Tuesday, November 5, 2013

CW Developing DC Comics' HOURMAN for TV

Marvel may own DC Comics when it comes to movies, but DC continues to lead when it comes to adapting their properties for television.

The Hollywood Reporter announced that The CW is developing a drama series based on the DC Comics superhero Hourman.  According to the article, 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."

Michael Caleo (The Sopranos) will write the pilot script and executive produce the series with Dan Lin and Lin Pictures' head of television, Jennifer Gwartz, for Warner Bros. Television as part of a new two-year overall deal.

Over the years, there have been three incarnations of the character.  The first Hourman, Rex Tyler, debuted in Adventure Comics #48 in 1940 as a biochemist who invented a drug, Miraclo, that gave him superhuman strength, durability and enhanced speed for the span of one hour.  Joining the Justice Society of America, Rex later married a woman named Wendi Harris and they had a son, Rick Tyler, who first appeared in Infinity, Inc. #20 in 1985. 

Rick soon adopted his father's mantle as Hourman, using Miraclo dermal patches at first instead of pills, then later switched to injecting the drug directly into his bloodstream from a pair of gauntlets show above.  As time went on, he was given a special hourglass that caused him to experience visions of one hour in the future.  Rick later married Jesse Chambers, the daughter of Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle, and it was revealed Jesse had become pregnant shortly before the DC Universe was rebooted into "The New 52" and the characters were erased from current DC continuity. 

A third Hourman, Tyler, first appeared in JLA #12 in 1997 as an android from the 853rd Century that was modeled on Rex Tyler's DNA.  As the only Hourman that ever received his own Hourman comic book series, Tyler originally possessed a device called the Worlogog that gave him mastery over time before being limited to an "Hour of Power."  He was later destroyed in a battle with the supervillain Extant.

Hourman is the latest in a series of DC Comics properties in various stages of development for television.  Arrow is currently on The CW, with this season including a backdoor pilot for a spinoff series based on The Flash starring Grant GustinFox has a straight-to-series committment for Gotham, centered around Batman supporting character Commissioner Gordon, and NBC has Constantine, based on the supernatural con man/magician John Constantine.  And The CW still has Amazon, a Wonder Woman prequel TV series, still under consideration.

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