Unofficial Biography HOURMAN [Rex "Tick-Tock" Tyler]
 Created by Ken Fitch and Bernard Bailey


Personal Data

Real Name: Rex "Tick-Tock" Tyler
Occupation: Research chemist, later owner of Tyler Chemical Company/Tylerco
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: unnamed brother and nephew, Dr. Rebecca Tyler (grandniece), Wendi Harris-Tyler (wife), Richard "Rick" Tyler (son), "Tyler" (nanotech machine colony containing Tyler-family DNA)
Base of Operation: New York, NY
Group Affiliation: Justice Society Of America, Freedom Fighters, All-Star Squadron
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 181 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown/Black, later Grey
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #48 (March 1940)

Profile written by Jim 'Zilch' Doty




  A chemist who discovered the miraculous chemical Miraclo, Rex Tyler became the super-hero Hourman, able to use extraordinary abilities for an hour a a time. He became a valued member of the Justice Society and the All-Star Squadron, but suffered from addiction to Miraclo. He married glamorous Wendi Harris, with whom he fathered a son who eventually became Hourman himself. Rex perished in battle with Extant, but due to the interference of a third, time-travelling Hourman, he has been restored to life and is rebuilding his life with his wife and son.


  Growing up in upstate New York, young Rex found an affinity for chemistry, particularly those areas involving biology. Working his way through college, he landed a job researching vitamins and hormone supplements at Bannermain Chemical. A series of discoveries and accidents lead him to the "miraculous vitamin" or Miraclo. He found that concentrated doses of that "vitamin" gave a strength and vigor to test mice several times that of normal. Taking a dose, Rex found that his strength and vitality and speed increased to that of super-human levels. However, the human body could only process the Miraclo for an hour at a time, thereafter the subject was weakened and returned to human strength levels.

  Keeping the discovery of Miraclo a secret, Tyler decided that human trials would 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 that needed it... sort of a hero. 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.

  Taking the next six months to heal and work on various cures for Miraclo addiction, Rex semi-retired from adventuring. On the night of December 6, 1941, however, he was visited by the personification of the American Spirit, Uncle Sam. He warned Rex and several other heroes of the impending attack on the American territory of Hawaii by the Imperial Japanese fleet. Throwing caution to the wind, he took a revised Miraclo formula and joined Uncle Sam and his Freedom Fighters.

  The superheroic efforts, however, were not enough and several of the Freedom Fighters were killed by the superior numbers of the Japanese Zeros. Hourman was captured and spent the next three months as the prisoner of the Japanese. He was later freed and joined the All-Star Squadron. During his release, he discovered that the Miraclo in his system could be activated by a "black light", and used this method instead of the drug whenever possible.

  Eventually 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 Bannermain 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 second Psycho-Pirate, a modern criminal whose mentor was an old Justice Society foe. Along with Doctor Fate, the duo defeated the villain and Rex worked up the courage to ask Wendi to marry him, despite the 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.

  During this period over the course of several months, on weekends, Rex was pulled into the 853rd Century by employees of TylerChemrobotics, a descendent of his present company. Using technologies that seemed like magic even to his advanced skills, he built a nanotech machine colony based on both Miraclo and his own DNA. This machine was meant to become the future head of the company, but became the weilder of the Worlogog, a talisman of great chronal abilities. He joined the grouping of heroes known as the Justice League A. After the 'android', later known as Hourman III, time traveled back to discover that Rex Tyler was being pulled without his consent into the future, he ensured that this would stop immediately.

  When several of his friends decided to re-instate the Justice Society, Rex threw his cowl into the ring and was drawn at random to attend the first meeting of the group. They assisted the newly formed Justice League of America in capturing a combine of foes from both groups. Rex, feeling that his Miraclo was now safer to use, began to infrequently join up with his friends on their adventures with the Justice League.

  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 in taking up the Miraclo Pill, citing its side-effects. However, during the Crisis, 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.

  After two years, Rex and his friends were able to free themselves from "Ragnarok Limbo" and return to Earth. Rex found himself mourned as dead and his son dying from an illness, unable to use the Miraclo to strengthen himself to stand the treatments that might save his life. With encouragement from Johnny Quick, Rex found that he could trigger the Miraclo in his bloodstream by force of thought, without further ingestion of the drug. Rex passed this on to Rick, who slowly began to recover.

  One last time, two years ago, joining with his friends of fifty years, the Justice Society battled the time-tyrant Extant, and in the course of the battle, was robbed of his youthful chronal energies and converted to his natural age of 84, whereupon he immediately died of natural causes.

  Or so it seemed.

  The future Hourman presented a healed Rick Tyler with two gauntlets. One gave him an injection of Miraclo, the other contained a chronometer with two settings. One was duration of his dosage. The second, was also a chronometer which kept track of his time visiting his father in Limbo. Instead of dying, he was transported to a lab and was permitted to visit with his son there for one hour. After he used up his hour, Rex was transported back to the moment of his death. However, he was saved again by the android Hourman, who sacrificed his existence to take his place. Rex Tyler took this second chance at life, vowing to be a better father and husband and to rebuild the future Hourman.

  Recently, he was pulled back into adventuring briefly when he discovered that notes that he had left behind at Bannermain Chemical were used to develop Venom, the steroid compound that powers Bane. Tyler and his son fought Bane, seeking to rid him of the addiction, but discovered that he wanted the chemicals.

Powers and Weapons

  Hourman derives all his super-human abilities from the "miracle vitamin" Miraclo. The energy released gives the subject increased strength, limited invulnerability and heightened stamina for about an hour. After that time, the Miraclo burns itself out, and the waste toxins generated need to be eliminated in the bloodstream over about a 24 hour period.

  Over the years, repeated dosages have left Hourman with a residue of the Miraclo in his bloodstream and at the end of his career, he was able to cause it to activate through sheer willpower. His son, also exposed to Miraclo, was found to be able to activate it the same way with much less exposure, less than 3 years compared to nearly fifty for the senior Hourman.

  Recently, it was discovered that Venom, a super-steroid compound was derivate of Miraclo, and the street drug A39, which was a form of Venom, gave the second Dr. Mid-Nite his heightened strength and night vision.

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