Hourman (spelled Hour-Man in his earliest appearances, also referred to as the Hour-Man, and the Hourman) is the name of three different fictional DC Comics superhero, the first of whom was created by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily in Adventure Comics #48 (April 1940), during the Golden Age of Comic Books.
Scientist Rex Tyler, raised in upstate New York, developed an affinity for chemistry, particularly biochemistry. Working his way through college, he landed a job researching vitamin and hormone supplements at Bannermain Chemical. A series of discoveries and accidents led him to the "miraculous vitamin" Miraclo. He found that concentrated doses of the "miraclo" given to test mice increased their strength and vitality several times that of normal. After taking a dose himself, Rex found he could have superhuman strength and speed for the hour that vitamin's effects lasted, before returning to human 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 in need; in other words, he would become a superhero, based in Appleton City. His first mission came as a result of Tyler's placing an ad stating that "The Man of The Hour" would help the needy. 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). In November 1940 Hourman became one of the founding members of the first superhero team, the Justice Society of America. After leaving the JSA in mid-1941 Tyler became one of Uncle Sam's initial group of Freedom Fighters. He later became part of the wartime All-Star Squadron.
Hourman would be one of many heroes whose popularity would begin to decline in the post-war years. Eventually, his adventures ended. However, with the resurgence of super-heroes in the mid-1950s and early 1960s, interest in the Golden Age heroes returned, and Hourman was soon appearing as a guest star in issues of Justice League of America. Like all the other Golden Agers, he was now considered an elder statesman of the super-hero set.
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