johnny Quick), both Rex and Rick learned to tap into their superhuman powers without the use of Miraclo and instead using his mind-focusing technique.
Father and son would only spent a short time together, when the villain Extant killed Rex and some of his allies from the Justice Society during the event known as Zero Hour. Tragedy kept on striking, when shortly afterwards his sweetheart, Beth Chapel (as Dr. Midnight II) was slain by Eclipso.
Rick remained retired from the superhero business for a long time, and in that time he met the new android Hourman. This android had been engineered by his time travelling father from Rex's own DNA. Although Rick intensily disliked the new Hourman, he was saved by the android when he transported Rick into the Timepoint (a place where time stands still), so that he would be spared from an unidentifiable alien illness.
The two would grow closer when the android then cured Rick of his cancer and bestowed him two gifts. Due to a tachyon-enhanced hourglass, Rick was now able to occasionally see one hour into the future, as well as being given an hour with his dad in the Timepoint. The Hourman android had plucked Rex out of the timestream before he was killed fighting Extant, placing him in the Timepoint- an area outside of time- for an hour; when Rick was not in the Timepoint, time stood still, but when he entered it he could interact with his father for advice or simple conversation. When the hour in the Timepoint would be up however, Rex would be sent back in time, where he would fight and die. The transportation to the Timepoint would be activated by a button in Rick's Hourman gloves.
The Justice Society
Now being cured of all his illnesses, Rick resumed the mantle of Hourman (adopting a new costume in the process), using the non-addictive form of Miraclo, and joined a makeshift JSA in defeating the Ultra-Humanite after he stole Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt, Rick taking a brief visit to the Timepoint to get his father's advice on how to defeat the powerful genie. Rick remained with the JSA after this battle and began growing close to Jesse Chambers, who was the JSA's business manager and also the superheroine Jesse Quick. Rick is still close to his mother and has a strained relationship with his cousin Rebecca who runs his father's company TylerCo.
When the JSA travelled with Hawkman to the Middle Eastern country of Kahndaq to stop Black Adam, Rick was severely injured by one of Nemesis' swords (a member of Adam's gathered group). Realizing that he would die from the massive blood loss unless he was quickly operated on, Rick saw no choice but to transport himself to the Timepoint where his father was. Rick quickly swapped places with his father, and the Timepoint held Rick and his wounds in stasis. Rex was returned to the regular world and was left with no means of returning to the Timepoint or how he could save his son.
The answer once again came in the form of the android Hourman, who transported Rex and several other JSA members to the Timepoint, amongst them the latest Dr. Mid-Nite (Pieter Cross), who was able to save Rick's life. The time used to save Rick also meant that Rex's time was up, and that he would have to return to fighting Extant. Rick, however, tried to take his place, so that his father could live again. Instead, the android Hourman sacrificed himself so that both Hourmen may live. Rex retrieved the damaged Hourman parts and is trying to rebuild him, while Rick continues to operate with the JSA.
While returning once more to Kahndaq to face the Spectre, Rick's friend Jakeem Thunder tried to trap the Spectre inside his magical pen, but was instead himself thrown into the 5th Dimension. Rick, Mr. Terrific and Stargirl ventured into the 5th Dimension and rescued Jakeem from the thralls of Qwsp.
One Year Later
Rick is part of the newly reformed Justice Society of America and is married to Jesse Chambers, now going by the name Liberty Belle. They were responsible for bringing Damage into the Justice Society of America, and the trio defeated Captain Nazi.
The New 52
The Earth-2 version of Rick Tyler/Hourman was introduced in the sixth issue of Earth 2: Society. He is depicted as a villain and works alongside Jimmy Olsen (Doctor Impossible), Johnny Sorrow, and Anarky.
Three months prior to the series, Rick broke into Waynecorp to retrieve Thomas Wayne's Miraclo supplies. Rick is motivated by revenge and views Thomas Wayne as a thief that stole the only thing that could've saved his family. Jimmy Olsen helps him escape and the two decide to work together to achieve Jimmy's goal.
Present day, Hourman arrives to fight Batman, Flash, and Superman. Using Miraclo, Rick was able to hold out on his own and fight the Wonders.
Powers and abilities
Hourman was given a special hourglass that caused him to experience random visions of one hour in the future. He also uses the drug Miraclo, which grants him super strength, speed, agility, reflexes and durability for a full hour.
Without Miraclo, Hourman is no more powerful than a regular human. He can only use one dose of Miraclo a day, as its long term abuse may prove detrimental for his health. Hourman's Miraclo is dispensed directly into his bloodstream by the hourglass amulets embedded in his costume's gauntlets.
The hourglass on his chest was once able to take him to a limbo chamber at Timepoint, but this ability has been used up.
In other media
Hourman has made background appearances as a member of the expanded Justice League in the animated TV show Justice League Unlimited. This version is said to be Rick Tyler. In the episode "Panic in the Sky", he can be seen injecting Miraclo via a button on the wrist of his gauntlet, the same way Rick does in the comics.
- JSA #5
- JSA #8
- JSA #11
- JSA #15
- JSA #19