I learned to read by reading comic books. Given how much I love to read to this day, I’d say that my friendly local bookstore should send thank you letters to some of the comic book writers who sparked my passion. My absolute favorite writer as a kid was Roy Thomas. From Man-Thing to Conan, from All-Star Squadron to the Invaders, from Uncanny X-Men to Infinity Inc., I voraciously consumed his works. I didn’t notice for quite some time that these all had the same author…that came with maturity, serious collecting, and even more serious disappointment in discovering Thomas worked on the screenplay for CONAN THE DESTROYER. One of the things that Thomas was truly skilled at doing was updating comic book heroes to the current times…especially through the use of descendants. I wish more comic writers had followed Thomas lead — in his Infinity Inc. stories — and let the older heroes have children who take up the mantle.
Thomas was also the person who introduced me to two of my favorite super heroes: Alan Scott and Rex Tyler. Alan Scott is my all time favorite super hero, but Rex comes in a close second. He’s got a great gimmick. Like Captain America, Rex Tyler (aka Hourman) gets his powers from performance enhancing drugs (Miraclo). Unlike Cap, Hourman has to use the drugs on a regular basis to activate his powers and when he does the powers only last for one hour. Hence the name Hourman. Hourman is a super hero that bridges the gap between “street level” and “powered” superheroes, and would make perfect fodder for a television show. So you can imagine that I was pretty excited when I read on The Hollywood Reporter that the CW was planning just that.
The CW has quickly become the “go to” genre network and with its existing ARROW series and plans to make a Flash spinoff it seems like a good home for Hourman. Or does it? Most CW shows have a tone to them. It works well with ARROW, but would it work with HOURMAN? To answer that, we’ll have to look at how they’ve adapted the character for TV. According to the Hollywood Reporter article, this is what they are planning:
“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.”
Seems like a mash-up of Hourman and the old CBS show “Early Edition” where the protagonist received tomorrow’s newspaper today.
Could work, but might fall flat.