DC Officially Brings Back Its Most Powerful Forgotten Hero

WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Stargirl: The Lost Children #6 and The Flash #798DC just brought back one of its most powerful forgotten heroes: Hourman, the android hero from the 853rd century who is the master of time. Appearing recently in both Stargirl: The Lost Children and The Flash, it seems like DC is setting up the character for something major in the near future.

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Hourman first reappears in Stargirl: The Lost Children miniseries by Geoff Johns and Todd Nauck, where it is revealed that his programming has been corrupted by Time Master Corky Baxter to kidnap sidekicks of old heroes who have gone missing from throughout the time stream. Thanks to Stargirl and the other “Lost Children,” Hourman’s original programming is restored and he helps the sidekicks escape. Then, in The Flash #798 by Jeremy Adams, Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert and Will Robson, Hourman reappears to help Wally West find his newborn son, Wade, who has been kidnapped by what appears to be Granny Goodness of Apokalips.


Hourman, DC’s Master of Time, Makes His Glorious Return

Created by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter, the futuristic Hourman made his debut in 1997’s JLA #12. The hero was being groomed by Metron of the New Gods to one day take his place, and was entrusted with the Worlogog – a complete map of time that gave the android tremendous power over the space/time continuum. Hourman became a major player in the 1998 crossover DC One Million, where he and his future version of the League, Justice Legion A, traveled back to the present to prevent a terrible disaster from occurring. Once it was revealed that Hourman was actually partly responsible for that disaster, the android decided to stay in the past in an attempt to learn how to be more human.

After getting his own self-titled series in 1999, Hourman broke down the Worlogog into tachyons and placed them into the hourglass contained within his chest. That way, he would only get to use his time powers for periods of one hour at a time – a neat twist on the Golden Age Hourman who gained an “hour of power” after taking the Miraclo pill. Hourman would eventually join the reformed Justice Society of America, where he sacrificed himself to save the original Golden Age Hourman while fighting the supervillain Extant. The character has made appearances here and there in the years since, but now he has returned with a force in DC Comics.

Hourman appearing rather prominently in two recent DC series seems to be more than just coincidence, and the fact that he is involved in both storylines holds a lot of promise going forward. The Hourman of the 853rd century is a character that DC would benefit greatly from by bringing him back to a prominent role in the DCU. The Hourman series started in 1999 by Tom Peyer and Rags Morales is an underappreciated gem in the DC canon, a 25-issue run that was quirky, original and like nothing else on the stands at the time. There, the android Hourman (or, “intelligent machine colony,” as he often described himself) befriended former Justice League mascot Snapper Carr and tried to learn what it was to be “human.” Often just as touching as it was hilarious, Hourman was remarkable in how it presented out there, mindbending concepts in achingly human terms.

Whether or not DC has big plans for this version of Hourman remains to be seen, but it’s nice to have the 853rd century android back, regardless.

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